Novelty is Gone

The novelty is now gone in project RED. Yesterday I felt sluggish while running to work so I bagged the run home. Today my legs feel tired just walking. My plan was to run 11km today but I think I’ll shorten the plan to 9km with an option to shorten it further to the minimum allowed 25 minutes. I’m on my way now…

#####

 … Now it’s Back!

I had truly expected to revert to the 25 minute plan today but after taking my first step I felt terrific. It’s quite hard to explain – it felt as though the bones in my upper leg were strong. Like there was an immense stability based around the hips and upper legs that I have never felt before. Slight inclines didn’t seem to slow me down at all and the tougher uphills didn’t slow me too much.

It was an easy run but the pace was great: 4:26/km

I’m excited to continue the Run Every Day project.

RED-8 Tired

This morning was my ninth run in eight days and the very first time I have felt in any way tired. The plan was to run home a longer route but that will now be binned. I’ll clock up today’s run and rest the legs until tomorrow. If I get the chance I will go swimming with the club tonight…

RED8

 

RED-7

Early days still but I am now eight runs and seven days into my ‘Project RED’ experiment.

I’m feeling no fatigue whatsoever but I suppose that could be because I’m taking it very easy with both distance and intensity. Not too much more to say really – I’m just going to keep at it.

Project RED (Run Every Day)

Having trained in a similar way for over ten years I have decided (or been forced?) to try something new. My training since my first child was born nearly seven years ago was based on the mantra: Make every minute count. As a time pressured athlete – every swim, bike or run had to have a purpose. The term and the physiological manifestation of ‘Base’ was no longer part of my athletic build up. Find time – train hard – repeat.

This concept allowed me to preform to a level that I could mostly be very proud of. However, I did miss my fair share of races because of this bare bones approach. I only ran on average two and a half times per week when preparing for a marathon, so any missed workout would put me way off track; Missing two was a frequently encountered disaster that put me forever in catch-up mode. Sickness usually caused a missed race because my fitness falls away so fast with this time of ‘cheap speed’ training. Which is what has happened this year:

November 2013, fell hard on the MTB fractured a couple of ribs badly. Six weeks off. Then, after three pretty painful days training: Influenza, for the third time in my life. 10 days before I could train and then it was very easy stuff. I then managed to put nine good weeks training together before spraining my big toe on a terrain run which led to a further 16 days off running. Stupidity then manifested and I decided I MUST run 20 km on my first run back since I was way behind on my prep for an upcoming half marathon, which led to a mild case of runners knee… which only manifests after about 6-8km or running.

So, what’s the change?
The change (not to be confused with challenge) is to Run Every Day for at least 25 minutes.
Just run. No plan. If I feel like running fast, I’ll do that. If I feel like doing hill intervals, I’ll do that. For now however, I’m just putting one foot in front of the other and doing it every day. There is no goal to reach 50, 100 or 200. Just do it and reset the counter every time I take a break. Until today, I had never ran more than three consecutive days in my life – I can’t actually find a three day run streak in my training log but I believe I must have done it sometime in the past. But here I am, after running five pain-free times in the past four days feeling pretty good.

I’ll keep at it and see what it brings.

Where ‘we At?

Week 6[31/3->6/4]:Long Run(19km), Shorter Faster Run, Long Run (20km)
Week 5[7/4->13/4]:Long Run(20km), Long Run (22km) [Not planned but done: Fartlek 11,8km, Mod-Hard 11,3km, Mod-Hard 11,3km]
Week 4[14/4->20/4]:Track, Long Run (20km), Threshold Run [Not planned but done: 11km Fartlek – MTB Crash]
Week 3[21/4->13/27]:Track, Long Run (24km), Threshold Run [11.24 Mod-Hard Run, 3,8km E, ]
Week 2[28/4->4/5]:Track, Long Run (21km), Threshold Run
Week 1[5/5->10]:Track, Easy Run, Race

All in all, not good at all.
Decision to be made: Race or no Race?

Good points: Swimming is gong pretty well.

MTB #2 – Crash!

I just couldn’t leave it alone… I had to do one more lap on the way home from work. I was absolutely shelled after the afternoon ride but thought that I should take every opportunity to practice.

