The Middle Ground



  • alehousealehouse ✭✭✭
    edited January 20
    Major issue with floods here: went out for half an hour earlier and that route no longer exists! Has rained all day, just as it did yesterday, and is forecast to continue tomorrow. I am very close to the Mersey (end of the road) but fortunately there is a steep rise before my road. The sports grounds and allotments between me and the river are flooded. Minor issue, I know, but most of my usual routes will be off limits for a good while. Will probably be forced on to the roads which is never great for my legs. Probably end up with a cutback week. 
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    It looks pretty messy in the North West, Alehouse with evacuations etc. There's a flood on part of my main running loop which is a right pain as it closes off every countryside short run I do. I went though it the other day but because the water was muddy I didn't see a big bloody trench and ended up waist deep in water, and that was on my warn up!!

    Ticking over this week well before a cut back next week.. 3 X 2m on Tuesday at 10kp ish off 2 mins. Came in 6.05 and 6.04- 5.51 and 5.58- 5.53 and 6.00. With the walked recoveries I covered 10k in 39.57.

    A very low effort 9m yesterday. Managed to avoid the rain just very windy.

  • Andrew_DAndrew_D ✭✭✭
    It was pelting it down here overnight - not sure if there’s any flooding locally or not though. Luckily we live quite high up, so no immediate risk here.

    Sounds like a Vicar of Dibley moment DT! 

    Alehouse - you’ll be glad to hear I did a good S&C routine last night!
  • alehouse I'm glad the only ill effects for you have been being stuck inside!

    andrew Glad you're able to get back to it! 

    Three days in a row for me! The first time since the end of October. 6.6km, with a bit of progression over kilometres 4-6 and a very leisurely cooldown 600m. A beautiful sunny start, although it was very blustery.

    I'll probably do some weights later - I've been doing various squats (wide, narrow and Bulgarian), single leg deadlifts and then either overhead or bench press. I get no real enjoyment out of doing it, but I can feel it's made a big difference in quite a short amount of time.

    I've also started some more targeted hamstring stretches - the vast majority of hamstring stretches don't necessarily do much to improve range of motion in people like me with very tight hamstrings. 
  • alehousealehouse ✭✭✭
    Progress for you all! But not here...

    Not the planned for run, not due to flooding but due to ice: could barely stand up in places so binned the run after just 1k out and 1k back. Water had gone down four or five feet but those four or five feet are now on the sports fields, golf courses, water parks, allotments etc that are along the river valley. The river level is supposed to rise again as the water up in the hills has yet to travel to the area. 

    Stretches this afternoon. Looks like it is going to be a cut back week running-wise, which is fine. 

    MussAD: I wrote an article for my club about Achilles injuries if you are interested. Might give you some food for thought if nothing else!
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • Sure, I'd be interested to read it. I've never actually had Achilles problems, but that also means I'm not necessarily doing anything to look after it!

    You've had a couple of good weeks, so I guess it would be time for a cutback soon anyway?
  • alehousealehouse ✭✭✭
    I probably wouldn't have a cutback week for another couple of weeks but don't seem to have much choice unless the weather improves over the next few days. No point in playing catch up: recipe for disaster!

    You make a good point about Achilles injuries, Muss: if everyone did precautionary exercises then a lot of physios, or in my case a surgeon as well, would be short of work! 
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • Andrew_DAndrew_D ✭✭✭
    Yes, sounds interesting Alehouse- especially as I’m converting to forefoot running, which will no doubt stress my achilles more than my old running style used to!
  • alehousealehouse ✭✭✭
    The end of my road (Fordbank): what it should look like and what it does look like. You might understand why my routes are rather compromised at present!

    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    Muss- No I get little enjoyment from the strength stuff, it's just a short process that needs to be done. I don't think significant amounts are necessary, 20 mins 3 times a week doing the right things should be enough.

    Andrew, yes, I did think of that scene as I struggled to climb out of the ditch! Your desire to convert to forefoot troubles me some. I know a few people that have done it and they seem to be in a permanent cycle of lower leg and feet injuries. There was a brief mention of it on the 3.15 thread the otherday by MsE I believe, pointing out the pitfalls of it.

    Alehouse, that looks like images of Worcester what with the racecourse and cricket ground on the banks of the Severn, they lend themselves to significant flooding.

    Very light 5m yesterday. Off out over lunchtime for my usual Friday tempo.

  • DT - yep, and weights only make the process quicker. I only have 20kg at home, but 4/5 sets of 8-10 are enough for me with the squats, I only do one or max 2 sets with the deadlifts, and then 4/5 of an upper body movement.

    The stretching/balance/stability side of things is much more enjoyable for me, so I've found myself doing a little almost every day.
  • Andrew_DAndrew_D ✭✭✭
    DT - yes, I completely accept those concerns, but at the moment it’s working out the lesser of two evils and so far switching to forefoot is allowing me to run whereas before Christmas a single short run was leaving my knee in pain for days.

