A lighter week than planned due to knee pain. Ran a PB for 5000m on Saturday; went off at 15:00 pace with the lead group but struggled in the last 2k.
Monday: 12km easy (12)
Tuesday: 5 x 800 off 2 mins: 2:21, 21, 19, 18, 17 (17)
Wednesday: 12km easy (12)
Thursday: Rest (0)
Friday: Rest. Sore knee (0)
Saturday: Midland championships 5000m, 6th in 15:19.55 (16)
Sunday: 21km easy (21)
Week total: 78km
No, this is not a music blog. I’m not referring to the Kate Bush song, excellent though it is, nor am I referring to Placebo’s equally brilliant cover. This is about some of the training I’ve been doing recently.
Having fallen on a run a few weeks ago, I have been suffering from some muscle tissue damage in my right knee and have gradually been trying to regain strength in it and not lose too much fitness. Two weeks of almost no running were followed by two more of some jogging combined with massage and icing on my knee. I have not been able to train on track but have realised that running hard up hills has a similar training effect but is much less punishing on my knee.
Hill sessions were an element of my training that I had neglected in the past, prefering to do either speed or endurance sessions on the track, but as I stood breathlessly slumped against a wall after my 8th and fastest hill rep on Thursday evening, I realised that hill sessions are the real deal. You get the same anaerobic workout as you do on the track and a nice long recovery as you jog down the hill.
My particular favourite is shown below, a hill that starts flat and gets steeper and steeper as your legs fill with lactic acid. It is also exactly 400m, so although you can’t compare your times to one lap of the track, you’re doing well if you can get close.
Even once my knee heals, I’ll still be running up that hill.
Of all the things that a runner can do to prepare himself for the start of track season, I would suggest that falling over in the road and smashing one’s knee does not represent the ideal preparation. Correct me if I’m wrong.
I went for my long run on Friday morning; unusual I know but my club mate Jack was up for it and the royal wedding was on, meaning a day off work. The other reason was that I had entered a track race today (Monday) and wanted to be fresh for it.
We had barely been going a minute when I ran across a road at pace, caught a bit of gravel and slipped, with my right knee taking most of the force of my fall. I wanted to become more familiar with the streets of Birmingham by trying out some new routes. This wasn’t what I meant. I left several layers of skin behind and my elbows, hands and knees are still pretty grazed. We carried on with the run, an excellent blast round the countryside and some cycle routes at a decent pace, but the next day my knee really started hurting. I think it’s just a bit of bruising and muscle tissue damage, but I will try and get to a physio this week and get their verdict. In the mean time I’m taking a full week off running, and icing my knee to calm the inflammation, with the hope that I should be OK for my next scheduled race on Saturday. I had a very similar injury last year and I delayed my recovery by rushing back; I’m trying to be a bit more sensible this time round.