Showing posts from September, 2009

The Last For (a training) Effect

There are only a few days between injury recovery and the official start of my taper. I need to fight the urge to prove myself with a few ridiculously hard training bouts. So instead of pushing my limits and trying to add that little bit of extra fitness, I'll play things relatively safe and train within my limits. I a physiologically very fit, but as is usual, the weak link is connective tissue. My lower right leg has few issues which cannot be fully rectified in the next two weeks. So I have to keep this in mind with the last few key sessions.

As a result, I've had to wrap my mind around the concept that I'm maintaining my fitness instead of improving it. With acceptance of this idea, things to do get easier. It takes less training to maintain a performance level, than it does to reach it in the first place.

The result is three last sessions.
ThresholdLong AerobicVO2 IntervalsI've left out the anaerobic work, as the injury risk is too great versus the limited return.Alr…


The acute management has worked. The mixture of increasing training load, with a focus on recovery and remedial exercises in between has worked. I've now been predominantly pain free over the last few days of training. Yesterday I was able to complete a high quality run without any problem during or afterwards. A total of 16km with a solid 10km progression starting at 4:00/km and finishing at around 3:45/km.

An easy weekend to lead into next week. Then a 2 hour steady run on Monday and 6x1000m repeats on Wednesday should ensure I continue to carry my fitness into the final 10 day taper. It looks I have managed to maintain my performance base, I just missed out on the opportunity to add that extra kick on top. Naturally that's bringing in a few doubts for the marathon. Then again, those doubts do tend to creep in during the lead up to a big race.


Today was meant to another Coburg Harrier's Fun Run. The same 12km course I raced last month. It was also meant to be my last race before the marathon. Unfortunately injury has changed those plans.

The good news, is my foot is responding as it should to treatment. Ice, elevation, NSAIDs and some light remedial work is doing its job. The running is very, very limited and modified slightly. With the pain almost non-existent and the swelling significantly reduced it is now clear the key injury is to the right digitalis extensor longus muscle. Specifically the distal tendons. There is also some less than great response in the anterior compartment of my lower leg. Part of the medial tibial stress syndrome complications over the last few weeks.

After some complete rest, my running has progressed as 10min stupidly easy, 15min moderate and finally 30min comfortable today. The last two runs were on the treadmill, so I could eliminate downhill running which aggravates the problem. In order to…

Extensor Tendons

After the half marathon on Sunday I was feeling really good. A few general aches and pains, but nothing that seemed out of the ordinary. Running felt good the next day except I wondered if there was a little bit of inflammation on the dorsum of my right foot. Then on Tuesday there was no question about it. Plenty of diffuse swelling with a decent amount of pain signalled an injury.

In short it's the extensor tendons of the toes that are causing me grief. It is a typical presentation:dorsal, diffuse swellingpain on active extension of the toeseven more pain on passive plantar flexionpain during runningSo the last part of my Specific phase is about ensuring I recovery from this. Luckily I'm already at the fitness and performance level I believe is required to hit my goals in the marathon.

The extended increased training load, combined with the recent MTSS, plus with the go hard approach on the uphill segments at the half marathon seem to have exposed my weakest link. (yes Paul, I …

Sri Chinmoy Yarra Boulevard Half - 21.1km

Sunday's half marathon was a culmination of eight days worth of training and racing that if I can handle, should see me right for the marathon. Those eight days were a fine example of marathon multipace training.
Last Sunday was the Grape Run, 13.2km at threshold to VO2max intensity with some decent hills.Monday hit the anaerobic pathways with 4x120m, 5x500m, 4x60m hill sprints.Tuesday was 3 hours worth of running at around 5:11/km (below marathon pace (MP)).Wednesday was a very easy day, as the MTSS (aka shin splints) was threatening to flare up again.Thursday was 26km @ MP (plus 3km of warm up/cool down).Friday was the world shortest run due to being stuffed after night shiftSaturday about 15km at a steady clipSunday: 21.1km worth of racing.A good amount of work above, below and at marathon race pace. Averaging out to 115km per 7 day week, my work rate has been solid. Interestingly the stiffness and fatigue I've been experiencing at the start of each day seems to be easing a …

Training, and More Training

Apart from a couple of days of recovery for shin splints last week, every day has had a decent level of training. The consistent workload looks to be working. I'm having to keep a close watch on my right shin, as there is a bit of an ache every now and then. Having identified the issue is with the insertion area of the tibialis posterior muscle, the management and preventative/compensation work appears to doing its job. That said, this week I've swapped the order of the steady long run with the marathon pace run to move the faster paced stuff further away from the speed day. It's the faster work that is aggravating things.

Each day my legs are always a bit stiff and sluggish at the start of every run. This sometimes remains for the whole session. A few seconds per kilometre have been knocked off the paces at or above anaerobic threshold level as a result. The promising note is the slower stuff, is naturally getting faster, but is actually feeling easier. For example, yester…

Yarra Valley Grape Run 13.2km

It's a road I have cycled over many times. This will be the first time I've run it. There is something appealing about running a point to point course. Even more so when its from a pub to another pub. Leading in to the event it was unclear whether the distance was 13.2 or 13.7km as all the information varied between the two different distances. In one place they do write "(approx)" which I guess covers that half a kilometre difference. On the day the finish line announcer kept claiming it was 13.5km. I'm now convinced it was 13.2.

The couple of easy days to allow the damage over my tibia to heal seemed to do the trick. This made for a risky exercise by racing. Feeling rested, on the background of some very good training means I could race very hard and undo the recovery of the previous two days. I needed a simple solution.The answer was to ignore heart rate and any splits and simply go out at a solid tempo along the course at least until beyond halfway. During thi…


A day after I get asked for some advice on shin splints, I end up having to deal with the problem myself. Really I'm not a fan of the term shin splints, but then the more medical sounding medial tibial stress syndrome doesn't cut it either. After all, a syndrome is just a collection of symptoms. In short, it have pain at the front of my lower leg.

It is a bit difficult to ascertain exactly which tissues are involved. It could be the muscle, tendon, interroseous membrane, the periosteum, swelling within the anterior compartment or a combination of some of these. The good news is the pain is new. With a little hindsight I should have been aware there was some discomfort in the area over a couple of days leading into yesterday's planned fast-finish long run. As Georgie Clarke has pointed out in an interview in R4YL, athlete's aren't necessarily as in tune with their bodies as every one likes to believe. We are more of a slave to the training program. The run became a s…