The Middle Ground

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05/10/2012 at 14:27

BR, the divine providence thought had crossed my mind!  February and March are generally tough enough for me, being six-nations season, so this appears to be a simple message to give up on thoughts of racing in those months.  Unless it's a Saturday morning or a hungover Sunday club outing, of course.  However I like an HM about seven or eight weeks before the big day, as there's time for me to tweak MP or reassess plans, or even just to get a mental boost.  I think I will have to go without, but at least if I can take your message on board I'll see it as a positive thing.  YD, I wouldn't drive too far, unless it was a thread outing.  (I'd drive to Norfolk to see Dash outed!)

Nice tired miles, YD, and nice fresh ones, MrV.  DrD, if you're having broken sleep this late you will still be viral on Sunday regardless of how you feel.  Your reserves have been drained trying to keep you together and fight off phlegmy splutters, you haven't slept well, and let's face it you're going to be standing on that line below par even if you're feeling fit right now.  Would you go drain them again and put your body through hell for a disappointing result?  There are other races.  There is not another 'this season' in which you can consistently train.  You've had your running life disrupted too much.  Don't force it to be disrupted again, just when you were getting back on track.  (And yes, I saw you suggesting a 26.2 mile LSR - you really think caution helps over that distance?)

Ooh, just got a bit of a twinge stepping down off that soapbox!

Oregon circuits last night.  Don't you just love doing thirty seconds of squat jumps followed by a flat-out sprint?  And the session finished off with 125, 175, 225, 175, 125.  First two not so bad but in the 225 could really feel what the circuits had worked.  On the last sprint, one zippynippy was complaining about all his other training impacting, so I smiled as I reminded him he should have paced himself better, whereupon he smiled as he promptly challenged me.  It's not a challenge I'd accept if he was fresh, but looking at his strained features and pouring sweat I realised that I couldn't take pity.  I had to really rub it in with a look back over the shoulder about ten metres from the line which brought out an entirely too satisfying groan from somewhere back in the distance.

But kids, don't race in training! 

Nice 45 mins this am wearing in a new pair of Kanadias.  About four and a half miles of trail and track, hill and muck.  Lovely!  They were blue.  That is forgotten.

Edited: 05/10/2012 at 14:28
05/10/2012 at 14:35

YD, I'm in favour of your outline.  I read it as slightly quicker and shorter to start, gradually focussing in on both the pace and the length of the marathon.  Also kicking off at the point of increasing strength and taking that with you through the training.  In essence, running fast and then going longer.  You know I'd be in favour of that for a marathon.  Don't forget to sprinkle in some 10x200s uphill!  

05/10/2012 at 15:20

You’ve read the plan right Ratzer, get stronger and faster, get stronger and fitter, then get event specific. I will do my hill work in the build up to the Brass Monkey in Jan, though I may thread some into the Marathon specific phase, just to be sure any gains don’t ebb away.
It’s quiet at work so I did a quick Half Marathon search in Feb and the Village Bakery Half in Wrexham came up. I remember considering it last year and binned the idea due to the distance from me. As for outing Dash and a thread day out, the two could be combined at the Norwich Half in March 

05/10/2012 at 15:28

Afternoon everyone, some good training by Curly I see along with Phil as usual, Mr V, YD and promising runs from Hilly.

Dan, what's the latest? IIf you're not convinced it's gone Saturday night will you have to DNS? 

prf, i'll predict a palindrome-tastic 2:55'52 for you.

JOsh, good news on the coach and racing!

YD, looks all good vagueish to me. Get the miles and the long tempos in, the hard long runs w/MP sections, some shorter races, taper and run a good mara. 

Ratzer, lol at showing him his place! Don't race in training.... a good mantra to train by.


05/10/2012 at 15:39

Anyway, Proms 3k today and my first race since becoming Tayside 3k champion (nope, still not tired of saying it ). Been feeling reasonably good in the lead up, and a nice but breezy day at the promenade give me confidence of a decent time. 

I've mentioned I was hoping to beat a local runner who I'm quite close to over 3k, so I was quite happy to see Michael turn up and a few others who are decent long distance runners to. It's an out and back course and the wind would be in our faces for the second half.

Off we went and a usual parkrun-esq fast start saw me well outside the top ten to begin with. No problem as this stage as i normally pace this series quite well. Felt very comfortable through the first k and slotted well into about 9th place, first K down in 3'26. A few started to drop back now and close to the turn I was at the back of a group of 4, with another 2 about 10m ahead (one of which was Michael) and the top 2 long gone. Still feeling very good at this point, around 5:35/m avg.

