DIARY: Gearing up for the Return

In the training system on Go2Lydiard.com, they recommend you track three factors as reliable indicators of how healthy you are and whether you are in need of recovery: body weight, resting heart rate, and sleep.

I’m quite disciplined in my sleep patterns these days, generally trying to go to bed before 22:30 and get at least 8 hours of sleep. Preparing for my return to normal training this is how my other characteristics currently stack up:

Weight(y) matters

As mentioned previously, injury-time should be used constructively if possible and I have managed to shed another 300g bringing me down to 68.4kg, my lowest this season, a load more than 3.2 kilos lighter than what I had to carry up the mountains during the summer season, imagine carrying three litres of milk and a can of coke uphill every race?

The remaining statistics are developing well too with fat percentage now down to 9% and a loss of only an additional 70g of lean muscle. In terms of ratio, though, this is the most optimal since January with a muscle mass percentage of 45.5% compared to 44.8% in the summer. Lesson learned: Never stop weighing yourself.

Final test is the “mirror test” or “do I start to look unwell”. I’d say the answer to that is a definite yes (perhaps it was all along!) which is usually the best sign you’ve hit your optimal running weight.

Heart Rate

Finally, I had the joy of recording a morning rest heart rate of 37 the other morning, a figure I haven’t reached for a while. It’s not a very important indicator of performance or fitness but nevertheless worth monitoring especially in terms of looking at your overall well-being and stress levels which can be easily spotted.

During my recent cold, for instance, it would creep up around 45-46 (I’ve seen it as high as 48). The recommendations in these situations is to stay well clear off sessions (both the singing, drinking and running kind).


Paul Wallace said…
Is your resting heart rate really 37 beats a minute !!...thats very low.
Renny said…
It's low enough, but some elites have 25-28, so it is all relative.

It's usually around 39-42, but when I was ambulanced a few year's ago, they worryingly told me "you look fine but your HR is only 37 which is worrying".

Luckily I could reply I had it measured at 38 in the PeakCentre the previous year. So it's in or about that. Hopefully it'll get lower as I get fitter, don't waste a beat!