Sunday, February 14, 2016

Training log - Week ending 2/14/16

This week was 64 miles of running, 6 "miles" of pool-running and 4000 yards of swimming -- training log is here.

This week ended much better than it started.  Tuesday's interval workout was a bit depressing, as I fell apart on both the second 1600 and the second 800.  Even when I'm having a bad day, I usually negative split my workouts, both descending the pace of the workout and running negative splits within each interval. (if it's a bad day, I just run slower.)  But Tuesday I fell apart on the last lap of the second 1600, and then did the same on the final 800.

That's unusual for me.  Except when my iron (technically ferritin) is low.

And like that, a (admittedly dim) lightbulb lit up. 

I'd last checked my ferritin in mid-January, about a week before my half.  (I check it regularly, just to know what's normal for me, and also to get some warning if it's dropping).  At that point, it was lower than I would like, but still in the "fine" range.  I made a mental note to start supplementing.  And then I forgot to, between traveling, heavy workload, blizzard, etc.  (I think the fact that the half went so well also played a factor in my blowing it off).

But, looking back at my training log over the last 10 days, my hard runs have been on a downward trend, despite getting enough sleep, not pushing the speed, and not doing high mileage.  Combine that with the positive splits in workouts, and the ferritin test from a month ago, and it wasn't a hard call to go on the iron supplements again.

(sidenote: though low ferritin is an issue for many runners, no one should just randomly decide that they need to start taking iron without checking with a professional first.  There is a substantial subset of the population that has TOO much iron in their system (google hematochromatosis) - and taking more iron can be very risky.  In my case, I know I don't have that issue, and have a history of low iron, so I'm comfortable taking supplements).

So - I started back up on the supplements on Tuesday, taking them twice a day with lunch and dinner.  And by the weekend I was feeling and running better.  Not truly peppy, but better.  Perhaps it's the iron.  Or perhaps it's the placebo effect.  Or perhaps I just had a minor bug and this wasn't iron at all.  But I've got more snap to my legs, and that's good.


Monday:   Yoga and 6 "miles" of pool-running.  Foam rolled in the evening.

Tuesday: 10 miles, including a track workout of 2x(1600,800) - split 6:16, 2:55, 6:07, 3:00.  Followed with injury prevention work and 1100 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.

Wednesday: 5 miles very easy (9:29 pace) to yoga, and then a yoga class plus upper body weights and core.  Followed with 3 miles very easy (8:57).  Foam rolling at night.

Thursday:   4.5 miles very easy (9:16 pace) to yoga, and then a yoga class.  Followed with 5.5 miles very easy (8:45) plus drills+4 hill sprints.  Foam rolling at night.  

Friday:  11 miles, including a ~4 mile tempo on the track in 26:27 (split 6:53/6:35/6:31/6:28) - it was a pretty cold morning, hence the first slow mile.  Followed with injury prevention work and 1500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.

Saturday:  10 miles easy (8:45) followed by drills and four strides, and then upper body and core strengthwork.  Foam rolling in the evening.

Sunday:  14.5 miles, mostly easy (averaging 8:40) but with the last 3.5 at 6:49 pace (downhill),.  This was supposed to be a progression run, but most of the trail was slick enough to require that the pace be kept easy.   Followed with injury prevention work and yoga.   1400 yards recovery swimming in the afternoon. Foam rolling at night.


  1. Ugh, I had a similar realization this week when I was feeling punky earlier in the week and realized it was very similar to how I felt in August when my ferritin and iron were bottomed out. Restarted my iron last night so here's hoping!

  2. Darkwave,

    Been following you for a bit on a few different blogs. I just had PRP for high hamstring tendinopathy 10 days ago. Really appreciate your posts. I seem to have recovered from the procedure but the hammy feels a bit more delicate than just before PRP. Taking it super easy--no exercise, just walking around house, to and from car, etc. Was signed up for Boston but haven't run since Thanksgiving with this injury. Just signed up for, and got into, New York and am hoping against hope to be able to run in time to just get through NY. Would really love any feedback.
    Thanks and good luck!

    1. I didn't feel the PRP kick in until about 20 days post injection - 2.5 weeks. I was warned that for the first week or two I would feel worse, and think I had made a mistake. And that gap between the injection and when it kicked in was very difficult.

      I assume that you're working with a PT, and resting per his/her guidance? Mine had me back doing rehab exercises a few days post shot, and it was worth it. But obviously I don't know you or any circumstances that might mean you have to rest more.