Platypus' Beginners Guide to Running

Soldato
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Also a new 2022 goal for me. Try and keep my "Fitness" consistent throughout the year/grow it. I know Strava fitness can be pretty inaccurate as it can spike during one off high intensity activities, but looking at my historic trend i'm all over the place.

Generally this is down to 2 factors

1 - Injuries, of which the long timers in this thread will know have a habit of plaguing me.
2 - Drop off in motivation from either events being cancelled or from doing a large event and then having nothing in the future to work towards. This one is less impactful these days.


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A slightly more realistic measure of fitness would be the VO2 Max reading on my watch. It started around 43 when i got my watch in March 2020, then increased to 50/51 at some point, before dropping down to 48 for most of last year. It then dropped to 45 when i sprained my Ankle in Sept 21, and i've been slowly growing it back up to it's current 48. My goal therefore is to try and get my VO2 max to low 50's and also to keep that Strava graph less spikey.

At the moment i'm on track for ~160 miles for the month which would be a personal best for me and long may that continue throughout the year. I'm also doing more strength and conditioning based work and incorporating zero drop trainers to help work my legs a little more so hopefully that combination will combine to make me slightly less injured.
 
Caporegime
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VO2max works well when training for a road race as a general guide to fitness. It will bump up after a hard workput snd then drop during a long run (cardiac drift), but is fairly consistent. It doesn't worl when trail running though. On Garmin wstches, if you use trail mode then it won't update your VO2MAX luckily, the downside being if you do lots of trail runs Garmin thinks you are loosing fitness snd lowers your VO2MAX.
 
Soldato
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I believe they updated the Trail setting so it did affect your VO2 max, but they had tweaked the algorithm to adjust for the harder intensity for a specific speed/elevation.

What has been frustrating is that it seems to be getting less insightful recently, i've been following a decent training plan which incorporates a lot of easy Z2 running and then also an element of sprints and hill reps. I can feel the benefits with hills slowly getting easier and pace coming down (ever so slightly), however the amount of time my watch tells me i'm being unproductive is growing or that i'm lacking in aerobic/anaerobic training.

I think the main issue being that because the Trail setting is now being factored into VO2 max and i can spend a lot of time walking/being incredibly slow due to either the steep hills or just because of how muddy/rocky the terrain is and i'm being cautious due to my ankle issues. It looks like it's a fitness issue rather than a terrain issue and so presumably scores my run lower because of it.
 

SPG

SPG

Soldato
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I have given up on the garmin productivity status, It seems to me it only works if you follow a garmin plan. I use Trainer Road for all my Training and garmin constantly tells me I not being productive. I am sure its a gimmick.
 

hux

hux

Soldato
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I can't even go by my vo2 max with coros as it says I'm 29 when in actuality I'm closer to 48.
But I enjoy running by power output, that there is pretty darn accurate.
It uses evolabs which seems decent, but slow to adjust as it seems to paint a picture over a long period.
 
Soldato
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Ha, just seen a post on Facebook that the medal for my race in Spain is an old 2020 medal because that event got cancelled last minute, they've just had all the medals in a box for 2 years rather than re-printing new ones :D
 
Soldato
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Gonna look like a report you give your parents when you change the F to an A :D

In other news, i hit a 1 mile PB at 6:56. Still slow by most peoples standards but i'm fairly happy with that. I'm not sure whether i'd have been capable of it in the past as it's probably the first time i've ever tried to specifically run a fast mile during a run and my previous best of 7:40 or so was just from a 5K race.

Might be something i attempt on a more regular basis to try and see if i can spot a trend, but also try and do it on a flatter section as i was certainly hampered by an incline and then boosted by the following descent.
 

hux

hux

Soldato
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Aimed to do an ultra today, never even done a full marathon.
Yeah that didn't end well, 39km I crashed hard.
Guess I didn't have enough carbs, I think before doing such a run, carbing up enough is very important, I did but clearly wasn't enough but still lesson learnt.
Managed a full marathon just about.

Had four luchos dillios, one gel and two double servings of tailwind just to give you all an idea.
I reckon two more of those blocks, and I would have done it.
Anyway that's close to 7000kcals burned off.
 
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Soldato
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Great effort. What was your previous longest run?

I had a 20.4 mile event today. A reasonable distance but “only” 2400ft ascent which is pretty low compared to recent outings.
@hux for record during that I only had 1 gel, 2 luchos and a carb drink. I think a bit part of distances like this is mental and I guess having not ran near that distance will have impacted your belief in doing it.

Normally I’ll always take it fairly easy on runs and walk quite often during training. Whereas today I put a decent effort in. Came in at 3:46 which I was pretty happy about. I had set a goal of 3:45 but developed some awful shin splints on the descents and towards the end I had the choice ti either crack on to hit my goal or rest off a bit since it wasn’t important.

