Night Runner

Night Runner by Andrew Gills
Night Runner, a photo by Andrew Gills on Flickr.

Team Whoops Witch Way have started running training on Wednesday nights. Well, tonight was the first night but we have decided to make this a regular occurrence. Why run at night? Well, for a start, it’s a lot cooler than during the day. And secondly, we hope to do a 24 hour and 18 hour adventure race this season so we need some night training. Also, it’s just plain fun 🙂

Tonight we ran an easy 5.75km. Our team’s adventure racing tactic is to walk all the uphills so that we take the time to navigate accurately. So this is how we are training. We are running the flats and downhills, and walking the uphills. We start our uphill walks with one of us saying “time to check the map”. We aren’t running with a map, but it can’t hurt to practice mentally preparing to navigate on our uphill walks.

The uphill walking and gentle pace is also good for me because my shin splints have flared up quite badly again. After my training sessions I’m taking icy cold showers and the putting ice packs on my calves to try to recover for the next session. The Wednesday night team run is the only run I am scheduling in my training until it settles down. Instead, I’m joining a canoe club in the new year to work on my kayaking skills.

The focus on mountain biking and kayaking is a team tactic. We are both runners from way back so know we’ll get through the run legs of the events. But we also know that many adventure racers are weak on the water. So will gain a large advantage by becoming stronger in the watercraft leg of the adventure race. We are currently moving at 8-10 min/km on foot and only stand to increase that to 6-8min/km if we train hard running. But for every minute gained in speed, you can lose time in navigation accuracy (or at least that’s what we noticed at Adventure Race Australia last May).

At Adventure Race Australia, the difference between our team (we were 10th in the mixed teams category) and the top five was the bike and boat legs. So, while my body is still not ready for hard running miles, I am going to take advantage of the opportunity to put in time on the bike and kayak to improve my skills. I am using geocaching to improve my navigation skills.

Total: 5.75km trail run/walk.

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2 responses to “Night Runner

  1. This sounds like so much fun! I don’t like to run on the trails in the dark, but I have friends who do it all the time and love it. Take care of those shin splints.

    • I’ve been running, walking and riding in the bush since I was a teenager so am used to it. My big 1,000 lumen headlight helps a lot too 😉

      Definitely taking care of the shin splints. Just running once a week for a while so that I can massage, trigger point and roll my calves again. I didn’t do it while my back was out so they have shortened back down to 7cm and 8cm. I am sure that once they are longer again, things will be better. Though I suspect I’ll need to wear an SIJ belt when they lengthen because I think my SIJ and calves are compensating for each other so some support for the SIJ should stop the cycle.

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