Thursday, December 21, 2017

Happy Solstice

From tomorrow morning on it will get brighter again. Good thing too. As much as I like Winter (it's an Austrian thing), the lack of daylight does make things tricky, from SAD to the fact that running in the dark through Dublin City isn't entirely without risks. At the moment it's invariably pitch dark every time I run and cycling home from work can be a bit scary at times as well, mostly due to the appalling state of the cycle paths, especially around UCD.

Anyway, my running is entirely focused on recovery this week. For once this is going really well. It is quite astounding that running two exceptionally hilly marathons in around 3:40 is so much easier on the body than one single flattish marathon in 3:10; at least I find it rather surprising.

I never had any muscle pain, walking down the 3 flights in our apartment was never an issue (I didn't even remember that I was supposed to be sore) and running 5 miles a day, as I always do immediately after a marathon/short ultra, felt actually a bit too short. By Tuesday I was already tempted to run a bit more but didn't. Instead, I re-started my cycle commute (me being redundant sure didn't last long!), and the 20 miles of cycling seemed to tire the legs more than the back-to-back marathons had done.

Wednesday was the one day where the legs felt a bit heavy during the first mile, which I attribute entirely to the cycling, but even then they started to feel better very quickly and by the end of the run I felt so good I was sorry to be done.

My HR values have been staggeringly low. It's been a while since I last saw values in the 120s. The HRV measurements are giving me very good readings as well, the last few days have always shown a solid green light, indicating excellent recovery (still not 100% sure about the validity of the those numbers, though).

I'll take a bit of break from marathon-length training runs now, hoping to focus a little bit more on running faster rather than going through an endless cycle of marathon/recovery/marathon. I already started that the week before Howth with a set of hill sprints and one evaluation workout, as a kind of transition. However, I'll wait for at least one week after Howth before even thinking about another fast run. That phase will last until Donadea in February, at least if things go to plan, and I hope that a slightly different stimulus will help to push things up a bit more.
18 Dec
5+ miles, 43:16, 8:29 pace, HR 125
19 Dec
5+ miles, 42:01, 8:19 pace, HR 128
20 Dec
8+ miles, 1:05:03, 7:59 pace, HR 136
21 Dec
9.7 miles, 1:16:03, 7:50 pace, HR 138

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