London Marathon – Week 5 of 10

 

 

 

 

Practise makes Permanent

…especially with running.

When you practise something physical, you strengthen neural pathways between the brain and body. Electrical signals move faster down the axons.

I make around 120,000 running steps a week. Almost identical steps. So I have very entrenched neural patterns in my body that tell me exactly how to run.

When something is wrong, i.e. hamstring injury, and I have to adapt the way I run, it requires a lot of concentration. On every single step your body wants to go back to it’s automatic running style. But if I let this happen, my hamstring sends a very sharp pain response to my brain;

“carry on like that and I will snap, I’m warning you”

This means that running with an injury can be mentally exhausting. Time seems to stand still, I can’t let my mind wander. I can’t listen to music, I have to focus every step on how I am running. And I am running poorly. I avoid taking my bodyweight, and in doing so I avoid stress to legs. This means I have to increase my cadence, hips are sitting behind me. Looking in the mirror infront, I can’t stand the sight of myself.

It’s a very strange week for me. I am off work so my Dad and best bud, Paul, have come to help with renovating our new house. Meanwhile, Nina keeps the kids in London, which proves to be a very wise decision, as it’s colder and snowier here, schools are closed, and the water is not working. When I am in routine, I get up at 6am and do my running. That didn’t happen this week.

I am very relieved that my upcoming race, Trafford 10km, is cancelled due to the weather. This means I don’t have to try and hurry my body to be ready. The decision is taken out of my hands.

Wednesday morning, my ham is so cold and tight that I have to get off the treadmill and stretch after every mile, I manage 6 miles.

tm

The pain finally starts to ease off by the end of the week, and I can gradually adopt my usual technique. I get a wonderful massage from Cerys at Bodywrcs on Saturday, it releases the tightness. Cerys also sorted me out before London Marathon last year, best physio in N.Wales.

Sunday and I am back in business! I can run totally pain-free. I sail through 21 miles like it is the easiest thing in the world, just so happy to be running properly. I am on 80 miles for the week. Sunday evening I am feeling good and seriously considering jumping on treadmill to do 20 more, making it a 100 mile week. Nina tells me not to be so ridiculous. And that is the end of it.

Best non-running related highlight of the week

Watch great movie, Last Flag Flying, it is a real buddy movie. And I realise, sitting on sofa, between my dad and best-man, huddling together in the cold, I’m in the middle of my own buddy movie!

Best thing on the internet this week:

In the most ridiculous Athletics competition in history, with something like 22 disqualifications in the Birmingham World Indoor, the final race ALMOST makes up for it. If you have 4 minutes to spare, the Mens 4x400m relay…

Thing I’m digging this week:

Inspired on Sunday by training partners Cal and Tom, who finish 1 & 2 in Anglesey Half Marathon. Fantastic shot by Sport Pictures Cymru.

tom and cal

both guys demonstrating great running form at 5min miling

26/2/2018 AM PM
Monday REST Drive to Wales
 Don’t feel as tired as expected, but legs are very sore. Family day
Tuesday REST 7tm
Get home 2.30am after  driving through wind & snow. Ham v tight.
Wednesday 6x1mile tm 6tm
 Ham very tight and cold AM. Hard to keep concentration
Thursday 10tm 10tm
 Ham much looser AM. Bit tight again PM, better than yest
Friday 10tm  REST
Ham better
Saturday 7tm + 3 outside REST
 Ham better again, v. happy. Sports massage, bit tender after, decide to rest it PM
Sunday 21
 Ham feels great
TOTAL: 80 miles  tm = treadmill
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