At the turn I was still 8th but as we hit the wind the guys in front started to struggle. I was feeling very strong and my reasonably conservative first half allowed me to pull clear quite quickly from the group of 4 (second K in 3'25, 6'51 overall). I was now in 5th and haring down on Michael and the other Metro runner in 4th and 3rd. 

I caught up to them with about 800m to go and sat behind them both to save energy. Top 2 were miles ahead now and I was quite content to sit and kick at this stage. We were definately slowing due to the wind, but I was feeling like I had plenty in reserve for the final surge to the line. With 300m to go I wound it up, Michael went with me and I did my usual kick with 200 to go, final 200 in 35s, final K in 3'33 to finish third in 10'30, just 3s outside my pb.

Job well done, a solid time, beat my rival and finished higher than I expected to (I'd have been really happy with top-5). Very promising race, my pb was set during the race of my life in still conditions, and today I almost matched it in a tactical race with a windy second half. Probably 8.5-9/10 in terms of intensity so plenty more to come I hope!

05/10/2012 at 16:00
Ratzer wrote (see)
DrD, if you're having broken sleep this late you will still be viral on Sunday regardless of how you feel.  Your reserves have been drained trying to keep you together and fight off phlegmy splutters, you haven't slept well, and let's face it you're going to be standing on that line below par even if you're feeling fit right now.  Would you go drain them again and put your body through hell for a disappointing result?  There are other races.  There is not another 'this season' in which you can consistently train.  You've had your running life disrupted too much.  Don't force it to be disrupted again, just when you were getting back on track.  (And yes, I saw you suggesting a 26.2 mile LSR - you really think caution helps over that distance?)

I hear you and thanks for the sense. Running would be a risk, I know ... and I might not take it. If I do, it will be a calcualted risk and I will bale out if I feel rubbish. I attempted to race 26.2 once before when I was probably viral and it was enough to convince me not to repeat the experience ever again. If I'm not coughing, then I'll turn out ... I'd rather bale out at, say, 10 miles than not turn up at all. If I'm still coughing, I won't travel.

The Duckinator wrote (see)
Dan, what's the latest? IIf you're not convinced it's gone Saturday night will you have to DNS?  


05/10/2012 at 20:06

Tom - I know what you are saying and that would work for most people.  But in my experience, I have also found the opposite to be true in regards to getting an acurate diagnosis.  To overcome my injury, and series of niggles, they have all gone away from increasing overall strength and flexiblity rather than specific muscles.  Maybe I overcame them from strengthening the muscles I needed to without realising which muscles required the work?

PP - I guess I have been using heart rate vs pace

BR - I do keep in my mind that I am training to race, but I am just patient and can wait until I am ready to race rather than doing it just for fun.  Anyhow, Ben will get me racing now.

YD - he has mentioned that he has coached others in the past, but I do not know a great deal about him other than that he is the standard I would like to be or better than   Just add the hill sprints to your plan as Ratzer suggested.  I posted a few pages back about an ideal progression to take with them.

PRF - do you know much about Ben? 

Duck - nice report.  I did not know there was many MD races this time of year.  If I wanted to enter a mile race on the track, how would I go about looking for an event?

I have noticed I have a blood blister, which I have never had before.  I usually love popping blisters, but I have heard that blood blisters are very prone to infection.  Do I leave it or pop it?

Edited: 05/10/2012 at 20:45
05/10/2012 at 22:24

Josh -  how will you determine when you're ready to race?  As an experienced runner you could go on forever thinking I'm not quite ready.  IMO you have to sometimes put your 'balls on the line' and just give it a go.  You might be missing out on many good, maybe not great, but very satisfying races!

05/10/2012 at 22:43
Josh, many thanks for your sage advice, I'm sure you're probably right.
06/10/2012 at 06:45

Another night of coughing, so I think that is that ... no Chester for me.

Sub-40 at Abbey Dash is the only thing that can rescue the year now.

06/10/2012 at 07:41

Hilly - good point.  Anyway, I will be entering races soon so I guess.

Tom - I am not disagreeing with you or trying to say either one of us has to be right or wrong, or that anyone should follow my advice.  I am just saying what I know has worked for me in the past.  I may not be the most experienced here or offer the best training advice, but I can at least say what has or has not worked for me as an individual with confidence that it is true.

06/10/2012 at 11:40
Josh, apologies for my "snippy" remark yesterday...your posting didn't deserve that sort of reply.

