Sunday, July 10, 2011
Let The Sun Shine!
I'm a little bit hopeful today. I really think I've stumbled on to the reason I'm not making any progress with my running.
I was reading the Runner's World and found an article on SAD (seasonal Affective disorder). It went on to mention that Vitamin D deficiency is almost at epidemic proportions - even here in Australia where the sun shines a lot. The problem is that we've been told for years to slip, slop and slap (slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat) and all this diligence has created a problem.
And what does Vitamin D Deficiency cause? It causes muscle weakness and wasting, especially in the fast twitch muscles. It causes slow recovery from training - which can lead to over training syndrome. It causes reduced immune function (and both of my blood tests have shown this). It causes bone structure issues such as osteopaenia and osteoporosis. It causes generalised fatigue. I have lost speed and I'm slow at recovering from sessions. I've had a few infections that have been hard to shake off and as far as fatigue's concerned - we're on fairly intimate terms.
Then I found this article in Running Times magazine
"At first Sands, a runner and triathlete from Winter Park, Fla., attributed it to overtraining, the stress of raising two 12-year-old twin girls, or simply the inevitable wear and tear of competing for nearly half of her 49 years. But as she tried to gear up for the Half Ironman world championships in nearby Clearwater, she realized there was something more seriously wrong.
"I could barely run 8-minute miles on my hard efforts, and that used to be my easy pace," she says. "I was tired all the time, and couldn't recover from my workouts. It felt like I was going in slow motion." "
That's me!! She went on Vitamin D supplements and noticed a huge improvement in a few months.
I've been thinking about it a lot in the last couple of days. A few years ago I used to spend time each weekend in the sun at soccer matches and on Sunday mornings I'd have a long walk with Natalie. Now I rarely go to matches with only one son playing and some of those are evening matches. Natalie and I walk in the late evening/night because of her work commitment. Most of my running is done before the light comes up. I ran 12k today and didn't have the sun's rays touch me once. And I work indoors.
I'm a bit annoyed that neither doctor that I've been to this year - the GP and the sports med one - screened me for Vitamin D deficiency when I was getting blood tests so if I want to see if my hypothesis is correct I'll have to go back again. Or I can start taking supplements and see what happens. And I've chosen option B. And if I'm correct I should start to feel a difference in a couple of months.
I'm off now to find a warm spot in the sun to soak up a few rays.