Monday, September 29, 2008

Run like we're awesome

Ever since the first hard training session, on the second day after my week off, my legs had been feeling stiff. The session in question was 6 x 1,000m which took in a fair few hills. What legs wouldn't feel tired after that? The only thing is that I could still feel the stiffness in the quads over a week later. Granted in that time I only had one day off to recover but still, I'm not used to having stiff legs. To get this sorted I went to see the Magician on Thursday evening.

I still haven't got my head around how a massage sorts out the legs the way it does. I arrive with stiff quads. I get put through pain for an hour or so. I fork over some money. I leave and the next day the legs are fresh as a daisy! It doesn't make sense... where did the stiffness that had plagued me for a week disappear to?! To be honest, does it matter? The moral of the story is that my legs now feel good again!

On Friday evening I hit the track again for my third consecutive speed work session of 400m reps. These sessions are all geared towards the 5km race this Sunday. The coaches reasoning is that I won't get fast running up hills in the park on a Tuesday night but by running fast on a track. It makes perfect sense really, you don't get fast by running slow. The hills would be great for speed endurance, which I feel like I have plenty of at the moment, but not for the pure speed which I lack. The 10 x 400m set surprisingly went better than the last time out. By the end I still had a little bit left in the tank but I decided to call it quits there and then while feeling good rather than putting in one or two more that were below standard. For the first time in a long time I felt a rhythm on the track as I was going around, each 400 felt strong rather than fast, but the times still fell below the 70 second mark I'd been set.

The only other session over the weekend was the Sunday long run of 15 miles. This was a particularly weird run to be honest. I never felt overly comfortable, my legs were slapping the ground as I ran, and I think the pace was probably chopping and changing throughout. I was never going slow but I was definitely not fast. The plus side is though at around 13 or 14 miles I wasn't feeling as drained as I usually would be at that point.

There was a slight change to my pre-long run routine that could well be the reason behind my sluggish running. Usually before the long run I'd have my breakfast two and a half to three hours before heading out. Yesterday I tried a replacement drink thats meant to give you all the energy you need for training. I had this when I woke and I was out the door one hour after waking. Maybe the drink provided me with the energy required but my body hadn't fully woken up. Chances are it was nothing to do with this but simply an off day. I'll keep messing around with different routines over the next few weeks in any case and see what I come up with that works best.
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