Rest day today!
I’ve actually slept well the last four consecutive nights. I feel like I regained some consistency in eating fulfilling evening meals, and now I’m sleeping through the night.
The noticeable key factor however has been that each of my four preceding days was mostly busy. Sunday I was traveling much of the day and had to run errands once returning home, and Monday through Wednesday I worked all day followed by gym training. I had relatively little evening downtime before it was time to turn in, and while not outright exhausted I was definitely ready to turn in once 8pm rolled around.
In hindsight, this was closer to what my lifestyle was in Chicago, than previous months in Vegas where I might have more spare downtime following work or on the weekends. Perhaps that is what I need? I don’t feel terribly burned out on this schedule, even if yesterday I was more worn out.
However, weariness was more likely the product of consecutive days of serious training plus the higher humidity in Vegas. Both should recede in the coming days (I mentioned yesterday reducing my training days for more, fewer intense ones), and I definitely feel better today even though I ran a couple of cruise intervals and chased it with some cross training last night.
I plan to lightly cross train today, do a brief shakeout and some evening cross and strength training tomorrow, and then attempt a long treadmill workout Saturday. If my new 3 weekly workout schedule works out then this Saturday long run should feel better than similar prior attempts.
This is some interesting data on ground contact time for elite runners. I found this a day ago so I don’t remember what else I looked up that verified the following… but apparently the optimum ground contact to air time is something around 50/50… which requires a very short ground contact time.
Most of us are in the 250-300 ms range for each step we take, smaller the faster generally. Elites are generally at or under 200ms. Presuming 180 steps per minute, 3 per second, then to get a 50/50 ratio you need a ground contact time under 167 ms. That’s rather hard to do unless your “leg spring stiffness” is strong enough to quickly recoil you off the ground akin to a sprinter (though obviously endurance athletes will not be sprinting).
I know for sure based on Stryd metrics that my leg spring stiffness is rather low, and that makes sense given I’m naturally flexible and agile. The tradeoff of that agility is that a lot of the energy I put into the ground with each step diffuses instead of propeling me back up with each step.
Here and there I’ve worked on it, and now I’m making a point (with some difficulty) to practice quickly and as lightly as possible bringing each step off the ground. It doesn’t help that I’m not light: A typical elite runner is 110-130 lbs, and I’m closer to 180. I have no interest in being 130 lbs, nor could I safely get there, but I can and am working on shedding extra weight. We’ll see how far I can get with an improved GCT/air-time ratio.