Sunday 20/Jul/2014

Went out for another “easy” 5km jogging on Sunday. Once more, I drove up to the nearby “Gehaansbierg”. Didn’t see many runners, but the place seems to be quite popular with people walking their dogs.

Unfortunately, my current fitness level makes these “easy” runs feel less easy than they should be. There’s nothing I can do about that in the short term except to once and for all stop the jo-jo effect that has at least been partially responsible for the lack of outstanding athletic performances in the past ten years (or more).

Distance: 5,53 km
Time: 36:55
Avg Pace: 6:41 min/km
Elevation Gain: 61 m
Calories: 448 C
Avg HR: 152 bpm
Max HR: 161 bpm



Injuries Trail

Recovery week and first 5k training in a while

The past week has been challenging. Not only was my hip and groin area not happy after the 100m race on Saturday, but the left achilles tendon was also pretty sore. I’d constantly get the feeling that the entire area was not stretched enough to cope with things as simple as walking after getting out of bed or up from a chair.

When faced with such troubles, it’s easy to fall into the trap of doing less and less because every supplemental thing seems to hurt more. Which is what I mostly did all week long, not least because for three out of five days I was working from a different office location and therefore could neither go for a lunch run nor attend evening track trainings. I had two kiné appointments during the week (Wednesday and Friday), which of course also had an impact.

On Saturday, I decided that I couldn’t continue on this downward spiral, and that some movement to get the blood flowing would probably be beneficial.

So I drove up to nearby Gehaansbierg (not wanting to subject myself to a hill climb almost out of the door) and did six loops – three clockwise, three anti-clockwise. With one loop being close to 900m, that translates to a little over 5k; which seemed sufficient for my first trail run this month.

Distance: 5,27 km
Time: 37:25
Avg Pace: 7:06 min/km
Elevation Gain: 65 m
Calories: 450 C
Avg HR: 153 bpm
Max HR: 162 bpm


I tried to keep my heart rate below 150, and this along with the ongoing achilles (and ankle mobility) issues made for a very slow pace.

After this jog in the woods, I did three cold water baths (submerging the feet and calves in cold water) of at least 10 minutes each. I’d already done two 25 minute sessions of Compex on the Achilles tendon in the morning, and did 75 more minutes in the evening. I also did the old eccentric calf exercise I’ve been trying to do semi-regularly over the past few weeks; but didn’t do at all the past week. It was painful at first.

After all this, I’m relieved to find that the achilles tendon seems to feel better now on Sunday morning than it did on Saturday.

Running Trail

Today’s run (28/Apr/2014)

I went for an 1-hour run during my lunch break today. I only managed to cover 8.73km in 1:01:38 (7:04 min/km). I’d like to think it’s because the trail that I followed is twisting and turning and going up and down quite a bit (182 m elevation gain); but in reality it’s far more likely that I’m just slow and whatever base that I built in February is long gone again. It’s no fun being ill and burned out, especially not if it’s going on for almost six weeks (starting in mid-March and going on for most of April).

So here I am again, starting to build a base again. Again. Again. I still have lessons to learn about habit-building and exponential growth (hint: six weeks “on” followed by six weeks “off” doesn’t work).

Running Trail

9.6km run at “Naturschutzgebitt Haard”

Distance ran: 9,63 km in 1:10:33; with an average pace of 7:20 min/km and 287 m elevation gain.

Road Running Track Trail

Training log Tuesday, 2/Jul/2013

My achilles tendon had not been happy on Monday and Tuesday morning. Quite why I ended up doing quite a large double program on Tuesday, I don’t really know. Stubbornness, I suppose.

At lunch, I did a 10km loop around the Petrusse and Alzette valleys near work. I tried to stay on forest trails as much as possible, which means running on a softer more uneven surface almost 50% of the time. I went quite slow (6:44 min/km), although it still felt like I put in quite some effort. The 240m of elevation change didn’t help, probably.

This was also my first outing with my new Garmin 910XT GPS watch and cadence monitor. It was interesting to finally see detailed statistics about how many steps I take while running. Turns out that my cadence on this run at least was quite a bit lower than the 90 to 100 steps per minute that a lot of people seem to recommend. Now sure how my average cadence of 80 fits in with that, or if I’m still in the “reasonable” range because I’m taller than your typical lightweight distance runner.

In the evening, I did a lone sprint training (the others were doing starts, which I can’t do yet): 8x300m with short breaks was the plan. I ended up doing only 5x300m, which is when my running form went to hell. My left achilles tendon was probably really happy about that too, although during the runs it didn’t feel too bad. I wasn’t very fast, just cruising along at a speed I thought I could maintain without too much pain in the hip or achilles tendon: 53″9, 53″5, 52″0, 54″3, 51″6.

The left achilles tendon (or rather, the insertion near the heel) was not happy at all once I had cooled down at home.


Road Running Track Trail

Training log Thursday-Monday

Thursday 27/Jun: Went to my club’s track training. Did various stair jumps in the stadium stands (as best as the hip that’s still sore could handle – maybe it’s not the smartest idea to do these jumps while I’m still somewhat injured) and then five laps on the grass (strides on the straights, jogging inbetween). Did quite a bit of cross-training throughout the day in the shape of walking: in the morning, I dropped off the car for scheduled maintenance and then walked 2.25km to work. In the evening, I did the reverse. For lunch, I walked close to 4.5km near my work place.

