The Middle Ground

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21/06/2013 at 21:26

Andrew D- I was running the Telford 10k in December which is a loop style event. Therefore the lead pack run back the opposite way to me. What was clear was that even though they were top level athletes (sub 30 mins) they were in the same pain as me. My thought is that as you get better, the PE you feel will be the same as its natural instinct to race at capacity, you will just be working at a faster level for that PE.

I would have thought a very good way to test progress would be to run the same parkrun once a month.

21/06/2013 at 22:12

On my limited experience, I agree with DT - up to a point. Racing and comparably challenging quality sessions have never felt any easier than the day I started, and if they do, you're probably not working hard enough. The exceptions I'd draw however would be that perhaps mentally, if not physically, you might be more aware of the pain you can endure than in those really early days so can push more fearlessly. Also, I now find long runs, even those at or approaching my longest distance a pleasure throughout, as I run them at a pace where I can enjoy them. 

JASL - Hello. Hope the injury problems are behind you now, and you can get some sustained training under your belt.

Duck - Cheers, that will be the plan. Another top couple of races from you too.

Dr D - Still looking good there! More good stuff from 'the boy' (c) too. 

Great news, Simon. Hope you get that season back on track.

A sunny, top off morning run at recovery pace, but on the hills earlier. Probably just one more run now either tomorrow evening or Sunday morning with a handful of diagonals on a football pitch back at home, and then plenty of rest to get the legs in shape for Tuesday evening.

22/06/2013 at 11:55

18.32 this morning. First race further than a mile in over 2 months and it felt awful, like I was running through treacle from the first k onwards. Quite windy so bs calculator adjusts to about 18-flat based on those around me.

No doubt about it, this winter I need more miles.

22/06/2013 at 12:48

Andrew, I got a Garmin and  heart rate monitor abot 6 months after I started running and was quite interested in the heart rate / pace ratio (I still am). What is particularly useful is the reporting option in Garmin Connect where you can show your average pace against average heart rate grouped by month. A great way to monitor progression.

I find PE changes according to how much of that type of training I've been doing. In early spring something like 6 x 1000 seems desperately hard. Come July and I lap those sessions up despite actualy intenstiy (HR or compared to race pace) being the same.

What I've always found strange is how elite runners can finish a proper race were they've clearly put everything they have into it and yet not actually look that shattered afterwards. I wonder how much of it is for show (it must be hard for a competitor to destroy you in a race and then see them hardly affected).

Duck, I thought you got some decent mileage in last winter. As a 400/800 runner I think you have to accept that you are probably going to lose some endurance during race season. Your shorter distance times are what you should be concerned with and they're looking really good, so I wouldn't worry if I were you (actually, I would worry if I were you, but I tend to worry too much)

My threshold run at parkrun this morning ended up being 6:02/mile for 175bpm, compared to 6:02/mile for 177bpm before I got ill, so as suddenly as that I seem to have my fitness back. Very strange, but not complaining. Gonna do the 800 on Monday I think.

23/06/2013 at 09:09

Duck, my thinking was the same as Simon's. Your main focus is on 400/800. 5k is over six times longer than the 800. Is it like a 5k/10k runner trying a 60k ultra and finding they struggle?

Good news on the fitness front Simon.

Sounds like a nice recovery run BBB.

Andrew you could race - that's the only sure fire way of measuring progress as it's when you have the motivation to go to the well. I can look at my parkrun times as improvements but there's always that "Am I improving week on week or just pushing myself a little bit harder?" Or as Simon has shown above you could use heart rate for a particular pace (or pace for a particular heart rate).

Didn't lose any kids (well not for long anyway!) but little running for the last few days. Hopefully get out later, but it's not looking nice out there!

23/06/2013 at 10:52

Some interesting thoughts there. I am planning on starting to do parkruns on a regular basis - hadn't so far as didn't wnat to do one until I felt comfortable of doing a half decent time - but due to a couple of commitments over the next few weeks it will be mid-July before I am able to.

Another day of showers being forecast here - still hoping to get out for an easy run later though .......

23/06/2013 at 22:31

Feck. Despite continuing the decent training, and getting 5 runs in, a week in Fowey of Cornish pasties, beer, wine, whisky and ice cream appears to have piled the best part of an additional half stone on. That's not going to help with the next fortnight's racing! Also appear to have entered the hypochondriac phase with a 'feeling' in the outside of my right calf after this morning's final easy 5 mile run with a few diagonals. Got some ice on it this afternoon whilst watching the action from Gateshead. Rest, careful eating and hope for the best until Tuesday evening now.

Duck - the other explanations make sense. Wouldn't beat yourself up about that, particularly with some allowance for the wind you mention. Wasn't your PB just below 18 anyway, or have I got that wrong?

Simon - sounds promising. Good luck tomorrow. 

CB - 'twas indeed, some nice runs with views over the Fowey river and estuary all week in fact.  Hope you managed to get out there yourself despite today's miserable weather...

...and you, Andrew!

