On Monday, I had an osteopathy appointment. Following my 100m race on April 16th, I’d been dealing with a dull pain somewhere in the region of my left hip/adductor that flared up whenever I tried to sprint. It didn’t prevent me from running a half marathon or a 10km race in May, but even two months later I’ve still been unable to sprint faster than 80% to 90% of my normal speed.
So the osteopath found and fixed a misaligned hip and back and told me to take it easy for 48 hours. I did, almost. I went for a run tonight, some 47 hours after the appointment.
Quite a few book and blog authors I’ve been reading lately have been advocating more runs in an “easy” zone, and are saying that most runners do entirely too many runs in the “average” speed category but not enough going slow or going very fast. Right now is probably a good moment to include more slow running in my training because I’m clearly not fit for competitive running and could really use a decent base for any adventures I might encounter further down the line.
For me (age 35, maximum heart rate of around 186), I take “easy” to mean 140 heartbeats per minute or less. So that’s what I set out for tonight. Unfortunately, most interesting trails around here invariably go up at some point, and as soon as I climbed even just a few meters, my heart rate went higher than 140. So I felt like I had to go really slow to accommodate that upper limit, and even then I briefly reached a maximum of 158 when I took my eyes off my watch for a moment, and overall I only managed an average of 141 (rather than treating that number as a maximum). In the end, I did 12.86km with an elevation gain of 263m and a pedestrian pace of 7:14 min/km. It will be interesting, however, to see how (or if) that number changes as I (hopefully) do a good and regular job of further building a base.