Sunday, September 21, 2008

Beat Up: The Week's Miles

At some point in training, I wear down. The hard part is figuring out what are normal aches and weariness from signs to back off. This week kinda tested me. The first part was a 14-mile run on Monday done without fully recovering from my long run. By the middle of the week, I felt crappy, but turned the corner with a great tempo run. I hit 6:30 for six miles. Then came the pain. My Achilles is sore. It's nothing terrible, but it certainly aches. I ice it as much as I can, gobble Advil and work on stretching. Yesterday, I had a great long run. The Achilles was tender at the start, then pretty much was fine, although it bothered me a bit at the end. This morning's recovery run was the same thing. I woke up pretty gimpy, started off sore, then felt alright. This is tricky. There's a reason Achilles is synonymous with "weak point." It can easily lead to tendonitis and a chronic injury. Overall, I had a great week training, but this soreness concerns me. My schedule calls for another tough week before a recovery week. I'm also aiming for an 18-mile race on Sunday that I'll run as a progression run that includes 12 miles at marathon pace. This week, I might take an extra rest day. I usually allow myself one wildcard rest day during the month. Might be a good time to use it.

Miles: 63

7 comments:

frank shaw said...

re: the achilles, couple of thoughts. 1. see a physical therapist, mine helped a ton...got a boot to wear when I sleep, which really helps gently stretch, got some exercises to built up the muscles in a very low impact way.
2. get a massage. Also a huge help.

Anonymous said...

BM—a few thoughts.

The lingering achilles thing may be a symptom of not enough rest. Or rather, running your recovery days too quickly.

Faster paces produce correspondingly greater impact forces. Your Achilles may be telling you you're overtraining, perhaps not in volume but in intensity.

All your paces this week are below 8:00. That's good on your longer runs, but it seems to me you need to back off on those off days. Most of your miles are in the park, so the hills actually make that effort that much harder on your body. The differential between your general aerobic pace and recovery pace is small, typically on the order of 15 seconds. (Look at the 8 after your tempo day for instance.) IMHO that's too small. You do have (some) youth on your side, but even Ryan Hall has reported barely being able to run 8 miles recovery at 6:30 after one of his mega tempo runs (10 miles @ 5:30 followed by 10 miles @ 4:45—YIKES)

One other issue, since you follow Pfitz (as I do). How do you know you are running in the proper recommended heart rate zone (below 75% HR) on recovery days? (A great many coaches actually recommend under 70%.) Just because it feels easy does not make it so. I bet on your off days you HR is in the 80%s, much too high for recovery.

Look at it this way, if you get a HR monitor you'll have tons of fodder for entries about how snail like you feel, and how you're getting passed by moms with strollers.

Anonymous said...

Oops, I forgot. I wanted to ask you about shoes. You're advanced enough that you could/should consider a lightweight trainer for training and the race. Unless you have major pronation problems, something like the Nike Lunartrainer, Asics Speedstar 3, Mizuno Wave Precision 9, etc might be a better marathon shoe than your standard trainer.

Also, re: your achilles. Are you running in the same shoes every day (not the same model, the same pair)? You may need a second pair to rotate in.

Brian Morrissey said...

frank,
interesting idea about the sports massage. i've thought about it, but i'm a total baby with that stuff. there's also a family distrust of strangers touching us. no dark backstory. my mom simply says, 'we're not spa people.'

anon,
i did run too fast last week during a couple runs. the long run in particular was actually faster b/c i went a little farther than 20. i gauged my pace a couple times at 7:25-7:30. i know, i know.

maybe this w/e i'll give in and get a hrm. like the spa thing, i have a hangup w gear. but you're totally right about new fodder for posts.

finally, i have a single pair of shoes. i spoke this weekend w the fastest person i know -- he did a 2:35 london -- and he suggested some lightweight trainers. i wouldn't try flats, but i should be able to bump down some. right now, my shoes are 12oz. i have pretty regular feet, just slight pronation.

thanks for advice.

TunaTacoGrande said...

Stop by the West Garden Spa for a Rub & Tug. Works like a charm.

Anonymous said...

A nice profile of Olympic gold medalist Tomescu-Dita.

http://www.dailycamera.com/news/2008/sep/22/sandrock-marathoners-coach-reflects-gold-medal-str/

Of particular relevance:


“You want my advice, for the athlete and the coach?” he said. “Don’t care as much about your training as you care about your recovery. Why is that? Because if your recovery is good, then your training will be good. Always.”

Brian Morrissey said...

anon,
i'm on board w the 13 hours of sleep plan. i might need to take a leave of absence from work.

i've thought of a post on recovery. it's so often overlooked but very critical.