I managed to get up the hill where I broke my ribs last November… 50 meters later, brimming with confidence, I attempted the ‘rick garden’ section and fell badly: Landed hard on my right quad, and not-so hard on my right ribs (that I broke in November) and the bike landed on the inside of my right knee.  The right calf is dead, knee has a lump the size of a golf ball and the ribs are tender. This MTB stuff is not compatible with my other goals. Fun though when it doesn’t hurt.

MTB #1 of 2014

To say I rode like a girl is an insult to little girls.

Strav

 

Then only thing I can say is that it wasn’t my worst ever.
It was however extremely wet… can I use that as an excuse?

I did one and a half laps and am absolutely shelled as I sit here and write this. I’m almost certain that I’ll be taking the easy way home.

I need to get a good run done tomorrow – I may have compromised that today.

Story…

Week 6[31/3->6/4]:Long Run(19km), Shorter Faster Run, Long Run (20km)
Week 5[7/4->13/4]:Long Run(20km), Long Run (22km) [Not planned but done: Fartlek 11,8km, Mod-Hard 11,3km, Mod-Hard 11,3km]
Week 4[14/4->20/4]:Track, Long Run (20km), Threshold Run
Week 3[21/4->13/27]:Track, Long Run (24km), Threshold Run
Week 2[28/4->4/5]:Track, Long Run (21km), Threshold Run
Week 1[5/5->10]:Track, Easy Run, Race

Got to get my swimming back on track.
Try to swim as much as possible: Monday, Tuesday & Thursday are planned this week.
Run 11km off-road until there is absolutely no pain in right knee. Goal: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Sunday.
Also keep on rowing and get out on the MTB…

Still Off Track

After realizing that I was way off track with my training I have gone even more so off track. No swimming or running since the last update. Work is the main culprit this time. Let’s take a look at my now laughable plan that I made two weeks ago:

Week 6[31/3->6/4]:Long Run(19km), Shorter Faster Run, Long Run (20km)
Week 5[7/4->13/4]:Long Run(20km), Long Run (22km)
Week 4[14/4->20/4]:Track, Long Run (20km), Threshold Run
Week 3[21/4->13/27]:Track, Long Run (24km), Threshold Run
Week 2[28/4->4/5]:Track, Long Run (21km), Threshold Run
Week 1[5/5->10]:Track, Easy Run, Race

I honestly don’t know where to go from here.

Bumpy…

It’s been a bumpy rode this off-season. Badly broken rib, Influenza, two week chest cough, sprained toe to name the major contributors to my current lack of fitness. Up to a point I considered this a blessing in disguise since I usually peak way too early in the season. It’s now April and top level fitness seems to lie somewhere in the distant future.

I have 37 days to my first race of the year: Kungsholmen Half Marathon. I over-did the distance on the long run on Tuesday and have been feeling a little tender in the right knee ever since. When I trained for Dublin Marathon in 2012 in just 8 weeks this feeling was the norm after pretty much every long run. I fully understand that it is not something that is sustainable in the long term but I’ll battle through it one more time and try to make sure it doesn’t become something I accept in the long term; I’ve only got two knees after all and don’t want to have to replace them any time soon.

Back to the details. After Saturday’s bike ride I took two days off training. I’m not used to cycling and don’t recover very well at the moment. Next session was a long run on Tuesday. I had an idea that I wanted to run long but not exactly how long – 18km was in the back of my mind during the day. Work was mental so I had to wait until 20:30 before I got the chance to run. Stress from work was probably what caused me to make a poor decision; after running for just five minutes I decided that the run would be 90 minutes long. It was pretty easy except for the fact that my right knee gave me mild pain occasionally. I couldn’t work out the trigger. Sometimes downhill, sometimes on the flat; I was sure at one stage that it was only when I ran into the wind (it was -1 C). Either way it doesn’t matter – it was and is sore.

I swam yesterday and rowed today. If I am pain free tomorrow I’ll do a 10km mod-hard run, rest Saturday and do the Ursvik Extrem on Sunday. I’m hoping the forest trails will be kind to my knees.

Fitness wise, I’m not where I want to be, but -unlike during Tuesday’s run- I have to accept where I am and train accordingly.

Onward and upwards.