April 2013: end of month running report

Speedwork. I pretty much have always hated it and this month was the first time I actually stuck with the turnover drills, the tempo runs, and the track repeats. Coincidentally, I also started running with a foot pod in the beginning of the month so I finally had cadence data I could use to help improve my running efficiency.

Here’s what worked:

  • Whey Protein supplementation seems to shorten my recovery time.
  • Taking Creatine has some positive effects on overall endurance – noticeably, with speedwork.
  • Taking a multivitamin keeps my energy level more stable throughout the day.
  • Putting easy runs after tempos seems to be better than a recovery jog.
  • Doing regular long runs off road (on trails) actually strengthens my legs.

Here’s what didn’t work:

  • All of my recovery jogs were way too fast. Part of it was just discomfort – the pacing felt weird. The slow running would also draw attention to minor aches and pains from previous runs and that just made me dislike it even more.
  • My turnover drills aren’t really getting me anywhere. Part of it stems from the fact that I don’t really know what I’m doing. The other part is that I have no easy way of keeping myself within my “appropriate” cadence range. First, I should probably figure out that range.
  • My lack of sleep is wreaking havoc on my easy run days. They’re supposed to be easy, but my legs are always dragging because I’m too tired. This one might just be a draw since working on a startup isn’t particularly conducive to seven hours of sleep.

We’ve also been working pretty heavily on Smashrun PRO this month and I’m beta testing the heck out of it. We’re lining up all the relevant stats you’d normally want to see to gauge performance: pace/speed buckets, heart rate zones, elevation, steepness/grade, cadence range. It’s mildly addictive. Err… no… it’s actually pretty insane. I haven’t been able to stop staring at some of my runs because I feel like there’s always some piece of valuable information I’m missing that I could otherwise use to structure my training schedule. It’s all progress! All good stuff!

This month’s verdict:
I’m running faster short distances. I’ve still got the endurance for 10K – 10 miles. I seem to have a recurring tension or dull pain on my right knee. It’s a little disconcerting, but it hasn’t bothered me walking up and down stairs, or just walking on it, in general. No shin problems to speak of. Still cross-training at least 3x a week. I’d say April was pretty much a success!

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