12 September 2010

28 days left - what to do?

Monday (easy):
45mins easy treadmill (av 5:18 min/km)

Ran at 4% incline to reduce landing shock.

Tuesday (semi long-run):
17.5k in 1h:26m (av pace 4:55)

Trying to run close to 90mins in order to decide whether I should do the HM this weekend or not. First 20mins was terrible with the legs aching real bad. After an hour of easy running, decided to test the water a bit by running the last 4k at tempo pace, averaging 4:12 pace (just above marathon pace). Not good, but not bad either. Foot was painful for the rest of the day, especially the front ankle and the lateral shin.

Wednesday (easy):
AM: Ultrasound & shock wave treatment
PM: 35mins easy treadmill (av 5:32 min/km)

Thursday (rest):
OFF. Deep tissue massage

Friday (easy):
55mins easy (av pace 5:05 min/km)

Saturday (rest):

Sunday (race):
2.5k warmup
Safra Army Half Marathon in 89:35 (av 4:14 min/km)
Overall #122, Mens closed  # 41
3k cool down
Total 26k for the day

Was in two minds whether I should race or not given the leg injury. At the end, I decided to give it a go because I needed a 'proof of life' that my legs could tolerate sustained running at MP or faster. Started with a low expectation that if my legs went, I just shut my system down and jog to the finish point. Used my planned marathon shoe - Nike Lunar racer and popped paracetamol at the start as insurance. Started too fast due to pent-up energy resulting from the reduced mileage, including a couple of kms at 3:50s. Passed 5k in 20.15 (4:03 pace) including one 500m long hill. Began to feel the burn, I cautiously eased back into the MP territory, running the next 5k in 21:04 (4:13 pace) - cumulatively 10k in 41:19 (av 4:08 pace). Began to feel dehydrated after 10k since it was hot and humid (30c heat index at 6am) and walked at the drink station to get a drink. The split for km 11-15 was 21.43 (4:18 pace), slower than MP due to the drink stop but cumulatively I passed 15k in 63:00 mins, av 4:12 pace so still right on target. Leg tendon began to get sore and ache after this point and I simply decided to switch on the cruise control, passing km 16-20 in 22.14 (4:27 pace). I picked up the pace slightly in the last 1.1k to around 4:00 to finish in 89.35 (just under MP).

At the end, I was reasonable pleased with the result, despite all the similar story with all my HMs in Singapore. My pace always went progressively slower - on track for the 1st half before slowing down in the 2nd half. I think I am okay with running 5k-10k in Singapore, but anything beyond this (north of 40mins), my performance deteriorates sharply due to the heat and humidity effects . The only positve thing that comes out of the race is that I was able to run 21k at goal MP even with a bad leg.


70k for the week with only one workout (HM race). After some mileage reduction, physio session (ultra sound, shock wave) and massage, the legs began to feel better - at least to the point that I was able to start a race. But unfortunately, the race put me back in the square one again. Was limping all day after the race. Thinking to see a sports doctor this week to get a verdict. Heard from a friend who is being treated by a sports doc that the the only solution from injured tendon is prolonged rest.

This leaves me in a very deep shit, especially with only 4 weeks left before the marathon. The original plan pre-injury was to race hard during today's HM and train hard in the next 2 weeks before tapering. But the injury changes everything and the sub-3 dream is now becoming more remote.

Downgrading my marathon slot to HM or 10k is impossible now since both events are full. So it's either the marathon or DNS.

One thought I have to do minimal running this week in order to nurse the injury. Then I will do a reverse taper and train hard in the next 2 weeks before embarking on a 1 week taper. Don't know whether the concept of 'reverse taper' will be too risky or not.

Another tought is to mix rest/XT with running. I was thinking maybe to run just 3 times a week but all 'hard' - primarily one long run and one tempo. The other days are either total rest or non-weight bearing XT (elliptical, stationary bike). Based on my experience this week, it seems the ankle, tendon and shin splint is at their most painful after the run and the following couple of days (for example, I was able to start the race today after resting 2 out of the 3 days pre-race).

What do you guys think?


trailblazer777 said...

Its clearly just a case of getting to the start line without losing too much conditioning, and maybe with making some smaller than planned gains in conditioning via 1. crosstraining, and/or 2. trying the reverse taper option.

