4 April 2013

TNF 50km Easter Weekend

Easter Training Long Weekend

The Easter weekend allowed me to focus on my training, proper recovery and to get some needed down time with the family.  I had planned for it be a big weekend of 4 long runs and was lucky enough to get out on the trails twice, once around Hassans with Kel and I completed the TNF 50 course with Brendan Davies and James Sweeney.

Friday and Sunday consisted of long steady runs at or around 4.10 pace on flat road.  I was very happy with how these runs went and how easily I was able to hold the quicker pace over longer distance.  This style of training has been a part of my training all year and I am now starting to see the benefit of working in this manner.  Friday was also a double day with an interval session in the arvo, or an exercise party as Charley called it!  My k log for these days was Friday 29k and Sunday 18.5k.
Intervals, yay!
The boys knocking up some speedwork!

Saturday allowed Kel and I to hit the trails around Hassans Walls at Lithgow.  This is where I train regularly so I am very familiar with the various trails and allowed me to arrange a neat 25k run for Kel to test herself on.  The run included some serious climbs, the first starting from the get go and lasting 2.5k and the last starting on bush stairs and also running into kilometres in length.  All up there are 5 serious climbs and several little tough hills making it a good challenging run.  It was a cracker of a day and took just under 2 1/2 hrs which was a pretty solid effort considering it was Kel's longest run and the second part of big back to back days for her, for me it was great time on feet and good fun. My k log for Saturday 25k
The view out towards the Hartley and Megalong Valleys with Kel
Monday was an opportunity to run TNF 50k in prep for race day in May. I meet with Brendan at the aquatic centre to leave a car with some fuel and we headed over to Leura to meet James and start.  I was using this as practice for my nutrition and an opportunity to look at the course and develop a plan.

The course starts on the single trails from Leura to Wenty Falls which are technical and good fun, this is not where the race will be won but is a bloody nice spot to run.  From the Falls we headed onto Kings Tableland and down Kedumba making our way to the Jamison Creek crossing, this section is fast running and took a little over 40 minutes.  It is open running on smooth fire trail so I'll be making the most of that section come May.
James and I looking towards the 3 Sisters

After this point its pretty much uphill to the Aquatic Centre.  The trail until Leura Forest is good but the climbs are long and tough going, I dropped back a bit on the last climb but managed to get back with the boys on the completion of the ascent and we ran into the base of the cliffs together, a real moment of achievement as they are both strong climbers.   Here the trail follows Federal Pass Track and twists, turns, rises and falls quickly, I had never be down there before and was amazed at the unique beauty of the bush.  The 5k over to Furber goes quite quickly and the steps will sneek up on most, they are tough, steep, varied and brutal especially 30 odd k into a run but everyone has to do them.  The road section to the check point is also a grind and will bring many unstuck and I plan to try and use this little section to compose myself for the final run home.
About half way up Furber Stairs with Brendan and the 3 Sisters in the background
The last section can be broken into two parts.  The first section over to Echo Point is really good running, even track that is wide and fairly smooth, there is a reason for this, there are loads of tourists which pose their own navigational issues.  The second section past Echo Point to the finish returns to the technical single track that I love, loads of ups and downs, twists and turns and the only factor I dislike stairs, but it is here where time can be made or lost.  We had several stops to make sure we were following the right path and took this little 5k section slow and steady, I'm sure it'll be much faster on the day.

All up the run took just under 5 hrs but we stopped checking maps, taking photos and the pace was fairly casual with exception of the early middle section, it was an enjoyable run taking in the views which often go unnoticed!  On race day I now have the confidence of laying down a quick time and know with the hard work completed my race will run to plan. K log for monday 45.5k.
My mighty Inov8 TrailRocs were perfect on Monday

So the Easter weekend through up its challenges and I meet them with the best I had and was very happy with the numbers come Monday night.  Bring on TNF 50km and May 18 I say!
Fairly good output for 4 days!