Sunday, June 23, 2013

Bookend Runs

Last Monday was a public holiday (Queen Liz's birthday), so I drove to the War Memorial to do the short version of one of my favourite long-run loops. The distance was 12.5k — I'd run this same course just prior to the DVT diagnosis. That run took me 1:13:40 to complete, at an average heart-rate of 129 (right at my MAF HR). On Monday I ran 1:13:22 at 128. So it looks like I'm back to where I was (in terms of fitness) before the time off. Or near enough — I'd observed it was windy for parts of the run in April.

After the diagnosis I had 24 days off from running (or any form of exercise more strenuous than vacuuming). On the 25th day I resumed running — jogging actually. All runs since then have been at MAF heart-rate (except for a weekly 2.5k cross country 'race' were the last kilometre would be over MAF — I'm not going 'all-out' in these). I've gradually built my weekly kilometres: 9, 28, 40, 49 and 56 this past week. I'm on 20 mg of Rivaroxaban per day until August at least. I see the specialist then to have another ultra-sound and blood test.

My running is going well and I'm hopeful of being fit enough to run under 70 minutes at the City to Surf in August. I've been running a hilly trail course — letting myself go a bit on the downhills (as recommended by Phil Maffetone in his book as a way of introducing speed while staying under MAF heart-rate). The short 'downs' of these runs would be around 5-minute k pace, while the 'ups' would be over 6-minute pace. I can also feel some benefit coming in from the Concept2 rowing — still not doing a lot of weekly metres, but my technique is improving. I rowed 5k in 21:39.7 recently, which ranks me 53 out of 70 in the world for 2014 season of the 50-59 age-group. I can feel that the rowing is strengthening my quads/core and also benefiting me aerobically. Haven't been doing too much Xootring though, mainly on account of how bloody cold it's been! That'll be a Spring to Autumn sport. Yes, I'm soft.

Yesterday I watched the ACT Cross Country Championships at Stromlo — it was cool and sunny — perfect weather to watch people race!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic news that you've regained fitness & got your weekly mileage back up!
I classify vacuuming as extremely vigorous exercise - not to be attempted too often & when done always requires a good rest afterwards ;-)
Your rowing is coming on really well! I've just had the one go - a massive 500m in 2:20 so no need to check on my placing yet...
City2Surf - bring it on!!!

4:29 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is really wonderful progress.

I presume you have not adjusted your MAFF HR by 5 or 10 subsequent to the DVT nor to allow for medication. The evidence suggests that you do not need to make any adjustment. It has always seemed to me that the 5 bpm adjustments to MAFF HR are rather arbitrary and therefore a matter for individual judgement. Was your HR approximately constant after the initial stabilization? Stable HR for an hour is the Hadd criterion for sub LT, and I understand that the MAFF pace should be a little easier than Hadd sub-LT pace.

9:01 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Fiona. I'll take your advice to carefully monitor my recovery following bouts of vacuuming. Mmm, I can only just break 2 for 500m so you're doing OK. Being a heavyweight sprinter helps for 500s - which you're obviously not ;-)

Thanks Canute. No, I didn't adjust downwards for the illness (as advised by Maffetone) - apart from a sore arm I felt pretty healthy. Agree that Maffetone's formula may need small adjustments for individuality so honest self-assessment is a must. My HR/pace is reasonably stable up to 10 to 12k on a flat course (in this cool weather). For example, the 4th k on that 12.5k run was 5:43 at 128 and the 11th k was 5:48 at 130.

9:27 pm  
Blogger TokyoRacer said...

Good news, Ewen. Don't a lot of Kenyans take a month off every year? I'll bet a lot of other people would benefit from a 24-day rest as well, although you'll never convince them of that.

10:57 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Bob, yes that's right. I think Henry Rono started the yearly month off trend. Seeing how fresh and keen I'm feeling now, would probably recommend 3 or 4 weeks off each year.

5:35 pm  
Blogger Lize Brittin said...

Hey, hey! You are back! That is great news. I'm so glad the running is going well again.

2:09 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Lize! Half back. Good to be running and feeling good about it, that's for sure.

8:01 pm  
Blogger Run, Karla, Run! said...

Glad your running is going well and you're feeling the benefits of rowing! I've been cycling and think it's helping my running. Officially a fan of cross-training!

11:37 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Karla. I think the cross-training will come into its own with the longer daylight hours of summer.

7:21 pm  
Blogger RICK'S RUNNING said...

I think the enforced rest from running may have done you good and in in the long run your feel refreshed and produce some impressive races latter this year :0]

10:35 am  
Blogger strewth said...

Woo hoo - great news Ewen. Those hills will help your City to Surf result too!

10:55 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Rick, yes, think it has. Not scared to have a planned yearly rest of up to 3 weeks now.

Thanks Ruth. Hope you're back running soon so we can get the coffee routine back on track.

7:21 pm  
Blogger Black Knight said...

Glad you are "coming back to life". You were very very wise to take all that time off not to get more damages.
Step by step you are totally recovering. You will be ready for the race.

9:55 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Stefano. It's taken a few decades, but I'm finally learning how to listen to my body.

2:07 pm  

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