U23 Camp Overload Week

I spent the past week in the wonderful escape of Castle Hill as a coach on the ONZ U23 Squad Camp. This was a great opportunity to interact with the up-and-coming elites of NZ orienteering and bust out some quality hours for myself.  An overload week to kick off the new training block has some bar-raising stats which will be useful to gauge future weeks off. The 14.5 hours of running over the 6 days (4 full days and 2 half days) of this camp had me running a total of 121km  with 4700m of elevation; 7:40 hours in terrain and 6:45 on trails. This estimates a flat road equivalent distance of 210km. Based on the intensities of the sessions I can work out the overall TRaining IMPulse for the camp to be 1500, compared to the toughest week in my last plan which scored 1200 TRIMP points. So this is certainly an overload week and my legs will agree completely – I have a few sore spots beginning to develop.

This week has confirmed to me that my peroneal tendonitis is no longer the limiting factor in my training, although I will remain vigilant as a big week like this one could be the one to flare it up again.

A view from Helicopter Hill back towards the lodge on our long run. Strava.

A view from Helicopter Hill back towards the lodge on our long run. Strava.

The training camp routine is one of my favourite ways to live, although not sustainable, it is highly addictive and a few such weeks per year can have big advantages to the greater training progression when timed well. My favourite times for such a week would be either the first week of a training block (to blow out the cobwebs and get your body up to its previous level before returning to a sustainable progression) or 4 weeks out from race week (as a big push to extend your fitness towards a specific race with enough time to return to consistency for a stable taper).

What a spot for a morning jog!

What a spot for a morning jog!

On this camp I settled into a rhythm of sleep, eat, train, repeat, knocking off 3 hours of running per day for the 4 full days we spent at the Mt Cheeseman Forest Lodge. Any extra time was spent on the rollers, stretching or talking about training plans and nutrition. Full immersion into a performance focused environment!

GPS Route from the Camp Champs course on the final morning of the camp. DOMA

GPS Route from the Camp Champs course on the final morning of the camp. DOMA

As usual after a hard week, I feel very speedy and highly motivated, but will have to channel this energy into planning, as injury free 2017 starts now! From next week I start a solid 17 week training block taking me through Tussock Traverse, The Hillary and finishing with Oceania Orienteering Champs and hopefully another ticket to WOC! Once again, the theme of this block is “Consistency is Key”.

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