35 days to go as I write this. Week of the National 10K so hard to get the miles in. I ran just 118K this week and had 140K my training plan for this week and next. As a result of the drop in miles, I’m falling behind on the Marathon miles and my annual goal. I’m planning to do a time trial over the Easter weekend. That will tell me how I’m doing and if I have lost some speed. I suspect I can run 4.00 K’s all day but anything below 3.20 makes me blow up, due to the tired legs.
In the morning I ran my usual easy 6K at 4.48 pace. This was at 6.30 AM. Due to the recent cold weather and with the clocks going forward I’m back running in the dark and having to wear more layers. I hate running with long sleeves or jackets on me. I’ve attracted a reputation for short shorts as a result. The evening was 15K at a respectable 4.18 pace, given the tough 10-mile race the day before.
Do you often think why do I sometimes feel more sore, or sore in different muscles, two days after a workout, as opposed to the day right after?
There’s a name for this type of delayed onset muscle soreness, and surprise! It’s delayed onset muscle soreness (or DOMS). DOMS usually sets in one to three days after your tough workout, but it may persist for up to 10. There are a number of theories as to what’s really going on at the muscular level to create pain so far after the fact, including lactic acid buildup and inflammation, not to mention real damage to muscles and/or tendons. Experts say it’s likely, however, that a combination of two or more of the going theories is probably at work.
As a result of the DOMS my Tuesday morning crawl was a 5.11 6K. In the evening we had the AGM so rather than run up to the club I decided to drive. I got 10K of easy running in. It was good to have Stephen O’Donnell and Maria Jones to run around with. Shared empathy for the poor race of the previous weekend and dodgy hamstrings! Kudos to Michael on his first AGM as Chairperson and all involved with the committees.
“The Church of the Almighty Long Run” is where runners attend service most weekends. And there’s virtually no better workout to gain endurance, speed and mental toughness. Putting natural physiology aside, most runners, especially those with less than five years experience are most handicapped by their (lack of) endurance. Since they haven’t been running for very long, their aerobic fitness is not yet well developed. Speed, which is built upon a solid foundation of endurance, won’t be fully realized. For that reason, running a consistent long run is one of the most effective training strategies for getting faster.
Most running geeks who’ve read through a few training books know that running increases the number of mitochondria in your cells. These are the “energy factories” that power movement and cell respiration. And when you run long, you create more of them. This is perhaps the most important benefit of long runs!
If you cant gets a long run in at the weekend then switch it for midweek. On Wednesday I did just that, taking advantage of the bright evenings and heading up to the Waterworks from Rathmines. I don’t advise everyone does 20 miles (see above). If you run up here by yourself when it’s getting dark be sure to have our wits about you and avoid the main roads. There is also a few places with dogs. I’m hoping to see some Alpacas next time.
My log run route was along the Dodder river which provides the focus for a marvellous park which extends from Old Bawn Bridge in Tallaght to Rathfarnham — a distance of 6km. Linking the Dublin Mountains with city suburbia, the park consists of over 100 hectares of fragmented parkland and remnant countryside. I can picture myself capering about the park on a summers evening.
Burnout is a state of physical and emotional exhaustion often followed by apathy and illness. It is ubiquitous across industries. Physicians, businesspeople, artists, teachers, and athletes all have high rates of burnout. Despite feeling ok on Thursday I didn’t do the session knowing that the race was on Sunday. 15K at 4.30 pace with a few pickups.
The most commonly discussed way to reduce burnout is to change how we work. We need to take more breaks, disconnect from our digital devices, get more sleep, and exercise. All of this can be true, no doubt. At a bare minimum, if you aren’t respecting the cycle of stress + rest = improvement, you probably won’t last long, at least not too long.
Woke up feeling like I may have a cold and feeling pretty tired. It is most likely down to a few early starts in work this week but the timing is poor. I had been planning to run 10K but changed that to 6K. During the morning I also went for my weekly massage with Michael. In the afternoon I did some work with the resistance bands following a warm bath. Adding essential oils, such as lavender and chamomile, to your bath may have some benefits for cold symptoms. That’s because essential oils may help you relax and calm down. One small study also found recently that adding Epsom salt to a bath raises magnesium levels in the body. Aside from that, I was drinking some Ginger in a smoothie.
Race day and zero enthusiasm. Not feeling energetic and it was very windy with windchill making the temperatures feel like zero degrees. I found it really hard to warm up when I parked up at the visitor’s centre. The large assembled crowd or runners kept the cold away on the start line and the race went off on time.
The two main hills in the race came in the first 4K. I expected these to be difficult but I felt like I was cruising, even considering the pace too slow. For a good portion of that first portion, I was running 3.10 pace and just sitting on Karol’s shoulder in a group of 12. When we got a small bit past the 4K at Mary’s Hospital I felt the group split a bit as we crossed the acres road. I kept going with the pace of the group.
The effort was now real because the group was broken up and there was no sheltering from the wind. At the Phoenix Park monument on Chesterfield, my long run on Wednesday came back with a bite. My quads started to seize up, I started to look at the watch and it got to me. It’s best to think about something other than the pain at this point. It’s quite a frustrating feeling when your breathing god but your legs just won’t go. The group was now starting to put 50M on me, which by 7 was 150M. Slowing down I lost 10 places in the last 3K, including Karol. If I had been able to maintain 8-10 seconds faster per kilometre over those last few I would have secured the PB. Finishing in 33.19, pretty disappointed and wondering how to avoid yet another blow-up in my next race.
In the afternoon I did 10K. I needed the run to lift my mood after the morning disappointment. Running easy at 4.26 pace. Next week is busy. Monday is 20K and I will try to do 20 miles in under 2 hours on Friday morning as a time trial. After that, I’ll set a realistic target for the Marathon. On Saturday I’m racing a 10K in Cork around scenic Sheep’s Head. I want to be hitting that 140K next week.