My energy levels are like a phugoid cycle this week. Yesterday despite good sleep I was exhausted. I took it easy on work breaks and didn’t train yesterday (though I couldn’t anyway due to stuff I needed to get done after work).
I slept well again, and today now I once again feel pretty good, just like Monday. This could be subliminal communication from my body telling me to go hard/easy on my weekly training right now. Or maybe it was the end result of back to back tough training days, during another hot weekend, while also having a lot of other business to attend to.
In any case, I’m going train today like I did on that hard Monday. Tomorrow is a scheduled day off from training, plus Friday is a travel day with no training before Saturday’s long workout. The rest of this week should be a little easier outside of training, so it’s not as big a deal if I wake up exhausted tomorrow morning.
Today I woke up with no pain at all, compared to the last few days where I was pain-free at work but did wake up with a bit of pain. I finally feel normal again after (and yes I keep specific track of this) 51 days of dealing with the hamstring issue. Never at any point was it as bad as when I strained it in 2019. For the most part, I could run, but it was a lingering pain that at times increased as I ran, and at times would go away if I ran a certain way.
If anything, it forced me to re-balance my running technique, to utilize my other lower body muscles in a balanced fashion, and it compelled me to stretch more (dynamically and statically) before and after workouts, sometimes even during. I definitely notice and feel my gluteus medius more engaged in runs than before. While not dominant, my quads are more engaged and I don’t feel my energy bottling up and landing in my hip joint during steps as it did before (which is probably a contributing factor to the hamstring problem). Forefoot running feels a lot more comfortable now.
It made me better emphasize recovery between workouts and on rest days, making sure to eat recovery-friendly foods, take key foods and vitamin supplements more consistently. I’m eating more fruit than before, cleaner protein more often, once again taking wild fish oil, making sure to get enough water every day (this was always a come-and-go habit), avoiding any processed sugar as much as possible. All of this helps reduce inflammation and I’m sure that’s helped with progress and recovery.
I also made sure to find training modes that didn’t hurt or aggravate my hamstring or groin, and made sure to hit them however hard I could, consistently circulating blood through the affected areas and driving recovery and growth however much I could, not to mention making to aerobically train and progress as much as I could and stay however fit I could.
Every issue and setback can be a blessing in disguise when it forces you to be more disciplined.
While I lost the chance to progress on my marathon training, and once again in a marathon training cycle ended up for circumstantial reasons with a big barren gap of light intensity and volume between blocks of high volume… what I ended up doing in the interim was probably best for me in the long run, regardless of how it benefitted training for Indy.