I think I'm recovering from a case of the "Plods" - no it doesn't involve sitting for endless hours on the John, although apparently that is one of the symptoms. According to Tim Noakes (Lore of Running) the label was first used by Ultramarathoner Graeme Lindenberg to describe the heavy leg syndrome assocaited with overtraining - "heavey legged, sluggish feeling, generalized fatigue, malaise: and, not uncommonly diarrhea".
Apparently if you continue to race or train it could develop into "Super Plods" - "persistent muscle soreness, loss of interest in training and competition, increase in resting heart rate and changes in sleeping patterns".
Certainly over the last few weeks my interest in running has been at a low, my legs felt heavy and fatigued during every run and my resting heart rate was elevated.
However I think I am slowly turning the corner. MY RHR this morning was down to 43 from 46 last Sunday and my 2 hour long run was much more enjoyable than last weeks - and I covered more distance also - 14.56 miles (08:15 pace) compared to 14.11 (08:30 pace) last week all at the same 138 HR. I put most of the improvement down to getting more rest, particularly sleep - I can't stress the importance of it. It's a difficult balance though - work rest and play.
I still have a long way to go - checking through my log showed that a short time ago (27th September) I covered 24.1 Miles @ 07:34 pace with an average HR of 138 (160Hr at the end though). But I am a patient man and as long as I continue to enjoy running I can wait and enjoy the ride. I am going in the right direction and the heavy clouds are parting to reveal sunny skies ahead - figuratively of course - bring on the cold wet dark mornings of winter that's when you really feel alive (and everyone else thinks you're mad). Which brings me to my last point - Bill advised on my last post that I should drop the Garmin and HR monitor and get back in touch with how my body feels during my runs rather than relying on secondhand information to tell me how it should have felt - he's absolutely right - I should not be looking for a result in every training run that's a receipt for disappointment. My focus over the next few months is to run easy and while I won't lose the Garmin (I'm needy when it comes to numbers) I will be more focused on feeling relaxed and concentrating on form.
WED 19th Nov
a.m. 8.62 miles in 01:15:57 (08:49 pace @ 133HR)
p.m. 2.5 Miles in 20:12 (08:05 pace @ 136 HR) - Treadmill
Sleep: 7 hrs 7/10
Thur 20th Nov
a.m. 11.49 miles in 01:38:05 (08:32 Pace @ 137 HR) Trying to introduce a mid-week medium long run although the 05:24 start was a little challenging)
p.m. 5 miles in 45:13 (09:03 pace @ 133HR) tired after early rise.
Sleep: 7 Hrs 7/10
Fri 21st Nov
2.5 miles in 22:00 (08:48 Pace) Treadmill
Sleep: 8 Hrs 8.5/10
Sat 22nd Nov
14.56 miles in 02:00:00 (08:15 Pace @ 138HR)Legs: 7.5/10
Sleep: 7hrs 7/10RHR: 46
I started running shortly after my 40th birthday to train for the "once in a lifetime marathon" (mid-life crisis and all that) and haven't been able to stop since. This blog charts my progress as I attempt to go farther and faster than I have ever gone before.