I have been running a little bit the last few days. Normally I wouldn't have, feeling as I did, but as mentioned previously I've had plenty of time to read Phil Maffetone's book while being bed-bound, and his recommendation is that gentle aerobic exercise can greatly enhance recovery, and we're not just talking about recovery from injury. Actually, it does make sense to me, I have long ago discovered that any niggles I have go away much quicker when I keep running rather that rest completely, but obviously you have to make sure you do not aggravate things. Things may be well the same when recovering from sickness, but again, you need to make sure you do not aggravate things.
The legs had turned into two concrete pillars after 5 days of not running at all, so when I went out for a gentle 5 mile run on Monday morning I quickly changed my mind and cut it down to 4, even though after a mile or two there was some serious improvement already. Things felt easier on Tuesday but I was a bit alarmed by the HR readings for such a slow pace. There were mixed results this morning, the legs felt awful again for the first mile but the HR improved, albeit only slightly.
I always keep track of my pace, HR and their ratio in a very simple spreadsheet. When I'm in top shape I tend to see number above 60 (55 for races), and it's been a long time since I've had to look at figures in the low 50s for a training run. That spreadsheet is a very good thing to have in situations like this, I can easily convince myself that I'm feeling better, but cold hard figures from a HR monitor transferred into a spreadsheet can't be fooled.
At the moment, my participation as pacer in Monday's Cork City marathon is definitely under threat. There is no way running a 3:15 marathon can be described as gentle aerobic exercise, so I won't try and pull that particular excuse. I still have 5 days and right now I won't rule anything out. It is still possible that I will be standing on the start line wondering if I'm about to do the most stupid thing I have ever done in my life, but then again that would be a very familiar feeling, as experienced here and here and here and on a couple more occasions as well ( I tend to do idiotic things very well, apparently).
- 27 May
- 4 miles, 32:36, 8:09 pace, HR 141
- 28 May
- 5+ miles, 40:27, 8:01 pace, HR 145
- 29 May
- 5 miles, 40:32, 8:05 pace, HR 141