Monday, 11 October 2010

Trying Too Hard

Righto. The last month has been...interesting. My last post described in plenty of over the top detail how much pain I found myself in after my long runs. For my last 20 mile run I wanted to avoid hitting wall so I ate like a monster the day before and had a good breakfast. I ran a 02:10:00 half marathon which felt like a breeze. This was where I was expecting my legs to turn into stone. Mile after mile I was waiting and waiting for a pain that never surfaced. This is the first time I have dodged the dreaded wall in my long runs. Sure, the last 5 miles were hard with plenty of aches and pains but I managed a good, consistent pace. I went home feeling very chuffed with myself. Smug, you might say.

The downside is that that was two weeks ago and my body is still recovering. Soon after that 20 miler I developed a bit of plantar fasciitis in my foot. Nothing too painful but it does rear its ugly head every time I run a hard session and seems to get worse as a run progresses. This is a little worrying as I have my first marathon in three weeks. I think it will be alright but did cause me to abort my planned 20 mile run last weekend. When the first five miles is uncomfortable there is no way of getting to mile 20. This was a bit annoying as I wanted to do one last long run before the marathon but shit happens right. I know I can run 20 miles fairly comfortably so I have that confidence in my endurance capability.

I have been working hard on my tempo runs and hill intervals. I am consistently getting faster run after run and am fairly confident that I could pull out a sub 50 minute 10k if needed. I have been using the treadmill to do hill reps. Although I live in quite a hilly area I find the treadmill useful to do long hill running. I am tired though.

I think I might be working a bit too hard. My sessions are very intense and I often have to skip my recovery runs as I’m just too tired to get out there. This is reducing my number of runs to three or four times a week. Although I feel fitter and stronger I am struggling with stiff legs and little niggles. I am getting my key training sessions in but am paying the price a little bit at the moment. I am still a relative novice at running and sometimes it takes an injury or an overwhelming sense of tiredness to remind me of that fact. I am fairly certain I will recover fully for the marathon and am really excited about it but I do feel like it’s time to taper. In future I will try and cut down on the intensity of my sessions slightly. This will give me more energy to fit in a couple more sessions a week. I do need to remind myself of my goals every so often in that I want to increase my volume of low intensity exercise rather than increase the intensity of exercise hence reducing volume.

September was a tricky month. With all sorts of family commitments it was tough to produce consistent training sessions. To make up for this I have been overcompensating by trying to do too much on my hard training days. Nothing I can do about that now but as with all these mistakes it is important for me to recognise them and to learn from them. All the intense, hard training work has been done and I am now almost ready to run my first marathon.

Oh, and new shoes.


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