Friday, October 28, 2011

Still on track ......

It seems the fatigue monster is enjoying this new training approach and is keeping mostly in the background. It has only reared its head briefly during a 10K run last Sunday. This probably wasn't helped by the fact that it was quite warm. Those first few runs in the heat before the body develops some acclimatization can always be a bit challenging even for the normally fit. So it was no surprise that the 10K run was a bit of a struggle. It also exacerbated a slight niggle that has developed over my right ilial crest. It seems slow running is resulting in inadequate muscle recruitment.  I've had a couple of painful sessions at clinic 88 this week, including some 'dry needles' in the glutes, ouch!

This week I have continued with the shorter training sessions (except for Sunday) with 8 x 100m hill reps on Sunday and a couple of 'long' intervals (1600 and 1800m) on Tuesday at ~5K pace. Wednesday was an easy 5K run and Thursday was another go at a track and field meet. The 3000m didn't feel as cruisy as last week and was a few seconds slower. However, the 1600m I did later in the night as part of the Adler Spiral handicap felt remarkably comfortable. Nothing too dramatic, around 4:20/km pace, but it felt good. Just like last week, it was the 2nd run that felt the best. Maybe those first runs are shaking out some cobwebs?! I finished 2nd in the event on my chosen handicap, which was spot on in regards to min/km predicted pace. Alas, despite the accurate pace prediction, no doubt the handicapper won't be very forgiving for future events.

This Sunday is the ACTVAC handicap. Although I indicated I was going to switch over to the Frylink, given my recent reduction in fatigue, I will give the Thomas another go. If I am able to run as I have been at track, then I could finish high up in the placings. So it is worth just giving it a go even though trying to maintain a decent pace over 7km may still be beyond my means.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A night at the track

The fatigue monster has been hiding this week and I've been able to stick to a reasonable little training plan culminating in running a couple of events at the ACTVAC Track and Field Meet on Thursday. Tuesday included an interval session of 4 x 400m @ current 1500m pace, then 4 x 200m @ current 800m pace, then 4 x 100m @ sprint pace. As per previous sessions, I don't know any of my 'race' paces so those intervals were performed using RPE. It was a solid session that I was able to complete and still feel okay. Wednesday was a rest day.

Thursday I headed over to track and had an unusual warm up that included racing around to various 'electrical shops' looking for a hot water urn to allow us to have tea and coffee available for runners at the end of the meet. I then squeezed in a couple of 100m run throughs at around 3 min/800m pace. As previously indicated, the plan was to run the 800m. I have only run one other 800m and so this really isn't an event that I 'get' or really have any innate ability for. The theory is to run it hard from the start and just hang on. That goes against my usual approach to running, and does not seem appropriate for someone trying to nurse a fatigued and anaemic body back into a bit of 'racing'. Hence, I ran a conservative 800m and was at the tail of the field until the last 300m where I managed to catch one runner and finish in 3:06. A respectable time all things considered. Plus I had plenty left in the tank at the end, so much so that I decided to try and run the 3000m as well. Track does that. you get caught up in it all!

The 3000m was only intended to be a 'jog' as I didn't want to push my luck. It was run totally by feel, all numbers ignored. In the end I just settled into a comfortable 'tempo' pace and counted down the laps. This was an awesome run because of the way the body felt. A comfortable cruise is how I'd describe it. Time ended up being 13:20, so that's 4:27/km pace. By previous track standards a massive PW, but by current body standards, a PB!

Here's hoping the momentum forward continues. Short sharp training will continue and now it may include runs at the track to keep it interesting.

I love this photo taken by Jim White at the last ACTVAC handicap.

Monday, October 17, 2011

So far so good .......

Today I went for a short easy run at lunch time and felt absolutely fabulous. Not unlike that day a little while back where I decided to do some hill reps. Of course, it could just be one of those random 'good' days that pop up now and and then. However, I hope it is in part to do with the change in my training regimen.

The summary of what I have done in the last week is as follows:
Sun 6 x 100 m hill reps with jog downhill recovery (~2 km warm up)
Mon 6 x 400m reps @ 1500m pace (I have no idea what that pace is and on grass it's darn hard to gauge) with 2 min passive recovery (1.2K warm up and 800m cool down).
Tues - easy run 5K
Wed - easy run 5K (body told me it needed another easy day)
Thurs - 6 x 200m reps @ 400m pace (once again no idea, just ran hard) with 1 min passive recovery between reps (1.5K warm up and similar cool down)
Fri - day off
Sat - gym session and a rule breaking 10K trial run (muscles really not happy about this!)
Sun - Compound 200/400/200 x 2 (pace really not easy to gauge) 4 min rec between reps (1.2K warm up and 800m cool down)
Mon - 5K easy, but glorious run :o)

The 10K was not planned, but with running as my therapy, I needed a full hour with my 'therapist'. 30 minutes is never enough to work through those 'issues'. It's hard to ignore long runs when I am a distance runner at heart. But it did make me tired and my muscles especially sore, so care needs to be taken. Clearly not too much harm was done based on the positive run today.

Training will continue along a similar line with short distances and upped intensity. If all feels okay I will run an 800m at the track on Thursday evening. I need to do some sort of time trial to help predict training paces. Still based on the Compound session in Sunday, it will be a slow and painful 800m!

I was going to post a photo but Blogger won't cooperate today. Oh well.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Plan B

My body is telling me that it simply isn't ready to be a long distance runner at the moment. It seems spacing out longish runs isn't enough to keep them going in my 'training'. I'm finding I'm not really recovering and so can't do much else. After much angst I must bite the bullet and walk away from long runs (anything over 8 km) for the next few months. I can generally handle 20-30 mins before the fatigue and pain become too unpleasant. I can also handle some short sharp intervals if I don't do much else with them. To not go totally insane, the new 'training' plan will be all short stuff with some hill reps and other reps for variety. I'll try the odd 800m (yuck!) and 1500m at the track and even more yuck! will switch to the Frylink Series at the monthly ACTVAC handicap. The good thing is that by going short, I can run more frequently, which means I get to go out at lunch time, the big bonus of living and working in Canberra. It's all about being adaptable. The down side is I can't eat as much when I'm not doing the miles, bummer! Ah well, let's see how long the body will accept Plan B until it forces me into a Plan C.

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?