Thursday 30 October 2014

A fair road start to the week

This is the first week in a longer pair and I've made a reasonable start. On Tuesday I ran a 12km loop through Dore, a route I've used for 15 months or so now. The pace was manageable although I let my pulse rise on the ascent to Hathersage Road. My timings were considerably slower than I managed at the start of the year when I worked to complete the loop in under an hour. With hindsight though those achievements were maybe too close to a race pace and not something to be repeated week after week.

Wednesday's circuit was taken by Alice and was therefore rather more intense than I'm used to. It included lots of squats and lunges within the aerobic section and I was aware that my knees were a little sensitive. That's a clear step forwards though considering that I'd run on Tuesday and not slowed on the descents.

Today I can tell that I have exercised my knees but they are not painful. Thursday and Friday will be rest days so hopefully by the time I do a long run at the weekend I'll be recovered from these activities.

Saturday 25 October 2014

Saturday running group

Today was another opportunity to restart an activity. It's many months since I've been out with the Old Men's Running Group either because I was doing longer runs, or unfit to run. As this is a rest week it seemed appropriate to do 12km with them at a sensible, although not slow, pace. The weather was beautiful too. A lightly clouded sky with  a bright sun, cool although not cold. Perfect I suppose. 

I joined the fast group but they were feeling under the weather a little too so were happy to take it a little easier than normal. Indeed one of them sounded terribly overtrained to me. Few rests, lots of spinning classes at a high intensity and an inability to record good times despite pushing hard. Sounds to be a classic case!

 I let my heart rate rise on Porter Clough and a couple of other shot ascents on the basis that it wasn't a 'long run'  although the general pace was well below historical ones for me. On the descent of a steep bank I practically walked as I didn't want to overload my quads and knees.

Overall it went well an ended up as a medium intensity 15km run. That brings the week to 20km which must be the limit. Some drill might be a good idea tomorrow evening if time permits.

Thursday 23 October 2014

Single leg squats

Last night's circuit class was quite a marked event. I managed a handful of single leg squats on each leg without pain. I'll admit that they were relatively shallow and I was supported by a fitball to help with balance but it was a step nonetheless.

Just as importantly my legs weren't sore today when I walked into work and this evening I've a tight rectus femoris but nothing that a bit of rollering and stretching won't settle.

Saturday 18 October 2014

Half round

This morning I ran the south eastern part of the Sheffield Roundwalk as doing the whole route would have been too much for my current programme. The weather was unseasonably mild with predicted temperatures of 18 degrees. Nonetheless the tress can tell that it is autumn.

Contains nuts
For a long run I aimed to keep my heart rate below 140bpm but did spot that on occasion I exceeded this by not walking all ascents. I can find a gentle pace on slight gradients that's fine but I can't always tell when the slope should be walked. I also tried to keep good form, standing tall whenever I remembered that I must and lifting my feet on descents. As I approached the end of the run I was aware of both knees (is it better that both are fatigued?) but pleased that I'd passed the point where I was forced to a walk last March. Once the run was loaded onto Strava I was amazed to see 4 achievements showing that despite my efforts to complete a Long Slow Day the pace was much as before. This is my longest week for many months so some soreness and muscle fatigue is probably expected especially as it appeared I hadn't been as slow as I might have thought I was.

After a little trip to the shops and a few hours at home there's clear irritation in the left patellar tendon but hopefully it'll settle over the coming days. Next week is a rest week and I'll aim to focus on the drills rather than time on my feet.

Thursday 16 October 2014

Knees doing OK

Walking between two sites at lunchtime today I realised that I wasn't aware of my knees. That shouldn't be worth noting but for the last 6 months I have been aware of them to greater or lesser degrees for much of the time. Moreover I ran 12km on road on Tuesday and last night did squats, lunges and step-ups in the circuit; as well as the 5km round  trip slow run.

By the time I was walking home I could feel my left patellar tendon (the current weak spot) so the issue isn't behind me but perhaps it will be soon. This is still forward progress.

Saturday 11 October 2014

Half marathon long slow day

After a rest week I had to get the distance back up again this week. This allowed me to take a little step from the Devil's Elbow route to the Dore half-marathon loop. The weather forecast had said that 'Sunday will be the better day' but it was hard to believe that this morning.

A cloudless sky over Blacka Moor before 9am
I was following my heart rate monitor to ensure that I kept the effort fairly easy which required me to walk all the overt ascents. At Fox House there were cars parking up to photograph the massive cloud bank trapped by a temperature inversion in the Derbyshire valleys.

The extent of the cloud was hard to photograph
As I returned to Sheffield along Houndkirk Road I could see similar cloud settled to the east of the city and apparently extending into Nottingham. It really is possible to see to Nottinghamshire and West Yorkshire from the Oxstones as evidenced by the many powerstations that can be discerned on a clear day.

I kept the place very gentle, 50 seconds per km slower than in March, so I was out longer than usual. I am hoping that this approach will reduce the risk of injury. Six months ago I was pushing distance and pace and that is a dangerous combination. Today in that regard is a crucial step, as it's my first run over 20km since April 5th, 6 months ago.

Grade adjusted pace splits show fair consistency
Once home I felt fairly good, a bit of soreness in my left patellar tendon and on the top of my toes. I think I was grasping the ground with my toes on descents.

Saturday 4 October 2014

Short length at Goodwin

As term has begun the Goodwin pool was open from 8am but it was well towards 10am before I was there. This meant that it was set up for childrens' lessons. Previously this split the pool lengthways but today it was split both lengthways and across the width reducing the length to 25m. I always find short lengths easier and so today, for the first time in a while, I achieved a pace of 4min/km. Still pretty poor but not so bad considering I've not practiced for a few weeks.

I tried various arm positions for entry but couldn't discern a great difference. Due to the small pool area I was forced to keep going a little more  so as not to block a lane. Starting a length without a wall to push off from was a bit troublesome but good practice I suppose for swimming away from a pool.

Friday 3 October 2014

Friday night out

I hoped my stomach was fit for a few kms. I got on quite well but had to cut my route short as I could feel runners trots developing. Went well apart from that though.

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Stomach ache

This morning I woke with the beginning of gastritis but by 10am it was awful and I was vomiting as the omeprazole hadn't done anything (12 hours to act apparently). I had to leave work and made my way home feeling distinctly unwell. There's a lot on at work and I suppose I must be more stressed than usual but I'm also wondering if yesterday's run was partly responsible. I had my bum bag on to carry the head torch and thinking back I ran with it on Christmas morning and the morning of May when it all started. Perhaps a waist belt is able to aggravate a sensitive gut.

No circuits this evening as even though the pain had dropped I was still very delicate.