Not sure what to write today. I’m more pulled towards writing on specific topics again, as it’s an easy way to get a blog post into draft form.

But I also don’t want to remove the freedom and lack of expectation with these 700 word writing sessions.

I skipped a swim day yesterday to go for a trail run. I just could not be assed with the driving, parking, paying, changing, swimming and back again. Also I really don’t want to swim. I’m finding it hard, and the fact that it requires more preparation, cost and travel than any other training does not help.

Instead I realised I could go for a decent length run—my weekly mileage is up to 15km, which is pretty luxurious compared to the scant running I’ve been doing over the last few weeks.

I ran up Hunstrete, along the lane and then down through the woods towards the Pig. I ran into the Lord’s wood and then around the path where all the fishers hang out. Finally finished by running up Huntstrete hill and back along the roads.

It’s a pretty decent route, that was shorter than I thought (6.7km). It also includes more hills than I’ve been running recently, and some lovely trail parts.

I’m still nervous about my knee and hip. The hip has been slowly getting better, but it’s been so long now. And there is still a tightness there when I run, and when I’m just going about my day to day. When I stretch it out it still feels like there’s plenty more to work on, compared to the left side.

As for the knee, it’s hard to tell. It was slightly achey at parts of the run yesterday, probably due to the increased elevation. I haven’t done much downhilling in a long time, so that’s quite an impact force on the tendon.

It feels ok today though, and I’m back on the incline squats. I’ve reduced them down to once a day (mornings), and occasionally skipping a day. I’ve been doing them for 8+ weeks now. I introduced running earlier than recommended, but only 2/3/5km runs, once a week in the middle stages, with a keen eye to monitoring pain during and after.

I have been hoping that the knee would feel really different—that the ache would be gone, and that the tenderness on touching the tendon would be a thing of the past. That hasn’t happened. It’s hard to know what to make of that. I must have strengthened the tendon with all of this work.

All I can do now is continue the steady increase in running, and see how it responds. I’m hoping that the rehab, the absence of long runs, and a very careful increase in mileage week on week will make the difference this time. Oh, and no ultramarathons this year.

I have felt a bit lacklustre with training recently. That’s a common sign of overtraining. But I’m aware I’ve added a lot of new elements to the mix over the last month or two: twice weekly strength training (deadlifts, bench, no squat yet, and some accessories: row, OH press) and swimming. And I had a few weekends of 100km cycles.

Fortunately this is a flexible time when it comes to training. Winter is coming, I have no events til next year, so I have some leeway in terms of relaxing my schedule a bit. It does lack some focus at the moment. Mostly driven by what I ‘think’ I should be doing, maintaining weight, and what I can cope with. It maintains my aerobic base for sure.

Strength training is a good thing to keep up over the off-season, and I definitely need some consistency with swimming practice, just to keep that flame alive.

I think I’m going to squeeze my swim in today, before physio. I did learn a few things in the last sessions: I could see much more clearly how my arm was pulling across and underneath my body after I’d taken a breath. I’d not seen that as clearly before. I think it was lifting my head out too much that then causes a compensatory rock back over the other side.

Anyway, I will continue to drill and skill, and it will (supposedly) come.