Returning to training after a marathon should always be done gradually and with no pressure so you can get the legs back into some sort of rhythm and build some consistency again. Clearly, running 4 races in 2 days isn’t really a good idea as your first runs back!
This week I toyed with having a complete break but at the same time I wanted to get back into some training with the Stirling Marathon just 3 weeks away now. On Thursday, I had a later start so I thought I’d go for a swim and thought it would be good to jog down and jog back, which actually worked quite well. I was pleased I managed 1000m in my swim, which seems to be what my body considers to be a decent distance for an average session now, which pleases me as not long ago that was a major milestone for me.
I also got a few runs on my bike, which were mostly to work and back or to work via Caffe Nero aka the Coffice. I know I need to get a few long cycle sessions in but I will wait until after Stirling before doing that.
I also had a later start on Friday so I got up at same time as usual and ran 4 miles as I used to do every morning back in February and while the pace wasn’t important, it felt good to be back out there again at that time of the morning. I had made the mistake of going back to work on Monday and so my body was still very tired from last weekend’s efforts and so had an early night on Friday night, slept for 9 hours before getting up for a PT session and Parkrun. I decided to cycle to see my client, it’s only around 2 miles each way but it’s still useful for me. I’ve been doing running coaching with this particular client and so we went for a run and covered a good 2.5 miles in the time we had. The distance isn’t important here, it’s the quality of service I provide to my client that is. After a good session, it was time to get ready for Parkrun.
Just like last week, I had plans to take it easy and just run it relaxed but as soon as the countdown of 3,2,1, go came out, I was off like I was completely fresh. Maybe one day I’ll manage a relaxing 5k run! I got through the first mile in 6:18, which was fine, but as we got onto the grass, I could feel the fatigue beginning to kick in and hoped I could hang on where I was in the field. I caught up with a young boy who had been ahead of me but as I drew close to him, he speeded up so I waited another 100m or so, to roughly the 2 mile mark, then went past him and the guy who was in front of both of us. As we came back down the riverside path, I knew both were immediately behind me and so I needed to put the tiredness to one side and dig in.
When we came back onto the Inch, the older guy passed me then the young boy went past us both. I held my pace and as soon as we got to the lamppost (there’s a lamppost on a bend that’s around 100m from the finish), I picked my knees up and starting driving my arms and went past both of them. I still had to work hard as there were people cheering on the boy but I managed to hold on and cross the line ahead of both. I was chuffed to bits I had that in me!
I had a 10k in mind for my run today and for some reason I thought that doing speedwork would be a good idea! Not learning any lessons at all from how my body has felt all week, I got up and out with the intention of going down to the North Inch and doing some km shuttles. The jog down was fine and as soon as I got onto the Inch, I set off on the first of 10 shuttles with 2 minute recoveries between each one and generally felt good. I wasn’t going at top speed but I was still trying to push it as much as I could. It was weird as the drills I did on the riverside were great but on the other side, it felt like I was running through a wind tunnel thanks to the lovely headwind in the most sheltered bit. I ended up scrapping it after 8 reps partly due to fatigue and the battery on my Garmin was about to die any moment. A nice 2 mile jog home completed the run and I was reasonably satisfied with what I had achieved.
The over-riding feeling though is that my body is still recovering from last week’s exertions and so this coming week will be just rest and some gentle mobility work and see how things are by Thursday. I know the endurance is there and I’m hoping to get in some more speedwork in the next couple of weeks but only when my body is ready for it.
How’s your training going? Are you sensible enough to get the right amount of rest after a big run?