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Scott Sutherland-Thomson

Hi Joe,
I've had an 'interesting' season. In April I podiumed for the first time in a 10hr MTB race i'd been doing for years. After the race I got ill. I put it down to it just being a cold. 4 weeks after the race I had a 7 hour race where I podiumed again. After that race I got ill again and though I'd just got another cold. However, every time I felt better I went back to hard training and got ill. This happened a few times before I spent 3 weeks with unrelenting fatigue and unable to train. I got blood tests and it showed positive for all 3 markers of Epstein-Barr Virus (mononucleosis). When I got better I stupidly went out on a 5 hour training ride and have now been suffering flu like symptoms for 2 weeks. I think I actually caught a cold from my 4 year old son on top of the mononucleosis. I'm now waiting to get better so I can gradually build up my training. Initially I think I'll give it a month before I get back to proper training but my chances of doing that well at WEMBO 24hr (if I take part) in October are gone I think. For me it's a big lesson in listening to your body and coming back slowly from illness.

Joe Friel

Scott Sutherland-Thomson--Yes, I understand. It can really be frustrating sometimes, can't it Scott. Moderation, I guess. Good luck!

Scott Sutherland-Thomson

Thanks Joe. You can read all the warnings about overtraining but unfortunately it's often not until you experience it that you understand why you need to be careful. While I don't think I was strictly overtrained I did try to do more than my body could handle when I was ill which made me more ill... I'm finding it hard to distinguish between what happened to me and overtraining. I can only hope a slower return to training will allow me to stay well. It's has also made me think more about having a coach again so they can hold me back when I want to do something silly!

Joe Friel

Scott Sutherland-Thomson - That's usually a good way to go for many reasons.


Hi Joe,

I'm going through Your First Triathlon, and have a question about the run workouts.

I've run for several years, at average level (10km in 40min), and have decided to try your "training plan for experienced runners".

For some reason, I feel quite uncomfortable with the target you suggest of at least 29 right-foot steps per 20 sec. I can complete the 45 min workout all the times (Run #21), but I was wondering whether the uneasiness with this cadence is purposefully provoked, or not, and so whether I should work on it or just run as I always did.

A normal run of mines over 10km in Zone 3 (40-45 min) corresponds for me to a cadence of at MOST 25 right-foot steps/20 sec. I'm 1,81m tall and weigh 67Kg.

Thanks a lot!

Joe Friel

Javier--Yes, it will feel uncomfortable. The purpose is to help you become used to running with a higher cadence. 75rpm is a bit too low I believe. I'd like to see runners have a cadence in mid-80s. The reason it feels uncomfortable is that you're not economical at that cadence. But economy can be improved with consistent and dedicated practice.

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