Archive for May, 2015

You’ve Gotta Listen To Your Heart

May 8, 2015

The buzz from the EuroMasters in Poland has subsided a bit. I’m really grateful to the kind people who sent me photos and video clips of me running in Torun. As I’ve said before, pictures of me on the other side of the camera are rare! Sadly, no one had video of my 200 metres semi-final. I would really love to see that. The 60 metres final made its way to YouTube, though. That’s me nearest the camera! I am really grateful to team-mate Bob Douglas for that video.

I was emailed ten days or so after returning from Poland and pointed at the Masters World Rankings. I’d never thought to look at these, but hey, I was WORLD ranked 15th at 60 metres and 7th (yes, seventh!) at 200 metres indoors for 2014/15. Chuffed? I’ll say.

The downside of most big championships for me is that with racing and my media commitments, I literally run myself right into the ground. My immune system crashes, and I usually get grabbed by whatever cold, flu or chest infection gets to the head of the queue. I suffered badly with bronchitis after the World Indoors in Budapest in 2014, and this year, Poland’s parting gift was a very irritating virus that led to four weeks of chest congestion, an annoying cough, and bouts of real lethargy. I wasn’t alone in having this. Several team-mates suffered much the same as me in the weeks after returning to the UK.

Of course, it was hard coming to terms with this. I had two weeks’ complete break. That was planned, and boring, but on the plus side, it gave me good time to market my photos from Torun, which have been very well received. I thought I’d have good residual fitness when I began training again in April. My plans were therefore to keep the work-rate high when I resumed training. Mistake.

What I did wrong was to look too hard at what I was seeing on the watch and heart rate monitor etc (much of which was good), and not pay enough attention to my perceived levels of fatigue. I wasn’t actually recovering between sessions, and a downward spiral began. I’m glad to say I spotted this in time, but I was shocked at just how fatigued I’d become so quickly. A longer training break was the only remedy. I’m never able to become a complete couch potato, so I channelled what energy I could muster into a walk in the countryside pretty much every day. I’m writing this at the start of May, and I’m just feeling that I’m seeing the last of this chest thing now. Unfortunately, all the walking seems to have irritated my left achilles tendon a little. The optimism and upbeat mood evidenced in my last blog is being sorely tested!

I’m due to race on 11 May. I’ve persuaded myself that there isn’t anything I can really do in training between now and then that will boost my performance by then, but lots I could to to damage my prospects. I’d rather turn up rested and under-tested than tired and lethargic. This is planned to be an exceptionally long season.

(This time’s title comes from a Tom Petty song, by the way. Or nearly.)