Wk12 Purbeck Marathon Training – Failing Glutes 

So it was great to get the Purbeck Trail Series started and after Lulworth 10K I’m excited for the rest.  I am in a small dilemma though, I now can’t fit in another long run before Purbeck Marathon. Now if this was a speed marathon I’d probably be severely hampered but this one is just for fun and I’m not concerned too much about my time….or so I keep telling myself!

So legs felt quite heavy on Monday, strangely I quite like this post race as it’s a kind of nod to fact you’ve worked hard. 

When stretching out in the evening along with the normal aches and pains my right glute was uncomfortably tense but just put that down to the race. 

Because I missed out on a long run I decided to do a split session Tuesday. I got up early, put the dog on the lead and headed out for a gentle five miles around the golf course. 

It was on this run that I noticed I wasn’t quite right and that my glute was impacting me. It’s hard to explain but I just didn’t feel balanced, it was like running with one leg shorter than the other. When I got back I focused on my glutes when stretching off and again it was uncomfortable. 

Other than my glutes playing up I enjoyed this early morning run with Barney. Amusingly he learnt a new technique of taking on fluids, when running near the fairway he’d dart ahead on the extendable lead licking the grass for the morning dew until I caught up. 

Anyway that evening I joined the club for a workout session. Coach is running a hardcore 10K training plan which disappointingly started while I was away and with work recently I’m unable to commit to. 

I was however free for this one and really looking forward to it! That session was all about Speed Endurance and replicating race fatigue. It started with five sets of 75 second sprints with a 90 sec running recovery, this was to replicate lactic accumulation from setting off to fast in a race. Now you think 75 seconds isn’t long and that’ll be easy, oh no by the fourth set your legs really start to burn up with lactic and you have to really push through this.

To replicate the middle part of the race where you settle into your rhythm we then did a 10 minute tempo run at 10K pace, I found this bit quite comfortable up until about 8 mins when I started to glance at my watch desperate for it to say 10 mins.

For the final push home it was four sets of 3 min efforts. This bit was an absolute killer and I had to work really hard to try and maintain the pace.

This session was absolutely fantastic but oh so tough! I was particularly pleased on how I could still compete at the front of the group having already ran that morning and coming off the back of a race. 

Again I was concerned with my glute as I just didn’t feel natural when running and decided I should go for a massage. I mentioned it to the group and they gave caution to not have it too close to Sunday as it will hamper my race. I made the appointment for Friday so I had Saturday to recover from the effects.

I had planned to do a recovery jog on Wednesday but instead went to see Finding Dory with the kids, what an athlete I am! With it being one of the few sunny evenings we’ve had this summer we decided to follow it up with candle lighting, rubber duck racing and round of mini golf in Bournemouth Gardens.

I did sneak out for a night run on Thursday though, the dog joining me for company. This should have been speedwork but with my appointment the next day and it being late I just did a gentle 4 miles.

If I was to describe Friday in one word it would be PAINFUL. It turned out that I had five trigger points in my right glutes and working them out was incredibly painful!! It was such a nice release though, afterwards I couldn’t believe the difference in movement. While the muscle felt like I’d been given a dead leg the tension had all gone. 

I awoke on Saturday with the stiffest ass ever and it was so tender oh so tender! I decided with the race tomorrow the best thing to do would go for an active recovery run to try and loosen it a bit. This seemed to have a positive effect while I started at 9 /mi pace this naturally improved to 8 /mi by the end of run.

After I had a shower I applied some freeze gel out of desperation, did the same before going to bed and said a little please let my ass be fully functioning in the morning pray.

I awoke Sunday still feeling the after effects of the massage, if I wasn’t needed to make up the team for the Dorset Road Race League I may have been tempted to skip the race. I applied the freeze gel again and took it with me to apply just before the race started. 

I’ll write up the race shortly in a separate blog.


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