This was the last day of a four-week long base-building period. Over the last month I have run every day save for one when I was unwell, including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. The goal of the period was to stress my body with distance and time, all the while knowing I would have a week coming up where I could back things off a little bit.
I had already spent a lot of the day on my feet. First, there was shopping with Jamie up on Croix Rousse in preparation for a nice cooked lunch. And second, along with Jamie and Cécile, I spent most of the afternoon in the Musee Gadagne in the Old City taking in two-thousand years of history of this beautiful city we call home.
As a result, I didn’t plan anything more for this evening’s run than to get an hour on my feet in, and to keep a reasonable pace.
I headed for the Parc de la Tete D’Or and started on the regular circuit that is popular to run around the edge of the park. It proved to be a very popular spot today, so popular in fact that it was overcrowded and not at all the sort of low-stress environment I was hoping for. I had planned on doing two-and-a-half laps but, instead, left the Parc after one lap and headed towards the Passerelle de la Paix and the Rhone river.
I passed thorugh the Cite Internationale, crossed over the Passerelle, and then dropped down to the trail next to the Rhone. A quick out-and-back, and then up the hill to home brought up the hour and the final few kilometres of my training block were banked.
This has been the heaviest training block in terms of mileage I have yet run. The last four weeks worked out like this:
In total, the four-week block saw me log 476.1km and 39 hours and 5 minutes on my feet. I’m happy with this block and especially so when it came in the wake of my first ultramarathon and over the Christmas/New Year period where there are so many opportunities to take days off from base building.
I have two more of these five-week cycles (four weeks hard, one week easy) before my first ultra of this year, the 24H of St Fons. I’ll be doing the 6-hour race there and hoping for a 60km effort on the day. If everything falls into place, I will be on a low-week and tapering in the days before the six-hour race and feeling about as good as I can feel with more than 1500km in my legs.
For the week ahead I’ll be concentrating on shorter runs, taking it easier in terms of distance, and getting some stair work in. The goal is to do about an hour a day Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday at low intensities; a couple of hours on Wednesday night with the Lyon Running Club at low intensity; and then stretch it out slightly in terms of time (though not speed) on Saturday and Sunday with 90 minute runs. While I should still get 8 hours on my feet banked, it should be closer to 80km than 110km all up.