Archive for August 2009
This month was marred by illness and injuries. The total mileage is 160 miles, a big drop-off from July (244). It started off so nicely with the longest training run ever (17 miles), but then things got pretty tough. That’s life. Got to deal with it.
11 weeks till the race. My current expectation has been significantly lowered due to the nagging left leg pain.
In the sports world, things are exciting again this week. Barcelona return to the field tonight, playing their first La Liga match of the season. Hoping for another good year. Last Grand Slam tennis of the year, the US Open, is also set to start tonight. Go Federer.
In this past week, due to the fact that I haven’t been able to do much running, I’ve started doing more stretching throughout the day. My goal is to increase flexibility. My body is super stiff. There are aches if I try to touch my toes, rotate my hips, bend my back, etc. I’m tired of these pains. So something has got to be done.
Running is a high-impact activity that use a fixed set of muscle groups over and over. I haven’t done much of other sports or exercises besides running, so the other muscles aren’t as strong. There’s an imbalance in the body; maybe that’s why I constantly get hurt.
Stretching will hopefully help wake up those other muscles in my body to be ready for my runs.
First, my progress. Well, there’s not much. Put in a run this evening–a humid one on the track. The pain is not going anywhere anytime soon. Complete rest would obviously bring the quickest recovery, but I would lose my conditioning (and may go crazy due to the inactivity). It’s about finding the balance.
Thus, the run was very slow today. No need to worry about pace or training plan. It’s all about getting in the miles during this maintenance mode.
Next, I just want to talk about training logs.
Running is a simple sport. You just go out and keep putting one foot in front of another. That’s why I like it. The training process is all about hard work and the improvement is scientific. If you don’t go out and run, you will never improve. If you train, you get better. If you train too hard, you get injured.
When you are out there, you are in your own world. If you feel tired you slow down. If you feel fresh you speed up. You don’t need a plan to enjoy running. You can run in whatever way you feel like. But sometimes you might want to look back and review what you’ve done. Unless you are a robot and can memorize each and every workout, a log is needed.
A notebook would be the simplest way of keeping such record. But an online log allows you to do this from anywhere (with internet obviously) without carrying, and taking care of, an actual notebook. I’m currently using these nice web tools to record my training:
- DailyMile: user friendly, lots of features (tagging, gears, weather, effort), nice community. still got some bugs/annoyances though. been using it since the beginning of this year. This is the place I share my workout.
- Merv’s Running: straightforward, fast, nice full-calendar view. just started using it yesterday and like it a lot.
- Google Docs (spreadsheet): most customizable obviously.
There are many others on the web. Look around and you’ll surely find one that suits you. It can be a great supplement to your workouts.
Another “rest” day. Off the road and on the treadmill again. Did a pre-lunch short run. Then did a little spin workout in the evening. Sweated profusely. Cycling is a good cross-training workout. Much less impact on the knees/feet.
Only five days left in August, and less than three months till the race. Training has taken a hit due to illness/injuries. This month’s mileage will be significantly lower than that in July. Just a bump in the road. Patience is key.
Today due to an all-day meeting plus my leg injury, I ran very little. It was done on a treadmill; so the impact was gentler than usual. No sharp pain, but it was a short run. There is still some tightness in there.
While in the fitness room, I also did a little bit of strength exercises. It had been a long while that I did any of such workouts.
Injuries are frustrating. Can’t wait to be fit again.
I need a rest. The pain in my left leg is not getting any better. Now it hurts along the outside of the leg, from the hip/buttock area down to iliotibial (IT) band, down to the outer calf. It wasn’t just running on hard pavement that causes the pain. I ran this evening on soft post-rain track surface; the sharp pain still came up, and got worse as I ran.
I think I need to let my body heal. Gonna just do easy stretching for a while.
In the final day of the World Championships, the 27-year-old Ethiopian got his second gold medal at Worlds. First man in history to win both 5km and 10km races. The last lap of the 5k is beautiful to watch. Lagat really pushed him hard.
Also, congrats to Federer for winning Cincinnati title! Looking forward to the US Open next week…