Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Runners Pay Debts with Pain: 3/7-3/8

To say that last week took its toll would be an understatement.

AM: 5 miles, easy.  My right knee felt awful, tight throughout.  I didn't have full range of motion after the run.  I'm sure the rain and cool temperatures at the race were to blame.  As the day progressed, it began to loosen up.

I woke up to absolutely no pain in the knee at all.  I also slept like a baby Monday night.
AM: 6 miles, easy/moderate.  I felt decent on this run, nothing specific hurt, the pesky left ankle was largely quiet, the right knee acted like nothing ever happened.

PM: 10 miles, easy/moderate.  This run in one word: SUCKED!  I still ran my usual easy/moderate pace but my legs were just dead.  The ankle was ok most of the way and my knee was fine so that was good.  However, my legs just had no bounce in them at all!

I am slipping into what I like to call recovery debt where my body starts to fall behind in recovering between runs.  In small doses I actually think it's a good training tool to train tired and uncooperative legs as long as the debt gets paid within a week or two.  Otherwise, recovery debt turns to over-reaching, and eventually, over-training which can have serious long-term consequences.

So for now I trudge forward!  I'm still going to try my hand at an afternoon hill workout tomorrow if I feel marginally better.  Of my four hard run types, the hill work is usually easiest to trick myself into getting through.  The faster running may also help get my legs moving with some swagger again.


  1. Totally agree with you. I think it's important for runners to learn to run, and sometimes run hard, on tired legs. Especially so when you're focus is on longer races.

    Ever thought about getting in the pool a little? The water's give some nice gentle compression. All I do is splash around for about a half hour every now and then, mixing up aquajogging with swimming. Usually feel a lot better the next day.

  2. Believe it or not, I can't swim. Dumping a sports car in water just floods the engine and ruins it :)

    I can see though how even just being in water could have restorative benefits. One of my biggest weaknesses I think is shying away from methods that might aid recovery. Some of it is laziness and stubbornness. I also have yet to find a magic bullet other than sleep.

  3. Oh I believe it man. I can't either. And I USED to do swim team when I was younger and was pretty good at it. But low body fat plus lack of technique plus not really caring = not a good combo. I mostly just flail around and figure it's doing some good for my legs. I've begun to realize how good sleep really is. I used to be awful about it but the last few months I've been getting closer to 7-8 hours and holy crap!