Injury is the dread problem for all of us. It has been said that an runner has two states of fitness, ie injured or in the process of getting injured! Most of us have a good understanding of our niggles and know when to ignore or respond to them. We also have a small bunch of "old favourite" injuries usually caused by overuse or inefficient biomechanics which rear their heads when we get a bit too complacent and ignore our strength work and our stretches. We know the underlying cause of these injuries, having had them previously accurately diagnosed, and can manage them the same way we did last time. For example I'm very prone to calf strains (symptom tight calves) and collapsing sacro-illiac joint (symptom sciatica), so I know how to deal with them.

Of more concern is the injury symptom you've never had before. Where do you go to get a diagnosis...GP, soft tissue therapist, physiotherapist, podatrist or ostiopath to name a few. The likelihood is that the diagnoses will differ, reflecting each "expert's" own particular discipline. By an unfortunate coincidence I have found myself in this position this week as the following extract from my DTT posting demonstrates. As you can see I'm currently trying to get a handle on what the injury is, what could have caused it and where to go for the most accurate diagnosis and treatment.

" At about 6M in (of 8M) my foot problem reappeared and I just shuffled through the last couple of miles. Obviously a bit hacked off...but see below.

The first (and last) time it appeared was last Sunday again at about the 6M point of an 8M run. Symptoms are a bit odd - initially a slight tingling and numbness followed by an occasional discomfort which feels like I've trodden on a stone - had a bit of that during the week but nothing more. However today and last Sunday the "stone treading" became more frequent until it turned into a sharper blister-like pain. During the week I rested Mon and Tues, ran 8M on Wed, 14M on Thurs and 8M on Fri without any significant discomfort.

So what is the problem - stress fracture, infection, bunion, gout or gangrene. Saw doctor yesterday who wasn't terribly helpful except to confirm there was no inflamation, blistering or breakage and told me if it carried on hurting to take a painkiller...problem solved, who needs private medicine.

A bit of investigation on the hypercondriacs paradise (t'nternet) suggested the best fit to the symptoms was an inflamed nerve between the toes (Morton's neuroma anyone?). Most commonly occurs in people who wear badly fitting or tight shoes (eg High heels or ballet dancers!). In support of that my two offending runs were done in my snug lightweight racer trainers, were as the trouble free midweek runs were done in my sturdy broader fitting trainers. Also the problem occuring at the same time (6M point), might be down to the time it takes for your feet to expand when you run.

So tomorrow is a close to home session in the sturdy trainers, whilst on Monday I'll be booking an MOT with the physio and also a session with a podatrist to revamp the clapped out orthotics"

At this stage in the process we're usually quite confident that we can get the mystery injury sorted quickly and efficiently, until one day we wake up the realisation thats it 6-8 weeks since we ran a pain free session at anything like a decent pace!

Again apologies for the snippy post - I hope that the above comments are a far more deserving reply.

06/10/2012 at 11:46

Cracking day at the York Parkrun, blue sky & sunshine with some big puddles on the Knavesmire!  Had to wear gloves though as there was a nip in the air at 9am.  My first race as a V55 (thanks for the birthday wishes), enjoyed the blast and clocked 20:19.  Think I was first old git.

Dr Dan.. really sorry you can't make Chester, crap timing for a bug.  If you get equally bad luck at the Abbey Dash you could always set the band up on the town hall steps!   

Hilly.. about a year ago I defiantly started running again as my long standing nerve-in-back-of-leg problem wouldn't go away.  After about 2 weeks of 2-3 runs a week (any more was impossible) I woke one day and the problem had completely disappeared.  My Physio was pretty sure that the return to running clicked something back into place.  I know what you are going through.  It is so frustrating and difficult to know whether to rest or run through it, and whether the latter will make it worse.  Best of luck with it anyway.

Best of luck to the Chester runners, hope you have a great day.

X-post.. good analysis Tom, hope you can run comfortably again soon.


Edited: 06/10/2012 at 11:49
06/10/2012 at 11:55
Tom, I had Mortons. Had a cortisone injection and it went immediately.
Dan, go get that sub 40.
YD, the Norwich half is November so you may be running on your own!
06/10/2012 at 11:59

Wardi - Nice run.

Dan - Feeling for you re: Chester.  Far too much lurgy around at the moment.

Tom - good post. Far less snippy.    I like your point about distinguishing between old and new injuries; so many times when discussing these things people are experts in hindsight, even if the injury occurs without warning, yet even afterwards we can't always be sure about the root cause of the injury, and whether or what we could've done to prevent it, which makes the whole game that much more frustrating.  How many of my previous injuries were linked to my ''dodgy hip'' I'll never know, and it remains to be seen whether I'll need to get the other one done at some point - or just give up and become a rower. 

