Weekend at home


This weekend was spent in my hometown, Torres Novas. Sunday I made there 17,5km at a pace of 4'10''/km. I love to train there, alone in the roads that I know from childhood. Today the training was in the University Stadium with a surprise: Joaquim Sousa, one of the best portuguese orienteering athletes did the training with us. It was 16x400, 1min interval, to an average of 70''. I was exhausted in the end due to some respiratory problems that result from my asthmatic condition.
This weekend I would like to do some O'training with my O'friends but due to the 18th birthday of my brother, I'll only participate in some regional athletic competitions (Almeirim on 30th or Pontével on 1st).

14x400m intervaled training

Today we had 14x400 with 1min interval. Something was different today, we brought a camera with us (and we share the photos). We gradually increased the intensity, from 75' to 64'. Here I leave some fresh photos taken today that reflect the morning training spirit in the University Stadium in Lisbon.

The ex-boxeaur, me, Filipe and Jorge

Now with Paulo

Happy warm up after 30' running outside

Start

Middle

Ending

No more, please!


The family (UP:Ferreira (blind athlete), Tó, Paulo, Filipe / DOWN: Paulinho,me and Jorge posing)

20km training in Lisbon


Today we did a 20km course in Lisbon in 01h27min42sec (~-4,21min/km). It crosses Monsanto park and goes along the beautiful Tajo river. It was a long time since I last did a long train like this. The map shows a drawn course, once I stupidly erased my GPS while updating its firmware. We didn't go to the athletics race in Setubal due to some technical problems =)

Training in Monsanto

Today we did a nice 2700m course in Monsanto. There was me, Paulo Franco, my everyday teammate, some blind athletes with the guides, my coach and Sérgio Silva, 3rd in the last European Duathlon Champs (who runs a lot!). After a 30' running, the first was to 9'00, the second to 8'46 and in the third time we did the course, I did only 2 more km (the first and the last) with Sérgio at a really high pace . The interval was 6min. I really enjoy this Saturday long intervaled trainings in Lisbon where the weekend spirit reigns (No stress! We don't have to go to work after!). =)

National Congress of Sport's Medicine


Yesterday and today I've also been in the National congress of Sport Medicine in Lisbon. Some proeminent portuguese doctors have discussed medical screening strategies in athletes, complex arrythmias, training loads and endocrine, oesteomuscular and cardiovascular modifications in athletes... The sudden death was a current theme discussed there.

I loved these days and in the end, I kept the frightening idea that high level competition may not be as harmless as I thought. Here I leave some themes discussed there:
- The actual training loads of high level teenager athletes are proved to be harmful (affecting the teenage development and maybe his heart's impulse conducting system in long term).
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (a big heart muscle) is the cause of almost 40% of sudden deaths in athletes.
- A great part of sudden deaths are a result of genetic disorders (mainly disorders that affect ion channels in the cells of the heart) that in an ideal world should be early detected in the athlete screenings and properly treated.
- A simple Electrocardiogram and a proper clinical examination are enough to search the majority of sudden death causes.
- The overtraining causes a great damage in the body, mainly via IGF-1, a catabolic growth factor produced in the liver. This harm is increased if it's high levels are during children/teenagers development.
- We, athletes, should trust more in the doctors recommendations, once the biggest obstacle to the success of the screenings and therapies are the will of parents, athletes and a whole system of people who depend on the athlete's success.

Tomorrow after my interval trainings there will be the last session about knee lesions in the teenager athlete. Can't wait for it! =)

Last training sessions..

This week we've being training hard. 30' + 14x300m on tuesday, 30'+ 5km at a high pace on thursday and some trainings twice a day. This week we had to change the 5km course that we do every thursday because of some works at the university stadium. We love to do this course every week once it helps us knowing ourselves better and recording our improvements. It also gives us the feeling of a competition.

Last season I used to do the 5k in the old course (it was harder with more climbing) at around 18'30 and my personal best was around 18'12. This season I 've already made there 17'15, almost one minute less than last season. Now I've done 16'44 this week in the new 5k course. Despite the total time of the 5k course depending a lot on the week's load, I'm really enthusiastic with these new records. I've improved some of my times in the interval trainings at the track too.

Tomorrow 3x2000 at university stadium or monsanto park (once there is a competition in Jamour) and Sunday maybe an easy 12500m race at Setubal with the first 2km at a training pace imposed by the organization and the possiblity of drinking a cup of Moscatel at the 8600m =)

COA Trophy


This weekend was the COA Trophy, counting to the national ranking. The competition took place in Ribatejo, an area near my hometown. The maps from this are are known for being less technical and more physical with large open areas and lack of terrain details. The scenenary of the competition arena was awesome.

DAY1 - Long distance, 13,3km - 17c. The fast terrain allowed me to do a 01:08:13 race (5,1min/km). I was only beaten by Tiago Aires. My stomach wasn't well and made some contractions during the race. I finally vomited to the 12th control and everything got O.K. then =) I think that my stomach was the only thing that made me loose time.


DAY2 - Medium distance, 5,6km - 17c. The terrain was more technical than the day before. I wasn't expecting it, entered too fast in the race and made a mistake to the 1st control. In the 7th control I lost too much time for a senior race. But it wasn't enough once I was able to make another big mistake to the 15th. My faith was traced and I started looking for the 15thcontrol in the same area where I lost time to the 7th control. The extra running in the other controls wasn't able to cover the damage and did a disappointing race, spoiling the 2nd place from the 1st day of competitions. I ended with a time of 37min, 7 more minutes than the 1st athlete. Definitely, I need more contact with a map and regional competitions must become obligatory races for me in the next months in order to train with map.

Physically I'm not too tired and tomorrow I will re-start my normal trainings after one week of partial load because of a small contracture in my soleus muscle. I was able to heal it with the empiric knowledge of my athlete friends: hot massage in the bath intervaled with ice. Thursday, Ophtalmology test at faculty, Thursday/Friday/Saturday the National Congress of Sport's Medicine in Lisbon and Sunday a 10km race in Odivelas. We'll see!

Interview with Gebreselassie...


This week's Newsweek magazine comes with an amazing interview with Haile Gebreselassie, universally
regarded as the greatest distance runner of all times. The entire interview is at Newsweek magazine but there's a short episode from the interview that is online.

It's worth to take a look at the Newsweek website, here.

A though life and genetics are the possible causes for the Ethiopian's painful success. Reviewing his life, there are no excuses nor lack of training facilities for us not to be in the front line. Just the lack of training, itself.

If you're interested check the CNN interview with 3 parts




Orienteering songs...

Recently, my O-friends have found some orienteering musics that may amuse you during your trainings:
"You and Me" by Nick Manfredi

You can download the music at http://www.nicolamanfredi.it/

Then you have some Norweigian orienteering students singing falsetto at
http://org.ntnu.no/ogruppa/sosialt/(NTNUI)_-_Orienteering_is_my_life.mp3

Not O'related, another fantastic and inspiring song is the theme from the Olympic Games "Forever friends". If you aren't in the mood to go for a run, just watch this videoclip.