I obviously knew I was in dire need of recovery after the Spartathlon. However, I expected it to be somewhat similar to my previous 24-hour races. After all, I had covered 140 and 134 miles in my last 2 of those, so a 153 mile race seemed to be in the same league.
Except that it wasn't!
The varied terrain, the fact that we crossed two mountains, the much longer time on our feet and probably the changing weather conditions as well all added up to a much bigger stress factor. In the last few weeks I kept comparing my figures from now to the ones after Belfast and Turin and was left in no doubt, they were way worse this time round.
So, it was a matter of patience, which, as mentioned before, isn't always my greatest asset, though I'm still doing better than some. At the end of last week I could finally see some real improvement in the numbers as well as how I felt, so that was highly encouraging. Probably a bit too much so because on Saturday, after 5 days of nothing but slow running, I went out with the intention of giving the legs a decent workout once more. I'm still following MC's old guidelines (though I'm not 100% sure if he would agree) so I knew the thresholds of HR/effort that I was not to cross - except that, of course, I did cross them.
The problem is that my HR keeps drifting upwards when I do a tempo run. That is perfectly normal and expected, especially when I'm still in the very early days of a training cycle. So when I was right at the upper parameters right from the start the script was basically written. I just could not get myself to slow down and so the HR kept drifting up and up and up until I finally had to concede that I had f*cked this up. Ah well. Too late now.
I paid an immediate price the next day as the legs were exceptionally stiff and tired and I kept the effort on my mountain run as easy as it is possible while climbing a (minor) mountain. That run took me several minutes more than the week before, when the effort has already been rather easy (for similar reasons).
Then, on Monday, I compared the numbers to the previous Monday and they did not make happy reading. Stressing your body is fine and good but it needs to be at the appropriate level. There is no point in running so hard that you set yourself back, you want to build yourself up, gradually and slowly. With that in mind, I'm back at running slowly again this week. I'll make changes to my training because I don't want to fall into the same trap every weekend. I have a couple of ideas but I'll have to think them through first.
On the plus side, Tuesday's run was much better and the expected DOMS from Sunday's mountain run never materialised - almost certainly because I had taken it so easy. I'll still take it easy for a few more days.
My eldest daughter has a cold at the moment and I can feel it a bit as well - all the more reason to take it easy, of course.
- 31 Oct
- 10 miles, 1:14:35, 7:28 pace, HR 155
- incl. 8 miles @ 7:12 pace
- 1 Nov
- 10.7 miles, 1:37:02, 9:04 pace, HR 15o
- Windy Gap
- 2 Nov
- 10 miles, 1:24:08, 8:25 pace, HR 144
- 3 Nov
- 10 miles, 1:21:43, 8:10 pace, HR 145