Sunday, June 30, 2013

Cross training and the ACTVAC handicap

Yes, the ATI is still hanging around. A good thing I have stopped doing long slow runs and slow recovery runs. Those are the ones that give me the most grief. I'm still able to do some interval sessions, although these have slowed down. I guess it is the slow twitch muscles (type 1) that are the biggest problem. The intervals hurt a lot less and are probably recruiting muscle fibres that have not been used as much over my running/cycling history, so are not likely to have as much damage (or whatever it is that is causing the pain). I've substituted in some easy bike rides to make up for the loss of running. These are less of a problem pain/fatigue-wise for a couple of reasons: 1) They can be done at an easy spin and not aggravate the muscles as much; and 2) I cycle more with my quads which are not as affected pain-wise. The symptoms are most obvious in my hamstrings and gluteals. Just to put it into perspective, prolonged walking also results in pain in those particular muscles, just not as bad as running does.
Thank goodness for the downhill finish :-) - Mount Ainslie

Today we had the monthly ACTVAC handicap at Mount Ainslie. Conditions were pretty well perfect. Clear sunny skies, cool conditions and no wind. This was meant to be a 'long run' albeit at a quicker pace than I might normally try to do a long run at. This meant, no warm up pre-run, just using the first 1-2 km, then a bit of a push in the middle before trying to ease up at the end. Now with that big hill towards then end, it's not that easy to ease up, even at a walk (and that I did!). With that approach this was my slowest time on that course by several minutes. That should mean an improved handicap! A lovely brunch to finish off the morning with Ruth, Mr B, Margaret, et al! Now to get in an afternoon MTB ride to rack up some GCC steps.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

It's been a while

It's been a while since I last posted on this blog! That is primarily because the ATI is messing with me again. Symptoms have been achy complaining muscles during many of my easy and long runs. There has also been a drop in performance. If we look back, the latest trigger was probably an increase in running frequency from 4 days to 5 days per week. Of course, I have tried to ignore this obvious finding coz it's been so nice getting in an extra lunch time run during the week! However, it's not going away and it would be wise not to let it get any worse, so it's back to 4 days of running per week for the time being. That said, as cycling is less taxing on the muscles, a bit of cross training will be incorporated on weekends when the winter weather isn't too horrendous. I enjoyed a couple of very easy rides this weekend as we had 2 glorious winter days. There was also an ulterior motive - the GCC! I am part of a team with some colleagues from work. It seems that runners get the least reward for all their hard work. You get more steps awarded to you for walking (over the same distance) and I confirmed that cycling is also pretty darn generous (even more so on a mountain bike with all the 'spinning').

Team Pouncing Peptides - we need all the 'assistance' we can get ;-)
 I did another parkrun this weekend. It was a tough run as the muscles were pretty sore despite a whopping dose of P beforehand. Finish time was 23:17 - 40 seconds slower than my previous effort. At least with that extra year in age that snuck up last week, it kept me in the 71% range for Age Grade%. Splits were 4:39 HRav 147; 4:33 HRav 156; 4:41 HRav 157; 4:45 HRav 159; 4:39 HRav 161. Nothing to write home about, but at least pretty consistent taking into account the ups and downs in the course. I'll just play it by feel for the next little while and put the experiment on hold until the symptoms subside.