A good time to self-reflect...

Posted on: 17 Jun 2012

Gluteus medius is the name of the muscle I was looking for in my Yateley Race 1 report. I gave up biology at an early age so it's always a surprise to learn how many different muscles there are in various parts of the body. The gluteus medius is one of three gluteal muscles, its main role (apparently) to stabilize the pelvis. It's a difficult muscle to rest and it's been sore since the race.

Oddly, as I proved in the race, it's still possible to run quite well with the injury although my hamstring was also very stiff for 2-3 days afterwards indicating possible overuse as a result of compensating for the injury. I ran a couple of miles the Tuesday after the race and felt superb but the muscle was still a tad sore so I decided to rest for another few days until it has cleared completely.

It's feeling good today so my aim is to restart my training this Tuesday. That'll give me a couple of weeks before the second Yateley race. I've been looking forward to running this particular race as my son Liam is planning to run with me. He's back home from University and keen to maintain fitness after using a gym regularly, including a treadmill. We ran together several times when he was home at Easter and that was a big help in upping my pace in training.

It seems now is a good time to reflect on what's gone well and what's gone less well so far this year.


1. I've set more realistic targets. By basically starting from scratch, I've built up my pace and mileage slowly but steadily without regard to the pace I was previously running at. As a result (and almost without noticing it) I've become hugely fitter and built a good, solid base of fitness.

2. I've been more sensible about not running when I'm injured. I've waited until I'm over the injury before restarting. When I do restart, I step back in my training schedule the equivalent number of weeks I've been laid up. As a result, although it took me longer than originally hoped to be ready for a 10K race, I missed fewer sessions and certainly had no long period without running.

3. I'm resting more sensibly between runs, especially before my tempo and longer runs. Previously, I may have dug over the whole veg patch the day before a hard run. Now I plan to do any big jobs like this so that I have a clear day's rest before a hard run.

Less well

1. I ran at too fast a pace in the race. I'd trained to run at 9:30 overall pace but ended up running 9:09 pace. That may not seem much but throw in the hilly start (see point 3) and this can be dangerous. It's possible this is the reason why I'm prone to injury during races. I need to be more conservative in my pace, especially for the first half of a race.

2. As Firefly pointed out, the more "mature" we get, the longer our recovery time, especially after a hard session. If it's a hot day, I need to throttle back a bit. This should be easy for me as a regular wearer of a heart rate monitor as that usually is a very good indicator of "effort" during a run.

3. My training routes are largely on flat sections. The Yateley race is run over a relatively up and down circuit. I need to vary my training routes to cover some hill work.

Of course, it's easy to say what needs to be changed - now I've got to do it!

Enjoy your running!

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