Monday, May 14, 2012


I've now been training "free-style" for a few weeks now and, I have to say, I am enjoying the freedom and reduction in stress. My friends have commented on my relative abstention when it comes to eating, something I found rather alarming as I must really have stuffed my face before. My wife says she has noticed that I am less tired (I'm sleeping less hours) and, of course, I am around more of the time.This has to be counterbalanced by the slight increase in guilt I feel for not "pushing myself" as well as the potential lack of revenue for my self-esteem fund, for which competing in races was a major benefactor. These two negative points are definitely there but currently pale into insignificance when compared to the positive aspects.

I still do at least one hard workout a week and this has involved running series at 17-17,5 kph on the treadmill. I've come to like this kind of workout or, at least, like having done it. It goes a long way to keeping my guilt and self-esteem in check, not to mention helping me sleep like a log afterwards. It probably even does me some good fitness-wise too. However, I do need to be careful to respect the need to do a warm-up. One of the reasons I got a coach in the first place was because I kept injuring myself and I needed someone to tell me when to ease off - something I found impossible to do without invoking the aforementioned guilt. Jonathan's training plans were designed to provide a safe platform to support the high intensity training sessions; if I just train "willy-nilly" then I run the risk of injuring myself.

Still, (and here I touch wood) I think I have learned some things along the way. I noticed a tiny almost imperceptible twinge in my left Achilles tendon after my hard workout last week. The next day it was only slightly sore compared to the right Achilles tendon if I pinched it hard but this was enough to make me worry. Having had a torn Achilles in the past, it's not something I particularly feel like going through again. So I've taken some days of running and have been using the bike more and I have started to do the "eccentric heel lower exercises" that helped me recover more quickly last time. It's only when you have managed to get to the stage of being able to run completely pain free that you can distinguish between "good pain" and "bad pain". Touch wood again. (To be fair, Jonathan told me some time ago, when we started to do faster workouts, that I should work on conditioning my Achilles tendons to avoid injury.)

Spot the difference! (This was from last time it happened)
If we had spring in Madrid, it must have been last Tuesday when I was in London: when I left, the weather was better in London than in Madrid; on returning it was swelteringly hot in Madrid (30 degrees already). Time to get out those hydration packs again for running.

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