Anyway, I had my sensible head on this morning.  Looking at the glorious sunshine outside I took the difficult decision not to go for a bike ride.  Calf still a little tight and I can feel it when I put a lot of weight on it.  Much better than it was and absolutely fine for walking on, but still think rest is called for.  Whether I do anything active tomorrow depends on how it feels in the morning, but also how long I might have to spend refreshing and redialling, trying to get hold of Glastonbury tickets. 

Edited: 06/10/2012 at 12:00
06/10/2012 at 12:46

Josh, thanks. Right now there's probably not going to be many MD meets until the indoor season kicks off, keep an eye on the UKA site, and openmeetings is a great site. In terms of miles you may not have much luck, but there will be plenty of 1500m races which are close enough. 

Blood blisters.... got them a lot while playing rugby, I found just leaving them was the best option. If they don't hurt then I see little point in messing around with them.

Dan, as I said on fb sorry to hear you won't be at Chester but the training won't go to waste - get some quicker running in now and the base WILL pay dividends to getting back under 40 minutes. The training will not be a waste!

Tom, excellent post. Especially about familiar niggles and new ones. Interesting you're going for orthotics - do you heelstrike? I would have thought you would be mid to forefoot so might bypass the need for them. 

Well done Wardi you old git!

Phil, sounds like a sensible decision. I think I bypassed your calf strain initially, how long have you had it?

Did my long run today w/parkrun at the end - 4.8M/parkrun/1.2M for 9.15M altogether. It was Aberdeen's first year anniversary running today so there was plenty of cake at the end!

Turned up planning on an easy jog round or some kind of tempo-style effort, but noticed a lack of quicker runners at the front (aside from Michael and another Metro runner who's 17'xx) so figured there was no argument against giving it a bash. Wind had picked up somewhat from the 3k the day before.

Set off and fell into about 6th initially - 2 runners ahead who I didn't recognise and expected to drop back after about half a mile (roughly 300m and 800m respectively) and soon was into 4th, with Micheal about 30m ahead with Gemma Cormack.  Going north along the boulevard was stupidly windy so I just ran conservatively to save energy for the return trip (3'46/4'05). Got to the turn still feeling strong and yesterday's race not rearing its head yet.

Started to slowly close the gap to 2nd and 3rd and caught Gemma with 2k to go (3'50). Still feeling comfortable, gradually closed the gap to Michael until with 1k to go I was right on his heels (3'31). Felt like I had enough left to nick second and we turned up the wick at the final turn with 600m to go. Stayed behind him as long as possible and outkicked him with 150m to go to finish second in 18'51 (final k 3'30). 

So a second good race in 2 days. Finished with some left in the tank so I'm happy with how the longer distance stuff is looking rihgt now.

06/10/2012 at 13:31

Duck - You like catching people don't you.    Good stuff, especially in the 3k.

Benefit of hindsight again... I'm guessing my calf started complaining after the 18 mile run last Sunday, when I'd only run 15 miles in the previous 10 days, but I put it down to slightly worse than usual DOMS and carried on. This only turned into a full-on niggle in the middle of Thursday's tempo run but it's been getting better since so pretty sure it won't be a long term problem.

06/10/2012 at 14:21
Phil, Dash and Duck...thanks for the response. The reason I posted on this subject was because I felt such an arse after I reread my last night's response to Josh (moral is that Cotes de Rhone and RW threads don't mix). The description of my travails was to illustrate the points that I raised in my revisted response to Josh, rather than to hijack a thread that I rarely post on to do a "me, me" post about my injury problems. Notwithstanding that, thanks for comment on "Morton's" Dash, its given a bit of hope. Also regarding the orthotics, Duck, I'm a very pronounced forefooter, with very high arches and one leg 15mm shorter than the other - BR's seen me run...I scuttle like a demented crab!

Back in me box.....
Edited: 06/10/2012 at 14:22
06/10/2012 at 15:08

Have I been away long enough that I don't have to read back properly and congratulate everybody?

06/10/2012 at 16:44

Tom - no problem, thanks for the apology.  Good luck with the diagnosis too.

Duck - thanks for the great shoe tip.  I went to local running shop (not really local but oh well) and tried on a few pairs of trail shoes and instantly took to the Saucony Peregrine!  It has such a comfy upper and accomodates my high arches brilliantly.  They also weigh in at just under 300g in size 9.5, which is spot-on my prefered shoe weight for daily-use shoes.  Dear I say it, but I look forward to taking them out in crap weather.

Good race too.  At what distance do your times start to drop-off?

Wardi - I am not quite at the gloves stage down south, but I am wearing arm warmers on almost every run...

Unless Ben gets me to do a Park Run asap (which is probably very likely), I think I have found my come-back race.  It is a trail 5 miler on 11th November.


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