Month: September 2017

Autumn marathon – week 15

Frustratingly from a running perspective, but happily overall, running took a slight back seat this week in terms of the sessions I could manage. This week was Dani’s birthday week and there were activities planned, by me, that would impact my running. 
The week started okay with the Tuesday session getting done after work, even though I was slightly reluctant. Turned out to be a good run but on this run it decided to start raining hard after about 5 minutes so by the time I got back I was drenched! A nice challenge to overcome and I always feel better for getting sessions done in rubbish weather, it’s a greater feeling of accomplishment. 
I had a massage booked for Thursday to try and stay on top of my muscular issues. By this point I had really noticed my quads being tight which I feel is down to hill cycling. Managed to get these worked, a bit on my hamstrings and calves and then followed with some real pain as tackled the front of my shin. He really found some spots on the tibialis anterior. 
From this point my training dipped. I never really know whether to do anything after a massage. I’ve just paid to have my muscles relaxed so why would I stress them out. On Friday I had to leave work and head straight to Dani’s mum which meant time sat driving in car and when we arrived it was time for dinner. I probably should have gone for a run then but chose not too. 
Saturday was always going to be tricky but I hoped there would be a brief window in the mid afternoon. I didn’t want to get up extra early to run after being quite tired all week and the 7am wake up was going to be early enough to take dani for her birthday treat. We ended up being out longer than planned which meant we only got back to Bristol as our guests arrived so I could not really nip out for a run then. Also, with the guests staying over I didn’t want to be anti social and go out for a run and miss seeing them in the morning before they left. 
I did manage to get out for a run on Sunday but it was about 4 pm and was not with the best preparation. I had a good breakfast but my lunch was a cream tea! It was delicious though! I digested this for an hour or so before running and was not feeling too optimistic. Still, I got out and had 20 miles as my target. It actually went much better than planned. I decided to keep it slower than target pace. This was so I did not burn out and because I had not prepared brilliantly. Apart from a couple of slow miles fiddling with ear phones and taking on water, I was quite pleased with my pacing but not happy with how i burnt out around mile 15/16. 
After the ice bath I sat down feeling really cold and realised how weird it feels to do such a long run on a Sunday evening. I think I prefer the early morning. 

Things I will take away from this week:

  • I still need to keep doing some sort of foam rolling occasionally 
  • Sometimes it is fun to run in the rain and not as bad as you might expect 
  • Long runs on Sunday afternoon are weird
  • Cream tea is not a great pre run meal
  • It is hard to know exactly where my form is
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Autumn marathon -week 14

The story of this week was about recovering and not doing proper damage  to my calves and the achilles. 
After the disastrous attempt at a long run being cut very short I knew I would need to rest. Well, to be honest rest was my only option because I could not run. I was quite panicked by the idea of getting an injury so close to the race and during the big peak of training. 

I decided to book in with Ben, my physio chap who gives me a massage when I need it. Luckily, he was able to fit me in on Tuesday. On Monday, not being able to run I decided to do a few deadlifts – something I have done no where near enough of. This caused my hamstrings to ache nicely on Tuesday. Something that was shown up during my massage. 

Got a bit of work on my calves and a general rub down on the quads and hamstrings, along with a bit on my hip too. This is an area I think needs more work but I need to save that for after the marathon as the day to day ache is not as bad as it has been when I’m running regularly and balancing the work load. 

In the following days I did a couple of gentle jogs to ease back in and on the Saturday I did a deliberate slow run to be healthy for a long run on the Sunday. I used the KT tape on my calves for the long run but I don’t really know if it is the placebo affect of not. Managed to bank 20 miles so can’t complain. 

Things I will take away from this week are:

I should do more strengthening work

  • I need to research how to balance strengthening work with running
  • Prevention is better than treatment

Autumn marathon – week 13

This has turned out to be quite a rubbish week. The week started in Whistler and ended with me bailing on my long run after less than a mile. I skipped a couple of runs on Monday and Tuesday because I was a bit tired and didn’t want to be even more mopey on my holiday so decided to put the holiday first. Plus we were moving back down to Vancouver for the final night of the holiday. 
On Wednesday, the final day in Canada, I did get out for a run and decided it was important to get a session in. It was a tempo session with 4 lots of 10 minutes which was a good little run to test my speed endurance. I did most of it without glancing at my watch but knew that the second two reps were slightly slower. Not too much though so that was a positive. It was on this run that my calf first tweaked a little near the start but soon vanished. 
Then that evening I flew back home to England and when we were waiting at the airport, the legs definitely began to seize up slightly so I was trying to stretch and massage. During the flight I got a middle seat so felt bad asking the aisle seat stranger to keep letting me out for walkabouts. This meant I didn’t move around too much on the whole flight and then drove home – I got be passenger after barely sleeping on the plane. 
By now it was Thursday UK time and that evening I was shattered. On Friday the plan would be to go for the second session run of the week which was a high intensity tempo interval. I had to do 4 lots of 5 minutes at basically threshold heart rate with 3 minutes recovery. This was a rather challenging session because of the speed expectation and holding it. It turned out my distances were all pretty similar for each interval with the obvious decline for the last few being surprisingly minimal. As I got home I could feel

A slight strain on my Achilles which reminded me of the plantar fasciitis that I had previously tackled. A bit of a stretch like normal and I hoped it would be okay. 


For Saturday I was keen to include parkrun in my run and got for a steady 9 miles to get my weekly total up and make up for the lack of runs. I would do 3 there, park run and then 3 back. However, feeling jet lagged, I didn’t wake up until 1030. So that went really well to plan. I still got myself out but instantly felt a bit robotic. One of those where the whole body aches and doesn’t feel smooth. As I jogged from the house I felt the calves being a bit tight so stopped to stretch them out, watching another runner float past. By the time I got up the hill to my parkrun course at Pomprey Hill I could tell it was not in a good place. Pomprey Hill has, like it hints in the name, a hill on the route. The first time up was fairly good but the second lap I just couldn’t run up. The pressure on my Achilles was just too much. I bailed on the run I had planned and run/walked the rest of the way home feeling really frustrated 
I really hate it when runs don’t go to plan so I’m sure you can emphasise with my frustration when I tried my Sunday long run only to get less than a mile down the road before bailing. It was just pointless and I was thinking long term. If I carried on, the run would have been rubbish and it could have wrecked my training. It is a really sad feeling to give up on a run but I would tell everybody to listen to their body and think about the end goal. 
I’m going to be resting for a couple of days and have been able to book a massage in on Tuesday to help aid recovery. I’ll also be taking some ibuprofen to aid recovery. I really have my fingers crossed that I can get back running by Wednesday or Thursday, squeezing a steady loosener in followed by the next session on the plan. May even extend it if I feel good. 
Things I will take away from this week are:

  • When flying make sure I rehydrate and if it means I need to keep using the plane then so be it. 
  • I really should get an aisle seat when flying. 
  • I have not learnt that I really need to look after my calves and Achilles and must get back on the strengthening exercises. 
  • If the body says it is not ready for a run, listen to it and adapt the session- or even skip it!
  • Thinking long term is a good focus but can lead to short term slacking. 
  • I must work my training to allow me to hit the main peak of my training 5/6 weeks out at maximum