If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
Another lovely spring day again to kick off the second week of the holidays. M chose a lovely off road route today; an old favourite straight up through Addingham Moorside from the village and then back via Parson's Lane. It's been yonks since we last ran this route and pacing was at least a minute quicker than the last time we did it despite the relaxed and easy feel of the run. A sure sign that fitness has moved up a notch and work on cadence is having some effect.
I've spent some of today tinkering with the software links available for my trusty 305 and have found that there's a fair bit more to the Sport Tracks package once I'd fiddled with the charts. As well as providing very smooth links to satellite and street view maps to track your run routes (Google applications always seem to freeze up our PC) you can overlay lots of info on the chart functions, with views of daily, weekly, monthly and yearly activities. A great tool for getting that big picture take on your training volume and fitness. It was also really easy to transfer over the files from my Garmin Training Centre and populate this new application. I'm also guiltily enjoying the chance to do things like log my shoe miles and create charts of my extraordinary weight fluctuations following my choco softie binges. For those readers understandably eager to learn the secrets of the choco softie treat I've attached a helpful visual aid or two below.
Plans for tomorrow include a challenging session at Nelson track to thrash out some 800s in preparation for the coming months of shorter, faster racing. I've tried my best to fit in almost everything race wise over the last eight months, from HM through to 5k XCs and as a consequence have diluted the level of quality training achieved. Completing Wilmslow HM will mark the move on to a new phase; this year having a much clearer focus on VO2 and Lactate Threshold sessions to support 5k-10k racing. This plan is to generally improve my leg speed turnover and provide a healthy build up for the XC season 09-10. It sounds some time away but I'm all too aware of the need for strategic thinking in the planning for races and training prep - an aspect of running and training which I find really rewarding. My hopes are to progress well through some of the higher quality XC events next season and if my speed hasn't improved enough by the end of the year then I've still time to shift my focus to the high quality distance events in the spring. The years of getting faster are dwindling and I'm all too aware of the need to get those faster races in now; those marathons can wait for a bit longer.
Some great race results at the weekend also noted. Fine Otley performances include Julian's strong run at St Annes 10m resulting in a V35 prize I hear. A massive PB by Jane B at IH who continues to run from strength to strength, slicing 8mins off her 10m time running into coastal gales! Ian F had another fine Yorkshire victory over 20 miles and a special well done to my old IH team mate, Sally M for her good victory on the Ovenden fells. Anyway, I'm overdue for my choco softie allocation for tonight, enjoy the visual feast...