Sunday, April 28, 2013

Get faster and faster

  Time is running faster than me. May finally is coming and this will be the last month of my first year of university. It was good experience to come there and face new challenges, I've not been the best student but I've done (almost) my best and I think I can get everything done.
   Running also had its changes on me. I started my quality work about 3 weeks ago and now I will keep it until the big competition comes, after several months of hard work now it is time to release myself of heavy training and get faster, and the most important of all: get motivated and confident. I never gave much importance in the previous years for this fact and I thought that in this time of season was still to put heavy training on my wheels, but the result of that was always the same...I got into the competitions tired and I hadn't anything good from it.
   I will also trying to race more often this month. First race will be the national championships of long distance and sprint, I will face the elite long distance of 16,7km which I hope to handle fine. The weekend after that will be also room for a 10 000m race on the track, I really don't know what to expect but I think I can go anywhere from 31 to 33 range according to my trains. It will be tough to handle it but I think I'm prepared enough.
   I've embraced new group of training about one week ago. Sometimes the perfect way is not the best one and even I was having good success with my coach, the worst ended up to come: my motivation came down because I was training by myself. It is normal in a long distance relation coaching, I trust in my coach more than anything but sometimes is just too hard to handle some factors, so now I found a coach near to me and good group to train with. Of course they are athletic guys and I'm orienteering but for me is great motivation to keep with guys that can run 14'30 to 5000 or a 30 minutes to 10k. I'm sure the results of this change will appear soon, it appeared in the last trains I did on the track with them.

Btw, here I let the picture of the last Thursday road relay I did of 4x1500m (1450m in gps). I handled the first place of the team in the 3rd leg and I did a good split: 4'00. Which surprised me, my speed seems to get more endure and that time came with easiness. 


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Get some guts and move!

   Amazing, is the first word that describes my reaction about this weekend race. I was back to orienteering and this time in the 2nd highest mountain in Portugal, Serra da Estrela (Star Mountains). My week was awful  due to the 2 tests I had to do, one of them in Saturday morning, and I was quite tired to go still orienteer in the weekend, but I went still, because I saw good training opportunity there on Sunday with long distance and I can say that I didn't got disappointed.
   Yesterday I got there in the afternoon, ready (or at least I thought I was) to the sprint race in Gouveia. Race starts and I realized right there that it would be difficult, "must focus and do good route choices" my goal was, but I got caught by tricky legs and it was a disaster. I was not even tired when I finished it and I got almost 2 minutes from the 1st place, there is no miracles when you take 2 minutes in a sprint and if I was already under motivated I had now good reasons to be even more. Even I was extremely awful, the race was very well planed and the courses were all a real challenge, so, congratulations for it!
  Today. I was still feeling stupid about yesterday performance and I really wanted to get motivated and go hard. It was a short long distance and I thought I could do it really fast...when I went out I looked at the map and it looked like a ugly thing was about to coming out. I was not wrong and even my mistakes wasn't serious, I gave up mentally right after the 4th leg (20% of the race) it was just too extreme, too difficult and I didn't want to sacrifice myself there. Vegetation was everywhere, find a control was a real challenge, I was so angry and frustrated that I sit down in a rock and I stopped for a moments to recover myself. It wasn't just possible, I went really slowly all way to the end and I got 1h 37 on that terrain, it was a mental and physical torture, like I never tasted before. Even my harder races are some levels down than this race. It was extreme, but still I won, how? Don't know, but I didn't deserved it.
   If I could had done it better? Yes I could, but I'm really under motivated to push hard, maybe is because I'm tired from previous hard weeks but I'm kind of worry about this. If I can't support races like this, I can't support anything, but there still a months for it. Lets hope that this is just a moment.


Monday, April 8, 2013

Gaining experience.

   No time to stop. After tough weeks I had the right to have a break during last week but this weekend I was already back to competition, this time in the north of Portugal. I kind like to run on the maps we have here in the north, because I always feel like I'm running in other countries, especially in middle Europe, so I was expecting to run some nice races there.

   First day was time for middle and sprint. In the middle I got out carefully, trying mainly to focus on the race. First control came with safety and after that I started to caught some runners, due to their mistakes, and I motivated myself to run fast. Almost in the end, I and the runners with me did a mistake and we punched a control that weren't ours and because of that we all got missing point...I guess it was little shame for me, because it was a really stupid mistake and  we all had some fault because we just didn't payed attention. I remember that I knew it was in other place, but I just ignored that idea and I moved on to punch the wrong control. In the end I knew I would have won by 5 minutes, which makes my mistake even more stupid. The terrain was fabulous, but the map had some cartography mistakes that made several runners did lot of mistakes. In the sprint I ran slow but still some mistakes came, sprint is still so challenging for me because I don't have that quick decisions and I'm quite undecided on my route choices, I ended up to lose lot of time for the 1st runner and so on I guess it was just one more train.

