Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Easy Now

I was 10 miles into Monday's run when I hit the wall. The proverbial one, familiar to marathon runners, not a stony one. I was tired, hungry, exhausted, cold, miserable and it was still pitch dark. Of course that's when it start raining again, icy cold and painful, but it was just one of several rain showers that would pass that morning (a theme that would continue for the next few days). At that point I finally admitted to myself that I had overdone it. I had actually seen the signs at least two weeks before already but my response had been inadequate. One very easy day here or there just wasn't enough to catch up on recovery, especially when followed again by a fairly brutal 3-day weekend combination. I did dial back the millage last week but clearly not enough, and a couple of faster effort probably undid any potential recovery.

So, from now on there won't be any more 3-day combinations if I run a fast workout on the Saturday. I did 6 miles at 6:30-ish pace on Saturday, followed by a long run on Sunday on tired legs and adding another 15 miles on Monday was too much. Either I need to mellow the workouts or I need to add at least one genuine recovery day between those. Right now, I'm taking it easy for the week. After a struggle I managed to drag my sorry ass home on Monday. Tuesday was 8 miles, very, very easy. Wednesday was 10 miles, again very, very easy. The legs felt fine on those last two days, thanks to the low effort (which is genuinely reflected in the HR), but I'll keep that going for longer, and I also cancelled hill sprints this week because I really do not want to stress my high-end muscle fibres.

The numbers from Monday's workout, and the ones preceding it, don't actually show any bad signs (at least none that would be apparent to me), it's just the subjective feeling of fatigue and exhaustion that prompts all this, though it has been festering for a while. I would have taken an easy week over Christmas as I was really tired going into it but an increase in sleep seemed to alleviate the problem, though apparently not for good. I am getting more sleep now than before Christmas because I do make a genuine attempt to go to bed earlier on a consistent basis. It doesn't make up for over-reaching too far in workouts, though,

I did add a different kind of body workout, namely a yoga session, this one apparently specifically aimed at athletes. I haven't done much in form of cross-training for a while because I never felt I needed it but I decided to give that another go and signed up for a class. On the plus side, when she asked if I had any niggles right now I could genuinely and honestly say "no" (in fact I said "none at the moment"), which made me realise that actually my body has held up very well since recovering from my injury in July. Now I want to keep it that way.

Also, my (ancient) car broke down for good at the end of last week. I had to get rescued, stuck in the middle of nowhere as I was (or Castleisland as it's also called) and my new car won't be ready for another couple of days, so I'm back to cycling the 5 miles to work, though I do not count that as training. Since I'm the one doing the school run in the morning, the new car can't come soon enough.

11 Jan
15 miles, 1:58:35, 7:54 pace, HR 137
12 Jan
8 miles, 1:07:04, 8:23 pace, HR 130
13 Jan
10 miles, 1:22:27, 8:15 pace, HR 131


  1. How did your hamstrings handle the yoga poses? Mine are so tight! I reckon the flexibility gained from yoga could be positive in terms of injury prevention and range of movement.

    1. My hamstrings and to some extend my calves are extremely tight, so I took it easy on some of the poses.

  2. Yoga and cycling both sound like good cross-training and taking it easy on the runs will help to fully recover.