My running mojo is high at the moment! Yet why is my performance so abysmal?
I started this year in great form and hit one of my targets for the year, (break my seven year old 10 mile PB) back in February at the Snake Lane 10.
I was on a high.
I had no races planned for March but my training was planned out!
That was until I took a tumble whilst out cycling and banged my knee! Although there was no long term damage, my knee was quite swollen and the movement restricted for a few days. A week later I returned to running with no apparent loss of form.
Then came the Vale of York 10 in April. This ten mile race, on my home turf, was flat and fast, and should have been an opportunity to better my now weeks old PB!
I set off keeping an 8 minute mile pace, the plan being that at 5 mile, I would step it up and finish well under 80 minutes, like I did at Snake Lane. No such luck!
5 miles into the race I was spent!
I hung on for the last few miles! My time wasn’t bad, but I had nothing left!
I put this poor performance down to a 100 plus mile bike ride I had completed a week earlier…..which I had pushed myself in the first 50 miles or so! The second half was an easier pace but a tougher route with plenty of climbing!
The Tadcaster Sportive cycling event
The Vale of York had taken its toll and it took me about a week to recover. Fast forward to the end of April to the first series of this years York and District Road Race League (YDRRL) 10k races. On a route in the same area as the Snake Lane race, I was expecting a sub 50 minutes race. Maybe not down to my PB level but work in progress.
This race is basically in two halves. The first three miles are uphill and the remaining 3.2 miles downhill to the finish.
The conditions were good for running ( for me) with rain and only a little wind.
Like the earlier Vale of York race, by the half way point I was struggling, with my heart rate at 10 to 15 beats higher than expected.
Just over the top of the hill my left Achilles started to tighten. I adjusted my gait a bit to relieve it and found the tendons at the bottom of my calf starting to tighten too. I finished up limping home in about 54 minutes!
I wasn’t too bothered about the time, but I was about my calf!
The next day I was struggling to walk.
After a week of rest (from running, but was okay to cycle!), and some sports massage, I was ready to pick up my training.
However, since then my running has been abysmal!
I have only managed a few runs over the past two weeks and struggled each time. My HR is about 10 to 20 beats higher than usual for the pace I am running. My legs feel heavy too.
To be honest with you, I have not held back with the cycling. I have done a few longer rides recently, and been doing some harder sessions on the turbo trainer (using training programs from Zwift). I haven’t felt too bad during these sessions though!
So what is the issue?
Maybe I am pushing myself too hard cycling?
My cycling form is improving, whilst my running form isn’t. Training Peaks is showing my fitness level to be improving, and my training stress scores are good.
Another possibility may be the weather. In the UK, the weather has improved , with warmer and sunnier conditions.
I recall feeling the same two years ago. My form and race times were good then all of a sudden my fitness slumped. I never found out why.
Maybe it is related to my heart condition? However, how come it doesn’t affect my cycling fitness? And a recent assessment at my pacemaker clinic showed everything to be in order!
So what next?
Early morning run in Memphis!
I am currently away on holiday in the US. I am running whilst here, but it is tough as the weather in Tennessee is hot and humid, so I am restricted to treadmill training in the hotel gym.
I will probably skip the next race I am signed up for and concentrate on my running form and fitness before racing again. I will also look to balance my cycling and running training so that they benefit each other rather than conflict.
My next race will be in 2 weeks time. Hopefully I can start to regain my running fitness!
Wish me luck!