Saturday 28 March 2015

6 days recovery

Immediately after last Sunday's run it seemed that most runners seized up and found walking to the race HQ slow and painful. I was definitely in that position. I found driving home tiring as my legs didn't want to work the pedals and I had to leave additional distance for safety. On Monday I was slow walking into work although between home and work (2.5km) things eased and my gait loosened. At home, I tried rolling but found it quite painful. I had to spread the load across both legs and try to lift my weight off too. Midweek I could feel muscle loading quite clearly. Walking uphill pulled on my hamstrings and calves; walking downhill on my quads. The difference was dramatic. At this time there was even some 'DOMS' in my shoulders and arms. Presumably this reflects work to support my body, pack and balancing arm movements. The upper body discomfort was transient, only appearing around 36 hours or so after the run and faded by 4 days.

Through the week I could tell that the muscles were relaxing. My gait became more fluid, I didn't need to descend steps with a one leg and I could start putting pressure on just a single leg whilst rolling. By today my legs feel almost normal. That is I've a tight hamstring and a bit of left knee stiffness.

I've been monitoring my morning heart rate for a few weeks in the hope that this might show overtraining, or physiological stress at the very least. The research data behind this is weak and it seems that heart rate variability (HRV) is a better indicator but I can't record that.

The green line is the Canalathon Sunday
The results look pretty clear, I was stressed for a few days after the 50km run but things are back to normal now, that is close to the 41bpm average. Even if this type of data is crude it does help to show that training within those first few post-race days would not have been wise, even if my limbs had felt up to it.

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