Saturday 11 April 2015

Easy does it?

After Tuesday's run I had a bloodied knee and knots/cramp in my left calf that were marked. Rolling helped and so did the controlled exercise of the circuits class on Wednesday but the greatest improvement came from a massage on Thursday. Time seemed to be a healer too. I had a quick email consultation with the physio and she recommended a gradual return to training with runs below the 9km at which the calf cramps developed. Also to make sure that I kept my heels down. Perhaps in my efforts to avoid heel strikes I've become too fore-foot orientated but not yet strong enough for that?

This morning I ran my common loop around the woods which is very nearly 7km and has a couple of ascents and descents. Nothing too long. Although I recorded pace and heart rate I decided to just run at a comfortable pace. After all, it wouldn't be a long run so I'd be unlikely to go too fast and nor would I make any effort to be powerful. The goal would be to be out and about and thinking about good technique.

I was surprised by the sub-six minute pace as I expected to be a little slower than that. More importantly I was shocked by the heart rate distribution data.

Today's heart rate distribution
Accepting that the maximum heart rate and zones are based on 'average' figures this suggests that I was working quite hard. The are two thoughts for this. First, I was pushing more that I thought. Second, my body is still tired and so I've a higher heart rate for a given activity. Looking back at old data it's hard to separate these two hypotheses as I've done the loop either faster or slower.

Heart rate distribution for a slower run in January 2015
When going more slowly (a mere 7s/km) the load was far less. So does this tell me that a spot slower is much easier or that I'm slightly tired still? I'll have to monitor this a little more closely.

Importantly, my legs feel OK. There's some extra tension in my left calf which is especially noticeable when stretching but not evident normally.

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