A very windy day, how many of the 1700+ got out for a training walk in these conditions? I was up at 7am to do my cardio session, taking my own advice of a short session before breakfast and a long one later to boost fat burning. It was still only light rain and the winds hadn't picked up yet. I was undecided whether to have a rest day or not after yesterdays race, but felt fine this morning. So, the usual thirty minutes up the 3 mile/300 metre climb, pushed on, and for the first time got to the cattle grid 2.7 miles up! I've only ever got to within 30 yards of it in the 30 minutes from the door of the flat, so to get 50 yards past it was a good feeling, especially as my pulse had only peaked at just under 160 on one of the steeper bits. Then, back down before the 55 minute mark, so a good session.
Parish walkers I've spoken to seem to be in two groups. One lot want to do it tomorrow, are fed up of waiting, and feel nothing else can be done. Get it out of the way, so to speak. The others feel that they still need months more training and that still might not be enough. I flit from one camp to the other as different things happen. I'm sure I've been doing things right, but don't feel confident about the second half of the race. Preparation has to be perfect, everything has to go right, and I know I'm changing things this year which is not always a good idea, although I've got time to work things out and test new ideas.
The walk into work was wet and windy, just distance work, but I can't help pushing on, and half a mile from work I felt something go in my left hip. Not sure what it was exactly, but the hip swing of race walking was impossible as a sharp pain went through the hip on every step. At this point I went into the second group, I need another six months at least. Realistically it's just my body saying I was overdoing it, have a nights rest and see it improve in the morning. At the back of the mind I was envisaging hip operations and never race walking again. A tiny part of me wanted my old life of a couch potato, guinness in hand, ordering a kebab on the phone, but that way a heart attack beckons, and I swap athletics injuries for bad back and chest pains.
I got the train home, you know it's a decent distance to walk when the train has two stops between work and home, and it was the first time in my 14 months here that I had caught the train. It was lucky I was close to work and not up a mountain or middle of the countryside. It is a good idea to have a back up in case of injury. I remember in 2007 I was walking along the River Hull towards Beverley when I stood in a rabbit hole and got a calf strain. I don't know if any of you out there have suffered this injury but it basically feels like you've been shot in the back of the leg as something in the muscle painfully snaps. I had to limp 3 miles home, and friends told me later they saw me walking and looked in distress, but left me because I was training and it was good for me! Since then I compromise and always carry my mobile phone.
Someone asked me, with 4 weeks of training left, what should they concentrate on. I would definitely say cardio. It's the heart that pumps the blood that supplies the oxygen and fuel to the muscles and takes away the waste, so if time's limited, a couple of 30 minute cardio sessions a week and a long walk at weekends. Cardio is easy, just running up and down the stairs can raise the heart rate enough to be helpful if you can't find a steep hill close by to run up and down.
Got to go now, Corry's on soon.