Monday, 22 March 2010

Nothing To See Here

Righto. There’s a lot to get through in this post. On Friday my cross training for the day consisted of moving sacks of manure for the garden. This was heavy and equally smelly work, not to be repeated. I went for a nice one mile run with my dad. It was a very relaxed pace and nice to have some company.

I did a very stupid thing on the Friday night. I sunk six bottles of beer and consequently had a bad head on the Saturday morning. Moreover, I was quite tired and did not eat enough before my long run of nine miles. Not the best preparation by any means. Just to confound the issue, it was a foggy day with a cold, dampness that clung to everything.

The first three miles felt fine although a bit slow. Then everything started to go wrong. The fog closed in and visibility decreased to about 40 feet. In the maze of small roads and with no points of reference on the horizon the inevitable happened: I got lost. It took me about 20 minutes of stopping and starting to regain my bearings. I lost all my rhythm and became very cold and wet. I struggled getting up hills and was very slow on the flat. The last three miles were fine although I felt disappointed with my performance. I also felt completely worn out all day and found myself struggling to do anything.

So, there are things to learn from this.

1. No drinking the night before a long run. Before last Friday I had not drunk in quite a while with a view to abstaining from booze altogether. I think it might be better to allow two or three drinks every so often. There are rules to this. Only drink before a low intensity day and allow at least three days between drinking. This should allow me to socialise over a few drinks without feeling the need to drink too much.

2. Get at least eight hours sleep the night before. This just requires a bit of organisation and self discipline. I might try meditation to lower my heart rate before going to bed.

3. Make every preparation to know the route before embarking. For the longer runs I will try and drive the route beforehand. Also, I should always take a proper map rather than a shitty GoogleMaps printout.

4. Get the nutrition and hydration right before running. I will double my efforts to eat 400–500 calories and 500ml of water three hours before my long runs (8 miles plus).

5. Respect the distance.

In the previous post I noted some discomfort in my right hamstring. This resurfaced in my Sunday five mile run and became really painful. I could barely walk by the end of it. Not good. After a bit of Internet diagnosis I have come to the conclusion that it is a mild hamstring strain (don’t think it’s Sciatica). I’m going to rest it for a couple of days and then do a three miler on Wednesday. Also, I’m going to join a gym to start doing some strength work. This should stop these little injuries from cropping up as I increase the mileage.

In conclusion, this has not been a good week for my running. I under prepared and paid the price with an injury and bad long run. Need to get better.


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