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.


  1. That's a good shot - you look strong.

    Interesting re the underused fast-twitch muscles. I was going to suggest downhill reps as an option (work quads) but how do you get back up the hill?

    Sorry I missed brunch. Ruth invited me but I had to help at Fadden Pines and didn't want to be out all day.

    1. Thanks ET. There's probably no point doing downhill reps as I can get through a rep session on the flat or uphill. The problem is the slow stuff and especially the distance stuff. Now if I could find a really, really long downhill for my long run (providing I could get a lift back to the top), then that would be good :-). Alas, no such thing here in Canberra, the hills are too short.

      The coffee was good, although a little slow in getting to us at brunch. It was a beautiful day to be outside, so I hope you could take advantage of it at Fadden Pines.

    2. Bulls Head to Bendora Dam is 15 kms all downhill. So is most of Bulls head to Cotter, a walk up Ma & Pa would be nice after the cold water at Vanities in winter. Otherwise, Mt Rob Roy on the southside is excellent, as is the 7 km downhill fire trail on Mt Tennent. I'm sure someone with a 4WD will take you up to the top.
      Pity I couldn't catch you today, too slow & a little tired.

    3. Didn't mean 'reps' as in hard running - more like repeat downhills at 'long run' effort. You'll be set once they build the chairlift on Stromlo. Although I can vouch for 2Fs about Bulls Head to Vanities being a good long downhill.

      Missed the coffee. Yes, it was a lovely afternoon - didn't notice how cool it was really.