Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Dip

It was last Friday that I first noticed a strange HR value after my run; I had expected it to be much lower. However, Garmin’s HR solution isn’t exactly the best, owing to their sub-standard chest straps and I have seen isolated funny readings before, so I did not take much notice.

Then I ran the race on Saturday and again noticed a sky-high HR. In fact I had recorded a higher average HR for that 10K then for any of the three 5K races I had done this year, which seemed a bit weird. At that point I still thought a faulty HR reading was most likely to blame and considered swapping the battery in the HR strap, but then I didn’t have a battery handy and kept going, again recording strangely high readings on Sunday, but when the values started improving on Monday I started suspecting that the readings might actually have been real.

I always keep a very simple spreadsheet where I calculate a number from the HR/pace combination, which gives some surprisingly effective feedback on the state of my fitness. Looking at the graph for February you can clearly see a massive dip, starting on Friday, bottoming out for Saturday’s race and gradually recovering over the following days until returning more or less back to normal today, Wednesday.

While I still can’t be 100% sure that the HR data was correct, I am now inclined to believe the readings. An interesting observation is that Cian was off school on Monday after not feeling well and Niamh told me yesterday that she had felt a bit off as well. Usually I would expect to be able to tell straight away if anything was out of whack when I’m running, certainly when running a race, but I never felt anything unusual, just noticed the strange HR readings on the Garmin. My best guess is that I was fighting some infection which was just about enough to affect the HR rate but still low-level enough to not be felt. It might even explain my slower-than-expected time for Saturday’s race, though I’ll never know for sure (there was still that hill and the fact that I was running on my own most of the time).

On a different note, I was not surprised by some rather sore legs on Monday but what did come as a surprise was that it was the hamstrings that were mostly affected while the quads were ok. I was still sore on Tuesday and there was still some residue left on Wednesday which prompted a change in plan and I ran easily all days instead of a planned workout this morning. But I’m just about back to normal and with the HR seemingly recovered I am going to get some more proper training under the belt. There is not much time left before the taper for Tralee starts.
11 Feb
8 miles, 1:01:38, 7:42 pace, HR 139
12 Feb
8 miles, 1:02:09, 7:46 pace, HR 137
8 miles, 1:00:15, 7:32 pace, HR 138

1 comment:

  1. Most likely an infection - that thought occurred to me when reading your last post - we're fighting something very similar in our house this week.
    Alternatively ... put it down to post holiday blues :)