Wednesday, July 31, 2013

In-between Races

One or two comments last week had me a bit worried when they mentioned “overtraining”, because running 10 marathons in 10 days may well leave you in that state. But then I did check all the possible symptoms and came to the conclusion that I am most likely not overtrained. I did have sore muscles for a considerable time and I was inside a big bubble of fatigue for much longer than I would have liked, but none of the other symptoms applied and anyway, I am feeling much better now, even if it took over 2 weeks.

I quickly became familiar with muscle soreness again after Saturday’s race but if you run a hill like that at 10k effort then muscle soreness comes as part of the package. I felt quite sore after the race, felt much better when running the following day but the soreness returned once the endorphins wore off. I had some classic DOMS on Monday, but by Tuesday I felt more or less fully recovered.

Since I seamlessly transitioned from recover from the 10in10 to the taper for Connemara, I never got to do any training other than running very, very easily. My paces picked up a bit as the memory of the 10in10 faded into the past but the effort more or less remained the same. Today, almost 3 weeks after finishing the 10in10, I had to consciously slow down myself for the first time because I felt I was running a bit too fast for a recovery run. Obviously Saturday’s race was the one exception to all that slow running.

I did add a few strides to today’s run – something I suspect I should be doing much more often. I have said that before. I just keep forgetting.

I’m not sure where that leaves me, but I’m going to find out pretty damn soon as Connemara is only 10 days away. I do have another race on Friday evening, my club’s annual 4 mile race, but actually I think it is beneficial to get the legs moving at a much faster pace every now and then, even if you’re training for a long ultra. Obviously you need to fully recover from these efforts; that is absolutely paramount.

I haven’t quiet decided what I’m going to do next week, I’ll probably rest completely for a few of the days and I will try and run 9-minute pace, because one lesson from the 10in10 was that I initially felt really awkward running at a slower pace that what I was used to from training, so training at lower speeds it is.

Did I really say it’s only 10 days? Sh*t, this really is going to happen, isn’t it!

28 Jul
5 miles, 38:46, 7:45 pace, HR 139
29 Jul
5 miles, 39:27, 7:53 pace, HR 137
30 Jul
6+ miles, 46:53, 7:41 pace, HR 140
31 Jul
8 miles, 1:02:13, 7:47 pace, HR 141


  1. No going back now.

  2. 9 days now :-)

    Your little club race should be fun, it's always hard but a thrill running at the limit. As long as you don't risk introducing a strain I can't see much harm in it. It'll tune up your muscle tension that you'll want to release well before Connemara but you'll 8 days to do this. A nice couple mile run/walk after the race should help with.

    Training wise I haven't spotted any big hill runs of late, not sure if you feel it's wise to through in one this weekend but I'd be tempted - it's pretty well what I have just done.

    I did my final long hill run last weekend, just a week before this Saturday when I'll be trotting along in the Devil O'Highlands. Coming back from injury I had to squeeze all my training in the month before the race so long runs end up being shifted into the final ten days. I recovered from them pretty quickly so I'm optimistic this strategy of late long runs won't have harmed prospects.

    1. I have stayed away from the big hills because I think that caused my Achilles troubles (which are still not 100% resolved). I haven't done any real training since the 10in10 because I have been recovering from that.

  3. Best of luck next week Thomas!
    It'll be interesting to see how the second half of the race goes and if any adverse effects of the 10 in 10 coming to the fore. Not sure if you saw ferg/dogslysmile mention on his long run report but when he was beginning to feel stiff from all the extra-slow running he sped up a bit and that made it more comfortable.
    Obviously, a fine balancing act is required but if you haven't put in the time at extra-slow pace just remember that and maybe 10 or 20 mins at a faster pace might relieve some stiffness before you slow back down again.

  4. Yes, tuning in to the slower pace would be a good idea over the remaining days. Take it easy - you'd want to go into it feeling fully rested and raring to go.