Listen to your body…what the heck is it saying?

On my run today, my hamstring felt a bit stiff going out on the last fast mile interval, so I cut it off, and jogged it back in.

I had pulled my hamstring just over 3 months ago, and wrote about it on January 15

As it turns out, I’d been feeling a bit ‘worn’ this week…when I’m overly tired, I sometimes get a ‘twitch’ in my eye…sort of like Chief Inspector Dreyfus of Pink Panther movie fame…we were at an Italian restaurant last night, sitting with the owner recalling the funniest movies of all time…laughter is good for you

…but I digress

…so took a day off yesterday as a precautionary step…so thought that I’d do my yesterday workout today, to test the waters…it was a 1 hour run with a main set of 2 x 800M, and 2 x 1 mile at 5K race (test) pace, all on full recovery rest intervals…so a pretty strong, fast workout…and I _really_ wanted to get the workout in, in advance of my scheduled 5K test run next week, to see where I’m at speed-wise.

The first two 800’s and 1 mile were at a 8:00/mile pace, which was my target…I was pushing to get there, but not  all out, so that was good…wasn’t feeling particularly fast today, but enough to hit the numbers that I was looking for…except that going out on that last mile, the left hamstring just didn’t feel right, so slowed to a jog and took it back in…at the time I was sort of thinking that I was wimping out on the last hard interval…and as it turns out, with a rather contained jog back to the house, that left hamstring gave a little ‘twing’ with a few hundred yards to go…not like the ‘pull’…but like the quick ‘threat’ of a cramp…so walked it back the few hundred yards home.

No residual pain or issues, so who knows…I _think_ that it’s okay…it did make stopping that last interval a good idea though 🙂

As we ‘listen’ to our bodies, it’s sometimes not clear what it’s really saying…the sad thing is that the professional triathlete’s often get it wrong as well…even with teams of doctors, trainers and specialists poring over them like champion race horses…overtrain…get injured…drop out of races because they’re over-extended…languish in training plateaus…

I think of weekend golfers…Tiger Woods and other top pro’s that train every day, and hit thousands of golf balls every week under the watchful eye of top coaches…routinely swing, and drive their ball deep into the woods…I have to smile every time that I see a weekend duffer that hasn’t golfed in a month, cursing because his ball took an inelegant flight in the wrong direction…more plausible would be a shocked look if it ever actually went in a straight line…

So what chance do we age-group triathlete’s really have…our only hope is to stay on the conservative side of ‘issues’ as they come up…in our quest for increased performance, the body is going to be pushed…and feel pushed…as to how much is enough…ah that’s the question…pushing to a ‘bend’ without breaking…because ‘breaking’ costs a _ton_ of recovery time and degraded performance

…like today when I decided to stop the last interval…I ended up telling myself as I came off the track, that I’ll be a lot happier leaving early today with what I got done, than pulling that hamstring again…I still may have pushed it further than it was willing to go, even with pulling up early today…

…I listen to my body…try to decifer its message…every day, and particularly during workouts…watch my various Heart Rate and Power monitors for hints and verification of what I’m feeling…and while pushing to improve, look for something that’s inconsistent…while still pushing to improve

…is my mind just wimping out because I’m pressing, and I’m feeling my body’s resistance to the extra effort?…or is it really that my body is at its limit for what I’m calling on it to do?…it’s quite a fine line some days that’s for sure

…of course, one can’t improve, without that push past the comfort zones…as long as it’s matched with an ‘appropriate’ recovery time for the body to heal, and become stronger…something I listen to, and think about every day

…although the message isn’t always clear

…reminds of conversations with my wife many days 🙂

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