So I made it 8 days on my training streak or so called “run streak” that Runner’s World called it before I paused. Here is my underlying thoughts and why they changed.
Ever since I fell with the motorbike in Vietnam my training has basically been none existent except for two gym session before I came home. Before I started the streak on January 2 I had another 2 gym sessions with some running on the treadmill between Christmas and New Years Eve.
Looking back I knew I have basically been resting for about 6 weeks in total before picking up training again. Continuing from where I was back then would not be wise but I really felt like a training streak would kick start the year so I still wanted to do it. I think I needed it mentally as well, to just put myself back where I’m more or less used to be now.
Running every day was not something I could argue to myself as logical so my aim was to rest from running every second day and instead do strength training at the gym. To some people this might still seem like a tough start but to be honest it’s not how often you train that is a problem, it’s a combination of frequency and intensity of that training that defines the toughness.
So before I fell with the motorbike my “long runs” was 14 km and it was feeling good. My knee was at that part my weakest link due the torn ligament just before my trip took off. So I was thinking that my knee was still the problem here and starting off with 8-9 kilometers would mean that I would go down to 66 % of the distance I was running before my rest.
So I started off by running 9 kilometers and it felt great. Two days later I did another run about the same distance but now my calves was giving my classic “exercise pain” and it felt like they didn’t get enough time to rest. So my next run was a shorter 5 km run at a much slower pace and I had no problems at all during that run. So my conclusions was that I was ready for another “long” run two days after that by trying to extend it to 10 km. Unfortunately i was not and the calves got worse than before.
I think my biggest mistake was the speed during my first two running sessions. I think the starting distance itself was okay but pushing close to 5 min / km was for me too fast. I should have been playing more in the ballpark of 5:30-5:40. But I was running without looking at the watch and i was trying to find a pace that was just below the level where my fitness would start to define it as exhausting. So it felt really good and it felt “easy” but it was still going too fast.
My new decision was to rest more and so I decided to skip at least 2 planned running sessions. That means I would get at least 6 days complete rest from running. And continuing the streak if I can not run was boring and I will not do “boring” right now. Instead I combine strength training with 15-20 minutes on the bike in the end.
I’m really not in a hurry to get back quickly but still when I try to (and I’m trying) it needs to be “fun”. Combining slow pace, shorter routes, more rest is anything but fun and there lies my problem. It’s the scale of motivation and boredom. The difference between training and not training at all.