Wednesday, March 27, 2013

On The Road Again

10 days after the Tralee marathon I was finally back on the road on Tuesday morning. I'm not sure what amount of time off would be the ideal one, but I was definitely itching to get out and get my daily fix again, and it was mostly with a feeling of relief that I took my first step.

It wasn't all plain sailing; within 2 miles my left calf was hurting again, the same one that had started cramping during the marathon and I'm sure there is a direct connection. It is interesting that 10 days of relative idleness did nothing to alleviate the problem, even though the main purpose of time off is supposed to be for healing. I did not rest entirely, I was still cycling to and from work during the week, and there was nothing coming from the calf. It took the pounding of running to restart that discomfort.

Going by similar past experiences this will work itself out within a few days of easy running. I don't quite know how this works, but easy running promotes healing of leg muscles much better than not running at all. It may have something to do with getting the blood flowing, though personally I think it's more a question of the body responding to a special need and adapting accordingly.

Anyway, apart from the perfectly bearable discomfort from my calf the runs yesterday and today went perfectly well. I ran at a relaxed and easy effort and was quite surprised to see the pace close to 7:30, but maybe that's still my easy pace, even after the marathon. The heart rate was a bit high, but that will work itself out over the next few days as well. I have been there often enough to know what to expect.

I did a dumb thing by wearing my shorts this morning. The bright sunshine had fooled me into thinking that it was much warmer than it really was and it wasn't until after coming home that I realised that the temperatures were a chilly -3C/26F, and my legs displayed some big bright red blotches in the shower. Thankfully a run of little more than half an hour does not cause any lasting damage. I still prefer icy cold but dry mornings to the freezing cold rain that we might otherwise, so there won't be any complaints coming from here.
26 Mar
5 miles, 37:28, 7:30 pace, HR 147
27 Mar
5 miles, 37:48, 7:34 pace, HR 146


  1. Great to see you back on the road, Thomas. Looking forward to see how you go over the next few months. Watch that calf - if you have no joy, pm me at the other place - I'm a Physical Therapist and I don't charge! Keep that quiet:)


  2. Maybe try foam rolling or using the stick on your calf? I heard something recently with Prof Tim Noakes about how cramping may be a result of tiny, pre-existing, imperceptible spasms in the muscle (which may be alleviated by massage) which get magnified into a full blown cramp when under distress.