Break Through From Injury

It’s been a while since I’ve updated here. Sorry about that lol.

My training has been on and off due to injury. Had a particularly nasty knee (PCL) strain that came from an imbalance. Way too much rehab, not enough running!

So I’ve basically given up on running the Perth Marathon this year, instead focusing on the second marathon from this challenge – the City 2 Surf Perth Marathon in August.

This week was the first time in almost 2 months that I managed to get in 2 back to back runs.

How did I come back? With a 40km week. Oh yeah!!

I ran 6km on Sunday, 6km Monday, missed Tuesday (thought I had more time before the evening’s events), 8 km Wednesday (with a bit of trail in there), 6km Thursday, 8km Friday (BRUTAL hills), 6km today.

I’ve got a bit of a hip flexor issue, but it’s an old injury and I know if I just take it a little easy for the next few days and continue my stretching, I’ll be right. It’s not stopped me before and it won’t stop me now.

This also marks my highest number of kms run this calendar year. I’ve still got a few more to go to beat my highest in 12 months (55km).

This week was also my first week of the 18 week Hanson’s Beginner Marathon Plan. I’ll be modifying the first 5 weeks based on experience and what I know I need. Instead of the much slower buildup they have, I’ll be doing higher mileage to get ready for week 6 which is when the training starts in earnest.

Week 6 works out at around 65 – 70 km, so to build up I’ll be doing 40km (check), 40km, 50km, 60km, 70km. From previous experience I can handle that build up and it’ll get my fitness on track ready to gain the most from the intervals, tempos and long runs that start in Week 6.

Day 40: First Fast Finish Long Run

15km at moderate (~6:30 mins/km) pace, with last mile at 5:40 pace. Pretty much nailed it, though I let the pace drop a little into the 30kph head/cross wind during the moderate section. Tail end of a cyclone which is going to bring 43C (110F) on Saturday. Joy.

Had a surprising amount of bounce in my legs just before I went into the fast section. Felt superb. Locked up once I cooled down and had to go for a mile slow, creaky walk to get the blood flowing again.

Was lovely running around Herdsman Lake & Lake Monger. Beautiful places with lots of fit, healthy people running, walking and cycling.

Day 37: More Speed

Doing intervals at a fast pace in 35C heat sounds like a great idea… said no one ever.

Was supposed to be 5x 1km @ 5:20 with 800m jog break. Did 2x 1km @ 5:08 & 5:28, with 1x 600m @ 5:19. I’m really struggling to hit pace. Usually go way too fast and have to real it in, but the damage is done & I blow up.

With a couple of kms of warm up & cool down, I ended up running 9km today.

Just saw that last month was officially my 3rd highest mileage month. I will have been running for 2 years in 4 days time (10 Jan 2012 was my official start date).

I can already see I’m responding to the speed work, which is pretty cool. I’m not too far off my current PR pace of 26:42. I’ve never done a 5K race, so it should be a lot of fun running something that’s over so soon 🙂

I did a mere 22.3km last week, due to injury. But I’m so glad I took most of the week off or I wouldn’t be able to run the workouts I’m currently doing.

Day 35: Cruise Intervals

My first speedwork in several months. Was meant to be a 5km tempo at 5:20 average, but towards the end of the 2nd km I was gasping for oxygen. Rather than chuck it in, I turned it into Cruise Intervals.

So I did the 2km, then after a walk/jog did 3x 1km with walk/jog recovery. Km times were 5:07, 5:22, 5:13, 5:10, 5:15.

As a reference, if I had done that with no rests, I would have a 30 second 5K PR, so I’m pretty pleased with myself. Calf held up well and hasn’t seized up after cooling down like it did yesterday.

Couple of kms of warmup and cooldown in there too.

The route was a little crazy because I was trying to avoid running into the 30kph headwind or up too many steep hills for the fast portions.

Back From Injury

I’m back. Calf is feeling 95% – only a little tender at the end as fatigue set in. Glad I took those 4 days off. First 3km were 5:40, 5:42 and 5:47, but I had to walk for a bit in the 5th km due to calf fatigue and a stiff headwind while going up a hill. Just not worth reinjuring over it.

Did a lot of research into calves and figured out why I got injured. I’ve corrected my form accordingly, but it’ll be a while before it’s second nature.

The muscle I injured was the medial head of my gastrocnemius. The gastroc covers the ankle and knee joints, so it’s most at risk when you stretch your achilles while you’ve got a straight knee. I changed my form slightly to run with more bent/soft knees. As a byproduct I found a decent turn of pace as well, which is exciting.

During my couple of days off, I looked at my two target marathons (Perth Marathon and City 2 Surf Perth). I’ve decided to target the Perth Marathon for my sub-4 hour as it’s pretty flat the whole way.

I’ve decided to follow the Hanson’s training plan for this marathon cycle. That’s an 18 week program, which will start on 10 February (to finish on 15 June). There’s a perfectly placed 5K race on 9 February which I’ll train for starting now and will use to gauge my speed and starting point for the marathon program.

January will be about training for the 5K on 9 February. I’m training to run around a 25 minute 5K, which will be a new PR for me. Even going close will set me up for a great marathon cycle.

As a result of all that, I’m changing my running focus slightly from running 50km a week through January to following the latter half of the McMillan 5K training plan. It works out around 50km a week, but that’s not the focus.

Gonna be great to get back into racing.