Tuesday, 29 September 2015

A time to think

It's now 2 weeks since 'that week'. I hardly ran at all the first week after- not only was I exhausted and really run down but I just didn't want to run. The top of left hamstring/glute niggle which seems to surface from time to time was also quite a problem and as my masseur was away that week I decided resting my legs was as good as anything. So mostly it was bits of yoga, icing the sore area, eating lots and not worrying about not running; a couple of runners I have a lot of time for have been nagging me about resting properly.

And having processed the experience of literally running myself into the ground and taken on board good advice, I've been doing a lot of thinking...

So now my marathon training plan has gone out the window. And you know what?- I'm not that worried! I have realised that in order to run better (and for longer in time and distance) I need to do less running. Better quality, but fewer runs a week. And rest days really need to be that- rest and no training of any sort. I had a really interesting talk with a friend at parkrun the other week. I had decided just to bimble around so I ran with her and her younger daughter at a nice easy pace and chatted as we went round. She likened training to having a budget. You have x amount of training you can do in terms of what is right for your body and whatever kind of training you do comes out of that budget. For example if I do 6 hours of karate a week (and it's hard training, not the lessons when it's mostly quite static stuff) then that has to come out of my training budget which means a bit less running. Or if I walk briskly to work every day that's around 15 miles- that has to come out of the budget too.

My plan now isn't really one that needs to be set out as a timetable. 4 runs a week (or 3 if that's all I feel like) with the long run being my main focus. I can start at 17 miles or around 150-180 minutes  and go from there, making sure it's easy pace. Sometimes I could add in race pace miles or perhaps run the last segment at race pace. Then all I need is an easy run, something for strength like hill reps or intervals, and a tempo run. A couple of S&C sessions a week would be good ( I already make sure I get one good session of weights each week) but if I can only manage one then to be honest I'll probably get a good short 2nd session of that at karate once a week anyway. Most importantly when it comes to most of my runs I want them to be off road. That will keep me at a more relaxed pace, I'll enjoy it more and there are all the benefits from running on varied terrain.

 I am also hoping to once again give karate a bit more focus. I haven't been practising regularly and I think that shows- I'm struggling to get my new kumite set in my head and my kicks are shocking. I have started to get my head and body around a couple of technical things- last Tuesday's lesson was a revelation in hip movement and how it powers forward movement as well as punches- and I want to consolidate what I've been learning. Progress is going to be slow now as the karate becomes more technical and expectations on standard become higher; if I don't get back to regular practice in between training at the dojo then there won't be much point in training at all. Put the right focussed work in and reap the benefits. Don't bother and all the hard work of the last 12 months will be wasted.

So it's time to get back on it and smash this marathon!

And you'll read about this little adventure in my next blog post...

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