I never really used to take days off. Even after 100km plus races, I used to be really back in action in just a couple of days. Cycling, nordic walking and strength training week one, with very little jogging and week two I am back at running. I might have taken max 2days off in a row from running in the last 5 years. Even when I had a peroneal stress fracture and a partial lateral ligament ankle tear, in 2 days I was back in action. Movement and full range of motion is crucial. Even with those two issues, I practiced barefoot walking and little jogs of couple of meters, slowly increasing every day. Beginning with 2km walks and jogged for 10 x 10meters. In two weeks I was walk commuting 21km a day with 500m/500m, on and off, jog/walk rhythm and in a month I was back in full on running. Of course I did not sit on my backside the rest of the day either, but used intermittent fasting, sleeping, infra red therapy and many other methods very regularly.
I am not to brag here, it is just to see and look back on this blogpost later on, if anything happens again. Basically this is my training logbook too.
First time in 5years, I say 5 years as I don’t remember, but most probably it is longer as since I have been in France I cannot remember taking even 3 days really off, I took nearly 3 weeks off from running. I mean 3 weeks ! That is long.
Bekele and Lagat often at the end of a season choose to wind down and get totally tuned out. They relax the body, get on some fat, get lazy ! Just relax for up to a month !
Kipchoge, Wardian, Farah are the opposite. Constant, gradual and regular work. Easy weeks contain still a lot of running. Some might use an alter-g or under water treadmill, some might jog in the hills of Kenya, but definitely don’t take more than a couple of days off.
I think, for my kind of lifestyle, the later is a better option. I am not sure that my recovery is too fast and I start detraining or my body was weakened from the last 220km race, but even the very first 3km MAF low heart rate run, was just difficult. Then I did 10 x 85m of accelerations and I was sore. Kept on with the first week and it got better, with the weekend back to back 10km road and trail MAF runs.
This weeks schedule called again for 10 x 110m accelerations. I am sore again. My inner thighs, my lower back, my abs, my deltoids and intercostals, my neck, my feet. I have strangely no calf, quad, ham or gluteus fatigue. I kept up with my pilates and yoga during my 3 weeks off, but no impact and no strength training. I think, this is the reason that my prime movers just stayed very strong, but all my stabilisers like core muscles and micro-muscle groups, tendons and ligaments are on fire.
I have also now, two very painful arches. Both. I thought first plantar fasciitis and doubted my training program. It is a strange feeling for as a coach. I am very much knowing what I am doing. The program I created for myself is gradual, realistic and no rushing back into high mileage and high intensity, but very MAF oriented. So why I developed this pain ? This pain what actually stopped me from completing a run !
This is where the importance of a training log comes up ! I actually recommend to log, I mean not just to upload, but to note all your feelings, your sleep, your digestion and everything into your training log ! I looked back, I saw an MTB session on Friday the previous week. Kaboom ! Not the effort, but the damn shoes. I was carrying my bike a lot on steep uphills. The shoes have a carbon cage, not just a flat platform. It comes up high on the arches. These are very rigid cross country shoes, so for all mountain purposes, it is useless. They dug deep and even hit my arches a couple of times. While walking uphill and when had to clip out fast and get the balance back. As running went on, this inner arch trauma got aggravated and flared up 4 days after. I tried again on the MTB shoes at home. Tightened them down and walked for a couple of minutes. It pressures exactly the painful spot. Damn ! Very annoying. I have the same problem with my road cycling shoes. I am gonna clean both and sell them. Sorry Bont, but your shoes are no good for wide feet ! They hurt both my feet on the inside and on the outside too, despite the thermo moulding done on them!
This is where I am at right now. Yesterday I did a 2hour extremely painful physio session. At home, by myself, shouting and shedding tears. When you dig deep into your plantar region, yes it is indeed extremely painful. Also 2 contrast shower sessions. Filled up a mini tub with ice and water and opened up the shower on barely bearable heat ! 7 x 1minute. I realised that my feet are damn trained. My hands handle heat better, but my feet are resisting cold just superbly fine. I was massaging my feet in the cold water, but my hands could not stay long. My feet were just fine and could keep them in for very long. Interesting.
The 4-5times of silicium based cream massage is also very important, together with voodoo flossing and infra red therapy. I will be happy to get back to running hopefully tomorrow morning. No forcing or rushing !