Seems you *can* teach an old dog new tricks, and this weekend I’ve done me some learning.
Having smashed my Thursday fast short run, Becky and I took a look at my data. Specifically, I wanted to know why I’ve found it so hard to run any distance lately. We looked at heart rate and nutrition data and worked out… (seems kind of obvious, now I say it out loud)…. that after a heavy workout my resting heart rate is elevated. So on Tuesdays, following intervals on Monday, my resting heart rate tends to be towards high fifties, whereas ordinarily it’s high forties – low fifties. Typically, we’ve tended to ease off if it’s high fifties, taking it as a sign of stress/illness, but now we’ve decided it’s simply a sign that I worked hard the previous day.
We’ve also decided that my nutritional strategy isn’t working well for long runs, and so we’re trying to replace some carb. This week, I took that to mean *before* my long slow run, as well as after, although typically I think my nutrition is OK and I’ll simply eat some carb for lunch after my LSR.
So I’ve tweaked the schedule a bit. I’ll do my LSR on a Sunday rather than a Saturday, to give my body some time to recover from the gym on Friday. This means I’ll miss my normal yoga class, but hopefully I’ll be able to hit yoga on a Wednesday, instead. That means I’ll be doing my short fast run on Thursdays and my endurance run on Sundays both with a day’s rest in my legs. This can only be a good thing. And we won’t ease up in the gym on Tuesdays, but just accept that RHR will be high, because of Monday intervals.
This weekend has been Week One, both of the new strategy and, formally, of the marathon training plan. Not only did I nail the short fast run on Thursday, but I totally smashed my 80 minute run today and, for the first time in an age, pulled up thinking I could have gone on for another 20 or so minutes. This is a breakthrough! Lately, I’ve been struggling to get to the end of my runs, much less thinking I could go beyond them.
I really think the mindset stuff I wrote about earlier in the week, and the new rest/fuel strategy is going to make a huge difference! And taking RHR into the plan gives a whole new meaning to ‘listening to your body’…
My other achievement this weekend has been doing all of this around a visit from my nephews, who are 9 and 7 and full-on bundles of energy. It’s been really fantastic having them to stay for the weekend, but I have a whole new level of respect for anybody who combines marathon training, work, and raising a young family. Absolute kudos to you; I don’t know how you do it! I was sitting in my bedroom at 11:30 last night, with a small boy with obvious tonsilitis and not a drop of calpol anywhere in the house, looking at my pre-run sleep vanishing into thin air. Luckily Mr P heroically went and found calpol at a local garage, so we all slept fine. My pre-run fuel and gear routine was conducted around watching last night’s Match Of The Day, getting dressed, organising breakfast, and tooth brushing, saving a lost tooth for the tooth fairy, finding shoes, and so on. HOW DO YOU DO THIS??? You are gods and goddesses of commitment and organisation!