Winter 2017-18 has presented a sequence of challenges that have made consistent training very difficult, and left me relying on the key weekend routines to maintain any semblance of a routine. The key challenges have been two-fold, firstly my typical working week has been ridiculously long and busy, though succesful and rewarding, leaving little energy midweek. In addition to which my wife has worked away midweek since September, making midweek training very difficult combined with managing four (loud) canine children in an urban area of Doncaster.
There have been some positives though. Weekend training, though light, has been consistent and has been ramping up towards the end of February, start of March despite ‘winter’ striking rather late this year. In addition to which it has been a winter free from chest infection and where my asthma has remained largely under control – though this has little to do with anything I’ve done.
This last weekend has been particularly impressive. The week was as usual completely devoid of any running, and despite best intentions any prospect of a Friday evening run was cut out by finishing time, daylight and underfoot conditions. If anything the latter made the prospect of any running this weekend look unlikely.
I did manage to get two runs in though, a calf bursting run in spikes on the Saturday, struggling to find enough ice to run on, but certainly not enough pavement to run in flats. The Sunday run couldn’t have gone better, I found myself at the top of the route in Armthoroe around 10sec/km faster than usual, and just pulled even further away all the way down, without especially trying to, culminating in attacking the last 2km home. I’ve no idea where that run came from – but a couple of segment PRs fell that I have run many times before each.
There is light at the end of the tunnel though. Hopefully in the not too distant future we will all live together where we work – although a week or so may be lost completely in any move. This is the healthiest, lightest, and arguably the fastest I’ve come through winter in the last 3 years or so. The endurance is not there yet, running marathon distance competitively in May looks unlikely – so much so that I’ll be changing my Liverpool Rock’n Roll entry to half distance, but a distance I’m looking fairly well placed to attack at the moment.
So although winter 2017-18 has been a very tough training season for a variety of reasons, it has not been the complete capitulation that previous winters have been, and I’m entering spring in pretty good shape. I just need to identify a warm fast marathon towards the end of the season to build the year around.