Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Less is different

As I wrote in the previous post, I'm running a bit less right now. This is due to a few reasons:
  • Not entering many races
  • Having a family, full time job and college
  • Not being concerned with my run times as much
A side effect of all of this is that I'm enjoying my running more. I may only get to run 2-3 times a week (I didn't even run once last weekend!), but I'm really enjoying it. That's what it's about for me. 

A couple of years ago I was running 5-6 times a week and doing conditioning in a gym 3 times a week also. I ran 18 races that year and got a PB in all but two of them. But, I didn't enjoy the running, it was just something that had to be done to work towards a goal. The goal was another race, or a faster time. And that took the fun out of it. 

With other training I do, there is an element of "practice this to be able to do something new and different". As I also do Martial Arts and recently started CrossFit, you can see what I mean in relation to them. But with running it's more like repetition and more repetition gets you a goal and the goal is...more running...?

As you may have guessed, I'm starting to find long distance running (and cycling) a bit boring. I used to half joke that running was my "therapy", a way of loosening the shackles of work etc and getting outdoors for a while. Well, maybe I don't need as much recently (which I think is a good sign).

I have a race coming up this Sunday, in Dunboyne. Previously I was aiming for under 30mins, but this year I'm a bit more relaxed about it. I didn't run over the weekend, and whereas I could have run during lunch today, I got other stuff done around the house. Hoping to get a run in later though and possibly a track session tomorrow. Will let you know how I get on, but regardless, I think I'll enjoy it.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Defining myself

I have had times recently when I was unable to run, due to injury or illness. Other times, I've been unable to cycle for various reasons (like not having a bike!). At these times, you start to think, "How can I call myself a runner/cyclist if I can't run/cycle?".
But I started to ask myself, does it matter what label I put on my exercise habits and preferences?
 When I started down that path, it got me thinking, why do I run races?
Cycling for me is different - I don't do cycle races, only sportives and adventure races. So the cycling as a separate sport is not competitive for me.
 But why do I run races?
If I just want to run a certain distance, like a marathon, I can do that locally, in my own time. That would save me the race entrance fee, travel, possibly hotel costs etc.
 Is it for the PB? If I just want to get a PB, I'd be quite fussy about the races I choose, only going for flat, or net downhill elevations.
 So if I'm not doing races to run a certain distance or time, or a combination of both...why do I race?
For the challenge I think. But I must admit, I'm increasingly finding road running a bit boring!
There aren't any trails or mountains or parks near us, just roads and paths.
Also, its not safe to use headphones while running/cycling around our area. A lot of the roads have no paths, no hard shoulders and no street lights, so you really need your wits about you.
 So with all that in mind, I'm pretty sure I'll be doing less road races in the coming year, but the ones I will be doing will either be with friends or the race will be a personal challenge - like adventure racing or duathlons.
 Keep running,

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Episode 22.3 of the podcast, woohoo!

Running, again

"And as if by magic, he started running again..." No, that's not a quote I borrowed, I just made it up. Seems apt for me right now though. Wednesday before last I rocked up to my physio at 07:45 dressed in my running gear...which took me a while to find, not having been able to run since April. We went straight onto the treadmill. I was apprehensive. Would I forget how to run? I'm serious!
So I jumped on and was told to run at 60% intensity while I was videoed. After just a couple of minutes, I was stopped and had a look at the playback. From the side I looked ok, good even. Form hadn't taken a beating at all. From behind was a bit different. When I landed on my right foot everything was fine, but when on my left foot my pelvis dropped down on the right. Indicating a weakness on my left. So we went over my current rehab and then onto extra exercises. Along with the exercises, to be done six days a week, I have been told/allowed to run intervals every second day. So they gave me a specific running program, which has me doing a warmup, drills, then a multiple of 400m intervals, with the intensity increasing every session, and then a cool down.
That evening I couldn't wait and headed to the track to complete my 6 x 400m at 50% - well it was my first time running in six months. If you ever want to know which muscles are used for running, take six months off and then do intervals (possibly faster than you are supposed to...). The next couple of days my walking was interesting, ha ha.
Since then I've been running as prescribed until the weather decided to flood the area, including our grass track. So I took a chance and ran an easy 5.5k around the village. Towards the end I felt like going further, but didn't. Softly, softly and all that.
this morning (Wednesday) I was back early to the physio and on the treadmill. In only two weeks, after working on the rehab, the pelvis issue is totally gone. The physio was impressed with my dedication, but I really just wanted to get back to running as soon as I can. So I have to keep up the exercises twice a week for "maintenance" but should be good to go from here. Happy to say I will now cancel my appointment to get my ankle injected and resume running!

Keep running!


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Training update #477

A friend in the gym recently asked how my running was going, I replied, "Cycling is going great, thanks". I'm doing lots of ankle rehab, and at the last physio visit they got me to add in deadlifts. As I'm meant to be doing the rehab 6 days a week (!), I managed to get a banged up, rusty barbell with some small plates for free! Yes, I could probably lift a heavier set of plates, but six days a week? No point injuring myself further. So yes, cycling has been going well. I generally get out for one long or two medium to long cycles at the weekend and two or three 40-60k turbo trainer sessions during the week before breakfast. I've set myself some cycling goals for next year, as the sportive season is over for 2014. One of the goals is the Ring of Kerry. It's a charity cycle around the roads of Kerry in July covering 175-180k. Distance varies depending on who you ask. As for running goals, well there was a couple of races I was intending on doing this year, which I couldn't make, so I'm planning on doing them next year. Then again, if I don't get to do them it's not a big deal either! Best of luck to everyone running/jogging/walking the Dublin marathon on October the 27th!! Eoin

Friday, October 3, 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Physio and training

As you may know by now, I had an MRI on my ankle in July and I was told that it didn't show anything. That's both good and bad. The good thing is that there's no real damage, the bad thing is that it makes it pretty difficult to pin down the issue and from that find a fix.
So I tried contacting the Sports Doctor (who I hold in reasonably high regard) about a follow up, but his receptionist just relays my phone and email messages, with no reply apart from "I'll pass that on".
Being the active type, I'd like to get a resolution, so I went looking for a reputable physio...
Then I remembered having gone to a talk in a hotel not too far away last November. It was given by a Consultant Physio and a Strength & Conditioning coach. I didn't agree with everything they said,  (that's life), but I took a few recommendation on board and have been feeling the benefit of them. They both worked in the SSC in Santry, so I rang them and booked myself in.
My appointed physio (there seemed to be quite a few of them) had a chat and I told her of how I got the injury, the MRI etc and that it was still an issue. She did a lot of pushing, prodding etc and then took a video of me doing a few exercises like single leg squats. We then watched the video clips and I was able to see some areas that need work. I was given four different exercises to do, six times a week for two weeks. After that I have another physio visit and she wants to see me running on a treadmill. If I'm honest, having not been running since April, the treadmill is something I'm apprehensive about. Will I be in pain from the start, or pretty early on? Also, being the optimistic type, I'm wondering if this will be the "cure" and enable me to get back running!

As I'm fond of saying, time will tell...

Run easy,