Friday, July 14, 2017

Tempo run

    16 X 100 meters at about 80-85% of max, yes this is a tempo run for sprinters. I ran these on a soccer field as diagonals. Diagonal across a soccer field measures 114 meters but I didn't nit pick on the meters. I just ran. I'm a long time fan of diagonals partly because of the soft surface and also because you don't nit pick or geek out on data, you just run by feel across, then walk the "end zone".
      Today I added various exercises to the recovery like walking lunges which I'm doing mainly to rehab my upper hamstring. Eccentric exercises to help with tendinopathy isn't completely understood but one theory is that it smooths the muscle that is attached to the tendon thereby reducing chronic stress on the tendon. This is another reason I massage and scrape my hamstrings every day and place a lacrosse ball under my upper hamstring when I drive. Another is that collagen (what tendons are made of) production is most stimulated by eccentric loads and can help to repair the tendon. Either way it seems to help me mitigate the issue. I also did push-ups, reverse crunches and ankling. I'm still amazed at out how ankling drills can exhaust my lower legs. I do a variation that is less dynamic and more of a heel to toe walking action that focuses more on the tibialis muscle to help build strength and endurance in dorsiflexion. Dorsiflexion of the ankle throughout the leg cycle is something I've never really considered or developed so I feel I have a weakness in that aspect. Plantaar flexion which is not necessarily incorrect and doesn't factor in as much in slower running, does contribute to hamstring stress and is also a wasted movement in sprinting. I've been working on developing muscle memory to keep my ankles flexed while running, which after 34 years of doing it differently is a bit of a struggle.  
     The suggested rest intervals for tempo vary according to who you talk to ranging from 30" up to 2:00. Today I kept it under a minute with a full recovery after #8. My legs felt healthier than yesterday but definitely fatigued. This session isn't technically a quality run and can be done 2-3 times a week. I personally don't think this should be done that frequently during a race prep phase as it can be a fairly tough session depending on your fatigue and will inhibit recovery needed to ensure quality days are just that. My own outlook with this whole 400 meter race thing has evolved into a 2-3 year plan using this year simply to build and gain experience so I'm not too concerned with trying to peak my potential in my upcoming races. This session though is best done in a general build phases 8+ weeks out from an 'A' race. This is also a complimentary session on a weight training day with the weights after the run. Not exhausting but still stimulating.


Brian said...

Are you doing any easy recovery effort biking or would that add to leg fatigue and hamper the training?

Lucho said...

That's a great question. I'm not biking right now, partly because of the fatigue thing. There's no such thing as "easy" up here because it's so hilly. Also partly because of central nervous system development. Right now I'm doing everything I can to improve that and cycling might hinder it. Doing a trainer session that specifically targets high cadence power intervals I have a feeling would be an OK thing, but I ain't going to ride the trainer right now. I hate that thing :) I do want to experiment with the bike though after my last race in August. I think it has potential, if done right, to allow you to increase strength and power without fatiguing you as much as the same run workout. Most of the literature points to cross training as doing more harm than good when it comes to fast running, but I'd like to see for myself!

MJ said...

Can you talk more about how you do the scraping? (self-Graston??) I'd like to try that on my cranky ham.

Lucho said...

Ya, self Graston is a pretty good description. I've only been scraped once for my Achilles back in ~1999 or so and I've done something similar since then on various muscles. I have a wooden massage tool that has somewhat sharp edges to it. I just run it up the muscles in alignment with the fibers. Since I do it often I can go pretty deep. I notice an immediate positive effect too. For my hamstrings I lie on my side and bring my top leg/ knee up a bit towards my chest (bent at 90 degrees). Lower legs I sit in my recliner with my knees up so I can reach them. I'm sure a licensed massage therapist or Graston expert would roll their eyes at me but I've had great results. I think part of the key is to do it OFTEN. Like every day.
Gentle dynamic leg swings forward and back are good too. Just relax the leg and start swinging it comfortably forward and back and widen the swing as your hamstring loosens.

MJ said...

Thank you!