What comes next…

Impatient? Who, me?

I have been thoroughly enjoying my week off. I’ve enjoyed dreaming about running, thinking about running, planning my running – but most especially I have enjoyed not actually doing any running.

I have slept a lot, eaten very well and watched a hell of a lot of TV, all whilst going to work as per usual.

But you know what? Otherwise my week hasn’t been much different to when I am in the middle of training for something.

I must remember that as I head into my next challenge: you are probably not missing out on anything René!

I had actually planned to take 2 weeks off this time round – based on how I felt a few weeks ago as I was tapering – but I was absolutely itching to get out on the trail and have been since a couple of days after the marathon, so on saturday I went for a tentative trot.

Towards the end of 3k I began to feel twinges in my piriformis and so I slowed to a walk and finished off that way.

I have been feverishly doing my physio exercises and will go for another little run tomorrow to see if things have improved, but until they do I am being very careful.

I rode into work yesterday and felt fantastic (cycling doesn’t hurt my piriformis) and walked to the shops and back for lunch (about a 2k round trip) and felt strong the whole time.  

I am keen to get back into it though. You see the Two Bays Trail Race:

two bays map

has a training program on their website  that I have found to work very well for me in the past (this will be the 3rd time I’ve done the 28k) and their schedule has technically already started. And me being the running obsessive that I am, I would like to start when the calendar tells me to.

I will try to remember that although the race is just over 12 weeks away, I can just as easily train on 11 weeks worth of workouts if necessary, but I’d prefer to have as much time up my sleeve as possible, because I am aiming for a PB this time round.

The first time I just wanted to finish. And I did, in 3:48.

The second time I had to drop down from the 56k because, with my newly acquired piriformis injury I was unsure if I could even manage 28k, let alone ring the bell turn around and run back the other way and do it all again. But I did manage one way – just – in 3:55 (cutoff time is 4 hours!!)

TB 2013 finish

This is what you look like when you refuse to DNF a race and carry on running without working butt muscles.

I know I can do much better than either of those times, so THIS time, I am going to try for a ‘middle of the pack’ finish time.

A goal: 3:15

B goal: 3:30

C goal: anything better than 3:48!!

 One of the big changes I am planning on making is I that am currently switching over to a low carb diet (I’ll deal with this in more detail in a later post) due to some digestive issues. Nothing big, just bloating and energy swings that were becoming a little annoying.

I think that the high level of carb intake that I switch to when training for long races is not beneficial for me. A few slices of toast for brekky is fine, but sandwiches for lunch, pasta for dinner and too much fruit in between seems to be causing me problems that I am only just becoming fully aware of as I ease off the sugar and starch.

Conventional wisdom on mixing low carb diets with endurance sports says don’t do it.

It’s bad for you. That you’re putting up unecessary obstacles for your body.

However more and more people are saying that’s bollocks!

Once I tried it for a week about 6 weeks into last years marathon training program and it was awful. I felt like I was running uphill the entire time, I was so slow and breathless. So I gave that a miss, but the idea persisted.

 This time I decided to give it another try with the ‘breaking in’ period done during my recovery week/s. So far I must say I am very happy with the results.

Things I have noticed straight away:

  • No bloating after lunch/dinner
  • Even energy throughout the day (e.g. no after lunch tiredness)
  • I’ve already lost over a kilo
  • My skin has cleared up
  • I sleep better – falling asleep easily and less tossing and turning

Now, it is difficult to ignore an entire food group. Hell, last night I dreamt Baker’s Delight sponsored a work function and I had to spend hours avoiding pastries (although I’m really not THAT traumatised by all this!) but dreams aside, I can’t say I’m missing it all that much so far.

I aim to keep myself to around 50-70g carbs a day (instead of the 200g+ I used to eat) and in the meantime find out as much as I can about endurance running on a low carb diet.

The real test will come once I am running regularly again, but let me just say, I had no problems getting to and from work yesterday on the bike, and it is a VERY hilly route. So it’s looking promising so far…


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