Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Muscle memory good or bad?

It had been a week since my last run and it will probably be my last before Xmas.

Christmas is always busy and it throws you out of your routine but the look on the boys faces will be priceless. It will be worth the added weight and the missed runs to see their smiles as they tear open present after present. Clark met Santa for the first time the other day and after a split second of confusion his face lit up. I think this Christmas is going to be great.


So the run yesterday was essential, and it was tougher than expected too. After a week off I was expecting it to be harder but not as hard as it was. I planned to run for an hour and just see how far I went. About half way round lap 1 I changed the route slightly which added about 1.2k, I was only doing this so I could hopefully finish my hour at the end of 1 of the laps and doing 12km in the process. My previous best 12k is 1hr03mins so I was gonna have to work for it if I was to finish in an hour. After the extra 1.2k plus my normal lap I had done 4k and was feel ok. It was at this point that my muscle memory kicked in unexpectedly. At this stage of my normal run I would be on a nice flat if not slightly down hill stretch but because of the added 1.2k I was on an uphill. My legs suddenly got heavier and my calfs felt like bags of sand at the bottom of my legs. As I powered through to 5k I was very close to quitting but managed to keep going and complete lap 2. I was still contemplating on just finishing there but I kept telling myself to do 1 more lap, especially as I won't get another run for a while. My muscle memory was completely throwing me off my rhythm at times when I should be finding it steady I was struggling and vice-versa. I even managed after 8km to pick up the pace uphill too, I'm not saying I was able to do a quick sub 5min km but it was quicker than the km around it. My times were getting slower as my legs were getting heavier and heavier at the start of lap 4 and I reached my 1 Hour limit just before I reached 11km. As I had add the extra bit to lap 1, I was just coming up to the Farmers Boy at 11km so I had to run through my 1 hour limit and I pumped myself up for the final km back home. I finished off my 12km run with a 5.26km and managed to judge it so I finished a couple of 100 metres from home.

Muscle memory good or bad? Well I would have said it was a bad thing if you had asked me halfway through my run. I also would have said a good thing if you had asked me on my normal run. So I think it depends on how much you want to push yourself, or how varied you want your fitness to be. If all you do is 1 run week in week out then muscles memory is good but if you want to do different things and different runs then its a bad thing.
It also depends on the sport you take part in, for instance in Golf muscle memory is very important but Football not so much.

I have started to hand out a couple of the Flyers for the Fun Run to people I know I won't see for a bit and the rest are getting sent out after Christmas in the Children's book bags.

Well have a happy Christmas everyone and don't forget that after Christmas to Keep running everyone.


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