Saturday, 4 April 2015

MK marathon training update

Well, well, well would you believe I am behind with my training, yet again.  Nevertheless I'm looking on the bright side and hoping it'll all come together on the day.  As usual these things are complex but it can be broken down into two main headings:

Work pressures
My work is pretty tricky at present and I've not had so many opportunities to run after leaving the office and driving home, although this week I've managed a couple of runs.   Other times have found me spending some time at our other offices which are a little further away.

Although I sometimes feel I just want to get into my car at the end of the day and drive away as fast as I can (i.e. escaping work) I have never, ever regretted a run.  Surprising how even a 30 minute run can bring so many benefits.

Yep I have picked up an injury.  Some might say it's "about time" as I have been pretty lucky in my running career through having been almost completely free of injuries.  This time it's a bit more involved....

Dr Doug reckons I have strained, or over used, one of the calf muscles in my left leg. This might be the generic and classic "shin splint" but I don't think it is quite that.   This in turn has led to my gait changing and this has had a knock-on effect with my left ankle, knee and hip all having a grumble.  Having my new shoes do help; these are Asics something-or-other and a little more neutral than my previous Sauconys.  

What helps?
Well I'm back on the Cherry Active as it is pretty good for a post-run dose of good things to help with muscle soreness.  I'm still not over-keen on the slightly tart taste but it is an effective medicine.  

Resting more is always a good thing and I'm making sure I don't skimp on sleep.  Funnily enough, this seems to be in the media far more these days; good sleep seems to be the latest fad in the healthy living circles and probably much to the frustration of those marketing men.

The other element in trying to help myself is simply knowing my own body, reading the signs and judging how far I can push myself.  Now I know that I have the marathon about four weeks from now and I should be peaking now followed by tapering.  Instead I'm still building up!  It is often a tricky balance between training and taking it easy: too much training will aggravate any injuries.  Doing too little will mean my body isn't quite ready for the distance.  Normally I'm pretty good at judging this and so I hope I can continue - but I can tell you, it is a tricky balance.

And then my run yesterday morning
Yesterday was my latest long, slow run.  I like my long runs best of all although they are the most difficult to fit in with family and work life.  Here's my run in numbers:

  • Distance: 16.1 miles
  • Pace: 9:24mins/mile
  • Calories: 2172
  • Pee stops: 1
  • Other runners: 0
  • Cyclists: 8
  • Elevation gain: 928feet

Setting off felt as if I was hobbling and I must have looked a very awkward runner.  After 20 minutes I was staring to get warmed up and by 40 minutes I finally felt loose and running in a fairly fluid way.    I could feel my injury a little now and again but as it seemed better than I expected, I decided to run further and it's just as well I did.

The route was one I had run before although I added the full Bison Hill climb, rather than leaving the road half way up.  This is a serious climb around here and I love it!  

Although 24 hours later I do feel a little creaky, I am better than I was with last week's 14 mile run, so that's pretty good.  Suddenly all this makes me feel a bit more optimistic about the MK Marathon.  Already next week's long run is falling into place with arrangements for running while my eldest daughter has her tap dancing lesson: this should give me a 3 hour window to run around those country lanes between the grotty Luton and the okay Stevenage.

So, it's all coming together!

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