"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.


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?


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 :-)