Edited: 23/06/2013 at 22:33
24/06/2013 at 14:17

Duck- 5k is quite a leap from the distances you normally as CB said, so good time all in all.

simon- good news on the return to HR fitness. You must have also come out at 18.xx?

Bob- I would be surprised if you have put that much weight on of fat in such a short period. Give it a couple of days and weight again and you will probably find you are a lb or two up only. Bad news on the calf pain, need to get on top of it.

Got some decent runs in on weekend. Managed to get 8 miles in saturday am at 7.42 pace so upper end of easy, then 12 miles yestersday at 8.25 pace. I going for back to back quality tonighgt and tomorrow as have a local 10k saturday organised by my club. It is by no means a A or B category race and far from a pb course (its called the beast of bromsgove and has roughly a 1.8 rating on runbritain) however club and local pride is at stake. Lat time i did it 2 years ago was 44 mins so certainly hope to destroy that time. Going to do track session tonight, possibly 200's to sharpen things up and then interval club session tomorrow.

The calf problem i mentioned a few weeks ago is causing me issues and seems to be getting slightly worse. I am icing it twice a day to control it. I just want to complete this 8 week training block which culminates in 2-3 weeks with 2 10k's that are pb potential. I think i am going to need a month off running to let it settle before i build towards my A race (birmingham half) in October and will perhaps getting some steady cycling in. It does not hugely trouble me, however at some point i am going to have to rest it or put up with it for the foreseeable.

Had new runners delivered today. Decdied to stick with asics and have purchased the gt 2000 which is the new model of 2170's. Got a very good deal on for them. Will give them a whirl on the track later.


24/06/2013 at 14:33

Andrew, a decent time is relative. Once you start doing them you'll probably be hooked like everybody else.

Bob, I can put on 5-7 lbs overnight (no exaggeration). I wouldn't worry about it. I've heard as a runner you get better at storing fuel and when you do eat well experience rapid weight gain. I've no idea how true that is, but I always find that a few days of healthy eating and most of it will have come back off.

DT, yes, 18:40. I am thinking of having a bash at a parkrun PB next weekend and getting something close to 17. Are you seeing somebody about your calf? A lot of problems can be managed without having to stop running.

24/06/2013 at 15:15

simon- Not really. I saw a chiropractor that i see every 3 months, 2 weeks ago, for a 'stretch' and he did some dry needling etc and said that he felt it was an ischemic injury so nothing to worry about and just a nuisance.

I have purchased these new runners, a calf support, a scholl podiatry insert for my work shoes, decent ice gel packs and am stretching twice a day. I anticipate i may give this lot a week or so to kick in first. Might i be better off seeing a specific sport injury professional?

24/06/2013 at 16:49

Duck – You seemed to be pleased to dip under 18 recently. If that equates to something similar given conditions that doesn’t seem too bad? Especially as it’s not a distance you are focused on.

Simon – Good news. That has happened to me before. These things can drag on forever then seemingly disappear overnight.

Bob – I echo Simon in that I find it very easy to put on weight (up to a point) but I can drop it equally quickly when (rarely) I’m strict on what I eat.

DT – I’d avoid 200 reps if you have niggles. Fast speed work is probably the worst thing you could do. I’d tread carefully, remember running is a long term game......Ps I’d want to see a spots physio if I was seeing someone for a running injury.

I’m struggling a bit at the moment with a dodgy hamstring. This follows on from a dodgy foot so my last 3 weeks of training have been somewhat below par. I ‘raced’ yesterday which didn’t help matters. So probably a couple of days off, followed by another easy week.  A little frustrating as I’d like to push on but at least I’m probably not losing any fitness. My race was the Great North 10k which I just ran as a tempo. That was hard enough as it was a really tough course, hilly, windy and warm! I ran 39.07 and to be honest I felt knackered even doing that time. Looking at the results most people were 1-2 mins down on other times this season so maybe I ran it a bit harder than I thought. Highlight was starting in the small front pen. There was only about 30 of us including a few proper elites. I didn’t even have to doctor my time to get in!

24/06/2013 at 19:54

Good shout. ended up on the tmill doing a tempo run, sat at 6.26 pace for 25 mins. didn't feel too bad, no heavy breathing involved. I wanted to give my new runners a spin and I must say they were pretty pleasing, so much so I am tempted to order a second pair for 6 months time.

well done yesterday, I hope one day I can knock out a 39 min threshold pace 10k in those conditions!

24/06/2013 at 20:23

Thanks for all the welcomes

BBB - probably still a bit early to tell if the injury is fully behind me. Surgery was end April and I'm in week 3 of a return to easy running. So far so good though with only some mild stiffness after running. Physio tomorrow evening and will learn more about adding some quality work although I've resigned myself to a few more weeks of easy running, with maybe a Parkrun in July?

Managed to get 3 easy runs done across Friday and the weekend for 4, 7 and 5 miles which totals 22 for the week ...

