John O'Regan's Blog. Training, Travelling, Running and Racing.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tapering and just in time.
Medical Check, Everest Base Camp.
It seems that my recent poor performance in the 10 mile race was more serious than just carbohydrate depletion. I was lucky to get an appointment with Dr Nick Mahony in the Anatomy Dept & Human Performance Laboratory of Trinity College yesterday and after a short discussion about how I was feeling and my current training regime including racing and diet I was told that I was in the first stage of overtraining syndrome. His prescription included an immediate break from training and a follow up appointment next Tuesday.
At first I was in disbelief and the thoughts of a total break from training seemed excessive as I didn't feel that bad! I wasn't injured and apart from the feeling of tiredness and the heavy legs I was was fairly ok but apparently most runners won't admit to being overtrained until the last stage. Recovery in the early stages of OTS seems to be straight forward but if it reaches the final or 3rd stage the recovery is a much longer and more difficult process.
My condition at the moment was described as a feeling of staleness and athletes that experience this feeling usually feel the need to train harder to make an improvement but it's the training harder during this stage that leads to Stage 2. An hour before having my appointment in Trinity confirmed I phoned Tony to arrange a session of Hill Repeats later that evening which fits in exactly with what Dr Nick Mahony was saying. Hill repeats were cancelled and I sent an email to Dingle Marathon requesting a change from the full to half Marathon as I start my recovery.
Having had time to think back over the past year I've ran quite a few races and changed my plan a few times to fit in extra races such as the Empire State Building Run Up and the Celtic 100K which were on top of my planned 8 min mile Pacing for the London Marathon and The North Face 100K in Australia. Training runs were regularly longer than 20 miles with a few beyond 30 miles and I also broke my 5K PB twice as well as improving on my 5 Mile race time.