Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Too Much Too Soon

I've never had a problem with motivation, that's for sure. The problem was generally going too far the other way, and this time I really seem to have overdone it. In my attempt to make changes after that disappointing result in Belfast I got a coach, started strength training, did yoga, started cycling to work - and then it all became a bit too much.

Sunday's run should have been a warning. From the first step I felt lousy. The legs were stiff and heavy, the pace was exceptionally slow and nothing clicked. I've felt this way plenty of times but usually it settles after a mile or two and I eventually start enjoying the run. Not so this time, it pretty much sucked from start to finish and I was actually shocked when I realised just how slow I had run.

A recovery day on Monday was just what was needed and I felt much better, so I chalked Sunday off as one of those days.

It all came back to me on Tuesday. The speed workout was actually fairly mellow: alternating 2 minutes of 5k and 10k/HM effort, 4 times. That's just 16 minutes of work and obviously a lot less strain than, say, a 5k race.

I sure did get the effort wrong!

Part of the problem was that the watch was slow to catch on the pace and I kept seeing 6:40 or 6;45 pace, which surely is not 5k pace, not even right now. At least that happened on the first speed segment, I'm not even sure if I kept checking the watch after that. But the pattern was already set, I kept working very hard on the 5k segments and then the HR barely came down a couple of beats at the slower segments, providing no respite - after the third segment I just could not keep it going any longer, stopped running and went hands on knees for a while just to stop myself from toppling over. Obviously I should have cut my losses at that point and gone home but for some reason I decided to do the 4th segment after all, even though I was perfectly aware that the coach any coach worth that description would have frowned on that. It was even worse after the fourth segment, I actually ended up lying down in the middle of the road to catch my breath.

Ok, at that point I could not fail to see that I was digging myself into a hole at rapid rate. I stopped the extra training, including the cycling, which had the immediate side effect that my quads stopped hurting. My recovery run on Wednesday was actually perfectly fine, so I think I'm alright as long as the level doesn't get over a certain threshold. I guess I need a reality check on my present 5k pace - even now, looking at Tuesday's data it doesn't strike me as particularly fast, though it clearly was too fast on the day.

The coach will have her input. I didn't envisage the first crisis to come so soon!

17 Jul
10 miles, 1:28:36, 8:51 pace, HR 143
18 Jul
4 miles, 37:49, 9:27 pace, HR 129
19 Jul
5 miles, 40:57, 8:11 pace, HR 152
   6:23/6:57 6:31/7:16 6:10/HOK 6:04/XXX
20 Jul
4 miles, 37:11, 9:17 pace, HR 132


  1. Really sounds like you are a long way from recovered from Belfast yet, not surprising, it's just a bit over three weeks.

    I'm struggling with patience as well. I've been keeping my mileage low since the West Highland Way Race to help heal some lingering injuries, but that in turn means I'm itching to push the pace.

  2. Too much too soon sums it up! Maybe go easier on the cycling and strength training for a bit.

  3. Just concentrate on the easy running for a few weeks- nothing else. maybe take a few rest days

  4. Yes, the title sums it all up! I cannot offer any advice only well wishes:)