07/10/2020 – easy runch

After yesterdays session just a short easy run today, and as I slept in today (ver unusual for me) and the weather is supposed to be worse after work I decided to go for a run during my lunch break.

45min lunch break, so 30min for the run, not much you need to plan there, but it’s so nice to get away from the screens, see the river, wave to a friend from my AC who was out on a run too – really good as a reset button in the middle of the work day.

06/10/2020 – solo tempo session

With Covid19 showing its ugly face a bit more again here in Cork I decided to play it safe, and train alone instead of at the club. Last week, when I missed out on the club session because of my work schedule, I did hills, therefore doing a tempo session this week made sense. And I have done tempo session on my own in early 2020 during the hard lockdown, so I didn’t have to search for a good route.

6K of tempo from the castle to the pond, most of the route rather flat and with good tarmac, start and finish both 1.5 to 2.5K away from home so I get a god warm-up and cool-down. The route can be quite busy with families and dog walkers etc., but I was lucky this time, it was rather quiet for that time of the day, perhaps the latest Covid news makes more people stay at home for a while.

Both heels/ankles weren’t perfect during the warm-up, and the left groin (the one that kept me injured for so long this summer) didn’t feel good either, it took quite some time into the tempo part until it allowed me to open up really and make bigger steps.

So I wasn’t exactly thrilled during the tempo to see my average pace around 4:00min/K, compared to 3:50min/K on the track lately, even after some hills. But then, at the track I have other runners around me that help keep the pace up, I don’t have to navigate around dogs, and there isn’t a steep bridge. Plus I usually did 15min lately on the track, so the 24min here on my own are not that bad, now that my brain is getting enough oxygen again. An average HR of 151 during the tempo, and a maximum of 171, show that I did put some work in (yes, my HR tends to be on the lower side usually).

05/10/2020 – and then there was rain

Rather grey afternoon, but it was dry, and there was no rain forecast in both apps I use, so I planned to do an easy 10K run, just test the left ankle. So after work I looked out of the window, still grey but dry, jumped into running gear, and headed out.

By the time I made it to the front door it had started to just drizzle, so still no problem, even in just a long-sleeve jersey. Took another 2 minutes until it really rained, enough that I wished I had taken my rain jacket with me, and was contemplating heading back for it. My brain came up with the great plan that if I keep going, and the rain keeps going too, that would be a great excuse to cut the run short – and the route I was running is incredibly flexible because it offers many possible exits to my house, depending on the exit it’s a 7K, 8K or 9K, and it’s easy to add little loops to get it to 10K or more. Great, but also quite “dangerous” in regard to cutting a run short.

The left ankle wasn’t amazing, during the first kilometre both the Achilles tendon and the heel of the foot were sore, but that went away before I made it to the water. Luckily also the rain was only temporary, and 2K into the run it wasn’t even a drizzle anymore.

So I changed the route a bit, left the old railway line directly after the bridge over the South Ring, ran past the gold club, and then through the estates of Beaumont down to the Atlantic Pond and the Marina.

With that kind of weather not many people were out there, so the run was quite enjoyable overall.

04/10/2020 – rest, not race

After a very easy 1 hour cycle on Saturday I got up Sunday morning, and could feel right away that the left ankle wasn’t perfect. The achilles tendon was sore to the touch, and the whole ankle felt a bit weak. But the race was only at 15:00, so I was still hoping that these issues could be gone by then, so I still prepared my day as a race day.

Took me until past 12:00 to “admit defeat”, and call off the race for me. I had checked, my club had enough faster runners than me there, I would have been the backup of the backup of the backup, so no issues in that regard, didn’t let anybody else down.

Would have been fun to race again after such a long time, and especially in XC, but it’s more important to be able to keep training, keep improving after the injury. So I rested that Sunday, didn’t even go out for a little jog, just did some resistance training at home.

Very low mileage last week because of that, 35K with runs on 4 days, so I see that as a big recovery effort. Let’s get ready for a normal week again!

02/10/2020 – big questions and a double feature

No running yesterday, wanted to see if that would help the achilles tendon, so I only did some resistance training in the morning, and a nice 30min walk during my lunch. Unfortunately the left tendon didn’t do me that favour, still a bit sore, so I probably should have done an easy run yesterday, as I am going to not run on Saturday anyway, because of the race on Sunday. So the big question was what to do today.

If Sunday was an A race for me, sure I would take it easy with a short run today and no run tomorrow. Perhaps I would even do that for a B race, but this one is probably just a C race. My club has more than enough runners there that should be faster than me, and I am only coming back from injury, so there is no pressure on me to perform. My goal for the race is rather just to see how the legs feel in a race situation, where I stand at the moment and how far behind my normal expectations I am.

