Thursday, March 06, 2008

Tired Legs

There’s no doubt about it, Monday’s two tough tempo runs took a lot out of me. I am used to recover quickly from workouts. It usually only takes two days to feel fully recovered from a long run, and I guess I expected the same to happen after a tempo run. Boy, was I in for a surprise. Yesterday, Wednesday, the legs were just as tired and heavy as on Tuesday, maybe even more so. This was a classic case of DOMS at work. Luckily, only 10 miles were on the cards and I made sure to take it easy. Taking it easy seems to be around 8:30 pace at the moment, and since I’ve long given up on the idea of running every run under 8:00 pace I was completely fine with it. I added two or three pickups into the run when I sped up to maybe 7:00 pace for a minute or two. This usually has a beneficial effect on my legs, and eventually I did feel better towards the end of the run. Mind you, I was still glad to be home.

This might be a cutback week, and I’m running a race on Sunday, but that doesn’t mean I want to neglect my endurance build up. I made the conscious decision last week not to compromise my ultra training for the sake of a faster 10-mile time, and I’m sticking to that. Hence the alarm clock went off again at 4:45 today, and off I went for another 20 miler. The first thing I noticed were still less than fresh legs. I was surprised by that, I had expected the DOMS to have gone away by now. The next problem was my headlamp. I might have forgotten to turn it off after the last use, though I don’t know how that could possibly have happened. Whatever the case, it only provided a truly pathetic minimal light that barely managed to reach the ground. I did manage to get out of our driveway, and then I could just about make out the outlines of the road, and decided that I would be ok even without light. I did wear a reflecting vest, so I wasn’t worried about being in danger from passing cars, and as it turned I didn’t come across any for over two hours, and by then it was bright anyway. I didn’t fall apart on the run, but I would have liked to run faster. After 11 miles the last of the big hills was behind me and I tried to speed up, but it wasn’t to be. I found it almost impossible to run faster than 8:00 pace. At about 16 miles my right foot developed the same pain I had suffered from during my 2 long runs last week, but it definitely wasn’t as painful as back then, and I presume that problem is about to go away. I finally managed to speed up on the last mile, when I could almost smell the sweet smell of home, and overall the time isn’t too shabby, it’s pretty much in line with recent long runs. I felt more tired than even after the second of last week’s 20/20 runs, though.

I’m sure running 20 miles 3 days before a race isn’t the best preparation, but I’m reasonably confident that I will have more or less recovered by then. Two easy days will not only give me the opportunity to recover the legs but also to catch on much needed sleep. As for the race itself, I’m very much looking forward to it.
5 Mar
10 miles, 1:25:27, 8:33 pace, HR 139
6 Mar
20 miles, 2:44:21, 8:13 pace, HR 144

1 comment:

  1. If you're not careful I will start predicting Man City results as well. BTW 3-0 to Everton in the return leg!!