Sunday, 4 August 2013

Sunday Recovery Run

I'm trying out doing a super-easy run on a Sunday in between a sandwich of harder runs on a Saturday and a Monday. This was my second go. I read a book about heart-rate training once that suggested you should do some of your runs at a super-low heart-rate in order to train some other system in the body - probably your fat burning system. The idea was to go out and keep your heart-rate under a certain figure no matter how slow that proved to be and that you would find over time you were running faster at the same heart-rate. I did a few 8 mile runs like this at the time and there were three major hurdles. One was that it was a neck if you saw anyone you knew. I saw Steven Malley from club one day while out on one of these runs and he said, with concern, "Are you alright?"
The second hurdle was that it was really boring. You had to arm yourself with something to think - not unlike doing an ultra. The third hurdle, and why I gave up on it before I saw any benefits was it alters your gait and I started to get a bit injured somewhere on the lower leg...

Well I've dredged up this old plan for my super-easy Sunday recovery run. The trouble is I'm too lazy to find the book and see what heart-rate I was trying to stay under. I think it was about 140. So I try to keep my heart-rate around 130 but failing that under 140. In order to avoid lower limb injury and to ease the boredom I've settled on 4 miles for this run, which just takes me round a local circuit which I quite like.

Another thing about running slowly is that it sort of brings you more into contact with the environment than usual. I block out a fair amount of what's going on around me most of the time when I'm running, especially when I'm in Leith. I just keep the basic sensors on so I don't run into a person or in front of a car. So running slowly  around Leith you encounter it in a more intimate way than usual. This isn't always something that you would seek out.

Still Leith was showing its best side, with the sun out and summer in full bloom. I met no hostility or even vague threat. No incidents with  barky dogs or neddish children. No sun-baked alcohol soaked chauvinism from the old boys placed permanently smoking and squinting into the sun outside the pub downstairs. The least savoury part of the run was the police cordon at the bottom of Leith Links where they found baby parts in a bush. But you can't have everything.

I got a bit of a pain in my right ankle - that pesky thing from altering your gait. I'll keep an eye on it. Hopefully it won't develop into anything.

The thing is, I wasn't going all that slow. I was actually running slower when I was trying earlier in the year. So that seems like a very good thing.

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