Monday 22 October 2012

Week Ending October 21st

This week was a bit of a mess, it should have started with a day of recovery after the X-Trail but that would have just been too sensible:

Total distance: 78 km (including the 6 km hike)

Sunday October 14th - Morning run with Le Club de Trail de Bromont:  13 km total.  Mostly medium intensity with a few sprints.  Led half a dozen of us up to the top of Bromont via the number 7 downhill bike path, with guest of honour, ultra runner Benoit Beaupre.  We were a group of quite mixed ability, and the route gets pretty steep in parts, so there was a fair bit of back and forth a long the way for the faster runners.  Benoit Beaupre had been a volunteer yesterday so was full of energy and keen to explore the hill - every once in a while we did a few sprints up random paths together to keep busy while the pack was regrouping.

Monday October 15th - Stretches:  Was stuck in Montreal all day so spent the evening stretching

Tuesday October 16th - Easy run with Le Club de Trail: 16 km total. Have been feeling tired recently (probably the season catching up) so committed to an easy run with a few of the girls from the club.  Similar story to Sunday but more consistent; 2 minute interval sprints split by a 1 min jog back to meet the group.  We clocked 6 km together.  Afterr we said our goodbyes, I went for a blast around what I thought was the the 10 km course of this coming Saturday's Le Trail des Amis race.

Wednesday October 17th - Coaching Le Club de Trail de Bromont: 6 km total.  We were pretty much in full darkness for the training session.  The group split into 2 and I lead a few runners through some intervals. Not fully sure of how to handle such a mixed group I went for the classic: 3 x 5 x 2mins, with 1 minute rest between each interval and 3 mins between each series.  Because it was dark and I did not want to lose anybody, I ran with the tail enders and focused on running with high knees.

Thursday October 18th - Training with Brian at Hi Trainer: The high knee training yesterday had more of an impact than I was expecting. Right at the top of my thighs, towards the outside, my legs were really stiff and it spread to my abdomen.  As a result, Brian suggested we take it easy; half an hour of plyometric training and a few 20 yard sprints to trigger the fast muscle movement.

Friday October 19th - Marking the course for tomorrow's race:  6 km hike.  Helped out Les Amis des Sentiers de Bromont put out course marking for the race - Le Trail des Amis .

Saturday October 20th - Le Trail des Amis: 12 km total - 10 km race. Beautiful autumn day, temperature was around 14 C, and the sun was shining.  Played 'bunny' for the children's 500 m and 1000 m races, and then took  a few minutes to warm up.  The 10 km course had 500 m of vertical and a few technical sections, but overall it was a fast.  Pushed hard for the full length of the course and was happy with my final time 42:22.2.  The event was an instant classic and, despite being one week after XTrail Orford, I am confident that it will attract a few big names next year.

Sunday October 21st - T3SB - Tour des 3 sommets Brébeuf: 40 km total.  The 40 km race was new this year and consisted of 3 loops around a 13 km course.  The route passed by the 3 summits of the park, and was a mixture of roughly 50% trail, 30 % path and 20% road.  I was still finding it hard to believe that enough trail could exist on Mont Royale but there was only 1 way to find out.  On site already were Martin Rouiard and Benoit Beapre (fresh from the Courses En Foret final in La Tuque).  We were a small group, there were only 15 others alongside Benoit, Martin and me.  I was unsure of what kind of talent may be there so I took a risk and sprinted out ahead for the first 1500 metres.  3 guys followed and 2 burnt out right away, the 3 rd kept a tail on me for 10 km.  I thought I had enough of a lead on him for a quick bio break, but just as I finished he caught up to me.  We pushed hard for the following 3 kms and I eventually managed to break away on the long climb up to complete the loop.  Over taking people is such a selfishly good feeling, but it helped all through the second loop as the runners from the 25 km and 15 km races were also on the course, plus the time flew by much quicker.  As I headed into the third and final loop, I was mostly alone again, and the 'down' from pushing hard on the second loop began to weigh in.  The climb to the second summit was the longest of the 3, but when I finally got there, I figured it was (mostly) downhill from there, and focused on finishing strong.  The final stretch back to the college was mostly road and I could feel my energy being sapped, but it was brief and I was over the line without too much discomfort.  In summary, nobody from Montreal can complain that they don't have trails to train on.  There are plenty of options, and the course probably touched half of them.  The encouragement from the volunteers around the course was fantastic.  The event had a low key, easy going feel that took away any sense of stress from being in the race.  Hopefully the event will grow and there will be a few more 'marathoners' there next time.

Friday 12 October 2012

T -12 Hours to XTrail

Monday, October 8th - Day off.  Legs are a little saw after the Relais 2 Heures de St-Hyacinthe yesterday:  It was a fun race, quite different to what I am used to, but a great training session: 36 x 360m at an average of 1m08s per lap, with 2m15s rest inbetween (team of 3).

Tuesday, October 9th - 33km total.  This morning, Pierre Duchesne and I took a reconnaissance lap of the XTrail Orford 21km circuit.  23km total.  The first 12km on the rolling cross country ski paths was easy going.  As we entered the Escallier du Nord, I mixed in a little interval training: 5 x 2 mins @ 80% with 1 minute at 40%.  After the interval series I lost my focus and kept overdoing it instead of keeping a steady pace.  As a result, the run along Sentier de Crêtes section got broken up with lots of little breaks to stretch my legs out.  The adducter muscle in my left leg began playing up and was beginning to feel weak.  Finally got back in to the groove on the Grande Coullée climb, and reached the summit in about 8 minutes - I was out of breath but not burnt out.  It was cold and windy at the top and Pierre and I were feeling exhausted, so we made our way straight back down the 4km route, taking it easy to avoid any unnecessary strain.  The legs were feeling extremely tight in the car on the way back home - major stretching session on its way after the shower.  Except that it was already 14h30 by the time I got home and I had a meeting with the Hi Trainer team, and training with Adrenaline at 17h00.  No shower, a tiny but of strectching, and a hefty late lunch to keep me going.

This evening it was the last training session of the season for the Club de Course Adrenaline.  10km at 60% with a few fartlek sprint activities mixed in.  Had to focus on taking it easy so not to further strain my adducter - couldn't resist a couple of sprint though, in moderation.

Wednesday, October 10th - Coaching with Le Club de Trail de Bromont.  Total distance 6km.  5 x 3 min @ 75%, with 2 min rest between each interval.  Despite the nasty little down pour just before the session, there was a good turn out - 14 of us with head lamps and impermeable jackets took a tour of Mont Oak.  It was slippy and the leaves made the trail a little sketchy but it was fun, which is the main thing.

Thursday, Oct 11th - Should have been a day off ...but I had been stuck indoors all day and felt restless so headed up into the woods and bike trails aroud the Versant des Canton in Bromont.  Total distance 11km and adducter muscle didn't play up too much.

Friday, Oct 12th - Definitely a day off.  XTrail Orford tomorrow.  Slightly concerned about the pain in my left knee and groin being a problem tomorrow. If either start to play up I am just gonna have to bite down and bare it I suppose.  There are some strong contenders running tomorrow.  My money is David Le Porho winning, but the likes of Jeff Gosselin, Luc Hamel and Kenny Beaudette will all be bringing their A game.  Plan for the evening: Pasta dinner, (rice pasta, not that wheat crap), some light stretching and then early to bed.