Q&A: Meek But Not Mild - Page 2
How do you feel after the tough six-day CCC?
I feel complete satisfaction from the race. It’s possible to sometimes come away with question marks but I have none. I put a great amount of dedication into the race and sacrificed lots.
Post MDS you had said you had been a little over cautious. So, did you go to TCC with all guns blazing and take each day as a race?
Yes. I remember listening to Ryan Sandes on Talk Ultra and he said it was amazing how quickly one recovers. I thought, I do recover well and had nothing to lose. So, at TCC I wanted to give it everything. I had prepared for the heat and my training was good.
You have just mentioned that you committed yourself from day 1, when you put 45 minutes into the competition. You have said you spent 10 days training in a heat chamber. Was that a factor?
Yes. I was prepared. I had assumed that the competition would have [also trained in heat chambers]? Accessing a heat chamber is only a case of contacting universities and they are usually willing to help. I assumed some heat work would put me on a par. As it turned out it wasn’t the heat that struck me but the pace!
We were running slower than I expected so I ran at what was comfortable for me and nobody ran with me. I then ran scared thinking I had made a mistake that I was going to pay for.
Can you tell us about the benefits of the heat chamber, and whether there are there any crossovers between MDS and TCC prep?
I did the same sort of training for both races. I followed a classic marathon program but I did more back-to-back runs.
In the heat chamber, you actually don’t have to exercise but it takes longer [to achieve conditioning]. I could sit for three hours or run for one hour.
Regarding your training, what did a peak week look like, say, three to four weeks out from the TCC?
I would do a speed session, a threshold run, a hill session and then long runs that would build to back-to-back runs. I did three back-to-back three-hour runs.
I presume you then eased back on speed and hill work?
I actually kept the sessions. In fact, that week I did a race. You have to remember the long runs were really slow. It was just a case of recovering from a food and nutrition perspective. The runs actually didn’t damage my muscles. I am sensible after each run. I rest. For the three back-to-backs, I took a day off work [as a PT] to make sure I had the best platform from which to build.