What did I set out to do in March?
- A target of 210km for March. An average of 6.77km a day. Fine.
- Get a couple of rest days in every week, so run at least four days a week, no more than five. That’s roughly means I need to average 11.66km over those runs. Fine, fine.
- Avoid running in the gym as much as possible.
- Do some leg work in the gym though.
- Do some more sprint work.
- It’s getting lighter earlier: Use this to my advantage. Get out of bed and get on.
- Get some middle-of-the-day runs wedged in!
- Do the run out from home to Five Rise Locks and back. (It tried towards the end of February but just didn’t time it well.)
- Get a 25km run in.
- Stretch goal: Get a 30km run in.
- Be ready for the Manchester Marathon in early April.
- Keep enjoying it!
How did I run in March?
- A very frustrating month. What was supposed to have been setting up running the Manchester Marathon unraveled soon enough.
- Week 1 I ran 22.7km — including two runs around Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh — which set up a weekend when I could have put in 15km and the month would have been off to a solid start. But I didn’t, a combination of piled up home stuff and impromptu work stuff curtailing any weekend running.
- Week 2 I’d notched up 20.4km on Monday (only treadmill visit of the month) and Tuesday alone. But during Tuesday’s run — which was a new route and very enjoyable — I felt a sharp pain on back of my left leg. I dug in and got home, but not long afterwards I was struggling to walk. The next day I had to travel to Newcastle for work too. Ouch ouch.
- After a couple of days the pain had gone, I gave the leg another day off. The Manchester Marathon announced they were postponing the race, so any pressure I felt to get back running had gone. Saturday morning I had a gentle 5km trot along the canal, with the dog and a visiting friend. Sunday I followed that up with an early morning drive up to Saltaire for a run up to Five Rise Locks in Bingley. So glad I did that! It was great fun, and some fresh scenery was so so welcome! I noticed the pain in my leg had left bruising under my skin.
- After that — and confined to working from home — week 3 wax pretty solid, with 41km ran, and a nice mix of routes in there. I got a new pair of running shoes for the canal paths — Saucony Ride ISO 2s — and they seemed to give me a sturdier stride than my Hoka One One Cliftons. Saturday’s dog-friendly jaunt took us along a new route the river Aire near Shipley. However towards the end of Sunday’s run, after about 12.5km, the back of my left leg started playing up again. I didn’t keep running for much longer, knowing I wasn’t far from the end of my planned run.
- The pain was enough to wipe week 4 out. I did a lot of reading and playing with my leg and deduced I’d damaged my soleus. I didn’t know what one was either until I spent the evening learning about the muscles in my leg. I could walk, but anything faster than a walk caused me problems.
- Everything pointed to rest, coming back slowly, doing strengthening exercises, and coming back slowly — all of which I embraced. I’d rather be out for a chunk now than be out for much longer. I gave up in the month with a good week to go, having ran about 99km.
- I turned to walks (especially as we were mandated to One A Day thanks to the coronavirus) and I ordered a turbo trainer for my bike. Maybe walking and some biking would help my legs and my running.
What did I learn?
- Avoiding the gym was just great!
- Running to fresh places is something I need to keep doing. Running shouldn’t be a chore, which at times the continual treks along the canal were becoming.
- Injury + being housebound = FRUSTRATION.
- Going for longer walks a bit more has been refreshing. I’ve spotted plenty of things I’ve missed when running, including some new paths, which could make handy running routes in the future.
- Not doing as much running means does mean my weight has risen a little.
- But also I was officially recognised as being diabetic — and my running has played a big part in helping manage that as much as I can. I just need to keep going.
- I was disappointed I didn’t finish the two books about running I was reading this time last month. I will make sure they’re both done by the end of the first week of April.
What am I looking to do over the next month?
- Hopefully I’ll be back running at something like my regular speed at some point in April. When: I don’t know. And maybe I won’t. I just need to continue my slow, steady recovery, 1km to 1.5km light jogs most days until the leg feels settled. I can’t plan much until then.
- In the meantime, I am going to read up on how cycling might benefit my running and make sure I get my stretching and strengthening exercises in most days.
- And I’ll finish those two books.
- Modest month goals at the moment. Time to take it one week at a time.
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