Training for the best season ever. Block 1 = speed efficiency.

In September I gave myself the freedom to rest and train as much as I wanted to. The objective was to recover from the big races over the summer and give my mind a break from structured training. I needed this time to reset and relax before working towards new objectives in 2019.

After the time off I was ready to get going again and to start building up my body to be ready for new goals. My overarching goal is to be consistent and improve with each year. With that in mind, I wanted to start gently, give myself the best chance to remain injury free, and accumulate mileage over the winter.

I am still deciding my full calendar for 2019, but the first race will probably be Transgrancanaria in February. Last year I did two huge blocks of work (training log 1; training log 2) to prepare for the same race and it went well. I focused on volume and time on the legs and I felt strong through the whole race. However, I didn't feel fast enough so this year I'm aiming to remedy that.

My first training block this year has been all about working on my form and running efficiently. Short intervals on the grass and running fast were the bread-and-butter sessions in October.

Focus for the block
  • Improve running efficiency and speed through fast, short intervals
  • Develop a weekly routine and training frequency to set up the year

Training statistics
  • Time: 43hrs
  • Distance: 401km
  • Vertical gain: 9 380m

Training log

Overview of training from October 2018.

Green bubbles = normal training
Yellow bubbles = workout
Red bubbles = race
XT = cross training

Review of the block
I was very pleased with how this first block of training went. I could feel my efficiency improve over the month as each speed session became a little easier and I was able to run a bit faster during the easy runs. I wasn't sure how much of a difference this type of work would make, but it improved my general running speed and helped reduce my perception of effort during faster paces.

At the end of the block I ran the Semi-marathon de Lausanne. I hadn't done any long runs over the month and my intervals were all short (30" each) so I wasn't expecting a fast time. However, I was able to hold a good pace and I felt like the race was a solid way to finish up the block of speed efficiency training. Overall the first block of work for the best season ever was great.