Thursday, July 6, 2017

Hill intervals and resting

     I felt OK this morning, not good enough that I'm not glad I'm not racing tonight though. One of the "rules" for 400 meter training, and sprints in general I suspect, is that when your CNS if fatigued you avoid things that cause further stress to that system. That rule can usually apply to all systems though. Like strength. If you're legs are sore and tired from a hard weight session you don't do another one the next day. Or if your legs are exhausted from a long tempo run you want to shift to another system in subsequent workouts. Fairly basic stuff.
     So today I leaned more towards a moderate --> hard hill workout. 3 X 45" or about 300 meters on 5:00 of walking rest. I wanted to continue to give my brain and psyche a break from strict structure and numbers though, which I feel is a very significant aspect to resting, so I ran the first one timed and the next two at just the same distance I covered in the first one without a watch. With no way to actually measure performance I was forced to just run by feel and allow my energy to dictate the efforts. I focused on starting fast for the first ~5" and then relaxing for the middle portion and then pushing the final meters while holding strict form. My arms go to crap at the end of hard intervals and races so I kept them more in line and tried to use their cadence to guide my legs, in other words when you speed up your arm swing your legs follow. It works quite well actually.
     These felt just OK, my legs are flat. More often than not resting does this because the change is too severe and not exercising causes muscles to tighten up and motor units "get lazy". I say often that in periods of rest and taper you want to stimulate muscles but not break them down, or you want to avoid fatigue and stress associated with training yet keep the muscles activated and fired up. If I run tomorrow I expect to feel better than today and then on Saturday to feel back normal.
     Today was more of an activation session but I also wanted to avoid sprinting or actual speed work so I chose to do more a strength session. The uphill choice was to keep pounding to a minimum and lessen the stress on my CNS.    

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