Monday, December 12, 2005

Wait for it...

Another week, another record mileage total. Cool. I'm going to back off just a bit for a week now. My legs have felt good, but my feet were feeling almost arthritic. Just some stiffness in my big toe and the ball of both feet, but it was continuous throughout the day regardless of the distance. Anyway, I cut my 25 mile Sunday run down to 10, and my Monday from 12 to 9, and my feet already feel totally recovered. Surprisingly, however, my legs feel like crap. Surely there is a reason for this. If anyone has an insight into this phenomenon, please leave a comment.

I was reading Zeke's blog on Friday about how he is doing a cut-back week, and that sounded like a good idea given the way my feet had been feeling and the way that I had built up in the first place (65-94-102-104), but I am having second thoughts now having re-read some Lydiard and thinking about the physical experiences of the past two days. One of Lydiard's big ideas is 'keep up the pressure'. I think it is meant to apply to both to daily runs as well as in the continuity over time of the daily runs, or consistency. I have the impression Mr. Lydiard would prefer the time of the run stay the same, but the pace be adjusted upward to achieve the desired recovery. Physically, I can sense that this is what my legs and mind would have preferred, because my legs feel tired and stiff after two days of cut-back, my resting pulse is actually up to 51 and 50 where it was 48 for the four days preceeding the cut-back, and I'm finding myself worried that I've reached a couple of goals, become somewhat satisfied with myself, and I'm subconsciously wussing out.

I think identifying that possibility here is probably going to help me get through it without sacrificing any of the work I've done over the last several weeks and months by taking a cut-back and turning it into a few (or more than a few) days off. One of the stated purposes of this blog is to hold me accountable to my plan, however undefined and loose it may be. The plan is basically this...I know I was a fairly good runner ten years ago, and I'm confident I didn't reach my potential then, so if I'm going to try to reach it, I need to do it now. I can't do anything about the ten prime years that went by, but I can try to make good use of the ten or so that I have left*.

Alright, that's a lot of blubbering, but there are some defining details in there about me the person and what I'm trying to achieve with these efforts. Maybe interesting, maybe not. So let's recap the week:

Sunday: 25 miles
Monday: 10 miles
Tuesday: 17 miles
Wednesday: 11 miles
Thursday: 17 miles
Friday: 12 miles
Saturday: 12 miles
Total: 104 miles in 7 sessions

I think my cut-back week is over. I'm feeling better overall doing what I was doing the last few weeks, so I'm going to stick with that, knowing that I can adjust my intensity in order to recover if needed. Also I need to be more liberal with the ice and ibuprofen, probably moreso with the ice. Plenty of that here in North Dakota. Cheers!

*Not to say that running performance falls off a cliff and dies at 42, just noting that it is a pretty good bet it will be very tough to improve on the results I would be able to achieve at, say age 36 or 38 after several years of Lydiard training.


Blogger Mike

Hey Eric, Andrew of Downeast Running is all about the soreness and assorted aches and pains while building to 100mpw on a Lydiard-based program. Not in a whiny way, but he mentions similar bumps in the road like you're facing. I've never really had luck with a cut-back week myself, but I admittedly get caught up with writing down the miles. Personally, I like the idea of slowing down. Also, when I really felt wrecked I would split the 10ish mile days into a 6 and 4. I found that I could more easily run slow for shorter periods, whereas if I did the ten altogether I'd always speed up for the second half, wrecking my own recovery. It took me about 6 weeks to feel good with the mileage. Thanks again for the foot info, it really helped.

12/12/2005 09:12:00 PM  
Blogger robtherunner

Great job on the mileage build-up.

12/12/2005 09:55:00 PM  
Blogger Thomas

Fantastic job on the mileage. I can't comment from personal experience, of course, but I think you should try and push through the tiredness now. Now's the time to reach your potential

12/13/2005 03:25:00 AM  
Blogger Mike

Eric, I need my fix of your blog! Keep the good stuff coming, and have a good Christmas.

12/22/2005 02:37:00 PM  

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