This week was 43 miles of “real running” and 19 “miles” pool running plus 3200m of swimming -- training log is here.
I had a running “gait evaluation” done on Monday – I was taped running, along with a general check of mobility/flexibility/strength.Very helpful stuff. It was nice to hear that apparently my form’s pretty good overall. I also got some helpful points on where I could improve.
a) My overall body position is very good, but I have a bit of a swayback (slight anterior tilt). I’ve always been aware of this, and do a ton of core work, but it hasn’t seemed to help. He noted that it’s not a strength issue with me, but a muscle activation issue – so he gave me some exercises to practice engaging correctly while running (I start with the “dead bug”). Lightbulb 1.
b) I often have the sense that I’m running slightly crooked, especially for the first mile or two. Did the eval, and…I have reduced external rotation on my left hip, and reduced internal rotation on my right hip. Lightbulb 2. For this one, he recommended some ART on my hips and PT work.
c) Apparently I’m too much of a forefoot striker – in my natural gait, my heel just barely touches the ground. He noted that he wasn’t certain whether I should try to change it (and if I did try to change it, to change very slowly). I think I’m going to hold off on playing with that for now.
Edit: Thanks to Elizabeth, here's my videos. For all of you dying to see what I look like on land...
So, my takeaways were to be doing the “dead bug” leg exercise as much as I could (including _any_ time I feel that I’m starting to lose correct back position), and also to do more hip mobility work (I have an ART appointment scheduled for Monday).
He also made a very helpful observation about stretching – basically, you can err by doing it too deeply. Then you make tiny tears in the tissue, which results in scar tissue, which makes the issue worse. He prefers that one do gentle stretching (just until you feel tension), but as many times a day as you can.
I had a nice hill workout on Tuesday, but then Friday’s workout was kinda crappy. That’s OK – I was due. It was partially attributable to a bit of sleep deprivation, but primarily due to a failure to pace the workout properly (especially given my lack of sleep and the humidity) – I ended up running with a faster group than I should have for the first rep, which fried me. Lesson (re-)learned. At least I’m getting to the point where I do something stupid every 5-7 workouts, instead of every 3. On Sunday, I was better about keeping the brakes on, and was rewarded with a good run (low humidity helped, of course).
Monday: 2200m of swimming breathing drills (half with pull buoy, half without), followed by injury prevention exercises. Got a running gait evaluation in the afternoon.
Tuesday: In the morning, 11 miles, including 6 hill repeats – nonstop circuit of up a hill for about 2 minutes, a 90 second easy jog, a stride, and then some more easy jogging to the bottom (whole circuit takes ~5 minutes) We averaged 7:30 pace for the full 6 repeat circuit (just over 4 miles). Harder than last week, due to significant humidity. Followed with a shakeout 20 minutes easy pool-running, for “2 miles”. And then some injury prevention exercises. Strength-training plus foam-rolling at night.
Wednesday: In the morning, 10 very easy miles outside on the towpath (8:42 pace) plus some drills and strides post run. Followed by 1000m of swimming breathing drills (some with the pull buoy, some without). Foam-rolling plus a yoga class at night.
Thursday: In the morning, "4.5 miles" of easy pool-running (45 minutes) followed by strength-training and injury prevention exercises. Foam-rolling and stretching at night.
Friday: In the morning, 7.5 miles on the track in pretty bad conditions (dewpoint of 71, temp of 73), including a “D’Oh!” tempo workout totaling to 3.75 miles – the workout was 2-3x2 miles, with 1 lap jog between each. I went out too hard for the first, doing 2 miles in 13:17 (6:44/6:32), and thus died on the second, pulling up after I finished the first mile in 6:52 (and slowing the whole time). I don’t like pulling up, but in this case it was obvious that I was digging myself into a deep hole (this was reinforced by the fact that I felt like heck after). Took a minute recovery, then rejoined the group to run the final 1200m with them in 4:45 (6:20 pace). And then I was cooked. Oh well. Not a fitness issue (or a breathing issue, so yay), just a dumb pacing issue. And I don’t think the workout was a total waste.
Followed with “3” miles of easy pool-running (30 minutes). An easy pilates session (working on alignment) in the evening.
Saturday: In the morning, 65 minutes easy pool-running for “6.5 miles.” Upper-body/core strength-training plus injury prevention exercises, foam rolling, and stretching in the afternoon.
Sunday: Long run of 14 miles. I averaged 7:42 overall - 8:08 on the way out, 7:17 on the way back (7:30 pace for most of the return, but dropped the last two miles to 6:56, 6:40, and then a final quarter mile at ~6:00 pace). Followed with drills+strides and injury prevention exercises, and then “3 miles” in the pool – 30 minutes very easy pool-running.