Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Marathon Aftermath

I lived in my compression tights for three days! On the Monday I could walk downstairs with bannister assistance, Tuesday much better and on Wednesday was bouncing down the stairs so superficially my legs recoverd quite quickly. I did get a bit of a sniffle but as I took a full 7 days off anyway it didn't matter and I quite enjoyed not having to train. I seemed to have picked up a bit of plantar fasciitis on my rights foot too which was a bit worrying.

On Monday 8th I did something I haven't done for about 5 years - I set foot inside a gym. I have a few muscle weaknesses that I have known about for a long time, they made their presence felt during the marathon training so I decided it was time I hit the weights and I sorted them out. I had an induction for the YMCA near work at lunchtime and the leisure centres near home in the evening.

The YMCA has by far the best free weights area and at lunchtimes is not overrun by barrel chested men on chicken legs grunting out bench presses. I usually struggle to be comfortable using upper body weight machines (and lower body sometimes too) so prefer free weights. I cycled to the evening induction, only a couple of miles but I headed off to one of the other centres to check out pool times and swimming lessons. I ended up doing 13 miles on the shopping bike and it felt great to be out.

Tuesday I decided to try a short run at lunchtime, 3 miles only as Jez had asked me to take him running in the evening (glad I was sat down when he asked!). My legs felt a little tired still but I had a flyover from the Red Arrows to liven up my run. My foot was ok to start with but not happy at the end, I thought it may be the shoes. The evening run was another short one but offroad. I suggested we run out of Abbey Village on a short route round the woods. It was to be a run walk as he hasn't run in ages, the route would be hilly so we could use the hills as walk breaks.

Of course he managed to run up them fine! A bit of a recovery at the top but he seemed ok and will be faster than me in no time if he keeps it up, boo. Foot felt ok once warmed up though stiff again later.

On the Wednesday I had a proper gym session. I have weak hamstrings, the left in particular but they have different weaknesses. I also have a very weak left vastus medialis which causes problems when running down hill and is not a great muscle for a cyclist to be weak in either. If you look at pro cyclists that muscle is usually well developed. The other quad muscles are much stronger and override it and my knee can flop out to the left a little. Those are my target areas as well as some upper body work. However it would appear that both VM muscles are rubbish, so I will be working on them quite a bit. Hamstrings need strengthening but are not so stupidly weak as the vm's.

Thusday ended up being a rest day as I felt quite tired and on the Friday I got out for another run, only 4.5 miles but my legs felt much better than Tuesday. A run out to the prom and a loop round Fairhaven Lake dodging the geese. Short runs are great. I wore my Wave Rider 11's which have a lower arch support and the sore foot whilst still there was lot reduced.


  1. you seem to be recovering really well. what about a few fell races before derwent trail?

  2. Great post, keep meaning to look into the weights routine but have no gym that's convenient or cheap enough and no discipline to do anything at home so am admiring of your sensible approach.

    Sounds like you've taken a lot from the marathon experience and good to hear you're taking the recovery seriously. Any more races planned before the DW trail race?

  3. I've been quite tired this week. I did an MTB ride Sunday past and forgot how intense they could be! I did a short ride on Tuesday and my HR hit 190 on a short evil climb which is a level I have only seen once before when I had a heavy cold. So I am being a little lazy again!

    I have a four day cycling trip round the Swiss national park in July that I need to get my bike climbing legs back for but other than that not sure.

    Lots of short races around here over the summer which I can do but I'm not doing anything long for a while, possibly some 10 mile bike TT's or XC races at Lee Quarry?

    Fell running? I have seriously missed running and riding in the hills....