Thursday, July 12, 2012

Oops I did it again .....

No, I am not referring to a cheesy pop song. I have managed to over do it again and the muscles are rebelling. The warning signs were there on Sunday when during my 'long' run I was struggling to keep the HR and RPE down for the latter half of the run, despite going at a pretty slow pace. Following the run I was seriously tired and felt some fatigue carry through to Monday. Sensibly I did not run at all on Monday and only did a light weights session. Alas an attempt at an 11K run on Tuesday saw me fall into a heap about half the way into the run. It was darn cold, and that was the only reason I didn't stop and walk! It was a really, really awful run :-(. Then even with taking Wednesday off, the Thursday run wasn't much better than Tuesday :-/. Last week included 1 hard session, 1 moderate session and more mileage than I have done for a while (a mere 58K).

My feelings precisely ........
The trick now is to figure out what the right balance is. I think some super easy running with the odd hard session will be the way to go. Right now, I need to reduce the number of days I run and steer clear of any hard sessions until the muscles settle down again ....... sigh so frustrating.

I think I will take the approach described by Richard Stiller, except allow myself to try and push it in the various fun runs I have planned on the horizon.

Low HR running

Latest Training:
Monday - gentle gym session, no running
Tuesday - 11.2K LBG central basin/Telopea School circuit. 5:50min/K, HRav 142bpm. Cold drizzly conditions and a rating of 0.5/3.
Wednesday - day off, did zippo!
Thursday - a lap around Little Black Mountain - 9.2K. Rate 1/3.


  1. Sorry you did it again and I hope it's not too long before the muscles and body are back to something resembling normality.

    Thanks for the link/s. Interesting reading. He makes a good point about every runner being different and having to find their own way. Also about how training needs to change as we age.

    So you need to find out what works (& what you enjoy doing). Could be every second day running longish very easy/total rest days as Stiller did... or something else. Maybe running every day easy but only for 30-40 minutes with one day/week harder?

    BTW, are you still supplementing iron?

    1. Thanks ET. I managed a very gentle 11K today without too much muscle discomfort, but certainly would not have been able to push it. Dude, I enjoy training for marathons and running as much as I can! Alas I doubt I'll get a good enough balance to allow me to do that. But yeah, it will be some trial and error to try and get it right. Richard Stiller told me he tried all sorts of approaches for several years before he accepted that he had to go slow and alternate days on and off days. Interesting that he was able to double up on his running days. I might experiment with a bit of doubling up on days on and alternate with complete days off and see what the muscles think of that!
      Yes, I still take liquid iron once or twice a week. I doubt my iron levels are low again, not enough running to cause lots of haemolysis!

    2. Yeah, that was interesting. I've only ever tried short periods (3-4 weeks) of doubles - found I improved aerobically but tiredness (over-reaching?) got the better of me. I can see that with alternate days off it could work well.

      I think you need to be wary of an 'alternate day' programme if it means total weekly/monthly volume becomes too low. I think there's a minimum volume of aerobic exercise (varies from athlete to athlete) below which mitochondrial muscle density decreases over time. In that article, Richard Stiller had been running "60-70 miles/week for 10 years" (very good lifetime base) and he recovered from an over-trained state by alternate day running (not sure what monthly volume, but much lower). If this volume is sufficient for his physiology I can see that he could maintain aerobic condition (mitochondrial density) very well.

      The one negative of this approach (minimum volume) is that one could train below the level where aerobic condition is maintained and gradually lose that condition. It may take 6-12 months to realise this. Improved muscular 'freshness' and springiness (as well as feeling good on runs) will most likely mask this gradual loss of condition. A good way of monitoring aerobic condition would be the classic MAF test, or a weekly run over the same course where you record heart-beats per km (ave HR x ave pace).

      Re the iron, maybe try taking it daily for a week (like Camille did) at a slightly higher dose and see how you feel.

  2. Good points ET. The thing is I have F*&# all aerobic condition given I've been struggling for the last 18 months. From previous experience I need a greater volume to run well and I can't see me getting back to the 80K+ I need. I'll potter around and play with various approaches, it's not like I have that much to lose anyway :-). I'm nervous about taking too much iron. High iron levels can be quite detrimental, and I'm back to not having much in the way of loss these days, ovaries are back to considering retirement. Inevitable at my age.
    Surely it is better to actually feel good and springy for runs, and lose some aerobic condition then to go on with what I feel mostly at present, far from springy and fresh!

    1. Yep, keep trying different approaches and fine tuning the training. Agree that it's much better to feel good and be enjoying the runs.