Senin, 08 Agustus 2011

De Rodríguez

I am, as the Spanish say, "de Rodríguez" this week. It means being at work / home, while the family is on holiday. Actually the expression comes from the idea that an adulterous couple would check in under a false name at a hotel (e.g., Mr & Mrs Rodríguez). I think I'll just stick to taking advantage of the extra free time to do my training comfortably, to read some books and watch some trashy films. The week hasn't got off to a terribly auspicious start, after I found my son's only goldfish at the bottom of the tank this morning.

Last week was a recovery week, or a week that was substantially easier than the ones before it (or this week, for that matter). Still, I did find the weights circuit on Friday a bit of a killer. The routine was to do 4 circuits of 12 lifts at 60% of maximum and then to do 40 lifts (at a lower resistance, of course) 30 seconds after finishing the 4th set of each exercise. The first 10 lifts feel stupidly easy but then the fatigue creeps up insidiously and the last 10 are an absolute b*astard. I could hardly walk to the next exercise! I also did a circuit of jumping and skipping type exercises - which also looks like a walk in the park until you try it - and I felt that it translated into my running more crisply, although it was probably just my imagination.

These days I notice that I feel a bit stiff, especially in my feet, when I first wake up. I tend to have to hobble slightly to the bathroom until my feet warm up. Also my knee (torn meniscus) gives me a bit of gip in the morning and I have the sensation that I am placing more of my weight on the inside of my foot of that leg than the other; when I consciously correct for this, the slight pain (and corresponding limp) goes away so I suppose that is a good thing. Again, I don't have any problems with the knee while running, only walking in conventional shoes. Another thing I have noticed is that almost every time I start a run - unless it has been a day or two since I last ran - is that my feet feel very tired the first few minutes of the run, until I get going. In the past I probably would have fought against this and caused some kind of injury but now I just go with the flow and so far, after less than 5 minutes they are back to their springy, responsive and pain-free selves. As I've said before, I never stretch but I do believe in warming up (and cooling down). The first kilometer I run tends to be at around 10-11 kph (5:30-6:00 minutes per kilometer) and this seems to be enough for me. If I'm running series, my coach always explicitly adds a low intensity run of about half an hour beforehand. Rather than thinking that this is going to make running the series even harder, I always remember that it will probably help me hit my target heart rate sooner. If I tried to hit 180 bpm straight off the bat, I'd have to run like the clappers and the subsequent series would show a significant depreciation in speed.

Running really is a drug (not a spelling mistake for "drag"). We drove up to Asturias on Saturday and I only had a 30 minute run in my training plan - that I could easily have skipped as my wife pointed out - but it kept gnawing away at me and, in the end, at a market that we were visiting, I slipped into my running kit and ran down tothe nearest beach and back while my family were watching a competition of "escansiando" cider (pouring from a great height on to the edge of a glass, to make the cider effervesce. (By the way, I'm successfully abstaining from alcohol, even cider which I absolutely love.) I felt so much better after that run, it was scary. I can think of worse addictions to have, though.

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