So one of the things I have to really focus on this time around is recovery. I’m trying to do better when it comes to giving myself a break when I’m feeling some aches and pains throughout my training sessions. This past week I ran a 7 miler. This would be considered my first long run considering I’m running so slow now and it took me over an hour to get through. What I focused on in this run was not pushing myself to finish the run and be over with it, but to actually take my time and be slow and methodical. I wanted to make sure to keep this run easy and for the most part I succeeded. There were a few hills in Bonelli park that were actually pretty steep but I kept a good pace at around a 12 minute mile. this is huge for me. My easy runs have usually been ranging around 13-14 minute miles in order to keep my heart rate low and make sure im not overworking myself. To keep a 12 minute mile on a run with different terrain, weather, and grades is surprising to say the least. The downside is that it made me sore.
I haven’t even really been getting sore with running and with lifting, even though I’ve been lifting relatively heavy. Even though the run was good, the variety of different other factors led to me both getting sore and feeling achy in my joints. My goal last week was to run 25 miles but I decided not to run the day after because of how I was feeling. That’s the biggest struggle for me right now. I struggle with the feeling that if I don’t run then I won’t be able to get faster and therefore not be ready for the bigger miles to come. so taking the day off from running was difficult because wanted to reach the 25 mile goal, but I think in the long run its probably better I rest when I have to. I don’t want to overwork myself. there’s other ways to work on your aerobic fitness when not running like swimming and biking. I just need to remind myself of that. I can’t freak out. I need to listen to my body.
Sunday I had my speed workout. going into it I was worried that I hadn’t recovered enough but when I woke up I wasn’t really achy or sore as much, so I decided to go along with it and it felt really good. I ended up doing a tempo workout. 1 mile warm-up, 3 mile tempo pace at 9:50, and then 1 mile cool down. the 9:50 pace is just about 30-40 seconds above what I perceive to be my lactic threshold so it was tough but it wasn’t so tough that I couldn’t do it. I just knew my body was moving at a speed I hadn’t ran in a while. the workout went well, my heart rate stayed pretty consistent so I was happy with what I did. it wasn’t until afterwards that I started feeling some pain in my knee. so here I am today resting again. another day off of running to make sure I keep healthy and give my body time to rest and get stronger.
When running as slow as I am right now, I can’t help think about the speeds that I used to run when I was lighter. It bothers me a little thinking about how much progress I lost after my injury. I also wondered why I had gained so much weight so quickly after breaking my foot. my calorie consumption when I was at home decreased because I didn’t want to gain weight but I still did. It wasn’t until the other day I learned why I was able to gain so much weight so quickly. my metabolism actually took a major hit from before. I learned that your body adapts to the demands given to it. when running your body adapts to using energy more efficiently leading to you have to run further and further in order to get the same affect as the first time. not only that but I lost a lot of muscle because I wasn’t lifting then. when you only do cardio your hormones tend to go all over the place, for men that means testosterone lowers. since I wasn’t lifting I wasn’t getting the stimulus to increase testosterone which would then help increase my muscle mass which also increases my metabolism.So after I broke my foot, I was at a lower metabolism, with a lower testosterone count, with lower muscle mass so of course I gained weight. I’m hoping that since I’m still lifting I can also increase my testosterone and get the gains that I want with running. hopefully that gives my metabolism a boost and I can start seeing a difference on the scale or if not a difference in my composition.
Sorry that was a bit more info than I thought I would give but I hope it was helpful. if you are a runner I highly suggest lifting 3-4 days a week in order to keep your body both healthy and stable. also that you listen to your body because you don’t want to play with any injuries. injuries are the worst! anyways thanks for reading!