I celebrated this by going out for an easy 10 mile run in the morning. I was jogging along slowly, or so I thought, and was mightily surprised when I saw the average pace in the high 7:30s at the end. I point to the low heart rate to attest that I had kept the effort on the easy side, though.
Inseparable from old age are your constant aches and pains, and par for the course my right shin was quite sore in the evening. I was a bit alarmed because shin splints are just about the last thing I want to experience again, but I treated this niggle the same way I treat all the others: I completely ignored it. It still hurt on Friday morning, but after the first mile it was gone and has not come back since; my treatment must have been successful.
I was back on the hills again on Friday and after Thursday’s relative rest day I added one extra drill. The 4x30 second drills were followed by a set of high knees up a steep road. I can only do about 40 seconds of those at a time before my legs give up, so I jogged down the hill and did another one and a third one for a total of about 2 minutes. For the next drill I selected pushing off using just the ankles, which again felt easy, even after 4 minutes. I have done some gentle bouncing for one minute in the morning before each run for several weeks and my guess is that this has already strengthened my ankles sufficiently for this exercise to feel easy. Either that or I’m doing it wrong. The final drill consisted of driving the thighs again - this is the one drill I’m the least sure about. Unfortunately the coach is not here to show me.
The schedule changes for this phase mean that Saturday is another day for the hills. My legs were sore to start with and I decided to cut back to only two drills. I reasoned that since the high knees feel the worst, I should do more of them as I obviously need it. On the other hand I must be careful not to overdo it - I do not want to get injured and I do not want to dig myself too deep into the hole of fatigue. Anyway, after the customary set of 4x30 sec I did another set of high knees, again 3x40 seconds each, and then I slowly went to the top of that hill, did a few more minutes of easy running and followed it up with just under half a mile of downhill strides. All these drills were separated by about 15 minutes of easy running, as always.
Twice today on the warm-up as well as the cool-down I caught myself running 7:15 pace when I should have gone much slower. I really need to concentrate on running slowly or else the legs will just do their own thing.
I measured a lower heart rate of 41 this morning. That’s not exactly amazingly low but still the lowest reading for a couple of months. I’m wondering if theses drills are already producing a sharpening effect. Then again, it might be nothing.
- 27 Jan
- 10 miles, 1:16:07, 7:37 pace, HR 143
- 28 Jan
- 10 miles, 1:27:12, 8:43 pace, HR 142
4x30 sec; high knees; ankles; thigh drive
- 29 Jan
- 9.15 miles, 1:11:06. 7:47 pace, HR 147
4x30 secs; high knees; downhill strides