Saturday, 21 February 2015

Not quite going as planned...but I will persevere!

I am still doing the marathon, I have that must determination still... but 2 weeks into my training I pushed too hard and ended up developing mild shin-splints. I stopped my training plan, and I took to the gym, focusing on lower leg strength. With my previous injury, (the torn calf ligament), I had spent too long strengthening my right leg, and that healed up nicely. But I neglected my left leg, and found out that limbs don't like being neglected, so when I came back, and when I really needed it, it threw its toys out of the pram. Ok, so my personification of my left leg is more for comedic purposes, but it really felt like that.

The other obstacle in my way (apart from a hectic work and Swedish study schedule) is heart fitness. I feel fitter than I have ever done, but at football training my  heart rate was spiking to 195 BPM. I also ran a 10 KM Winter Race 3 weeks ago, (a target to be back from the shin splints) and ran it in less than an hour (59:49 was my official time). I felt good, very good, especially when I pushed it at the end, but my heart rate spiked again to 201bpm at the last step. Even with the light research I have been doing, I know that even 200 bpm is high! I read that a constant HR of 180 is even considered high.

I have booked an appointment with the doctors, and in the meantime I have taken to conditioning training, which I feel is better in the long run for the big race. This means that I will try and keep my HR at 160 bpm, even if it means a slow jog, then after a week or so, my pace will have to increase to keep at that rate. I get great interval training at football practice, some good body conditioning on top of what I am doing in the gym. I have a target of 5 hours to finish, which I know is realistic but I'll just be happy to finish the race this year.

My heart rate has never been a worry to me before getting a HR monitor from Annie for my birthday. (a Polar M400 watch with a chest HR monitor - a review to come soon). Its great, its accurate and it even speaks to the cardio machines at my gym which means the machines can stop beeping at me when I don't hold the HR sensors the right way. (Another sign that we are being controlled by machines already, and AI isn't even here yet - start of Skynet methinks ;) ) I have, however, stopped wearing it to football as I was focusing more of my HR that playing football, something I think other players might have been getting annoyed at.

I have been attending a great physio in Gothenburg, who got me through the calf injury, and gave me some great advice on the shins too. He mentioned that some people do have naturally high cardio zones, and if I felt good then I shouldn't worry, but I should still check with a doctor.

And a question to any readers of this post, have you used HR monitors before? What experience have you had of first using them? And have you experienced the high HR peaking before? 

As I said at the start. I am determined to finish the race. My next task is to try some refueling plans, and Brighton Marathon have given some brilliant guidelines for before, after and during the race.

I am also still a way off hitting my target for the charity, 28 Too Many, that I am running for. You can click the link to find out what they are about, and can click here to go straight to the giving page. They have had a very productive year, and awareness of FGM has improved at lot. They are still to get a full picture of how much FGM is a problem in all 28 African countries, but your donations will go towards finding that out, so more effective work can be
done to stop this atrocity. It's something that keeps me running, that keeps me focused on the goal.