Reading The Signs
After hovering around 44K the past couple of weeks, I put my body through some stress the past week and boy, did it rebelled! I thought the volume of training needs to be increased with time running out. As a result my legs and internal combustion system paid for it and I barely staggered back to the carpark on Saturday and Sunday (47K combined, for a week of 66).
Obviously there has been insufficient time out following the KLIM exertions. Just when I was beginning to get irrevocably disheartened, I chanced upon an article by Owen Anderson's - a well known sports scientist and contributor to RW and Peak Performance - recent article in the UK edition of RW, which I bought at only RM9.90 (Dec '07 issue). In that column he prescribed a method on training and peaking for races that are close to each other, in which the focus should be on quality rather than quantity. This is to allow more time for the body to recover while still maintaining fitness and sharpness.
The quandary that we distance runners constantly find ourselves in are balancing training against rest. Rest too long and you lose your fitness level. So the way to go about it is to make sure that the key workouts are not neglected and that would be 2-3 runs on weekdays comprising of 1 easy, 1 tempo and another a mixture and a long run on weekends. It's up to you to mix up the intensity of those workouts. For example, if you run the 30K long run at a steady pace, you might want to take the 3rd weekday run very easily.
I was sore after the Saturday and Sunday runs and didn't plan to do any today. But I woke up feeling pretty good this morning and I think the nice weather calls for an easy 5K. Tomorrow will be an 8K and Wednesday a rest day. Thursday being Labour Day will be my 2nd 30K, the effort of which will depend on my body.
If you experience low motivation, a feeling of tiredness you can't shake off and a feeling of impending illness, it may be time to cut back on your running. Pushing things further will surely result in burning out, and that if injuries don't get to you first. Recognizing the signs is the first step to cultivating an enjoyable long term relationship with running.
So I'm going to rest well and focus only on the key workouts. I'm sure before long, the zest and energy will all return. If I run well in Sundown, it'll be a surprise and bonus. If not, I can be assured of an unforgettable experience of the unique event plus the reportedly beautiful Singapore nightscape.
Notes from previous week: Continued LT workouts, reintroduced the (tiring) 20/30 weekend, upped the mileage, breaking in a new shoe.
This week's plans: Sleep earlier, run wisely, 2nd Anniversary of RunnersMalaysia this Sat.
Labels: Sundown Marathon