I've been working hard on my technique. I mention this now because I was a little sore this morning - the usual delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) that follows unaccustomed activity. I think the fact that I did a bunch of technique exercises while doing a moderately hard uphill (the uphill was gentle, but the effort moderately hard) yesterday made my muscles sore. Calves and left glutes were definitely noticing it; I'm glad the left glutes were sore in particular because I know they are weaker and I was really working to get them engaged.
These are the exercises I did while walking; I'd do them in order for about 100-300m, picking a landmark to stop at and to start the next one.
1. Squeeze glutes as I walk, focusing on engaging gluteus medius in addition to gluteus maximus.
2. Walk with a wider stance.
3. Walk focused on keeping pelvis tilted upright so I am not "sitting". I tried to imagine my pelvis as a bowl full of water that I was trying to keep from sloshing. I also thought about straight knees while doing this, as the two go together.
4. Focus on arms - make sure they are driving straight back (no "chicken wings") and that they are not in front of me too much ("playing the piano").
5. Focus on toe-off - allow fluid hip rotation and push all the way through my toes.
I also did these on Saturday during my 10K, and will continue to use them to focus on improving technique. I want to come back faster than ever, and this will be a key element of that.
Today's workout went well despite the soreness, which surprised me. OK, my fast 500m were a bit slower, probably due to the soreness, but my medium 500m intervals were much better this week. Maybe I'm starting to get fit again.
The weather and the air quality were very good this morning. It had showered during the night and the track was wet with small puddles, but it was warm and not raining when I went. At 44F (6.7C) it was almost surreally warm for early February, but hey, I'm certainly not complaining.
I did my 1600m warm-up in a relatively slow 10:19 with my usual 2x100m strides. I felt quite sluggish to start but by the time I finished the warm-up my legs actually felt pretty good. Strong, and no weird soreness at all.
The 3K fartlek went decently. Here are my 500m splits: 2:56.5 (pushed watch a couple sec late, so this interval is faster and the next slower), 2:58.6, 3:11.4 (medium), 2:58.1, 3:11.0 (medium), 2:57.6. I wish my fasts had been faster, but I'm OK with it at this stage. Total time was 18:13, which is a good bit faster than last week, and considering my soreness today, I'm happy with this. I mean, I'd like to get back under 18 min (heck, I'd like to be a LOT faster) but one has to start somewhere, right? My average HR was 163, 2 beats slower than last week, which is good; max was 171.
Garmin data here.