As the Beast from the East begins to bite, I’ve decided to err on the side of caution and take my first rest week since Christmas. It’s not directly linked to the weather – running in the wind and cold doesn’t bother me all that much as long as there’s enough grip under foot.
This is more down to learning from my mistakes of last year, when stubborn old me just ploughed on through injury flare ups convinced things would be ‘alright on the night’ come race day (which, of course, they never were). They urge you to listen to your body, and that’s what I’m doing.
It’s a shame because last week had been going really well. I was sticking to my plan of gradually increasing my mileage and the target was 30+ across four runs, including a long one of 15 miles.
That long run early on Friday morning was the only real hiccup and even then it wasn’t my running that caused the problem. It was sub-zero and the cold drained both the battery from my Garmin and my iPod after just six miles.
I was trying out a new route so wasn’t sure how close to 15 it was going to take me. Rather than bail and head for home, I decided to press on and just pace myself as best I could without knowing my mile splits.
It was quite refreshing if I’m honest and in the end I was out for just under two hours. Later on that day I mapped the route on my laptop to get an idea of distance and it turned out to be 13.08 miles – so that’s effectively another half marathon in the bag. A little short of target, but reasonably well judged considering I was running sans-tech (and couldn’t even tell the time).
Anyway, I made up the shortfall on Sunday by running 10k instead of my planned four miles and there it was – 31 miles completed for the week, the most I’ve done since marathon training last autumn.
So why the need for a rest? Well, it could be down to running, but actually I suspect it’s my first foray onto an ice rink for about 25 years that has aggravated the dreaded thigh strain. I’d promised to take my daughter ice skating after she’d been captivated by episodes of Dancing on Ice.
I was fairly dreadful for the first 15 minutes or so, slipping and sliding all over the place while also trying to guide a seven year old and her Penguin pal skating aid in something that resembled a straight line! Graceful it was not…
We both got the hang of it eventually and it was a lovely day out to round off half term. But come Monday morning my thigh muscle was tight and aching a lot, although the pain was more around the front of my leg rather than on the inside the way it has been previously. That’s why I think the skating is probably more to blame.
I’m not going to stress about it. Rest should help and I’ll make sure I do some daily stretches and icing to try and loosen it up again. Then hopefully next week training can resume and (if I’m lucky) the nasty Siberian chill will have eased off a bit too.
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