Down Tempo

This morning was my first real training run for the focus period. It didn't go quite to plan. That plan was 15km at 10-5bpm below my anaerobic threshold (153-158), over a fairly flat trail. The trail was a 7.5km out-and-back, so that meant two laps. The warm up and cool down was to be roughly 2km each way.

On paper this was very doable. With expectation the start may need a little prompting and the final handful of kilometres requiring a reasonable dose concentration. It should set the scene for progression.

The start was a bit after 06:00. In the dark, in the cold. Despite wearing what would normally be adequate clothing for the conditions, I got colder as the run progressed. My fingers weren't happy with a flair up of Raynauds.

The first 7.5km (lap 1) went through as expected. For the most part I fell into a good tempo, and the effort level felt right. The second lap was where the trouble unfolded. Only 500m into it I had a massive and sudden drain of energy. All I wanted to do was lie down off the trail and go to sleep. My hands started stinging and I felt very cold throughout. I tried hard to keep the pace up. Despite feeling like I was putting in an enormous effort, my heart, pace and running style plummeted. There was hardly anything in the tank. Clearly I had hit the wall.

This was a fuel supply versus demand issue. For some reason I wasn't able to supply the glucose my muscle needed. This was wrong. My nutrition should have been adequate over the previous days. Yes, there was the overnight fast, but I had consumed my usual pre-training liquid nutrition for this type of session. It should have worked. Also the intensity hadn't been over the top. I was hoping my fitness wasn't really that bad.

Looking further into the likely cause is I have been fighting something in the gastrointestinal tract for a couple of days. It's hit others around me, and my has been making a mild attempt at expelling whatever it doesn't like. With the faster transit time, there is the strong possibility I just haven't absorbed as much from my food as usual. This combined with an immune response would explain feeling the cold more than expected.

Anyway, there was still some good running in there. 8km at an average pace of 4:42/km is okay. The session is done and dusted. No point in worrying about not matching the plan. I just need to move on and make the most of the rest of my training.

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