Still can’t get the flow right

During the Friday’s run I became really exhausted. It was fine for a while though, but after 30 minutes it became worse. The last 10 minutes were unbearable. I tried my best not to force myself to maintain a certain speed. I never looked at the watch, but afterwards it was obvious that I had went pretty hard. I never seem to become adapted to the climate either. On the other hand July is the hottest month around here, but the past two or three weeks have been surprisingly cool. The past week though has been awful.

Today I went out late in the afternoon, the last hour of sunshine. It was extremely hot. The asphalt radiated a lot of heat. The temperature was still only 32 degrees C and humidity 70%, but since the asphalt was that hot it was just too much. I breaked after the big lap, after 42 minutes of running. After the run I couldn’t stand still for at least five minutes just breathing heavily. That quite much describes how affected I had become.’

I think also the development of today’s run was because of too bad hydration and too little nutrition. Because of my past problems with the digestion I seldom eat closer than 4-6 hours due to a run. Sometimes I’m very hungry when I go out…

When it comes to the achilles I’m not sure about anything anylonger. Is it the achilles tendonitis or is it plantar fasciitis? The orthopedic never told. What I do know is that it comes and goes at will. It doesn’t matter how I treat it or how much I rest, it seems. Some days it comes when I just walk around in the apartment and I have done nothing to provoke it. Well, the orthopedic said it would probably take only 2 weeks of easier running, then I’d be back. Now I’m up at two and a half months – maybe it’s time to pay him another visit 🙂

I know that these things can take time to heal, but I want an exact diagnosis to work against, or to know if I need to do anything differently or don’t do at all.

Fri 22 July – Easy run in fuzhou

1:00 – 12.36 km – 4:51 min/km – 164 in avg hr

 

Sun 24 July – Easy run in fuzhou

42:26 – 8.25 km – 5:08 min/km – 168 in avg hr

Trying to duplicate

Earlier today I ran and tried to duplicate the run two days ago. Going down with the heel and still a high cadence. It didn’t feel any different today. And I haven’t had any problems these past days with the achilles. I’m really hoping this will help. It do seem logic.

Tomorrow I will do a short run, just to get me going on every day run. Haven’t had any trouble whatsoever during the whole week now and I feel ready.
I forgot to put on the footpod on today’s run though, so no distance or pace, but I ran exactly the same course as two days ago, meaning I was a little slower today.

Sat 16 July – Easy run in fuzhou

44:04 – 162 in avg hr

Can a midfoot strike cause Achilles tendonitis?

A few days ago I read an article at Science of sport about whether heel-, midfoot- or forefoot-strike were most efficient in running.

http://www.sportsscientists.com/2008/04/running-technique-footstrike.html

It was very interesting and made me think of my present situation with injury and everything. Since 2009 I’ve believed that a midfoot strike is the best, no matter what speed. Now I guess some of you will go “I can’t believe this guy! Hey honey, have you heard?…” But since I haven’t had any injuries until recently I haven’t thought it to be bad at least.

But it makes sense – I have pressed myself  hard in very short time. I did that during the spring when I ran races with short time in between and at the same time  increased my speed. midfoot strike would make the calfs work hard making them tight. If I always run like that even on the easy runs maybe the calfs never get to rest enough. At least it could be an explanation to my injured achilles.

Anyway, I thought it couldn’t hurt to try to adjust my strike a little. So on my last run I forced myself to land on the heel. Just slightly, hardly noticable. Though I did feel a great difference. For the first time I felt the cushion in my very flat Adidas Adizero CS 🙂 And also, I didn’t get a single niggle. Afterwards my calfs weren’t one tenth as tight as they usually are. It was even hard to get anything out of stretching them. I also noticed that my cadence still didn’t change. I were at 90 strides / min. The thing is, I’ve read that at a stride of 90 you force yourself to land on the midfoot. Well, according to the article above I guess that is only applicable if you run fast enough. It would be very interesting if they would film one of the elites running slowly (like I do) to examine how they land.

Since my little experiment worked so fine I will try it again on Saturday 😉

Tue 12 July – Easy run in fuzhou

41:04 – 8.12 km – 5:04 min/km – 150 in avg hr

 

 

Some things never change, but this MUST

At yesterdays run I had a few niggles. Not very apparent, but I still felt them. I did all my best not to focus to much on them, but I felt that I needed to slow down in the end.

It’s all so strange. They seem to come all randomly. Sometimes I just stand still and don’t move at all and there it is.. And when I walk around it doesn’t show. It doesn’t seem to matter if I’m warmed up or not either..

It’s not on the achilles, more somewhere at the joint, but I can never feel any pain when I search for it with my hands. Nowhere.. I’m all confused. If I didn’t know better I would think it had something to do with nerves..

