Monday, March 2, 2015

Down time and lost fitness

I had a lovely time in New Zealand, but the running fell off the rails. I managed only 3 runs in 14 days, a couple of strenuous 'tramps' (we are talking NZ here) and lots of time sitting in a car or on boats! Like any runner, the lack of running left me anxious about what effect it would have on my fitness. In the lead up to the NZ holiday, there were about 7 weeks of very consistent running that were showing progressive improvements in fitness (and no significant fatigue issues). So to end up with very little running for 2 weeks, there was a concern that much would be lost from those 7 weeks! As someone that has studied exercise physiology, I should know better, but it's a common concern held by most runners, that even a couple of days lost from training is detrimental. Rest and days off are super important, but when those days extend to a week or more, then the brain starts to panic. There are lots of studies looking at the effect of time off training on fitness. The good news is that in the grand scheme, 2 weeks off has only a minimal effect. With some running in those 2 weeks, the effect would be even less. Back out on the trails of Black Mountain today confirmed only a minimal change in performance, phew!
The stunning Aoraki (Mount Cook in NZ)
An interesting finding for those 3 runs in NZ was muscular disapproval when running on paved flat surfaces. The soleus muscles have been pretty cranky after using the new trail shoes and they carried on their crankiness in NZ, despite a shoe change to my Asics DT trainers. No issues on Black Mountain today wearing Asics Nimbus, next test will be another run back in the Wave Hayates. Here's hoping the positive momentum continues post holidays.

6 comments:

  1. Wonderful news on a good return after NZ. Keep the consistency going.

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    1. Thank you TF. I will do my best to keep it consistent :-)

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  2. Great photo! I like how the sweep of the road matches the lake.
    I saw on Strava you're pretty much matching times from pre holiday. Hope it continues and the muscles lose their crankiness.

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    1. Thanks ET. NZ is such a beautiful country and so photogenic :-). Yes things seem okay post-holiday, here's hoping the progress continues.

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  3. I loved seeing all your kiwi photos on FB too. What a wonderful holiday. I'm so glad your running wasn't affected and that you had such an amazing trip. :)

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    1. Thanks lovely Miss Strewth :-). You were born in a pretty special place! Glad to see your Canberra marathon training is going well!

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