Tweet In an earlier post, I linked to an article on recovery-based training. Here is a more accessible version from the same swimming and triathlon coach and leading authority Wayne Goldsmith. At coaches’ infoservice, golfers will even find out how core stability training will get them driving further. Goldsmith highlights some of the complex variables […]

Tweet Five weeks ago, I was set to run the London Marathon. Training was back on track, my near-term target was last week’s Bath Half. Apart from a tentative run last Thursday, I did not train at all in the intervening period because of the most persistent virus I’ve encountered. As of now, the London […]

It may be a punishment for being rude about economists on the Marginal Revolution blog. These people have supernatural power, you know. But for 24 hours I’ve been feeling a bit ropey again. It’s definitely the man-flu feeling. Heart rate was up this morning after a rest day Monday. Looks like it might pass in a day though, fingers crossed.

I don’t think I overdid it with the long run. There was no pre-indicator I was ailing, but the previous few days involved some significant stress. Twice in eight weeks I’ve been in situations where elderly relatives have been critically, disturbingly ill, including a New Year’s Eve near-death vigil, followed by a miraculous recovery.

They say stress weakens the immune system. Given that the running, certainly in the short period after each exercise, causes a redistribution of white blood cells away from the upper respiratory tract, it should not be a surprise that I might be more vulnerable to virus than usual. Mild weather also seems to be spreading more around this year than I remember. But even a week out now will seriously jeopardise my position come April 22.

I will aim to do some light exercise Wednesday, come what may, and avoid taking potshots at the economics profession until I’m better.

Resting heart rate 49

Weight 70.5 kg

Mood :-(

Unscheduled rest day

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Recovering from a virus, I was advised by an expert friend to do two or three gentle 5k+ runs, before increasing intensity or distance. In the past I’ve always come out of illness like a bull at a gate, trying to catch up for lost time. Now my strategy is all patience. The fact that I’ve lost three weeks, actually means the return should be even more gradual.

Claire Lane, who conducted my maximal test at the Bath University Human Performance Centre, also advised that if my heart rate rose beyond the appropriate zone I should ease back, to ensure that exercise remained appropriate for my conditioning or the training schedule.

I’ve not been good at this, because sometimes it seems to involve running uncomfortably slowly. There is always a tendency to push too hard, because we are driven to believe we must be making an effort: “If it isn’t hurting, it isn’t working”. Only last Friday I ran up a hill, pushing my heart rate up to 163 bpm, when it should have been no higher than 149, especially considering that it was the first day I was not sick. But the past couple of days, I’m starting to get the hang of it.

It is just intuitive to run up a hill. However, the advice not to is echoed by Tony Hope, of heart rate monitor firm Polar. He says that when using their OwnZone function (not available on my model, unfortunately) the watch will indicate you should stop and walk if the intensity of the workout, or hill, is judged potentially injurious. Their latest models can judge the variability in the interval between each heart beat to determine exactly how fit or recovered the body is (even within a workout) and advise accordingly. The Polar site has good information for recovering runners, although the examples for a virus do not cover a period as long as three weeks.

So this week, when I have been trying to keep below 149 bpm, I have stopped and walked more and more if there was an incline that was raising the heart. It is a strange discipline to acquire, but one I’ll need to learn more about as I’m trying to pursue a recovery, rather than work, based approach to training. UK Sport has a useful document on RBT.

Resting Heart Rate 50

Weight 71.5 kg

Mood :-)

Exercise Energy Consumed 797 kcal (7k run, 10 mins bike)

Donate and help me buy back my Fender ('About' tells you why)

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Tweet If there is a cultural bias against exercise, it can be no better represented than by Times columnist India Knight. She lays into exercising mid-lifers in a column today, particularly middle-class mothers aspiring to the ideal of the “yummy mummy”. India Knight is flogging a diet book, and in that too exercise is given […]


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