Keeping it aerobic

The past couple of weeks since returning from Paris have been both very busy in terms of training and work. In fact at the beginning of last week I began to feel a little fatigued coupled with a slight cold that I had picked up.

At first I ignored it and tried to push through it but noticed that my resting HR was hovering around 49-50 which is around 5-6 beats higher than I would expect. The previous 3 weeks to that I had been consistently hit 8-9 hours of running and managed to squeeze in a few mid week medium long runs alongside my usual weekly 2+ hour run.

So Monday last week I took a day off and felt a bit better the next day. Training wise I have been running am running mostly within MAF range of 139-149 with most of my runs finishing closer to 149 by the end of it. as the week progressed I felt OK but from time to time tired. In fact by Saturday after a very easy 10 mile run I felt exhausted. I don't know what was happening as I seem to have been getting more sleep, eating better etc.

When Sunday came around my resting HR was still around 50!! I didn't see the point of adding more stress if I wasn't recovering properly so I binned the long run and just went out for a deliberately short easy plod. I was glad in a way as I did feel a lot better than when I started but knew that anything resembling a long run would have made things no worse the next day. So it was a very low week of 43 miles.

Now although I think the recovery issue is a combination of sub optimal sleep and upping the amount of time I had been running per week I think a bigger factor has been the effort I have been running at for each run. I had thought that my max MAF HR was 149 (180 - 36 + 5 for 2 years good progress) however Maffetone is quite explicit around some of the factors to include and although I have made progressing I hadn't taken my recent injury in October into account nor the mild asthma I suffer from.

On my next run I set out to run at a max HR of 144. On Monday I was feeling like my old self again and my resting HR had come down to 46 which was much more like it. I headed out the door to see whether the change of effort would help and of course it's logical to think that reduced effort would.

The legs felt much improved and the run ticked by pretty effortlessly and although my alarm did go off occasionally to ensure that I didn't push too hard I didn't feel awkward running at all which I know a lot of other people have noticed when switching to this method.

I followed this up with 10 miles yesterday and an easy 5 miles today and the legs feel good and my resting HR is at 41!. Of course being off work is helping with not having much work stress to manage and it remains to be seen how the remainder of the base phase pans out but I have to say I am confident I will still see improvements over the coming weeks.

Recovery and Paris

Following a good day out at the Winter Tanners 30 mile trail event I took a week of very easy short runs to help with recovery. I was surprised that I could actually get out for a very easy run the next day and even though it was an awkward plod it did go someway to help the pump some fresh blood through the legs which were a little sore.

I followed it up with a few more very easy short days of running and again it did help massively with recovering from that event. By the time I got to the weekend my legs were feeling fresher but not so much that I could go out and run another long run and hence I was made aware of this when I went out for an 11 mile run with a buddy of mine who is training for his first half marathon. The heart rate was still up around 150 and yet the pace / effort was indicating I still hadn't recovered.

After a day off the following day the legs felt improved so I kicked off the first of 15 weeks of real training with a proper base building week. It went fairly well I have to say and having clocked up just over 43 miles by the Sunday I went out feeling stronger than in some time for a nice 2 hour + run. I ended up with a great out and back long run through parks I hadn't visited in some time and an excellent trail with a few inclines in Bedfords Park. Definitely going back there when things dry out a bit.

Having sufficiently recovered from Winter Tanners and got my first week of "proper" training I started last week with confidence. I knew that I had to prove that I could run another full week of training. Low and behold the week panned out really well.

Arc de Triumphe in all it's glory
I had had to go to Paris on Thursday/Friday for work and took the opportunity to see a bit of the city from the hotel with an early morning run. My friend from work David and I had been out for a short jog the evening before but had to meet colleagues for dinner so didn't have much of a chance to see much but on Friday though we made a better job of it.

Selfie alert

So having headed out the Hotel door at 7am we made our way out to see at least the Arc de Triumphe and Eiffel Tower. I was hoping the tower would be all lit up so took my IPhone for a few pictures of course. After trotting along ensuring we were following our Google Maps route we noticed how quite the Parisian streets were which if this had been London might have just been a bit busier!

After 15 minutes or so we jogged up a street with a bit of an incline and could see the Arc de Triumphe as we got to the end of the street.  All I can see is it's amazing to see it lit up with lights but also that it's the biggest roundabout I have ever seen! I am quite impressed with my picture actually.

After taking a couple pic it was onwards to the Eiffel Tower. Well what can I say, when we got there I was most disappointed not to see it all lit up. Despite this I was mesmorised and imagined what it would be like to run in the Spring or Summer around here. On second thoughts maybe it wouldn't be so good with thousands of tourists around!

Anybody home?

After taking some pictures we headed back albeit by a route down by the river first before heading back over another bridge. We ran past the Champs Elysee (target for next time) which looked amazing all lit up. After getting back to the Hotel and changing for breakfast we actually had to head to the office to actually do some work. After a busy day at work I headed back on the Eurostar home to a busy weekend of training and domestic stuff but I couldn't forget the great sights I had seen while in Paris. It fit well into the training schedule and provided a much needed change of scenery.

Au revoir for now!
Another selfie I know but had too do this!