I’ve read around, and I seem to have insertional achilles tendonitis. It’s not so common to recover from with physical strengthening. But I did find one medical study suggesting the heel lifts on a stair could help in some cases. The important thing was to lift with the load on the good leg and lower with the bad leg.

I’ve seen many photos of achilles tendonitis, both on the mid-section and the insertional ones. I have no visible swelling or thickening – and, like I wrote above – I’m not tender to any touch, hard as soft. So it can’t be that severe.. Only – it won’t go away.

What is insertional achilles tendonitis?

Achilles tendinopathy: Treatment strategies – a more medical article on how to attack the problem

Tue 12 July – Easy run in fuzhou

41:04 – 8.12 km – 5:04 min/km – 150 in avg hr

I’m getting all frustrated

Is this annoying or what?! Just as I thought the cold would vanish after two days of runny nose it went over to being a cough instead. The kind that tickles in the throat. This means I won’t even be able to run a single meter probably for the rest of the week 🙁 Really turns me down. I’m getting very frustrated. I deal with adversity much better when I’m in control and actively can do something about it. But this kind – just to wait it out – really gets on my nerve. I feel I have been forced to neglecting the running as it is the past month. I haven’t even been able to run for full since.. It must be around 20th of May, so it’s even over 40 days now! I don’t want to think about what that can do to my fitness. On the other hand, pushing oneself when the body has said no is an even worse idea. I really hope I will be able to achieve my ambitions of breaking the sub 37 this year, though. Seems like I’m getting further and further away from it as the situation is right now..

An unintentional change

At this mornings run on the streets of Fuzhou (I try to always run in the morning when I come home from a nights work here in China) I had a change. Just before the run I decided to run without the music in my ears. I don’t know if it was that. Presumably not. Anyway, when I started running I also decided not to look at the watch to keep up my pace or down my heart rate. It felt a little tough, the run. Not tougher than the last one, but hard enough. Actually I tried to copy the last run I had two days ago. It was almost the same route too. This time were not as many stray runs, since I explored a new route the last time so now I knew better 🙂

After the run, however, I took a look at the watch. The run was only 55 minutes long, but I didn’t care. Strange was that I had run at the pace 4:35 – over a half minute faster than the last run. And stranger was that my average heart rate wasn’t higher than 159 – lower than the last run.

I don’t know if it was good or bad, I will leave that to coach. But I do know that I didn’t think that I was able to keep a high pace like that with such a low heart rate in this heat, which by the way this morning laid at 26 degrees.

A nice change, though

Thu 23 June – In fuzhou

55:17 – 12.07 km – 4:35 min/km – 159 in avg hr

 

Positive news

When the pain wouldn’t go away in my foot I was very afraid that I had to be away from the running for a long time. Well, at least longer than I would want since I feel that I have worked so hard these two years I’ve been running to get where I currently am.

Yesterday I went to an orthopedic who was specialized in podiatry. We talked a lot about running – he was also a big fan of the sport and had been running 35 km per week for the last 20 years or so. After examining my foot he told me that there were no heat and neither a big swelling. He did find a small swelling within the heel, approximately 3 cm from the lower joint of the achilles tendon. So the way he described it it wasn’t on the tendon itself.

He also said that the healing process already was on and that I only needed to half my running for two weeks, preferably every other day rather than half the mileage every day. Then I could go back to my ordinary mileage.

Apparently it wouldn’t hurt to do my speed runs as long as I don’t feel it getting worse, according to him. Anyway, I don’t plan to do speedwork – just 1 hour easy runs and maybe a long run in the weekend.

So yesterday I could go out on my 1 hour easy run with a big smile on my face, happily knowing I didn’t do anything to harm myself. 🙂

One funny thing was that he commented my feet – that they were suitable for running, it was strangely awkward, but nice to hear. He said something like “These are good feet and joints – they are very good feet! Stable and strong” and at the same time he pushed and bent them in all directions. I couldn’t help but laughing  a little 😀

But he did say that I needed to stretch my calves and achilles tendons. They didn’t stretch so far and could be, he say they didn’t have to, but could be holding me back a little since they are fully stretch when my feet touch the ground hence not able to work fully during push off.. Or something.. I can’t say I understood everything he said.

Today have been a resting day and honestly I already feel better. I have been resting a little more than usual for two weeks now. But that doesn’t mean I’ll be willing to jeopardize the recovery by not following the advice..

In other words, yesterday was a very good day for me 😉

 

Not an easy decision

Tomorrow would be the last race before my China trip 7th June. I looked forward to one last positive achievement. Now it seems it won’t happen. Sad, but I guess it’s for the best. I had the Thursday and Friday for rest and on Saturday I took a 30 min easy run with 1 min x 6 @ race pace and 1 min of easy in between. The injury is still there. Not much worse than before, but neither better. Coach thought it best to pay the physio a visit rather than running a race – and I guess he’s right.

