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  • Richard Cash

173. Inflammation and Running - Too Much Too Soon!

In my last post I talked about my recent illness and especially the chest infection. It was horrible, but having got through the worst of it, I got back to my base building training block, and quickly realised I had bitten off more than I could chew.

My Buddy 'G.' suggested we run together for the long run on Sunday. This caused a problem as G hadn't been nursing Pneumonia and I had. What should have been an easy 12-14'ishKm very easy slow jog, ended up being 18K for me and at a tempo pace (well into my Zone 3). Definitely not any kind of long run I should be doing right now. It was pretty fucking stupid of me to be honest. He's training for a 50K in a few weeks whereas I won't be doing those types of distances until late may. I should have known better and should have just run alone at the pace I could manage given I was still on the back end of the infection.

But I didn't and I'm pretty fucking annoyed with myself. Too much too soon. Plain and simple. How did I know? Because each time my heart rate crossed into Zone 3 I was stood by the side of the road coughing up lumps for minutes at a time. Seriously, I mean, WTAF??

This illness was severe, and here I was less than a week finishing my antibiotics pushing my lungs. It was just simply and utterly the wrong thing to do. I have a plan. I need to stick to it. It's my plan so it's my responsibility. Not only were my lungs raw and sore for the next 3 days from extended bouts of coughing fits, but I flared up my achilles tendonitis from going too far too fast too quickly and the inflammation went from a 2/10 to an 8/10 from the waist down, while the inside of my chest felt like it had been scrubbed with wire wool.

It's simple... I am not fucking doing that again. Period.

I've just spent the last week dealing with a massive inflammation response which has been zero fun, but forced me into tackling it and some desk research into inflammation.

I've ticked so many of the key symptoms:

  • Muscle soreness and fatigue

  • headaches

  • water retention and puffy skin

  • Joint aches and pains

  • Fatigue

  • Tendonitis

All classic inflammation responses. So how to get on top of this quickly?

  • Increase the water intake (now at 3 litres per day)

  • Increase green & leafy vegetables

  • Increase protein

  • sleep

  • Lay off any intense training

  • Cold immersion (shower, bath)

  • cut out sugar

  • Polyphenols (e.g. green tea, berberine, guayusa, etc)

I've spent the week focusing on the above and am starting to feel the inflammation drop off to about a 5/10 from an 8/10. A couple of weeks of this and it should come back to manageable levels. I'm still in a base building phase right now, certainly for the next 4-6 weeks, so I'm hoping this should see me clear of any major inflammation and give the tendonitis a chance to calm down, along with getting my lung function back. It's been suggested to me to throw in a park run 5k, but that's unwise after my recent experience from pushing too hard. Latic Threshold (zone 4/5) runs for 5k are a recipe for me to break down. I know my body well enough to know what will happen. There's little fun in making my park run a zone 2 slow easy amble while 700 people go haring off to compete with one another's times to get their best 5K at this point in time. Base building is the last stage I want to be in to test myself on a fast 5k. Too many things can go 'ping' when I don't want them to.

For now, I'd rather stay within the programme I have and build back the aerobic engine I've lost through time out and illness. It's better I focus on this while working to lose unnecessary weight I need to drop. I'm down 4kg since early Jan (about 6 weeks), but still have a long way to go. The right choice is to drop a chunk more excess over the next 6 weeks, while my body doesn't crave the extra calories in the base building phase.

I've come down from around 107kg to 103kg since mid Jan, even with that illness and completely coming off the clean-eating-rails for a couple of weeks. I'm waiting on some blood test results for thyroid, testosterone, diabetes/pre-diabetes, liver, kidney and heart health to see what's getting in the way of weight loss and where my organ function is at. I'll be 50 soon, so it's important to know what I need to address/reverse.

Once I know what could be getting in the way, I can then tackle it specifically. What I do know is that I am not getting enough protein. Not by a long shot. I've been taking in around 110g per day, when given my weight and training I should be hitting 200+g. I've already corrected this and have to say the results have started to improve quickly in a matter of days. I'm a lot less puffy and feel like my body has a key element it really needs. I'll be also paying attention to how this affects inflammation and recovery. For now though, it's more base building, dropping steady weight, and avoiding doing stupid shit to myself (for at least a few weeks, anyway)...

Thanks for reading...

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