The actual pace is actually on par with my last marathon time and given the hills and lots of slippy mud I’m debating looking for an April flat road marathon to see what is possible.

My main concern is this shin splint pain. It popped up around Wednesday too then went away but then came back today. Hoping it’s not the start of an overuse injury given my mileage has knocked it up a bit recently.
 
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Soldato
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Grrr, just realised my Garmin under tracked the route yesterday by ~0.2 miles which put me at 39.84 for the week and ruined me hitting 40. I'm also at 159.5 for the month so trying to not be stupid and go for a short run just to tip it over 160!

@Ian_Eb Have you done the Oulton park running event? I'm just eyeing up the November marathon and wondering whether it'd be a miserable experience given it's just lap after lap!
 
Soldato
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It feels like it's a decent option, but i feel like i'd end up doing the wrong amount of laps and come off a lap early!

Can't quite decide on my NB Hierro trainers. They're so big/padded that they also weigh a tonne and because of the amount of cushioning they sit quite high off the ground and i'm wondering if that's caused me to roll my ankle a few times. I never quite felt this unstable with my old Peregrines. I'm then wondering if the few longer trail runs i've done recently have put a lot more strain on my calves to stabilise causing the shin pain.
Whilst they're comfy, i'm wondering if the stack height is contributing to being more unsteady on the rockier terrain and not having the sense when it's going until it's quite late so not adjusting/pulling back in time.

I'm tempted to pick up another pair of Peregrines or similar and see how they feel, especially with Spain being quite rocky and uneven, i'm conscious there's an increased chance of rolling my ankle on the uneven terrain in the Hierros.

I'm also wondering if throwing in the zero drop Altras could be causing it. I generally like running in them, and i'm not getting any pain when wearing them, just that i know there's a long adjustment period to move onto zero drop and whether i'm doing it at the wrong time.
 

hux

hux

Soldato
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@Martynt74 Thanks, my previous best was 15 miles but that was more down to sciatica holing me back.
As I smash out 10-12 milers all the time.
As for energy, I average 550-600w which is about double what most good runners use
I guess that's down to age, and being 87kg.
Oh this wasn't a mental block, my legs we're saying right that's enough.
I had one block left, and after a few minutes I felt the urge to run.
I just burned through all I had.
Are you aiming to be a fell runner?

Time was around 4h15, but 3h30 is doable with enough in me.
Get some compression socks while you're at it.
 
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Soldato
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I guess yeah, if you're running for the whole time then it's a fair step up, i went from ~10 miles to a marathon, but that marathon was pretty slow with various walking breaks.

I'm not sure i'm aiming to be a fell runner, i just enjoy running out on trails a lot more than i do on road. I also find events a lot more relaxed, with people seemingly being more relaxed too in the build up and a greater number or people hanging around at the end cheering the slower people on. Not to mention the events are generally cheaper since they don't have to shut roads down which works for my cheap nature. The one i did on Sunday was £12 and you get the event and then some hot pot at the end. Not paying extra for t shirts i'll never wear or medals that go in a drawer etc.

I would love to get better on the trail side of things and that's my plan to work on really. Too often i'll give in and walk because i'm not strong enough on hills to run, and whilst for marathons that's a good tactic. On shorter runs around 10 miles i'd like to be capable of running the whole lot.


Yeah, i have some compression socks, although i was reading about some infrared ones the other day. Not sure if it's a gimmick or actually worthwhile from a recovery point of view.
 
Soldato
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I don't think it matters too much unless you're in the top 5% of runners who need real elite performance. Just a decent balanced diet is probably the best option.
 
Soldato
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Been a quiet week for me. I've developed an intolerance to delicious white sliced bread it seems. We had a breakfast for tea on Tuesday and the wife suggested we get some Warburtons white bread to go with it. We don't have it often and it immediately made me feel really bloated with some stomach pains. Not helped by the fact i cooked too much bacon so then at 10pm i had a bacon sandwich on the same bread.

Spent most of the night awake tossing and turning due to stomach pain and then it's lingered ever since. Today it's subsided enough that i managed to get out for a short 35 minute run and it's not feeling "too" bad afterwards. Hopefully i can get some decent mileage in over the weekend. My training plan is showing tomorrow off and then a 4hr run on Sunday, but i might try and mix it up and do 2x 2/2.5hr runs on each day. Makes logistics a little easier and can squeeze them in early on to avoid annoying the wife too much. Plus should be decent way to test the legs to do consecutive long runs.

Plus side was that i've certainly noticed my speed increase recently since i've lost a bit of weight. Today was 9:18 at what felt like an absolute breeze :)
 
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