Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Fergal (Elite) - Recovery

This week was definitely more about recovering from last week’s exertions, than making any real fitness gains. I underestimated the toll a big race can take; it required a major effort of will to drag the body out of the bed Monday Morning.  Well, lesson learned, I’ll be making sure the weekend of the Waterford Adventure Race is a long weekend for me. 

Planning to head down Thursday night and stay until Monday, plenty of recovery time factored in this time and it will give us a chance to relax and enjoy Dungarvan & its environs. I would certainly recommend anyone taking on the longer course to do the same, no point in putting in all that training and then not taking the time to enjoy (hopefully) successfully completing the course and the after race festivities. 

Anyway to underline the point my stiff/sore body gradually began to loosen up as Monday progressed, but I still couldn’t put any weight on my left leg. By Tuesday I had self-diagnosed a tear in the calf muscle. Not wanting training to grind to a halt altogether, I hit the Gym Tuesday evening for 30 minutes on the Indoor rower followed by an easy 30 minutes swim. Wednesday Morning I was back in the pool for 10x100mts averaging 2.07. Wednesday evening I tried out the leg on grass, hoping it would have loosened up. Bad idea-had to stop after 100mts, still getting stabbing pains in the calf. Took out the bike instead for a 30km spin, felt OK as long as I stayed in the saddle, didn’t push to hard clocking an OK 1.03. Thursday was back on the rower doing 10,000mts in 39.45 followed by 20mins doing some core work. 

Impatience was setting in by Friday so Karen (wife turned amateur Physio) went to work on the offending muscle with a tennis ball. I think it definitely helped to break up some of the scar tissue, so attempted a very slow 6km jog. Better than Wednesday but still felt like I was carrying my left leg, as the hamstring also tightened up in sympathy with the calf. Saturday morning was a long spin - 100km in 3hrs 45, one of those frustrating days that no matter which direction I turned in, the wind always managed to be blowing straight in my face. 

Today (Sunday) I rather foolishly thought I’d risk the calf and take on a local 10k race. Some more excellent Physio work from Karen gave me hope I could get through it, and after a quick test run this morning I chanced it. Nice course taking in Moate Park on the edge of Roscommon town. I headed out quite conservatively keeping to just over 4min kilometer pace. Felt pretty strong throughout but by 7km the leg had tightened up a bit, so was happy enough to cross the line in 40.45. Hopefully I’ll get back to some serious running this week and aim to get that time down to the right side of 40 in the not to distant future. That 10km stuff is definitely more suited to the scrawny guys (like fellow blogger & much older brother David) I prefer racing that requires a little more grunt & a little less out & out speed.

Until next week keep training, & remember in these recessionary times wife’s/Girlfriends/boyfriends etc. can help reduce your Physio bill and you’d be amazed at how much they’ll enjoy hearing you squeal as they pound away at the injured muscle. HEALTH WARNING don’t blame me if they actually make you worse rather than better.

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