    Aley - wouldn’t fancy playing cricket on that ground any time soon! Or being the groundsman trying to get it ready by April!
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭
    Muss, yes agreed. I find i can do that without going out of my way so I dont feel I need to schedule it in. 

    Andrew, fair enough, fingers crossed it serves you well.

    10m today with 8 at tempo. Standard execution with last mile pick up. Average pace was 6.24 with a 6.04 last mile. That's third time in 8 days I've run a sub 40 10k in a session without going mad. Really am unchartered territory. 
  • mussesseinmussessein ✭✭✭
    edited January 23
    Is there some kind of phased approach, Andrew? I.e. try out this new form for a couple of km in every other run, and the rest of the time, try not to think about it? And let your body adapt?

    I increased my cadence from around 160 to 180 over a couple of months, and it's fully natural and unconscious now. The way I did it was just by using the metronome on every other run, and going up in 4 BPM increments every couple of weeks. Once I got to 180 I just had the metronome on for the first couple of km of every run and then turned it off.

    In fact, recently, it's started going up again towards 190 purely as a result of focusing on being more upright and thinking more about what my arms are doing.

    I reckon if you can get your cadence up, and get those feet underneath you when you land (i.e. not overstriding), then it doesn't matter what kind of footstrike you have. Have you tried the forward fall drill? You stand up tall, lean forward through the ankles and then let yourself start to fall forwards, obviously allowing your legs to turn over into a run at some point before you faceplant! That little drill really helped me get the feeling of planting your feet almost behind you, and that will really take away any braking forces going through your knee. I might do it 3/4 times before I start off on my easy runs.

    DT - what do you attribute this form to? Other than lots of hard work and steady progress, obviously! Have you changed anything over the past few months from your pre-injury routine?

  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭
    I agree, that's how I run, high cadence, short stride, upright with slight forward lean. 

    Muss, it's something I've pondered. I've been doing the hard work for many years so perhaps my body has been slow to respond. The curve started last November as I pbd at 10m , 10k, half mara and 20m in consecutive months. Though the bigger gains came later in that period. The injury was an interruption to the progress.

    So if I look back to the last year there are two notable changes-

    1. Last January I fundamentally changed my diet. Monday to Friday for breakfast and lunch I have Huel. Not only does that provide a scientifically perfect meal, it is hugely efficient in an otherwise busy life. Also as part of my wife's gym they do a nutrition club that comes with all it's own meal plans which are all home cooked from scratch using proper fresh ingredients. We cook from that 6 nights a week. So on the one hand the body is thriving on what I'm putting in it, but also I'm losing weight. I was 10,8 yesterday. This time last year I was delighted to weigh at 11,2. Ultimately if you fill your body with crap it won't grow and respond.  

    2. The injury taught me how important the boring stuff is, the s and c. I now do 3-4 small sessions a week. My back consultant said to me in the summer, if I get this right I'll see a big improvement in my running form and efficiency. Thst was enough for me to take it seriously. I jow feel so much stronger and smoother running at any pace. 
  • Interesting. I think Huel might be a step too far for me - food has always been a big passion for me, and I enjoy cooking and variety. I've considered it for work trips away (not a lot of those at the moment!), as the eating choices are generally unhealthy, very average or expensive. 

    Most of my diet is vegetarian - but I do eat meat or fish once every few weeks. I probably have too much fat in my diet, but most of it comes in the form of extra virgin olive/rapeseed oil, nuts and avocado, so I'm really not too bothered as they are all pretty healthy and nutrient rich. 

    Bit of a blip this morning, after having a few too many glasses of wine yesterday. Went out with the intention of 5.5km easy by feel. I reckon fixating on keeping the heart rate low actually makes it harder for me to keep it easy - when I have the distraction of conversation it seems to stay lower naturally. I zoned out a bit, and found myself working pretty hard - Kms 3, 4 and 5 had gone past in 4:45, 4:30 and 4:20. The good news is it was all seemed fully aerobic, but it was still annoying to lose focus like that and change the intended focus of the session. 
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭
    I just found weekday breakfast and lunch a burden and just ate whatever was quick and convenient,  mainly because mornings were mad getting kids up and all being out for school and work and lunchtimes I'd run do couldnt really come back and take my time over lunch. Therefore neither meal delivered any enjoyment so this was a perfect fit. 

    Sometimes it's good to go with the body and not the plan and just enjoy yourself, as long as it doesn't happen all the time. 
  • I think running a bit faster yesterday scratched an itch. Today was 6.3km, nice and easy.

    Very cold and frosty out, it started hailing whilst I was out, and now I'm back it's snowing. I've been meaning to do drills and strides all week, but I've either been wearing the wrong shoes or the conditions have been too slippy.

    31.1km for the week, so almost 20% cutback from the week before, and feeling good for it. Fingers crossed I'll be back over 40km either next week or the week after.
  • Andrew_DAndrew_D ✭✭✭
    Thanks both - I will try the forward lean, it feels very unnatural though and like I’m about to stagger forwards onto my face! Probably just takes time to get used to I guess.

