Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Still irrational

I took it easy last week and only ran three times. You'd think that I'd be feeling better as a result of that. Alas no! It was a hard slog around the lake yesterday. My visions of 11 km were quickly cut back to a gentle 7 km. Although it did not feel gentle in the least! Today I had a small dummy spit and went out for a run at lunch even though technically Wednesday is a day off. To add insult to injury I made my bitterly complaining body do 5 x 200 m hill repetitions with a warm up and cool down to pad the distance out to ~5.6 km. It does raise the question of whether a body that is struggling with muscular fatigue can respond to any sort of training? You can only train to the level your body can handle. However, surely any sort of stimulus should see some improvements in sustainable pace. Time will tell!

An interesting aspect of this fatigue is that it targets those muscles that do the majority of the work. I can head out the door and within a few minutes I'll know what kind of run it's going to be. My gluteals and hamstring muscles will quickly start to feel sore and tired. If they don't feel sore and tired, then the run is usually pretty good. An odd phenomenon, as there are generally no real indications until I start to run. Yep, still very irrational.

Interestingly, the hill reps today, were at an equivalent pace and intensity to those I did 2 weeks ago when feeling pretty good. However, there was constant muscle discomfort and I made them shorter by about 20 m. That said, I probably could have done a couple more 2 weeks ago, but chose not to push my luck. Today, there was no way I could do any more than 5. The big question is, how will the muscles feel tomorrow?


  1. Hope they felt okay. Well, at least you have some sort of an early indication about what sort of a run you'll be having. Funny thing, I often feel worse the day after a rest day. The rest day seems to do nothing for me in terms of feeling energised. Three days off makes my legs feel good, but we can't have 3 days off before every track race now, can we? Two days of easy running is a good compromise.

  2. Thanks Ewen. The muscles were still not super happy, but I was able to convince them to do a slow 11 km. 2 days off before the run on Sunday did nothing, so really I don't think extra days off is the key unless it's part of a taper. Ah well, all I can do is keep plugging away slowly and backing off when it gets particularly uncomfortable. I hope you have an awesome 10K run in Melbourne.

  3. Thanks. It was fun, but not awesomely fast.

    Can't remember if you ruled out any thyroid problems (my issue)? If not, ask your doc for a thyroid function test as part of a blood test. Sore muscles can be a symptom of thyroid disfunction.
    Also, re your problem at the blood bank... obviously need to get that fixed. I remember Nate Jenkins talking about that on his Running Times blog a post or two back (and he's written about it extensively before - maybe a google search?). Not a simple thing for athletes to fix if iron has been low for a while.

  4. I had a thorough work up at the start of the year and everything was within normal limits. My haemoglobin (and ferritin) was at the bottom of the range, but still normal. Donating blood 3 months ago seems to have pushed it over the limit so to speak as it hasn't recovered despite a good diet. I'll try some ferrous sulphate for a while and see if that makes any difference. I saw this interesting article and will follow its guidelines: