Back to the present for now and I was very pleased on Thursday to put in my first proper 'pace' session for about 5 to 6 weeks as firstly, I was tapering for the 50k race and then in recovery afterwards.
It's an injury waiting to happen if you try to come back too soon to hard training after a hard race or a long practice walk.
The task I was set included 12 x 500m in 2 minutes 20 seconds with 50m strolling to try and rest my wheezing lungs. I couldn't quite ascertain how to work out the 50m distance, so using the hot weather as a convenient excuse, I extended my mid sprint break to 100m. If you're wondering how I know when I've travelled 100m, there are yellow paint splodges all around the perimeter track at the N.S.C.
The secret to achieving the maximum benefit from interval training for walking and running is to ensure you don't start too fast and are still able to maintain the speed until your last rep. This is excellent for improving your conditioning and most endurance athletes would agree that this method of improving your pace is essential as part of your build up to a long distance event.
Fortunately, I managed to keep to my targets and was even able to cut my last one down to 2:13.
I then used Allan Callow's Thursday evening training session to warm down with the aim of reducing the lactic acids from the muscles for the following day.
This last tactic (lactic tactic?) was fairly successful, so yesterday (Friday,) I walked in a roundabout way to Kaneen's Garage in Union Mills to collect my mother's car which had been in for service. Another recommended idea is to practise walking in the way that you will on the big day and therefore I tried to maintain a steady 10.5 minute mile. Don't forget to test which foods will suit you and to try and work out a basic menu for 21st June. As with any predeterminations, don't be afraid to change according to the conditions or because its not working but there is nothing wrong with having a loose framework for your support crew.
Dave Mackey has asked on the 'Forum,' about 'carb-loading' and it's possible you could receive a different answer from everyone you ask.
Personally, I try and follow the method taught to me by Nigel Armstrong and this is largely corroborated by the Australian Institute of Sport website. Over a five day period, I greatly reduce the protein from my diet, not eating meat nor much at all in the way of fatty foods. A common mistake is to actually pig out on carbohydrates but the idea is just to replace protein with them to increase the amount of glycogen in the muscles.
As you know the scientists are always changing their minds but interestingly, last year when I read the AIS information, they were stating that you can only effectively 'carb-load,' four times a year and that there was no evidence that ladies gain any benefit from using it.
Making sure that iron levels are correct was given great importance especially for females.
Oh well, that's the conclusion of today's ramble. I hope it's useful to somebody but bear in mind that I'm not a coach, not qualified in sports nutrition and am prone to getting things very wrong in races.