Saturday, December 31, 2011

Lessons learned. Don't stop doing the little things when it comes to training.

Wednesday: 8X 2:35 hard w/ 90 seconds recovery jog (5:58-5:38 mile pace) 2 mile w/u, 1/2 mile c/d
Thursday: 50 min @ 7min pace, 20 min elliptical
Friday: 45 minutes easy
Saturday: 15 miles in 1:39:40 (6:38 avg) 7:09, 6:39, 6:32, 6:44, 6:43, 6:44, 6:36, 6:33, 6:39, 6:32, 6:28, 6:30, 6:34, 6:25, 6:43 + 1 mile jog around the loop (legs stiff)
Sunday: whatever I feel like, up to 8 miles

Well that's over.

Saturday's run finished off one of my least enjoyable running weeks in a while. Something I did (maybe the crazy 18 miler in Athabasca) caused my calves to remain extremely tight for days. After jogging Tuesday, I asked Houston to run an easy workout with me Wednesday. Normally, I would run 800's in about 2:35-2:45, this time we did them in -12C in winter gear on a trail neighboring the Bow River. Because neither of us wore enough clothing, it took a while for us to get warmed up. I'm not completely sure because I cleared my Garmin out yesterday, but I doubt the first two intervals were much faster than 6:00, and we were working to get that. On the third interval I finally found my legs, and the workout improved a great deal from then on.

Bike path along the Bow River, imagine snow and ice.
Thursday brought another treadmill run in a hotel near the Edmonton International Airport. I was running along at just under 7min pace when my calves seemed to cramp up right at mile 7. I jumped on the elliptical to see if I could loosen them back up but the tightness remained. Worried that I was going to end up with another calf strain, I stopped my run early and traded Friday's 10 mile for a 45 min jog.

There are a number of reasons of why my calves are so tight. First, I wore calf sleeves almost the whole time in Canada because my legs were always cold. Second, were were running on ice which means we were constantly sliding backwards which puts a great deal of stress on your calves. Third, I am toe runner which makes #1 and #2 that much harder for me to recover from.
View of Calgary Skyline
The next few weeks I am going to get back to training. If my schedule calls for 5X 1 mile at 5:25, I am going to try and average 5:30. If I want to run a tempo at 6:00, I am going to aim for 6:10. My long runs have also gotten way out of hand, so I am going to slow those down a bit also.

One thing that I also noticed is that I completely ditched the 1/2 a bag of chocolate habit while I was in Canada. I have convinced myself that this is the reason my running has been so poor this week, thus I have been very good about increasing my chocolate intake over the last 48 hours.

Yay, me.

Happy New Year, all.


Raina said...

I get tight calves too and it's good to read that you were willing to ditch your run in the effort to salvage / maintain your health. It is SO hard to pull the plug sometimes, but looking back- always such a good choice.

I am hoping to get in for some good poking/digging massage this week for my legs.

Thanks for your awesome comment on my nutrition Q. I think that ling= long and the rest made sense. Silly "smart phones"!

Ana-Maria RunTriLive said...

I get tight calves when I run on the TM. I run flat footed on the road, but on the TM I am on my toes, hence the tight calves. Also, just curious, do you think compression socks make the calves tight?

It is such a thin line between hard training and training that is too hard. In truly believe that we know what is best for ourselves, and whatever decisions we make are the right ones for us. I am positive you are going to have a great marathon. No doubt 2:46. And then, maybe a bit of rest. At least this is mu plan. Rest and rest to get everything healed up:)

Laura said...

I am always so impressed with your paces. Looks like a great week to me! But sorry about the tight calves... hope you see improvement! I am with you on the daily chocolate habit... definitely necessary to fuel those runs. :)

Michael said...

I agree...the lack of an appropriate amount of chocolate is the root cause of the problem. Fix that immediately, and all should be well. ;-)

You do post some pretty amazing paces though...I stand in envy of your speed and stamina.

Hope you have a great 2012 !

steady pursuit said...

Running in the winter is new to me, thanks for sharing your experiences as I am still trying to make sense of it all. I also employ a forefoot strike and find when I run on ice and snow I have to chop my step quite a bit to stay balanced. I have been training with a cadence sensor and it shows as a much higher cadence than normal.

I Have not experienced tight calves but my hip joints ache from the extra stability work. I gave up pace training for heart rate training for some of the reasons you mention, at least til the weather improves.

lizzyj1305 said...

ahh I hope your calves feel so much better!! after a marathon they are the only muscle group that really bothers me...I've been looking into how to strengthen them more efficiently running-wise, and I think it is just more long runs :)
happy new year!