Its frustrating not to be able to attack the last 2 key weeks as planned. I have had similiar issue (although maybe a more minor niggle in my case) with my hammy in the last 2 weeks, and may continue to struggle with it for the next few weeks.

Due to my very poor history of lack of consistent training, I have often used a reverse taper type option. If you go down that track the key thing to remember is make sure you still keep 2-3 days before very light so as to freshen up for the race, as you did this week just gone. Try to put a 3-7 day gap between most intense session and race day, so you still have a small taper, and if the injury is persisting, enough time to settle the injury before race day.

If you go the crosstraining route in part or in full, (either way it buys you time to heal the injury, but still gives you time to add some icing on the cake conditioning wise keeping in mind that youve probably already trained more than well enough for a sub 3, its mostly about maintenance, making sure you don't lose too much of what you have built up, and maybe just sharpen the conditioning a touch more)
swimming has the least chance of inhibiting the healing process, but its one of the lowest intensitity activities so not as good for gains. Cycling has slightly more injury potential than swimming although maybe little to no risk with your type of injury especially as its still mostly non weight bearing. Intensity wise its much better than swimming, and almost as good as running. Rowing might also be a good option, and many good gyms will have a good rowing machine, which mostly rests the legs, but could be handy in maintaining general conditioning. Tennis or squash are good too but the injury issues might be significant there for you and rule out those activities. Golf is too low intensity. Hiking in the mountains at altitude for several hours is as good as a long run almost, although be careful of injury, and at this stage of preparation long runs are only important for another 2 weeks. Hiking up steep hills if it doesnt hurt the injury is a good way to keep working the conditioning and can be almost as good as intervals if the hill is steep and long enough...Maybe carry a heavy pack and walk up stairs if that doesnt hurt the injury...basically anything that gets your heart rate up to 150-170+ is going to be useful in maintaining and improving your conditioning. Maybe aim for 1 run session per week, and make it one thats going to give you maximum physical gains...

I think if you can get to the start line in a state where there is any chance the injury is not going to stop you running at full MP or close to full MP most of the way (maybe look at painkilling options but try to get good medical advice first, and maybe avoid that route), its worth a shot.

If you can maintain your current level of conditioning the sub 3 is a very good chance, and if you can find smart training ways to 1. take your mind off the fact that following the original program very closely isnt now possible for the last 2-3 weeks,and 2. maybe make smaller gains via less conventional methods, you can still have a very successful 10/10/10. At the moment looks like I may be doing something similiar. So stay focused and think outside the square. Maybe a blessing in disguise yet. A lot of top runners out of Delhi with injury lately too. Worst case scenario it doesnt work out and have to reload to fight another day, but at present, I wouldn't waste time thinking about that scenario too much. stay positive mentally thats the key thing, as hard as it is.

trailblazer777 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
trailblazer777 said...

Good HM, there is no question from the HM that the sub 3 is very much a possibility. Especially when you take into account heat/humidity. Not sure about the parecetamol as insurance but I can see your reasoning there just seems a bit on the risky side playing that game...Well done on staying sub 90min in very difficult circumstances.

by7 said...

sorry to be a "bad news fetcher", but I would simply give up on the marathon...
you are going very well, so you deserve a good shot at sub-3.
Training poorly for one month on a injured foot will only do worse.
Take X-training for 2 weeks or until your feet is ok and then based on the actual form you can pick up another marathon later in Autumn (Korea, Japan, Macau or Taipei...)
Do not take risk on your injury... you are still too far away from race day, so you still need to train consistently, which seems impossible in this moment

Epi said...

I think you are still a good chance to race. Reduce your mileage, do some cross training ,and take some anti-inflammatories. See how things go. You are not going to do any serious damage running on an injury like this, and I think there's enough in the bank to give you a shot at the sub3. I wouldn't reverse taper, just perhaps do a prolonged slower taper, no need to do any more runs over 20km.

Clown said...

Sling, well done on the HM.

I'm in agreement with Epi and think you're a big chance to race and still do a sub 3 or close to it.

I'd get on the bike and try and mimic a couple of key sessions where you can, eg intervals.

All the best with the recovery.

Ewen said...

Depends a bit on what the actual injury is. Always hard to get an accurate diagnosis, even sports docs can have different opinions.

I'd go easy this week - no MP running or workouts, just easy aerobic running of reduced distance and see how the injury progresses. Then, maybe a mild version of the reverse taper - a couple of weeks of normal training (no huge long runs), then one week taper.