Sunday, May 12, 2013

Not Quite Smooth Sailing

I thought I had settled into a nice, sustainable training rhythm, doing a longer run at the weekend and a mountain run in midweek with 2 easy days following each, but maybe I need to rethink my strategy. I know I did a longer mountain run on Wednesday, but I would have expected to be recovered from that by Saturday, especially since I had taken it really easy on Thursday and Friday, but it didn't work out like that.

I definitely had one problem, namely my big left toe. On Friday it became increasingly uncomfortable during the office hours and when I got back home I inspected the damage. It was swollen, bright red, very warm, and one area was very, very sore to the touch. Taking off the shoes made a big difference in the comfort levels because the sore area was longer being compressed, but the toe sure did not look good. The next morning, before running, I had another look. The overall swelling had gone down except at the one area that had been sore the day before, and some pus had leaked out onto the toe nail (lovely image, I know. At that point I should probably point out that you should definitely not do an image search on Google for "Big Toe" during lunch time. You're welcome). I was worried that it might be too sore for running, but actually it was perfectly fine; maybe my habit of wearing running shoes a full size bigger than my office shoe helped me out here.

However, while my toe felt fine my quads did not. From the very first step I noticed that something was off and the idea of a tempo run did not feel too appealing. In the end I went ahead but at a significantly lower HR than last week. In fact, my max HR yesterday was lower than last week's average for a similar run! On the plus side, it meant that this time I remained within the parameters that Mystery Coach had set me all those years ago.

I need to stay ahead of my recovery and therefore decided to cut Sunday's long run down by a few miles, depending on how I would feel. As it turns out, I felt great. I cannot explain it, I do not know how that works. I still left it at 18 miles, over 3 miles less than last week, just to be sure. Wearing a singlet in the hope of catching a few rays of sunshine proofed hopelessly optimistic as it kept raining throughout, but I was fine.

Initially I thought I'd take an easy week next week, but maybe that won't be necessary. I'll cut the mountain run back to 2 Windy Gap crossing, though. I will take an easy week following the marathon in Killarney on Saturday, but otherwise the idea is to train through as long as I feel I can recover from it.

9 May
10 miles, 1:16:26, 7:38 pace, HR 139
10 May
10 miles, 1:17:10, 7:43 pace, HR 139
11 May
10 miles, 1:09:41, 6:58 pace, HR 150
   incl. 8 miles @ 6:47 pace, HR 153
12 May
18 miles, 2:13:34, 7:25 pace, HR 145
Weekly Mileage: 81+


  1. Hey Thomas, I'm not that expert at all, just wondering what is your opinion about to split up long(er) runs on weekends? I mean to run once in the morning and a second one in the afternoon.
    That way you may have the physiologic benefits, but maybe without these "issues" here and there.
    Again, I'm not that expert, so I may be wrong, just asking.

    1. Hi Balu, thanks for your comment. I would very much advise against splitting up your long run. Two runs a day are not the same as one long run over the same combined distance; running twice a day is perfectly okay but you still should have at least one continuous long run per week.

  2. Thankfully I finished dinner 2 hours ago!