A mixed week running this week, that started successfully rehabbing one injury, then provoking another.
However a good end to the week with a breath academy get together, breathing session and ice bath.
Friday was definitely a highlight point. Having slightly strained the top of my right thigh last week, I was taking things easy in terms of speed, lots of ice and Powerdot work left me crossing my fingers on Thursday. I was able to run easy, but nothing that involved extending my leg back or increasing the pace. By Thursday I added in 6 strides to see how things were and thankfully all better.
This led to a hard, but great session on Friday. Main session was 5 x 3 mins @ half marathon pace, 1 min jog rec, 5 X 2 mis at 5k pace, 1 min jog rec and 5 x 1 min @ 3k pace with 1 min jog rec. The hardest set was definitely the middle set. I was intent on getting my breathing back under control in the minute recovery. The rationale being, breathing sorted, fatigue pushed back, mentally and physically the next rep would then take care of itself. I’ve come to realize that these recovery sets are so key to the whole session and absolutely make the difference to success or failure. The first set was easy to nasally breathe and focus on relaxation and calm. The second set needed a lot more work. As a result I switched to nasal in to activate the diaphragm and get oxygen down to the base of my lungs, mouth exhales to blow off some of the excess CO2 that had built up over the harder 2 min run. The first 2 sets managed to get into nasal breathing within 30 seconds. By the third I was finding it far harder to switch to nasal breathing in the recovery. This showing me how much harder I was working and how much more important it became to calmly focus on relaxing in that minute, letting the body calm, calm the exhalations (even if mouth, gradually slowed down). The combination of self talk and determination worked and I got to the third set in good shape to really push on for the 5 x 1 min. Again the recoveries were hard, yet I felt more positive knowing my thigh had held up and I’d broken the back of the session.
With this done it was pretty frustrating to pull up today on my long run. Initially I thought it was just cramp, even though it was around a historical injury spot. My mind has switched from this as 7 hours later everything feels pretty bruised, post ice and Powerdot so may need some more careful rehab.
After my long run I went to a Breath Academy meet up. These are put on by Artur Paulins, who invited anyone who had completed his breathwork academy to join up (in person for the first time since COVID), take part in a breathwork session then an ice bath. One of the guys I was on the course with had lent his space in Hackney Wick to use and it was great meeting some other people who had experienced the Breathwork Academy. The breathing session was wonderful – a different experience from my usual Wim Hof Sunday practice. Mainly mouth breathing, shorted holds, yet definitely more adrenaline was released throughout my body.
Following this we all took a plunge, in pairs, into the ice pool. There was a little nervousness about whether the ice was going to turn up, Thankfully this was sorted and we all had 90secs to 2 mins in the pool. A handful of us had 2 dips. Something I’ve not done before – so did to experience the difference. The first dip I could really notice my heart beating, loud, strong. Not something I’ve noticed in the past. This I found fascinating and tuned into it as it then calmed and was acclimatised to the cold. The second time the water felt colder (ice having melted) and I begun to shiver around 1 min in, my body triggering the natural response to warm it up. Looking at goose bumps and feeling the shivering was another great moment as I allowed my body to do what it needed to do. I observed and things happened.
We ended with a chat and a cup of coffee. All in all a lovely Sunday morning. Now to sort out my calf.