Road to Recovery

It’s been about six weeks since I posted so I thought it was time for an update. As you can see from the infographic above I am pleased to be able to report that my recovery from my ankle injury is going well. The larger “red” block represents my training load and the “grey” blocks indicate the level of recovery and as you can see both the frequency and size of the red blocks is increasing showing that I’m able to train more often and with greater intensity.

If you recall when I last posted I had stopped running and gone back to just walking at a brisk pace in my old (pre zero-drop) running shoes, my trusty New Balance 860’s – great shoe by the way. Over a few weeks I built up gradually until I could walk for 60 minutes with pretty much no pain or soreness. Having reached this goal, then I began introducing some running to my weekly activity. Initially I kept the pace down to 10 minute miles or 6 minute kms whichever you prefer and no more than 30 minutes every other day. In the early runs I would stop and walk for a few minutes if I felt too much soreness in either ankle, before trying to run on it again.

After about three weeks of running every day I began to increase the workload, adding in some faster sections as well as extending the time but all the while mostly running on relatively flat terrain. I’ve now managed to run at a steady pace for 60 minutes, I’ve also completed a hill session of 6 reps of 300m with a 7-8% incline and an interval session of 6  rep of 400m at my old 5k pace. All the while I’ve been very careful not to over stress the ankles and each run has been progressive on the previous ones. I’ve also been careful not to attempt any runs at the level I was before the injury opting to use my current levels as base to build from. I should have said all the running I have been doing has been back in the New Balance running shoes I ran in all last year – so project zero drop has had to be abandoned. however, so far so good with the recovery and fingers crossed I can build up some speed and fitness over the next few months and attack some PBs in the autumn.

In other news I have now completed day 3 of my EA coaching course and passed the online test, so just the assessment day to go and pass in order to achieve my qualification. I think the most interesting thing I learned on day 3 of the course was the importance of recovery between runs and more importantly between reps on a hill or speed session. In the past I’ve worked on say doing 4 minute effort with 2 min recovery but actually depending on what you are trying to achieve it may be better to have a longer recovery between the effort sessions to allow not only your heart rate to recover but also your lactate energy system to replenish. Food for thought here for me.

Looking ahead, I’m really excited to be booked on to do a lactate treadmill test so I will actually find out at what level my lactate thresholds really are as this will help me improve the effectiveness of my training. I’ve got my first race in nearly 4 months and of course assessment day in a few weeks time. Lots happening!

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