Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A day of rest and stabbing needles

Monday, January 30th, 2012  Day Off; 20 minutes of trunk/core work

By the way, I hate the word "core", but anymore it's the only way some people know what you're talking about.  I'm not sure why I hate it -- it may be because it was propagated with such fury by all the trainers who took a couple of weekend courses and -- presto! they're experts!  I guess I shouldn't complain as much because they keep me busy with lots of injured clients for my PT practice.  But now I'm digressing, and getting into an area that's a couple of blog posts unto themselves.

Mondays have typically been days off of training for me.  Just the whole "getting back into work" thing, and the fatigue from a weekend of long workouts, makes it a good fit in this respect.  But I've also found over the years that I am much better, and have better quality of workouts with an additional day off a week.  I'm sure work schedule affects that some, also, but I seem to stay healthier and happier with 2 full days off a week.  (Incidentally, neither day off do I run or ride my bike, but I still often do some TRUNK work on one of the days)

Not everyone needs to follow this advice.  The clients I train are all different.  Almost all need one or two days a week -- some of my clients get three days off in a very tough speed build week, but this is limited to only a couple weeks per year -- and none have needed three days off on a regular basis.  Even the client's with heart conditions (replacement heart valve for instance) still stuck to one or two days off.  The fact is, some have needed one, and others have needed two.

I've looked at some training programs online, and most have their runners going 6 days a week for most of the program, which can convince many runners, experienced and noob alike, that they have to keep up.

Don't be afraid to experiment; find the number of days off that works for you -- after all, we don't get stronger/faster when we run.  We get stronger/faster when we rest and recover after we run.

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 -- 45 minute run/hobble

So the plan for today was to do a fartlek workout -- which if you don't know what that is, it's basically a run, usually on the trail, where you change speeds frequently.  I usually do a 20-30 minute warm up and then spend about 20 minutes being "on" for 2 minutes, and then "off" for 2 minutes.  The speed you pick your pace up to when you're "on" isn't terribly specific generally.  It's kind of like a more relaxed track session.

It's a good workout to do when you're introducing your body to some more dedicated speed work.

So I set out at about 5:30 AM from the house to head to the trail with my head lamp -- I'm pretty comfortable running in the dark with only the light of my Petzl Tikka -- and as soon as I left the house I knew that I was going to feel tight.

"water tower" trails, heading toward the Monument

I wasn't fully prepared for the magnitude of sharp, needle-like pains sent through my lateral gastrocnemius muscles.  It felt like someone was actually inserting needles into my legs.  The amount of road running I did at the Great American Beer Run was definitely more than I am used to but I didn't expect the soreness to last this long.

Note to self:  If I have to race on the road again, I'm going to need to train more (read as:  any amount more than "none") on the road.

I was grateful that it was dark and I could hobble and shuffle up Redland's Parkway and Broadway in anonymity.  I was hopeful that my legs would loosen up after about 20 minutes, and that things would get better when I got on the dirt.

Things did not get better.

In fact, they may have gotten a little worse, since I limp-shuffled back to the house 45 minutes later a bit worse for the wear.  The remainder of the day, I was walking like some of my patients do, and only now, late in the evening do I feel like my legs are improving.

I'd like to say I could do a body weight squat, but I think I still might topple over backwards since my calves are still voicing considerable displeasure at being stretched that much.

Tomorrow I have a night-time single speed mountain bike ride.  I should be good for that, and hopefully it will continue to flush "the junk" out of my legs and help the healing process further.

I shoulda ridden my bike today.....

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