Sunday 30 July 2017

Fatigue or poor data?

Today's run explored a path between Burbage edge and Oxstones. I've seen people arrive at Oxstones from the east so assumed there was access. I've previously looked for the path but not had map with me, today I had my cheap phone with Viewranger with me so could relate my position to the map readily. The Strava heat map shows this new path nicely.

The path across the open moorland is indicated
With hindsight, today wasn't the best day to look for this route as there had been a lot of rain and so the path, and the moor was waterlogged. It was impossible to avoid wet feet and muddy legs.

The west peat, mud and stony ground forced me down to a walk as I was fearful of hurting a knee or ankle, pretty much my usual excuse to go slow. This slow but steady approach yielded the typical pace distribution on Strava.

As I do consider I'm still recovering from 'The Big Walk' and I had a good swim yesterday that was much as expected. The odd thing is that my heart rate data is to put it mildly, ridiculous.

Now I'm try got decided whether the data is rubbish, that is the wrist mounted heart rate monitor didn't take valid readings, or whether I was working that hard. I understand the 'threshold' section as on the road ascent I knew I was working hard-ish, but the majority of 'anaerobic' feels like rubbish. Clearly one can't be anaerobic for an hour!

As I type this my heart rate is 53 which is a little higher than I'd expect so maybe the data is indicative of underlying physiological stress?

Friday 14 July 2017

A week away

We've been to Pembrokeshire for 5 days for a bit of rest and sunshine. After a long journey I went for a short, unsuccessful run from the hotel. One footpath was blocked by rather hostile calves, cows and bullocks and another was terribly overgrown. My third choice of route had ground churned by hooves concealed by long lush grass. Being a coward I slowed to a brisk walk but even so I managed to tweak my left ankle. I couldn't call it sprained as I knew at the time it wasn't that bad, and now I know for sure, but it hurt and promised to impede holiday walks and runs.

Looking across to Ramsey Island (certainly not a swimming spot!)
I don't think it did adversely affect the two walks we did although by the end of the second I was aware of it. The coastal path is well made and has some great views, it's probably easier terrain than the Cornish equivalent.

I'd hoped to manage a short swim (or even 'dip') in the sea at either one of the popular beaches or a tucked-away cove but didn't find a good opportunity. I need to get into a habit of having kit with me, either in my rucsac or the car.

The coastline certainly has lots of well known swimming spots although I was slightly put off by a colleague mentioning that one of their son's workmates had been swept away whilst swimming near Tenby. The popular places are quite spread out across Pembrokeshire and therefore not always very accessible as travelling around is fairly slow.

Saturday 8 July 2017

One week on

I'm still thinking "what was I going this time last week?", such was the impact of The Big Walk 2017 on me. During this first week of recovery I've been conscious that I should careful but not exactly sure what that really means. Straight after the event I feel good, even elated, but I knew my body was tired. Even on Tuesday, I cut my swim short and found that my pace was clearly below normal.

On Wednesday I went to circuit training but found the jog there hard work. Throughout the session I avoided stressing my legs too much, but even so, felt not to be quite my normal self. By Thursday I was aware of niggle around my knees and ankles. Nothing distinctly painful, and nothing that stayed still. Just every so often a spot of soreness that moved to another area fairly within an hour so. Do a degree I attributed that to too much sitting at a workplace meting but I also believed that it indicated a low level of irritation around joints and muscle insertions. Not surprising really. Yesterday evening I did a slow, short run, just to loosen up my body after a day infant of the computer.

By today, over a week later, I think I'm starting to get back to some where close to normal. This morning I went for a swim at Hatfield and managed a few hundred metres further than previously and at a slightly better pace. The effort was reduced  by the water being millpond-flat and nearly 20 degrees, but even so, it was an hour of swimming. This afternoon's run felt hard but it was warm and humid, I didn't try very hard, I did notice that my heart rate seemed to struggle to increase. A lower heart rate at a given perceived intensity of exercise is related to fatigue.