Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Such a cliché...

...that all this running has found my Achilles heel. Literally, in this case - both of them. Yup, for the last couple of weeks after runs the right Achilles has been sore, as has the underside of the left heel, which, it seems, is just a different manifestation of an Achilles problem.

So I consulted my favourite doctor (that'd be Dr. W. W. Web), who said that Achilles pain can be brought on by any one of the following:

- front foot-landing running (that's what I do; saves lots of other problems)
- speed work (check; lots of sprints round Regent's Park recently)
- hill running (I only run in the hills at the weekend)
- not doing enough stretching of the lower legs, calves in particular (erm, yes again; oops)

So I'm now doing a new set of exercises three times a day to try to get the soreness out of the damn things. I'm still running, which perhaps isn't wise, but the discomfort is at its peak in the first couple of hundred yards of a run, and then it settles down. So whilst that's the case, I'll keep going. Which is just as well, as I'm off to Keswick this Sunday for my mountain running skills course; it's a practical course, so there'll be plenty of time on my feet.

And that's not unlike the next couple of days....I'm in London, as per usual, and there's a Tube strike over the next 48 hours, so there's four walks of two and a bit miles coming up. I don't mind actually, but I hope the weather turns out a bit kinder than the forecast.

Back to the running. Training at the moment consists of a few short runs in London during the week, and a couple of long-ish hill runs at the week. Marathon training suggests that you gradually increase the distance of your weekly run till you reach 75% of marathon distance. Training for an ultra-marathon is different. If you do 75% of an ultra, you're basically going to be knackered for several weeks afterwards, leading to reduced training that's not going to move you on; so that's to be avoided. Instead, you do two medium to long back-to-back runs at some point in the week, the theory being that on the second you've got some residual tiredness from the first. So that's what I'm doing. We'll see how successful it is in due course - but it's leading to a few Sunday afternoon snoozes at the moment, and the consumption of quite a lot of porridge - which, I've discovered, is a lot more interesting with a splash of Jack Daniel's over the top. And on that happy thought, enough for now.

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