   In the long distance again I told myself to get it easy and have good route choices. Well I really heard myself as I went out really easy (maybe too easy..) and my rhythm was always too slow. I didn't had serious mistakes but I had bad route choices and I lost several minutes. I think I have problem with this distance, I guess it was because I used to went out hard and then I used to die and now I just go during all race in so slow rhythm, and in the end I didn't gave anything from me. I was afraid of the long distance on this kind of terrain because is too hilly and tough but such fear wasn't necessary, I was more than able to handle it. I felt lazy during the race and that made my orienteering become slower.

  Long distance in the queen race of orienteering and you just can call yourself top orienteer when you have top performances on long distance, I really have to work my mind on this, I know I'm physically endure enough to run fast during 12 or 13 km, but my mind is too afraid and lazy for this. This will be the next challenge: become long distance pro.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Work, Ambition, Talent(?)

   This title came in the sequence of an interview I read from Albin Ridefelt in Portuguese orienteering blog. I believe in work, that is why I train, I believe in ambition or I wouldn't be stupid enough to have bigger goals than my capacity can afford, talent I don't know...but I think it doesn't matter when you are inspired for better things.
   During last month I've done lot of stuff, even I didn't wrote anything it was full month, I ran some pb's, some trails and even some good orienteering competitions. Most of those performances were quite surprising for me, after many time expecting so much maybe now I just expect too little and that is why I was surprised, but as I'm getting older I guess that is the natural evolution expected. My train had changed a lot as I told so much in the begin it would, sometimes is just too hard to go out and run another impossible workout but I think this was one of the reasons of my physical evolution, my endurance grew up a lot and I'm stepping up and competing with those "big" guys that used to be miles away. 
   I should be happy but my latest races doesn't indicate that I'm improving. I've been doing some poor technical performances, losing lot of time and doing silly mistakes just because I can't put my head on what I'm doing. I analyse my races and even it is good result that is not my best performance, there is always a control where I will, for any reason, lost my focus and have some mistake. Other feeling is the speed I put on my race, when I did a good performance on other eyes I just think how bad I actually felt because I didn't even give anything on that race, I just control  my rhythm and try to not lose much time. Other wise when I go out hard, I usually lose enough time that without it I would make a super performance. Anyway I will lose time in both ways, one for being too slow, another for being too fast. 
 Seems that my ambition has no control, and I, by myself, see that I'm worried about my latest performances make me feel some kind of person I always hated, but I see there is unfulfilled room on me and I just want to be able to use it.   

    Next weekend I'll have race, I'm competing now in elite class. Going up on category was necessary as I need to get myself kicked by better athletes..Let see what will happen.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Run light, run faster.

   After this stop to think and reevaluate many things I decided to write here again. It is something I always liked and I'll not stop because of what other think, my blog is my responsibility and what I write here belongs just to me.
   My comeback is too announce about my new supporter-Inov- a shoes brand well known by orienteers. The reason I asked the support is because after my injuries on my feet I realized that the traditional shoes were affecting my running technique and with that I was loosing my speed and, as I said before, injuries were coming up. Inov has a great variety of shoes: For orienteering, for trail running and even for track and field. Now I'm using 2 different types, the orienteering shoes and the track shoes.
    I could not be more satisfied as I'm able now to run without problems and I feel comfortable with them. In orienteering I started to use the Oroc 280, specially designed for all types of terrains, from rock to sand you can use them in every places. They are resistant, I don't feel almost the impact of the spikes on the ground and they are light enough to let me still feel fast.

    Track shoes are something I tried to found for long time: barefoot shoes. I confess I thought that maybe it can be danger for my tendons and it really can be, but of course if your muscles and tendons were not used to the impact, they will suffer with the big change, that is why it has to be gradual. The reinforcement that you gain on your calves muscles and Achilles tendon, helps you to have a more efficient stride and gain more meters without spend so much energy. I can say by myself that I feel like "flying", maybe at the begin is strange because you are so used to have soft and in now is just tough, but give it a months and you will be sprinting. As great coach Alberto Salazar said: "To be a great distance runner, you have to learn to run like a sprinter."