Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Don't Forget About Recovery

The weekend's workouts had been really tough. I felt knackered for much of Sunday, not that I got much rest. It simply does not work like that if you have four children.

There was another problem as well. My right calf muscle was very sore. Interestingly, when I checked the same muscle on the left leg, it was quite sore as well to the touch, though it did not hurt when I left it alone. The right one was pretty bad though. usually I use the stick to work on aching muscles, but it was basically causing excruciating pain, so I just did what I always do with my niggles: I ignored it. As much as that is frowned upon, I have a rather dramatic success rate with that approach, and indeed I kept feeling better every day and by this morning I was pain free. I do sometimes wonder how many more times I will get away with that, though.

Monday's run was exceptionally slow because the legs felt seriously heavy. I did not need to be told to take it easy, it was plain obvious. On Tuesday I did another evaluation workout, probably the last one of this marathon cycle. I expected the figures to be an improvement to last months because I expected to see a sharpening effect from the two races. I was wrong.

(The numbers in brackets are adjusted pace, 7 seconds for every 2 heart beats off the 161 target):
        Mile 1    6:30   HR 161    (6:30)
        Mile 2    6:36   HR 162    (6:39)
        Mile 3    6:40   HR 160    (6:37)
        Mile 4    6:40   HR 160    (6:37)
        Recovery to HR 130: 38 seconds

There are two surprises in that. One, I was basically 10 seconds per mile slower than last time, two, I needed much longer to recover. Neither figure is catastrophically bad, but I read from that that I am behind in my recovery.

As a result I took it easy again on Wednesday, though I felt much, much better than on Monday. I hope to be feeling fully recovered again at the weekend; if the legs are as tired again, I will cut back for a week.
7 Jan
8 miles, 1:04:22, 8:03 pace, HR 131
8 Jan
12 miles, 1:25:25, 7:07 pace, HR 145
   4 mile eval: 6:30, 6:39, 6:37, 6:37 (adjusted), 38 sec recovery
9 Jan
8 miles, 1:01:03, 7:36 pace, HR 133


  1. When 8:03 pace is eceptionlly slow you must be in a very good place. Great result in Dublin btw.

  2. Hey Thomas!! At what time do you run everyday?

    1. I get up around 6 am. I am out of the door 15-20 minutes later.

  3. Thanks!! You are a pretty consistent and good runner!

  4. do you run at 6 am. even on weekends?

    1. No, on the weekend I typically start around 8 or 9 am.

  5. Hi Thomas. Thank you for accepting my connection request. My name is Pat Coady and I am a soon to be 38 year old former hurler from a small place Called St. Mullins in Co. Carlow. I took up running in May 2011 to train for the Dublin Marathon. I'm a complete novice and am learning all the time. I don't run many races. I've done two half marathons, getting under 1:30 in Wexford last April and three marathons with my best being a 3:18 last Oct in Dublin. I'd like to try and get under 3:10 this year. I hope to do Waterford in June and Dublin again. I came across your blog last year and enjoy it greatly. I especially loved you account of the glorious sub 3 hr run in Vienna! What an account you gave. Congratulations!! I see you're trying to cut a bit off the PB in Tralee. I have a friend who is running his first marathon in Tralee. Like myself he's entering the unknown and I'm trying to give him a bit of a hand! Is the course in Tralee considered tough? Anyway Happy New Year to you and I hope it brings you success in achieving all your goals.

    1. Thanks, Pat. Tralee will be run for the first time this year, so nobody has any real experience of the course. The elevation profile has lots of little ups and downs but no real hills. I don't think it will be too bad, probably comparable to Dublin.

    2. Thanks Thomas. I'll pass on that info to him. Almost tempted to give it a lash myself!!

  6. That's a good use of the evaluation run. Your underlying fitness is very high so it shouldn't take much to get the numbers back to where they were - some easy days and good rest (sleep) I reckon.