Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Up And Down

Training never progresses in a straight line, at least not for me, but the ups and downs I have experienced since Bangor are definitely unusual. One day I feel like falling apart, the knees and the Achilles hurt and I'm as slow as a snail on tranquilizers, then all of a sudden things are looking up and everything is rosy again.

After hitting a definite low point last week, the weekend saw a rather dramatic turnaround. I'm not sure why. Maybe the body is responding to the higher mileage, maybe the slower pace has allowed recovery to catch up, or maybe it's just another false dawn, but right now things are looking rather good, all of a sudden. My form curve is climbing at a rather astounding pace, so much so that I'm starting to doubt the HRM again.

My resting heart rate as finally dropped as well. It hung around the 50 mark ever since Bangor and finally dropped to 44, pretty much where it used to be before that race. My resting HR is not a good predictor for the shape I'm in (it was measured as low as 36, but my best performances tended to come when it was slightly over 40), but I think it does indicate that recovery is indeed progressing. Again, all this assumes that the HRM is working properly, but my gut feeling is that at least that particular reading is correct.

Still, I can't help but look at John O'Regan's latest post and feel a tad envious. His recovery is clearly going very well. Not only has he just run a 5k at an easy effort that matches my PB, he is also getting ready for another 24 hours race (an "important one", this time [Thanks, John]). In comparison my plans of running a mere 50 miles in Dingle are rather tame, and I'm not even dreaming of running an 18 minutes 5k for the foreseeable future.

Anyway, the long weekend went very well indeed. I felt better with each day, there is a spring in the legs again and the knees are improving as well. With less than 4 weeks to go before Dingle, that's just in time. I managed to time Saturday's and Sunday's run very well by avoiding the rain showers, but there was no such luck this morning. Torrential rain and partially flooded roads made for some interesting conditions, but I've run in worse, and training in weather like that dis pay massive dividends in Bangor, after all.

I got a bit of a surprise when I added up last week's miles. It came to almost 80, definitely more than expected. Then again, if you run them slow enough, miles do not hurt you (I know, not everyone agrees on that point). I have always felt comfortable at higher mileage, I don't think that will change any time soon.
5 Aug
8 miles, 1:02:56, 7:42 pace, HR 145
6 Aug
10 miles, 1:17:29, 7:45 pace, HR 143
7 Aug
10 miles, 1:17:46, 7:47 pace, HR 141


  1. How do you manage to keep sane at those paces?

  2. I'd love to be consistent in training at those paces!

  3. I can't really comment on your recovery as you are so fast and I'm very very slow. One thing I know is after any long ultra (100km and up) I have to slow things down for a few months before upping the pace kind of returns by itself. During this time I never try to push to go faster.

  4. Amazing powers of recovery from John. You're coming along OK now. I also find HR is a good way to monitor recovery.

  5. How do you find 18 minutes 5k so hard with all the training you're doing? Is it perhaps a case of over training?

    1. Because when you're in shape to run 200 km, your 5k time suffers in return.

    2. That's right. Martin Fryer will run a 5k sometimes under, sometimes over 18 minutes, but usually it's his 2nd run for the day. Runs 255k in 24 hours though.