Friday 28/Jun: Walked to the weight room (1.5km), did a quick lunch workout and walked back to work (1.5km).

Saturday 29/Jun: Did a big trail loop from home, pretty much circling around the entire “Haard” natural preserve. Ended up with 21.23km, or just a tad over semi-marathon distance.

Sunday 30/Jun: Decided that Sunday would be back-to-back day following Saturday’s long run. Ended up doing a 11.78km “out and back” run heading south along the western perimeter of the “Haard” natural preserve until I reached the outskirts of Rumelange, and then turning back.

Monday 1/Jul: Walked to the weight room (1.5km), did a quick lunch workout and walked back to work (1.5km).

Running Trail

September 3rd: Kayl to Lannebierg/Kalebierg/Mont St Jean and back

After a stressful commute home, and a stressful day in general, I only managed to start my run late in the day. I started off with the same 1.7km on paved roads that I’d done the day before, but then opted to go up “Rue de Volmerange”. This proved to be a very exhausting decision, because almost straight away I had to climb up steeply. Over the next 400m or so I climbed around 50m, and my heart rate jumped up to a maximum of 181.

By the time I reached the trail into the forest, the sun was starting to set. Consequently, I did a more straightforward run initially, not entering side trails. By the time I crossed the next paved road, the sun had already set. I still did a loop around Mont St Jean, figuring the trail was nice enough that I wouldn’t fall or twist an ankle. When that worked, I figured I’d save my knees some trouble by not running down the paved road but instead taking the slightly longer way over a forest trail. This was slightly more challenging, with a few fallen tree stumps to jump over and a fairly steep descent at the end, all with less and less daylight.

I arrived back home after 10.08km and 1:02:05, doing a 6:10 min/km pace. The elevation gain had been 211m. At home, I double-checked my watch and realized why the calorie counter (743cal) was giving me lower than expected results: the watch was set to a 68kg male with unspecified base heart rate. This might explain the low calorie reading for the previous day as well.

Kayl to Lannebierg/Kalebierg/Mont St Jean and back

Running Trail

September 2nd: Kayl to Lannebierg/Kalebierg/Mont St Jean and back

Day 2 of the month saw a slight mileage increase over the previous day with slightly faster pace and more elevation gain. Oddly enough, my Garmin watch seems to think I burned fewer calories.

I started my run on the sidewalk along the main road to Tétange. After 1.3km, I turned left into „Langertengass“, a dead-end street that joins the forest after 1km. Once I was in the forest, I followed whatever trail struck my fancy, with my only objective being not to loose too much elevation. Watching my GPS tracks later on, I realize I did quite a bit of zigzagging, but of course that doesn’t matter much.

After around 6km, I was back on a trail that I recognized clearly from my previous runs last week. By this time I’d been plagued by side stitches for a few kilometers. Fortunately, they eventually disappeared. Two kilometers later, I did some more zigzagging, and then descended towards Dudelange before crossing the road and running towards Mont St. Jean. Here, I did two 1km loops and then opted to run back home through the forest and not do a longer loop that would take me over more pavement.

I ended up doing 13.87km at an average pace of 6:11 min/km. I had to deal with 270m of elevation gain and my watch thinks I only burned 1039 calories. Temperatures were around 15 degrees, which seemed quite hot whenever I ran in the sun and quite cold when I ran in the shadows with a cross wind. I was wearing my Asics.


Kayl to Lannebierg/Kalebierg/Mont St Jean and back

Running Trail

September 1st: 13.4km from Kayl to Brucherbierg/Gaalgebierg and back

I ran 13.40km today. I started off at home and headed west, intending to join the forested hill I’d ran on quite a few times the past two years that I lived in Esch. Of course I didn’t quite know how to get there, so I mostly trusted my instincts in getting out of town. Turns out said instincts need some fine-tuning, as I briefly followed a dead-end and also ended up circling around the local cemetery.

I finally found the right road to follow out of town and after around 1.5km I slowly started gaining elevation. The increase was gradual, except for the last 200m. Around the 3km mark I had made it most of the way up towards the wooded area known as “Gaalgebierg”. From here, I soon joined a loop trail going over “Brucherbierg”. Following my usual set of trails, I know this loop takes around 3.5km. The loop was eventless – I encountered a few other runners and hikers, but mostly was alone.

With around 7km done and over 3km to get home, I knew it’d be wise to not force too much mileage on my out of shape self. And then I still turned right for another 3.5km loop. I had some knee pain, but other than that I was feeling fine. By the time I’d made it back down near town I was ready to call it a day.

I ended up running 13.4km in 1:27:10. This translated to an average pace of 6:31 min/km. The elevation gain was 192m, and my watch thinks I burned 1189 calories. Temperatures were between 11°C and 15°C, and I was wearing my second pair of Brooks Glycerin 9.

Strava activity: Kayl to Brucherbierg/Gaalgebierg and back