Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Testing, Testing

As the summer has come to an end it's time to take a look at how my summer training has gone and make sure I'm headed in the right direction. This means testing. I test myself in various ways throughout the off season to see how my body is responding to training and to check I'm responding to training. This first week in September I'm using to take stock of where I'm at and I'm going to complete 3 tests. The first test is running, the second double poling and the third is skating.

I did the first test today. The last time I ran the test was on the 6th of June so today would give me a real indicator on how my run training has gone during the summer. I have a loop that is 2,2km long and takes roughly 9 to 10min to run at level 3 or a pace I could sustain for an hour. The loop is quite hilly but has some flats and downs as well. The finish is quite a bit higher than the start and I cut back down the hill during the breaks to get back to the start. In June I ran the loop 4 times with 2min breaks. I ran it in 9.54, 9.47, 9.29 and 9.27. Today I ran the loop 5 times with 2min breaks. I ran it in 9.02, 8.59, 8.56, 8.53 and 8.49. As you can see I've had a huge improvement, I'm running 30 to 40 seconds better than my best times from June and my worst time is over 50 seconds faster. My heart rates from each sessions are quite similar but I noted in June that I felt I was having a really good day which is why I pushed the pace on the last 2 intervals. Today didn't feel amazing but I was able to hold a steady and high pace throughout the session. I'm really pleased with the progress and it shows my running is going in the right direction.

I'll do my second test on Friday. It is a double pole test. I double pole for 45min round using a loop on the rollerski track. I have my lap times from the last time I conducted the test at the end of June so I'll be able to compare the results. As I'll be using the rollerski track the effort I'll use will vary quite a bit. On some of the uphills I'll be working quite hard, but then there are flats and downhills where I can catch a breath and gather some energy for the next uphill. The aim is to hold a speed that I can sustain for the entire test so it also works a bit on my pacing and control not to over do it on one hill and loose lots of time on a flat section.

The final test I'm going to do is next Monday. It's a skate rollerski test on the rollerski treadmill in the test lab. The test is expensive and has to be booked long in advanced, so I don't get to do it that often. The last time I did the test was in mid May and the results really weren't that impressive. So I'm hoping they've improved since then.

Other this training has been going quite well. I finished off a good volume week last week, and at the weekend I ran Sp├ątind opp, an uphill running race that's part of the Tour de Synnfjell. I didn't remember the race being that long, but as it turns out, it is actually just over 9km and has 500m of assent. I held a good pace towards the front of the race through the early part. When we reached the sign that said 6km to the top I felt like death. But I managed to keep an ok pace until the final 500m. I was out sprinted by 2 others in the fight for 4th place and ended up 6th. My time was a little slower that last year but not by much. However, last year it was only 7k. The exact same course had magically grown 2k this year as the organisers used gps to measure the course for the first time. I spoke with someone who has done the race several times and he had always suspected it was bit longer than 7k. It turns out that until this year the kilometer markings had always been guesstimated... leaving you with the magical last km that takes 15min to run.

I'm training a bit less this week. August was a busy month and I need to rest a little bit to make sure I'm fresh for the rest of the Autumn. Although it is only 10 weeks until the season starts there is a lot of important training still to be done. So an easier week now can be beneficial in long run. Next week is another normal week of training in Lillehammer before I head to on a Team Synnfjell training camp the week after. 

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