Thursday, September 26, 2013

Post Crash Recovery

My legs haven't felt great ever since Sunday's disaster of a long run. And to think that I thought I was taking it particularly easy that day by running slowly and staying off the hills!

All I have done since then was running slowly and not very far. At first I was very annoyed with myself for letting myself get into this state, but I compared my paces and heart rates to 3 years ago, when I was training for Vienna, as well as last year, and the numbers are actually looking pretty good in comparison, so I'm probably not in as bad a state as I might feel right now. Not that it's all that great - my quads are hurting even after an 8 mile run, and when I tried running a tad longer on Wednesday I could tell the added strain straight away, even though the effort had been very easy all along.

Luckily my real goal race is still almost 10 months away, so I'm not exactly in a rush. When he coached me for Vienna, I do remember getting a bit frustrated with MC's training after 2 or 3 months of basically nothing but easy running, it started to become rather boring, but I don't think I'll forget the way I'm feeling right now any time soon and this will serve as a warning for quite some time.

I'm not sure what to do about the Valentia half in 2 weeks time, if I feel recovered I might run it as a tempo run, or I might skip it (and if I run it as a tempo run, I know perfectly well that I might be unable to resist racing it), but I'd definitely hate missing it. I love Valentia and it always feels like a second home to me. Ah well, I guess it's a bit early to fret about it right now.

23 Sep
8 miles, 1:06:19, 8:17 pace, HR 132
24 Sep
8 miles, 1:04:47, 8:06 pace, HR 134
25 Sep
10 miles, 1:20:43, 8:04 pace, HR 134
26 Sep
8 miles, 1:04:52, 8:07 pace, HR 133


  1. Sorry to hear that you're recovery has been a bit rocky. After two week lay off after running the Devi O' Highlands l I felt like my fitness had been reset to zero, had aching quads and high HR even on short little runs. I felt crap for a week. Then things gradually started improving. It sounds like you dived back in a bit too fast with the 10k race and longer runs.

    My recovery from the River Ayr Way two weeks ago has been much better thankfully, similar distance of racing (41miles) but very different terrain. However, even with a better recovery after doing a tempo run a two days ago I have DOMS for the second day today. I ran a recovery run yesterday and that loosened me off, and will probably do the same today. For recovery runs I potter along at 9 to 10 min/mile pace and typically keep the runs to just four miles, but sometimes eck it out to 6 if I'm feeling comfortable. For me recovery runs are all about aiding recovery rather than adding training stimulus.

    I do wonder if sometimes you over do your recovery runs, with them being too long and too fast. You runs right after your 17 miler in which your struggled was two eight mile runs. My guess is that if you just did 4 miles the day after you might feel better quicker.

    One thing that I found useful when trying to get into the habit of effective recovery runs was to make them multi-faceted. Originally when I did recovery runs at a sensible pace for recovery I hated it, it just felt painfully slow. I fixed this by using these slow runs to practice my form - wearing very minimal shoes and no socks for these runs made sure that I got all the feedback I could on my form to help me tune it to be more efficient. Recovery pace runs also roughly coincide with my ultra-marathon race pace so I also use them to get my body used to a slow steady and comfortable pace.

    With these extra goals added to purpose of a recovery run I've found it much easier to just go out slow and support easy and actually enjoy these runs.

  2. Keep going with the easy runs and see how you're feeling a week out. Great to have the HR/pace figures from pre Vienna to see how you're going. Sounds like aerobically you're in great shape but just need the legs to come good in terms of recovery/absorbing the training.