Thursday, 30 August 2012

Final Preparations - The Gore-tex Transalpine Run 2012

So the final preparations are more or less complete, and somehow, against all odds, Lotte and I will seem to be on course to toe the start line in Ruhpolding in a 2 days time. Training this year has gone well, more so for myself than Lotte, who was hampered by a couple of issues (back and foot) post Roth. Despite this, we have got in a good amount of running together at the weekends with Lotte coping well with the consistent running.

For myself, after 7 days complete rest post-Roth, I've managed to get back into the swing of things pretty quickly. I've got to the gym for 1-2 hours each week which keeps things ticking over nicely, and got through approx. a 15 hour week of running with no niggles of note. The last couple of weeks, I've focused on consolidating that bigger week and staying supple (by my standards). I've had a couple of massages and things are looking good. I think its funny when you put the time spent training in the context of the race, which this year I estimate might take up to 50 hours; the larger volume week (week 4 - approx. 90 miles) is completely dwarfed.

Transalpine run-in, and predicted run 2012
 I feel I've managed my recovery well since Roth too. I did nothing for a week, and despite a wobble at the end of July (stag-do for a friend), I've managed to get enough rest to prevent major deterioration. As you can see, having rested up this week, I'm now feeling pretty good heading into the weekend.

Restwise score - Roth to Transalpine
Compare this approach from 2011, where after running the NDW (week 4) and pulling out due to a knee issue, I did very little approaching the race. Wise to rest up perhaps, but I've certainly noticed I run best when carrying a little more consistency and form into a run. That said, almost anything can happen in stage race of this proportion, so I guess we'll have to wait and see as to whether my approach has paid off. In 2010 I completed the race off just 18, 25 and 30 miles in the 3 weeks leading into the race, so maybe its actually really easy and you don't need to do any training at all ;-)

Transalpine run-in 2011
In addition to the higher volume I've managed this year, I've complemented my training with my POWERbreathe device. I'd like to say I've really gone to town on the functional strength work whilst using it over the last 6 weeks, but in reality, I've just made sure I kept things ticking over. With only a couple days work a week (morning and evening sessions 30 breaths, twice daily) I've easily managed to sustain the level I reached from my foundation training before Roth. Its encouraging to see that the gains I made have stuck, and are so easy to maintain.  Although everyone is different, for me, anything above 2,200m seems pretty noticeable, so I'm looking forward to the benefits that the POWERbreathe training should bring with it.

I can't wait to get back out there, and as there is a good group of us going out together, there will undoubtedly be some good memories to remember for several years to come.

The photo below is from part of the route on stage 7, and a view I remember well. Its also been my desktop background since 2010. Let's hope the weather is just as good when I return (hopefully), with Lotte (hopefully) Saturday week!

If you want to follow us during the race, please go to and they have pretty good coverage of each stage! We are Team POWERbreathe UK - number 90!