Saturday, 12 November 2011

Firenze Training Camp (or what I did on my holidays!)

A four day holiday in Firenze sounds like bliss, and it was, but with only 15 weeks between now and London Ultra, I still had to run. So here's how the running elements of the trip were incorporated:

Carb loading: lots of fabulous ravioli, bursting with ricotta (also dripping in butter and sage). Spectacular pizza made by real Napoli pizza folk, including a Calzone erupting with topping. Cakes and biscotti for breakfast, daily.

Protein recovery: typical Tuscan bistecca Florentine (burnt edges, raw inside), Tuscan crostini (topped with liver, chicken hearts and anchovies), day old cabbage soup. Platter of cured meats including possibly a pressed head. Shudder. These Tuscans are hard core.

Interval training: 600m to 800m bursts from bridge to bridge along the Fiume and Arno rivers at sunrise, stopping to take pics of the amazing views. (see above)

Cross training: climbing up hills and clambering cobble stone streets for kilometres while sightseeing.

Breathing: focussed breathing exercises, comprising of Ooohs and Aahs when confronted with amazing art and architecture.

Inspiration: Friendly running community (only two weeks to Florence Marathon), mostly older men, very cheery and great for friendly waves across the bridge. Chiselled bodies of sculptures also very inspiring (though the men get great quads, the women got soft bellies)

Injuries: lots of foot pain from dodgy potholes and clambering around in Vibram Five Fingers. Gained a few extra kilos and will probably never regain the years lost to eating that much meat in a single night. All injuries treated with ice, or more to the point fabulous all natural gelati in closed vats, including pear and red peppercorns.

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