“One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful” – Sigmund Freud
One of the most challenging parts of training to run faster is to keep everything going, get consistent and progressive training completed week after week.
Coming into Week 6 I was riding on the crest of a wave.
Everything was clicking into place.
And so it continued on Monday and Tuesday of Week 6.
A couple of decent runs were completed including a 7 miler with 5 miles at 6.35-6.42/mile. It felt quite nice, dare I say comfy.
Due to personal and work commitments on the Wednesday I had to get my run done in the morning.
I’ve said before I’m not a morning runner. Things just don’t feel the same.
On this occasion I also had to push the boat out a bit – 9 miles at 7.10-7.17 pace with 4x 20s strides to follow. I don’t think I’ve ever ran that many miles before work.
Cardio wise nothing to report, all fine. Body and legs stiff as a board! I rushed it, didn’t warm up properly – just wanted to get it done.
I cracked on regardless but at about halfway I felt a strange twinge on my right hand side. I was about 3-4 miles from home and me being me I completed the run regardless. OK, maybe not that silly. But the strides could have been cancelled? No, did them as well – anxious to stick to plan.
For the rest of the day I felt the niggle on my right side. On doing a bit of research online it seemed like I’d inflamed the outside of the top of my right femur, where the nobbly bit is not too far under the pelvis.
Maybe ITB tightness or just a bit of “too much too soon”. I tried a bit of foam rolling and a bit of Ibuprofen.
Woke up Thursday morning and felt a bit better but still conscious of it when walking.
So the decision was made to pull my rest day forward from Friday. It would have been foolish to go out and run the plan of 2 miles WU followed by 6 miles at 6.35-42.
On Friday my leg felt better. A key measure for me is if I can feel a niggle when walking then it would be foolish to run. But walking was OK.
So I went out and ran a couple of miles warm up. As soon as the pace pushed to the 6.35-42 it didn’t feel so good.
But I pushed on, frustrated at how easy it felt running briskly but feeling discomfort at the same time.
Runners are stubborn and so can I be.
Finishing a run you know you shouldn’t be doing isn’t fulfilling. And it was back to the injury books and online research trying to work out what I need to do to sort it out.
Ice and ibuprofen is helping. As are various stretch and strength exercises.
The key workout of the week was Saturday’s 13 miles with a hilly middle section. I was hoping to get off-road for a bit of XC practice but waking up I knew it would be silly.
So I pulled forward the 4 miles easy (7.40 pace). Again felt uncomfortable.
On Sunday I was debating a rest day or a jog on the grass.
I opted for the latter and actually felt a lot better, at least for the first 3 or 4 miles.
I was ticking off 7.20-7.30 miles despite being off-road and facing a stiff breeze for half of each lap on Little Moor, a lovely grass field near the Town Moor in Newcastle.
After about half an hour I started feeling a bit of discomfort, more a dull ache in the right glute area rather than pain.
I continued running for around an hour. I was keen to run a little extra at pace, pushing the heart rate well into threshold. Just to get a feel of running more at pace off road. Actually it felt much better. The heart rate increased to around 180bpm which is around Lactate Threshold for me. I was running 5.45 pace average off road which was pleasing.
I felt much better about things.
But later in the evening I tightened up again and during the night I was conscious of the injury, especially if I tried to lie on that side.
So writing this (on another plane, another work trip) it remains to be seen how the injury will resolve itself. And I’m not sure whether I will turn out for the first North East Harrier League fixture at Wrekenton on Saturday.
It would be very disappointing to miss it as I feel strong otherwise. That said it is a long winter season ahead and I need to get things right for bigger targets later.
The running shoes are packed for the work trip but some cross training may be more sensible, at least in the early part of the week and see if things calm down.
So, despite running >5hrs and ~42 miles in week 6, it felt a bit forced and you never really know whether some of it has helped or hindered longer term progress. But this is one of the challenges to the sport of running. And that’s why I quote Sigmund Freud.