On Saturday I decided to do something different, and join Tralee Triathlon Club on their trail running coached session with Milosz Wojcik. Milosz is a very accomplished athlete, and I had heard great things about these coached sessions, and had seen the benefits some of the tri club members had gotten from them.
I arrived slightly late (as usual), but just in time for the start. There were a small handful of dedicated triathletes there already, and Milosz was soon putting us through our paces.
The warm-up consisted of a series of drills (high knees, heel flicks etc.) on a circular trail, interspersed with short jogs and stretches. I found this very beneficial in terms of easing me into the session, and getting used to the trail surface.
Next up it got a bit more strenuous – a series of fast climbs up a fairly steep winding trail, of around a minute and a half duration, followed by a gentle jog back around to the start of the hill to begin again. Although this was a tough part of the session, Milosz made sure that you only pushed yourself as far as you were able, and he was very astute in spotting flaws in your running technique, and advising corrections.
Hill repeats aren’t usually my favourite exercise, but I really enjoyed these – the technical trail surface makes it more interesting than repeats on the road, and the immediate feedback from Milosz meant that I knew where to work on for the next rep.
After the hill repeats, we went for a warm down run, with the first half on road, and the second half on a fantastic trail through the woods.
I found this session really beneficial – I worked far harder than I normally would on a road session, but I never felt out of my depth, and everyone there was friendly and helpful. I will definitely be making these sessions a regular part of my training – it’s obvious that there would be a huge benefit to my running, especially in terms of hills and speed, and the added bonus of increased fitness. I highly recommend trying this if you are in the area. The details are on the tri club Facebook Page.
Just to push the boat out, I followed this up with a 15 miler on Sunday with Born to Run. I was a bit wary of this, as I felt I might not have it in me after the trail session, and I was still aching from Thursday night’s strength and conditioning (I’m coming to the conclusion that I am seriously lacking in both strength, and conditioning, given that I am almost immobile for a day or two after each session), but it went fine. Myself and Brian O’Shea stuck to the task and got around the 15 miles okay, though I was definitely flagging a bit towards the end.
I think it’s safe to say that I put in a good weekends training, and hopefully will do the same next weekend!