Archives for category: Training

It’s the occurrence and recurrence of Nature: uphills followed by downhills followed by yet-another uphill; I don’t know which I like the best, which the least.
September arrived suddenly at the end of a muggy and slow August and it’s already half-way through. August was spent, as all summers should, racing: I pulled two road races, one cross-country, and I was regularly at Northampton Community Gardens for the Noho XC 5k. In between races were track workouts and long runs which sometimes were becoming tempo runs. Training was unplanned; it wasn’t, if I have to say, training at all: I was racing because I love (and hate) racing, and because it kept my mind off the rest of life — it was therapeutic more than working out.
After such disorderly ordered training, the beginning of September seems slow in comparison; running took an almost sudden halt as I had various unrelated commitments and I sadly had to miss two track workouts and this week looks like a repeat of the last.

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As I was sitting at my desk to finally write this oft-procrastinated post, I glanced at the street and saw a group of three runners striding uphill in the unusually warm winter morning; the thought formed almost immediately

I hate you so much.

It has been six weeks since I started physical therapy for the Achilles tendinitis, and slowly I was coming back to running: nothing major, only 3 miles (~5km) every other day plus an hour of stationary bike at the gym. It wasn’t glamorous but at least I was running and was fairly optimistic.
The PT reevaluation on Monday and the follow-up visit with the sport doctor on Tuesday were unwelcome cold showers; the PT showed some worries that after more than a month I was still feeling pain when running, and the doc added to it by contemplating the surgery option.

Winter morning in Amherst, MA

but before cutting any ankles

I don’t like new year resolutions for, I feel, they are doomed for failure; how many people have you seen joining gyms or starting running as resolution for a healthier New Year to then forget about it in little over a week?
But as year begins, it’s nice to sit down and look at a global training plan for the year, and with a tendinitis I can’t do more than that right now.
This year I’ll plan my training based on three points:

  • consistency and speed
  • more races
  • no marathons

MassMoCA - October 17th, 2010

starting from the last …

As past Vienna New Year’s Concerts are being played on the radio, no other time is more appropriate to look back to training and racing during the soon-to-be-over year 2010.

The beginning of 2010 saw some major changes in my training; after more than a year of neglecting it, I came to terms with my knee injury and decided it would have been wise to take time off and do some serious work with a physical therapist. It took me four months: from December ’09 to mid-April, during which time I often cross-trained, rarely ran and seldom raced, but I learned a lot in terms of the importance of having flexible and strong muscles to run better. I joined a Pilates class and worked on muscle-groups I didn’t care to have, mostly the core, and despite still not showing off a six-pack, a stronger core led to easier and faster runs; I still remember the first time I went back to running after a couple of months sidelined and feeling the run controlled and easy: running sub-7 minutes pace became more common and natural.
the year in review

… leva il medico di torno

Od almeno così spero.
Oggi sono andato al secondo appuntamento di fisioterapia; il primo era giovedì scorso, avrei voluto scrivere qualcosa ma con Natale in mezzo non ne ho avuto tempo.
I due appuntamenti sono andati bene. Marlo, la mia fisioterapista (con la L, e non Mario come all’inizio pensavo fosse) è rimasta sorpresa da quanto flessibile sono: non che sono Mister Fantastic dei Fantastici 4, ma dei tre mesi in fisioterapia all’inizio dell’anno mi è rimasta una routine di stretching che eseguo religiosamente ogni sera (guardando la TV, o meglio il podcast del Rachel Maddow Show). Ed alla sua domanda di che esercizi di stretching faccio, la mia risposta è stata: the whole shebang, espressione fantastica dell’inglese che l’Oxford-Paravia traduce abbastanza infelicemente come baracca e burattini.

La prima visita è stata di valutazione, ovvero stabilire flessibilità e forza per vedere se ci siano degli scompensi alla base del problema; pare che non ce ne siano e per ora andiamo avanti con ultrasuoni e massaggi. Ciò di cui invece si è preoccupata di stressare più e più e più volte è stato rest!, ovvero riposo assoluto; questo fortunatamente non vuol dire che mi devo trasformare in un couch-potato ma che correre è fuori discussione per ora: posso però cercare di mantenere un certo tono cardiovascolare passando ore ed ore felici sulla cyclette (parola che mi fa venire in mente gli anni ’60 e Jennifer Beals in Flashdance, senza nessuna ragione precisa).
Stamattina avrei voluto fare un’ora di bici ed un po’ di Pilates, ma la prima tempesta di neve della stagione ha fatto chiudere università e palestra. Ed ora incomincio a sentire che tutto il duro lavoro di mesi di allenamenti se ne sta andando per colpa di aver mancato un’ora di bici: puro OCD.