Saturday, 25 August 2012

How I came back from injury to finish 3rd overall at the Harrock Hill race Series

Series Results Click Here

After injuring my Achilles tendon back in January it took a good 2 months to heal up, in that time I could only do some very slow jogging with walk breaks between.
It was a frustrating time but at least it gave me time to think about why my body had been breaking down since last summer! 
Was I on a final decline?
After much research I decided to change my diet, I now eat plenty of fresh fruit and veg as well as eggs to help rebuild my body after hard training.
Also I invested in a water distiller so I could drink 100% pure clean water.
I set my sights on the Harrock Hill Race summer series with the aim of achieving a top ten place by the final race in August.
Race One 
May
Disappointment!
I  lacked power on the opening climb and worse faded on the second climb to finish a very disappointed 40th.
I consulted with club coach Steve McLean, I wanted to know how best to restore my lost power?
Steve recommended a weekly session of 20 X 20 sec short hill sprints.
I added this to my weekly club interval sessions and my progress was pretty rapid.
A typical week would look something like this;
Mon club session on grass track
Tue
run on the velvet trail [sandhills] 50mins-1 hour
Wed
Rob's session on road [anything from 400's up to 2 mile efforts-changing each week]
or 5K trail race.
Thur
 20 x 20 sec hill sprints [ after 5 weeks I switched to doing this session only every two weeks].
Fri
Rest
Sat
Big sandhills run 1 hour 40 mins
In July I replaced this session with a 15 mile road run in the hills of Parbold and Ashurst Beacon.
Sun
Easy run with Jon and Sarah in the sandhills 1Hour 20 mins
This worked well for me and my progress was impressive! 
Race Two
In the June edition of the Harrock Hill Race I finished 11th.
I was back :0]
Race 3
In July I finished 9th and I achieved my top ten ambition!
Race 4
In August I finished in 7th place, which gave me 3rd overall in the series and an overall win in my age group.
{best 3 races counted].

My conclusions;
A good healthy diet helps you recover faster!
I need to train differently as I get older!
With 20 years running behind me plus another 10 cycle racing before it the typical Lydiard base training does not work for me.
In fact after only 5 weeks of base training I seem to reach a plateau of improvement!
I'm very different from a newish runner because I already have a massive base!
As you get older you must work on your power and speed!
And hill sprints seem to be one answer to holding back the years!

AGE GROUP WINNER HARROCK HILL   2012 

4 comments:

Ewen said...

Great stuff Rick! Some excellent advice there to get back power and speed. 20 years + the cycling is a massive base - great to see you doing well with those changes to your training.

Anonymous said...

Congrats!Sounds like Daniels "Running Formula",republished 2004 would be ideal for you..six week base and only 2 key sessions a week

Grellan said...

Great comeback Rick. I'll have to follwin your footsteps as my running had been directionless lately.

Scott Brown said...

Great thing about you Rick is that you continue to search for a way and are not willing to take the easy way out like most would.

I have less experience of coming back from injury to run well again but I know it is the hardest thing to do and I'm not sure if I could do it more than twice!

Having said that, seeing you do it is a great inspiration
for all of us.

BTW Did you see that Pete Magil is going to run a marathon in Oct and maybe again in Jan for a 2:25:00 attempt. What do you think about that?

I really hope he can do it as it will light a rocket up a lot of asses and keep all us masters running for years to come!