Saturday, 18 October 2014

The Great Restoration

When you look back and realize your body barely responded to your last taper, you know you loaded it with more training than it could take.

There's no use crying over spilt seconds. Dealing with disappointment works best when channeled into deep, reflective contemplation of how to improve your training for next time. Ooohhhmm. 
Repair, restore, regenerate
First things first, and the need to regenerate. A bit like Doctor Who, but keeping the same face. The list of niggles in full: slightly tight plantar fascia on my right foot (the sole), knotted and slightly weak right hamstring and tight hip flexor. On the other side of the political spectrum - aka the left - a touch of achilles tendonitis from a tight calf, and also tight hip flexor. Try putting that on an Amazon "Listmania!"
None of the above stops me from running altogether. There was a time I used to keep going until I'd be literally limping. 
Given that race season is finished - although I'd have entered an extra one or two if I were in better shape - now is the time to truly back off and fix everything. That has meant taking days off, stretching and walks around the indoor track. I'm shocked at the whole idea even while doing it.
Stretches at home in my "bamboo green" basement have loosened up more than just my eyeballs. 
Still running
While everyone gets in a few more pre-winter races, I am still doing a few easy runs, thus avoiding the furniture-chewing frustration of being confined to the gym or home. 
I am now transitioning into the new (to me) training philosophy of "Run Less, Run Faster". Gone are the easy runs, replaced by 3 key runs, 2 days of cross training and 2 weight sessions. At the moment I'm doing 2 easy runs and one rest day before building up to 3. Tuesdays will be very fast short intervals, Thursdays fast tempos, Sundays the long run. The marathon schedule will make the long run increase in both distance and pace over the weeks. 
The cross training is either bike or the rowing machine, doing interval workouts for both, with the bonus of it being non-impact. Half an hour on such hard seats can make your bum "go to sleep" however. Once done and standing, the "waking up" can manifest itself in a specific way for men, so wear loose shorts. 
In contrast to other books, there's a passage on strength training too, although the timing is left up to you. The routine is also designed to be done in a specific order. One exercise I can barely do, so progress will be easy to spot. I replace the rather ineffectual clamshells with side-lying hip abduction, lifting a straight leg up and slightly back. 

The Masterplan
If the weather's not too bad, I might first of all talk myself into the final MEC race in Calgary on November 22. It's a 5, a 10, or a 15k. If I did the 15, it'd be a guaranteed PB. Otherwise, I will do the 5, and go for another sub-20. PB is currently 19:18, which I don't anticipate being able to get near.
As a buildup to the 16 week marathon training plan, I'm going to follow the 12 week 10k training plan. That means starting in mid-November. On the way, there's Christmas turkeyfication and the Resolution Run on New Year's Eve. A month into the marathon training plan itself, there'll be the Saint Patrick's race. I didn't do it this year, and missed the atmosphere. The 5k will give me a good race fix even if the weather is a lottery. The faster ones might fall over and let me win too.

After that, it's the Calgary Marathon build up. I'm curious to see how well this new program works, otherwise I'd be doing the Half this time round. That 3:10 barrier is still standing, along with the fact that I've had to stop and stretch in all 4 of the marathons I've done. 


  1. You're falling apart! Me too. In the last little while - I have been dealing with physio for my shoulder, a bum right leg/foot and I just had my wisdom teeth pulled. Not fun.

    I am getting myself sorted as well. I've been doing hiking and easy running.

    So you're going to run Calgary again? I think I am going to run Blackfoot 50K which is the same weekend. I will start my training schedule next week. Good luck with the new training plan.

    1. One upside is that I can still run a bit, in previous years it has meant changing which races I do.

  2. Good plan to recover before you actually get injured! It's not always easy to listen to those signals that the body is giving. I'm thinking about that final MEC race too... and maybe the 5k, I like that they are over quick, even if they are painful :)