Thursday, December 01, 2016

Level Up

I started creating a post about how I had gotten myself into an overtrained state but now I'm not sure if I even want to finish writing it; I'd much rather concentrate on the present rather than dwell too much in the past. I pretty much know where I have gone wrong (hint: it wasn't just one thing in isolation, it was a range of factors working together and an inadequate response from my side), I think I have an idea on how to correct it and I'll keep monitoring the situation, this time with a much more fine-tuned sensor on stress and recovery.

I've now been back running for two weeks. Very limited running that is, my weekly total was just 23 miles in the first 7 days (including one off day), so I do hope that this is easy enough not to overwork my compromised system.

Honestly, I think the signs are good. The numbers are going up, and on Wednesday they jumped up an entire level. They're still worlds below what I like to think of as "normal" but nevertheless that's definite progress. More importantly, I do enjoy every single step. That's definitely a plus. However, there is also a potential problem: I've always been told that not wanting to train would be big red flag with regards to overtraining and since that flag never showed up I ended up underestimating how serious this problem had become.

Anyway, I'm running with a bit more effort the last couple of days, upgrading from "recovery" to "easy" runs, which really is my natural state - this is the effort I would be running almost every day if I didn't follow a training program and would just do whatever I felt like. I like that effort level - not so slow as to get frustrating and not so fast as to get exhausting.

This is the first month in the entire year that my VDOT graph is clearly pointing upwards (May had been okay as well, all other months are either jumping up and down or just gradually sliding down). Admittedly, I was coming from such a low starting point after my break that up was the only real way to go.

Still, so far so good.

28 Nov
3.8 miles, 35:05, 9:13 pace, HR 143
29 Nov
4.5+ miles, 40:00, 8:48 pace, HR 148
30 Nov
4.1 miles, 35:01, 8:32 pace, HR 145
1 Dec
5.2 miles, 45:11, 8:41 pace, HR 147


  1. It's a world away from when I started reading your blog Thomas. I was awestruck at the mileage you would run and the performances associated. However I have to say, seeing how you have faced this challenge, and the sensible and focused attitude, is just as inspiring. Well done on your perseverance. I am lucky to never have faced a challenge such as this, but then I have never been able to achieve your performances. Keep telling the story so that others can learn, from the ups, and the downs.