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Pushing back the brick wall

21 November, 2010

The title of this post makes my workout  sound on the heroic side, whereas it was no longer than last Sunday’s. However, further to a mention last week of “training glycogen stores”, for want of a better expression, I did today’s long run without carrying fuel. A walk in the park it was not. The way I see it, if the painful part of the marathon is hitting the wall — at race pace and while carrying the weight of your expectations — it might be a little less painful, or more easily surmounted, if that wall has had strategic bricks removed on previous training runs. OK, perhaps the analogy is getting taut.


Fortunately, it was a little frigid out (zero degrees, minus six with the wind) this morning, so I had no inclination to stop running at any point. Slightly slower today, not surprisingly, but acceptably so (~4:30/km compared to ~4:24/km).


In other news, I may be the last person on earth to have started riding a fixed-gear/single-speed (flip-flop hub) track bike. So they get a bum rap as hipster douche-mobiles, but now I’ve tried it I’m beginning see what all the fuss is all about. Now, even though I spent nearly a year of my youth working as a bike messenger, we didn’t ride “fixies” back then. I had a cheap mountain bike, and I thought the guys riding road bikes in the ice and snow were hardcore. But to ride a bike without brakes?!! Maybe I’m a wuss, but unless I’m at the velodrome I still believe in a front brake at the very least! That said, this is a high-octane, adrenaline-injected way to ride around town, as well as a decent workout for runners. Uphills are a good substitute for the (one-legged) leg-press, while downhills can train either cadence and/or eccentric loading.

My left hip complained briefly this morning (it’s been coming and going since the Scotia half- in June), but the hotspot on my ankle/foot (since Tuesday) seems to have recovered. I can tell that braking on a fixed-gear challenges the hip, so I’m hoping that this will make it stronger and more resilient, and less of a limiting factor in my training.


Friday: 0km

Saturday: 10km

Today: 24km.

This week: 70km.

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