24/06/2013 at 22:29

DT, personally I'd stick with practitioners whose practices are backed up by evidence. Not sure if you're aware of the extraordinary claims that chiropractic makes:

A good physio - and ideally one recommended by another runner - would probably be the best bet. I've seen physios in the past who have told me to "just rest" or "swim instead", and it makes so much difference to see somebody who understands a runner's need to run.

Mr V, 39 minutes for a tempo on a tough course isn't bad at all.

JASL, there's nothing to stop you going to a parkrun and just jogging round - I do it all the time.

800 for me at the meet tonight. There were about 12 in the race so we didn't start in lanes. I went straight to the front and aimed for a 62 first lap. At 300m my legs were feeling a bit tired - probably because of the 50 miles last week and the threshold run on Saturday - and I got a little concerned.

Anyway, went through the bell in exactly 62 still in the lead. With 200 to go I felt like I had a bit left, but then at 100 some bloke went flying past me and I had nothing an went through lactic hell. But I managed to finish in 2nd place and match my PB of 2:08.8

Then a nice result in the 4x400. Tired from the 800 and without a proper warm up I managed to run the first leg in an official 58.4 (although the wife timed me at 57.7 - and for some reason I reckon she got it right rather than the officials ..)  My PB over 400 from last season is 60.3, so it seems that my work on speed has really paid off.

25/06/2013 at 08:20

Simon well done on the relay pb and the 800. Not too shabby off a hard week.

Intentional cutback for me at the moment. 100 reports due and 650 external exam papers to mark, and I'm shattered! I cut yesterday's run down to 3 miles as my legs weren't having it, and resting today. Aiming to get out tomorrow morning before the school trip to Alton Towers (we teachers work hard)

25/06/2013 at 09:33

 marking 650 papers ... ouch!

Simon .. a great day at the races!

25/06/2013 at 09:41

Dan - it pays well!

25/06/2013 at 09:53

Thanks simon- interesting article! Yes, it will be very easy for someone to just say 'rest' to me, however i can diagnose that and sit it out! Well done on the pb, sounds like a few easy weeks to get over the cold have kicked you on.

CB-That extra marking though, is that kind of secondary employment from the main teaching job for an exam board? I recall teacher friends earning extra income at gcse/ A level time doing that sort of work.

25/06/2013 at 10:13

Morning All.

DT, Si, Mr V - Aye, the weight wasn't so much of a worry anything other than short term, I know it will drop off again getting back into regular patterns, it was the close proximity (48 hours or so) to my target race that concerned me really! Most of the bloat has now dropped off, though I'm still 2 or 3 lb over where I was when I ran my successful 5 miler four weeks ago. According to this - - 3lb could cost around 40 seconds over 10k.  Any road up, nothing I can do about it now, the calf 'feeling' is still just that - a 'feeling', mostly when I'm sitting down with my leg bent, disappears when I'm walking, and wasn't aware of it whilst cutting the lawn last night. Feeling very keyed up already, and just want the working day to pass so I can go out and flog myself over the distance this evening - conditions look ideal - 17C and only light winds so the 'Holme Pierrepont effect' shouldn't be too prevalent.

DT - Hope you continue to look after your own calf issues until you can get it cleared with either rest or treatment. Sounds like you're still getting some good training in regardless, and if the calf stands up should be in good shape to attack those upcoming 10k races.

Mr V - Echo Simon's comment - tempoing a 10k for 39:07 on a tough course in tough conditions sounds pretty bloody good to me!

JASL - Good luck with the physio later - nicely done with the easy miles.

Simon - Cracking evening's racing from you there - congrats! Shelved the season write-off plans now I hope? 

CB - Not been to Alton Towers for years, but loved it when I was younger. Did get stuck on the Pirate Ship for over half an hour though when I was in my early teens and the braking mechanism failed. Was getting higher and higher throughout, dangerously so, flying vomit was liberally available as the ship swung back and forth, and some folk even fainted. Good job I didn't as being on the back row, we were having to hang on grimly not to be thrown from our seat. Could have been very nasty, and they eventually had to cut the power off to the whole of that section of the park to get it to stop - were reluctant to do so though, until my Dad started threatening a few people! Fortunately, there were no proper casualties. Thought I'd got through it all unscathed apart from being scared shitless until I slid to the end of the row, tried to stand up, and my legs collapsed from beneath me!

Edited: 25/06/2013 at 10:14
25/06/2013 at 12:46

Afternoon all, hope the weekend and beginning of the week has been kind so far.

After another rain interrupted cricket match on Saturday (which we lost by 1 run) I did manage to get out and avoid the showers on Sunday afternoon for one of the 'easy' runs for the week. Feeling very relaxed and enjoying these easy runs at the moment, although my temporary good feeling was promptly ruined by getting home to watch England balls things up spectacularly agaisnt India!

Then last night was my long run for this week - well, not really that long but long by my standards (4 miles), but I'm slowly cranking up the distance and actually didn't feel any the worse for wear after the run, and the legs feel good today. Am having to control myself to prevent me from upping the weekly mileage more quickly than is sensible.

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