To use a golf metaphor I also used in the feedback forum:

“It’s like when you play golf (to draw a parallel), and are in the woods with trees in between yourself and the green. The urge to go for the green through the trees instead of taking a shot to the side on the fairway is VERY strong.. However, not especially wise

This time I will go for the fairway and hopefully win a few hits in the end..

So.. I will book an appointment with the doctor to see what he has to say about it.. I think it’s very strange that I don’t have the pain all the time at the same type of movement. It’s when I race the heel and stand/push with the ball of the foot – but like I’ve said before, just a few strides in a row. And almost never when I run fast – only when I walk or go easy.

Let’s just hope it gets better soon.. In China I will do a build up to regenerate.

Thoughts about the coming race today (Lerumsloppet)

Early morning, 4 hours left until the race. Loaded myself with water since yesterday. In the late evening yesterday I also stuffed myself with wholegrains and yoghurt. An hour ago I ate spaghetti with tuna. I think that will be the last thing I eat before the race – I don’t want to risk upsetting the stomach.

During the race I plan to keep a pace of around 4:50 the first 4.3 km. Then comes the slope going on for around one km and lifts us up nearly 60 meters. Then I will try to keep the pace to around 4:00, but I know I will drop to around 4:15-4:20 after a while. It’s ok. I don’t want to come to dry-retching, which will be hard not to with such an incline.

After 5,3 km it goes downhill all the way to the finish line. So 60 meters downwards for 4,7 km. Then I will try to gain some of what a lost. So I will try to keep a pace of at least 3:40-3:45 most of the time.

But we’ll see. Keeping a pace of around 4:00 for such a long incline upwards might be unrealistic.

Running update – ups and downs

So, I think it’s time for a little update in the running area 😉

Past week I’ve been doing the first week in the sub 40 program. Honestly I’ve felt very tired in the body for some reason. The legs have felt heavy and I’ve lacked energy. Also I’ve lacked a little in the motivation to go out running at all.

I don’t know, it just doesn’t feel like I do much progress. Coach always tells me that I shouldn’t question the program and I don’t – I question my own ability. Maybe this is also an effect of all the downs we’ve had in the family lately. When lots of tiny bad things occur in a short time, they tend to pack themselves up in a big pile that blocks your way :S

Anyway, The 1 hour runs went ok, like I wrote earlier I’ve been tired, but they have done their part of the job.
When I ran the 2k sessions on the other hand, I came to retchings again. I was running in Västerås and It was in the end of the third 2k interval if I’m not mistaken. I had run a lot upwards and then downwards and when they came I was on my way upward again. Not a big incline, but big enough to keep me working hard to keep up the pace. Like all the times I felt it build up the minute right before. Only way to prevent them is to slow down a lot or stop – and that’s not me, I’m afraid.

I still completed all the intervals, but at lower pace. I recovered the lost 200 meters in the fourth interval instead.

It doesn’t feel good that I have to keep down the pace not to get the retchings. I feel that the strength in my legs and body cope well with the pace..

Today I did the 1k intervals. It was in Gothenburg and like always the winds were present. But I think I did pretty well. I haven’t checked the data yet. I would rather run these intervals on a track to get it exact, but sometimes I don’t have time to do that.

I have also applied for another race – Skärgårdsmilen . It’s a 10k race held on the Islands Hönö and Fotö outside Gothenburg. It’s in two weeks from now on the weekend. The date is 17th April. But I think it will a nice experience to run in the beautiful island nature 🙂

Let’s just hope I don’t come to retchings then. I will really have to see the doctor again about that. I don’t know if I’ve written about it here, but the laboratory tests proved to be perfect. So there’s something else with me. Don’t know whether to be happy or sad about that. It’s good that I don’t have any allergies, bacterias and such. But now it can be something physical that can’t be cured if I’m unfortunate :S

One more thing.. I promise to be better at updating the blog. It’s just that I’ve had a lot going on at home lately with the new child (Julie) and everything. Family must always come first 🙂

Here’s the data from the 8k race two weeks ago

Detailed Garmin data
Link to results of race

Race day – Vårtävling 8k (7777m), Skatås

Lap Distance Time AvgPace AvgHR MaxHR AvgCadence
1 7777 m 30:46 3:57 184 199 92

And todays 1k sessions

Garmin data from today

Day 8, sub 40 program2nd round
start with 6x1k R60 3min 45 to 3min50

Lap Distance Time AvgPace AvgHR MaxHR HR After 60 sec rest
1 1.0 3:49 3:48 166 174 91
2 1.0 3:49 3:50 164 178 119
3 1.0 3:52 3:51 171 180 125
4 1.0 3:47 3:47 174 183 132
5 0.997 3:50 3:51 174 185 134
6 1.0 3:49 3:49 175 184 128