The problem is of course that running at an easy effort day in day out is just not particularly exciting, not even for an ultra runner. So, from time to time, I do feel the need to push the effort a bit higher. That in itself is not a bad thing, you need to give the system a little of a kick from time to time, the problem is to find the right amount of pushing, balancing everything according to your recovery needs. It's something that I clearly do not get right all the time.
After the fartlek last week I did a faster run on Saturday, though I only did 8 miles in the hope that a somewhat lower mileage would stop me from pushing over the edge. It felt really good to put a bit of effort into a run for a change, so from that point of view I have no regrets. I did wistfully remember the times when I averaged a faster pace than that in my easy runs. However, if things go to plan, those days will return in not too far a future. There's that concept again, patience.
I did pay for that effort, of course, with a pair of heavy legs on Sunday. Instead of drudging along for an hour on the road I headed up to the Windy Gap, though I did take it rather easy. The HR was as high as it had been the day before but the run felt completely different. I struggled a bit early on but once I got into it it went much better than I could have expected - the really steep long climb to the Gap itself went entirely on autopilot, which I usually can only do if I'm in great shape - maybe I've gotten used to it? Maybe I need a bigger mountain - there are plenty of those around here, unfortunately most would require me to drive there instead of running straight from home. That's not going to happen this winter - maybe next year.
Today, Monday, I just ran 10 easy miles while thinking of all my friends running the Dublin marathon at the same time. Or so I thought. I did do a double take when I looked at the HR number afterwards - I swear it was an easy run, why the HR was at the same level as the last 2 runs I don't quite know. I guess it's a lack of recovery, with the system still being compromised after Sparta. However, I don't feel particularly bad, in fact today's run was perfectly enjoyable. Somewhere there is a clear disconnect and I'm starting to think I need some help re-connecting things.
I have therefore asked for help.
- 23 Oct
- 10 miles, 1:24:11, 8:25 pace, HR 146
- 24 Oct
- 8 miles, 1:01:15, 7:39 pace, HR 154
- 25 Oct
- 10.7 miles, 1:33:30, 8:44 pace, HR 154
- Windy Gap
- 26 Oct
- 10 miles, 1:20:34, 8:03 pace, HR 153