Therefore my priority should be the training before and after the race, not the race, right? After the workout on Wednesday I was at roughly 24K for the week, when I would usually do 60K, and because of the race there will be no long run on Sunday. So this week is going to be a recovery week anyway, 40-45K would be fine. If the race on Sunday, with warm-up and cool-down, gives me 10K that means today I should aim for 6-11K. To not put too much pressure on the legs I am going to split that up, two easy runs today, one before and one after work.

Let’s see how well that works out for me …

30/09/2020 – 2×5 hill sprints

Working the late shift this week, therefore no chance to get to the Tuesday workout of my AC – so I had to do some kind of workout on my own this morning. Both heels didn’t feel amazing (that’s why I am now sitting at work, with my feet up and ice packs on both heels), and there should be a race on Sunday, so I opted for an intense but short workout, hill sprints.

There is a “nice” hill right next to the Atlantic Pond, a bit over 100m, pretty much car free, and it gets quite steep quite fast. And because of the steep gradient even pedestrians don’t use it that much, so it’s pretty much perfect.

I went with 2×5 reps, to try and keep the HR up for longer, but I have to admit, that didn’t work well, I screwed that up a bit. Should have been a bit faster during the downhill parts, most of the time the HR recovered too much there. Perhaps I can do 3×4 next time, have one more real recovery, but keep the HR up a bit more during the downhills.

But hey, most important thing is I went out there for a run, and even got the HR up to 173 at one point. That’s not too bad for somebody like me, whose HR usually stays quite low. I have been faster on that hill before, but good to see that I can do such workouts again completely pain free, and without any restrictions.

It also was a nice opportunity to run in my new Adidas Adizero Adios Boost 5 (paid link), which felt good during the session, very responsive – I like them. Onwards and upwards, right?

29/09/2020 – hello DOMs my old friend

Cold morning, I went through the drawers and ran with a buff around the neck and at least the “normal” gloves, not yet the ones that are more rain- and windproof. I even got the head torch out of the drawer, not needing it yet, but already charging it, won’t be long until it’s needed. Also, long sleeve base layer instead of a shirt, and 3/4 tights instead of shorts. I definitely looked like autumn is here.

Also arrived have the DOMs, the quads are quite sore, and also some abdominal muscles. So at first I was contemplating not running, and going for a short cycle instead, but somehow the brain managed to convince the rest of the body that a run would be the better option.

Legs weren’t happy at the start of the run, but after a few Ks that was fine. I was quite happy with my clothing choices, wasn’t getting too warm at all. But then, I was taking it easy again, average HR of 117, and max of 131.

Nice 11K jog before work (and before the rain warning for Cork comes into effect later today). Sitting now at work with compression tights, hoping the DOMs will be gone by tomorrow 🤞

28/09/2020 – very easy recovery run

Legs still tired from the long run yesterday, but no DOMs (at least yet). So the idea was to just do a very short recovery run after work. Temperatures still warm enough for shirt and shorts, even though the sun was finishing her shift too.

Great to see that the Marina was still quite busy. And in regard to my run, an average HR of 111 and a maximum of 123 clearly show that was a recovery run, such a short run at that intensity will not add any recovery time really.

Nice easy shake-out for the legs.

27/09/2020 – back in business!

We are definitely into autumn now, we started for out long run at 8am, and the temperature outside was 4 degrees Celsius! So for the first time for month I was heading out for a run with a wooly hat, and a base layer under the long-sleeved jersey. No gloves yet, but was thinking of that already.

But enjoyed the run, a lap first with the one group, and then just before the end of that lap, when I thought I would have to do another lap on my own, another group came towards us, so I only had to turn around and run with them. Having company on a long run makes it so much easier.

Decent pace throughout the run, 4:42/K on average, so that was a half marathon in under 100min – and I wasn’t struggling at all, I could have done more kilometres at that pace.

Sure, far away from what I would want to be able to do in a race, but also quite far away from what I was able to do a month ago. And looking at the HR data, an average heart rate of 137, and maximum of 155 bmp (at the uphill after the castle, therefore totally expected), so I wasn’t in trouble at any point, it was all very controlled.

Shows how good consistent is, that was the seventh Sunday in a row that I was able to go out for the longest run of that week, even if the first two of those were not yet runs I would call long runs if I wasn’t coming back from injury.

26/09/2020 – new Adizero Adios Boost 5

Cycled into town in the morning, and one item I got was new running shoes. My blue Adidas Adizero Adios Boost 4 were getting old, with over 1000 kilometres on them. So they are now relegated to being everyday shoes, and I got nice new Adidas Adizero Adios Boost 5 (paid link).

So I did a nice test run with them in the afternoon, flat 10K loop around Blackrock. I like that the tongue is way thinner now, and they felt nice and fast. Didn’t measure them or look up the weight, but I got the impression that they are a bit lighter than the generation before.

Will have to run more in them, but the first impression was positive!

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