February 3, 2013 by IowaTriBob
I finished my workouts this week with a nice and easy long run. I have to admit I was looking forward to it all week and it didn’t disappoint. Over the past several weeks my training plan has been focused mainly on interval and speed workouts with higher intensity or rate of perceived effort (RPE) levels. Although I enjoy these it’s definitely nice to be able to get out on an easy run without measuring pace, heart rate, or times and instead just run by focusing on effort.
The day was a little cold here in Iowa but once I got started it warmed up and 70 minutes later I was finished. Surprisingly the time flew by and I could have easily kept going for several more miles but the route I chose was coming to an end, even after I tried a few extended detours, so I decided to call it a day.
After I transferred the data from my Garmin 310XT and viewed my run details I realized just how far I’ve come with my endurance and fitness in a relatively short period of time. I did almost this exact same route at the beginning of November with the results of the two runs shown below.
The results are night and day difference. Every measure has improved. My speed on my long runs has increased, my pace has improved, and the RPE has gotten easier. What a great feeling to see these improvements and I’m so glad that one of my first investments was my Garmin to help me track my workouts.
One of the next investments I’m grateful for is my compression sleeves. When I started my training this past summer one of my main focuses was changing my run from a heel strike to more of a forefoot/mid-foot strike. Over a 2-3 month period I was able to successfully make this change but noticed that my calves definitely have some catching up to do. To help in the recovery I invested in a couple of nice pairs of CEP Compression Sleeves.
After my long run yesterday I could tell within an hour of finishing that my calves felt a little tight. After some good stretching, plenty of hydration, and some slow rolling, I put on my CEP Compression Sleeves. It might sound strange but my experience with compression sleeves and socks is that they actually help more in the recovery than in the run itself. During the summer I wear them while running and find my calves don’t get as sore but where I really find them beneficial is after the run. Typically I’ll even wear them overnight while I’m sleeping to keep the blood flowing and any swelling down. I find they work wonders and I wake up feeling refreshed and ready for my next workout with little, if any, soreness from my prior day’s stress. There have been a few long runs in the past where I’ve went without and I can definitely tell a difference.
I’m not sure that compression sleeves were meant as part of your pajama ensemble, but in my experience, overnight is where they help me the most.