    Muss - at the moment I am probably running 75% of each run forefoot, with short breaks of 200-400m running flatfoot to give my calves a break!

    3.5 miles today at 8.25mm pace. Was pretty sleety when I was out, but it was after the heaviest snow.

    12 miles for the week.
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭
    I had to ditch my planned 17 as the snow came down very heavily at 8am as I was thinking about going out. Took the kids out sledging instead then went out lunchtime with the trail shoes and yaktraks for 7m in the country lanes. 
  • Andrew_DAndrew_D ✭✭✭
    Think we got away very lightly with the snow here yesterday - even compared to friends who live about 10 miles away who had enough to do sledging and build snowmen and we only got a light dusting which melted pretty swiftly. It helped with getting out for a run though, even if the kids were disappointed not to be able to build snowmen.

    Knee/shin feels a bit sore today. My run yesterday was the longest in over a month, so maybe I need to be a bit circumspect this week and not try to push on too much further.
  • alehousealehouse ✭✭✭
    I think we got away lightly as well, although I yesterday I ditched my run after a couple of k; today I ran at one and still some icy patches but managed a careful 7.65 km. Was thinking about forefoot running whilst running: suspect that most of the time when running more slowly I am mid to heel; once I am running more quickly I am much higher on my toes. 

    If your knee/shin feels sore AD be very careful! Lots of ankle flexibility work needed, perhaps? Did you get the Achilles document? If not will send again. 
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • I went for a walk earlier and although much of the snow has gone, the pavements still have plenty of very icy patches - especially on inclines, of which there are plenty around here! Although, I did see plenty of people out for a run, including a pair wearing alphaflys and next percent tempos! 

    It's due to get down below freezing overnight, and although it will warm up late morning, it's also forecast to rain, so who knows what state the pavements will be in. I'll have to play it by ear tomorrow, but I've been quite lucky with conditions up until now, so I can't complain!

  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭
    We still have lots of snow, largely compacted and ice. Went out for an easy 10m over lunch. The yaktrax were effective again making it a largely normal run. My concern is that tomorrow there won't be quite enough snow about to allow them to be used, but at the same time there'll still be enough to make it tricky. 
  • Andrew_DAndrew_D ✭✭✭
    Alehouse - yes, got it thanks. Have added some Achilles and calf exercises into my S&C routine. 

    Out of interest, do you all do your S&C on rest days, or before/after runs? And how long does your routine take? I’m assuming 15/20 minutes is more than enough?

    2 miles this afternoon- nice pace, HR and cadence (which is now consistently in mid 170s, compared to 160 previously). Forefoot striking is starting to feel more natural now too. 

  • alehousealehouse ✭✭✭
    Has been a bit of a struggle to find places to run with the ice but managed a largely ice free 45 minutes yesterday and another 45 today on frozen rutted tracks and fields. Ran over a km further yesterday and it was easier!

    At present I am stretching every day as with no work I have plenty of time. Most days around 20 minutes but at least twice a week I stretch that to 30 to 40 minutes. All very gentle these days using Pilates as a guide. When I was much younger I tended to do a lot more high intensity work like circuit training or weights. Too hard these days!
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • Andrew_DAndrew_D ✭✭✭
    Physio appointment booked for Thursday - the initial consultation is on video call which will be interesting.

    Running on frozen, rutted fields sounds like a recipe for disaster (or at least a sprained ankle!). 

    Will be doing my S&C session later today.
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭
    I tend to do mine on Monday, Thursday and Saturday, which are my lightest training days. My core and glute class is 45 mins on a Monday. The rest are just my physio strength exercises, which I do to the time available as the range is 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps. 2 sets of 12 reps per exercise takes quite a bit less time than than 3 sets of 15.
  • I do activation type exercises before a lot of my runs, 5 mins max. Today was a lot more thorough than I often do: 1 set each of about 5 movements, 10-15 reps each.

    My strength routine takes 15-20 minutes, and unlike DT I put this on hard days, or sometimes even after a long run. I often end up with DOMS/tightness in my hamstrings after squatting/deadlift, and if I do these exercises on rest or easy days, I'll end up sore for sessions or long runs. It's not the end of the world if it works out that way, I never actually feel like it stops me performing well in a session.

    I then do yoga wherever I can - the great thing about yoga or pilates is that you're getting strength benefits as well as mobility and flexibility. 

    Today was a bit of a slog. I had trouble keeping the HR down, but the average for the run came out at 151, which was lower than I was expecting to see. Wind, ice, mud and a general lethargic feeling today made it a not particularly enjoyable run, but 8km banked, and feeling better for going!
  • Hilly 9km run today, with about 200m of climbing. I did a couple of reps of a particularly savage hill, which did send my heart rate well into threshold territory, but each rep was just under 2 mins, so I'm not too worried about that effecting my aerobic progress.

    A new route for me, which was fun - I think I'll keep it in the rotation. 
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