"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."








Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hard, easy, easy, easy, easy... hard?

[Changed my mind again about the direction of this blog, so comment moderation's off once again.]

Last Thursday, I did a speed workout that left me with a whole bunch of muscle aches. Some people, after hurting themselves say, "I'll be sure not to do that again," but I instantly think, "that must mean that that's the type of workout I need to do more of." Ever run a marathon and find that you can't walk down a flight of steps the next day unless you turn around and do it backward because your quads hurt? [Ever write a sentence that grammatically poor?] Ever do a hard workout and feel fine the next day, but completely trashed the following day?

During Thursday's run, I felt sudden sharp soreness in both quads and my left hamstring. The next day, I was a little sore and ran easy. Saturday I could barely move. Sunday I could barely move. Monday I felt good until I tried to run and then felt muscle soreness with every step. Today I might run hard again. Some coaches talk about alternating hard/easy, some hard/easy/easy; apparently I need at least 4 easy days!

Brief physiology diversion

I strained both rectus femoris muscles and pulled my left semimembranosus muscle.

The difference between a muscle strain and a muscle pull is largely a matter of degree. Soreness is damage to individual cells, strain to muscle bundles and fibers, pull to a cross-section of the muscle. "Tears" can be strains or pulls or complete ruptures. If you ever see someone completely rupture a hamstring muscle, it's obvious - they fall to the ground in mid-step and they don't get back up, but roll around, grabbing the muscle in their hand where they hurt it.

I was going to talk about the individual muscles, but... who cares? If you want to know more, here's links for the rectus femoris and semimembranosus.

7 comments:

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Better title for this post:

Hard, easy, easy, easy, easy... hard? [THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID!1!]

Best I got.

Thanks for turning off comment moderation. I couldn't have posted a comment like this while Mom was watching.

Xenia said...

For a second there I misread a sentence and thought you'd strained your rectum. Now that would have been an interesting story to hear. Heh.

Thomas Bussiere said...

Speed work - Love to hate it. If it's sore, then you found a week spot. Good post.

RBR said...

Ever run a marathon and find that you can't walk down a flight of steps the next day unless you turn around and do it backward because your quads hurt?

Umm, yes, a time or two.

If you want to run a marathon that never seems like it is that bad, but hurts like a mother%^$#@* for the whole next week, come run the San Francisco Marathon. Concrete and punishing downhills for MILES.

RBR said...

oh, how did I forget?

STOP HURTING YOURSELF!!

I should just put it in a comment signature for this blog.

SingletrackJenny (formerly known as IronJenny) said...

Didn't you hear that Slow is the new fast?

Stacey said...

Take care :-)