Training: Traveling and Hot Half Marathon

Last week was quite the interesting week.  Yay for some sort of excitement of training right?

As most people know from Instagram, I ran the Crawlin Crab half marathon.  I’ll go into more detail, but it wasn’t on my radar this year until last week.  I’ve always wanted to do it.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: Easy 60 minutes
Thursday: Easy 60 minutes
Friday: Rest
Saturday: East 45 minutes
Sunday: Crawlin’ Crab 13.1 (1:32.30)+2 miles

Total: 50-53 miles

My weekday runs were just that, easy, and uneventful.  If I had known that I would be running a half that Sunday, I would have probably run less each day or had an extra rest day because the half added a lot more mileage to my week.

Crawlin’ Crab 13.1: 1:32.30

On paper, this looks like a personal worst.  It’s over 5 minutes slower than what I ran just three weeks ago at the Air Force Half on an easier course.  However, at the start, the weather was 75 degrees and 95% humidity.  I felt as though I was swimming.

As I mentioned, I didn’t plan to run the Crawlin’ Crab, but when my husband’s plans changed, I was left with a weekend with nothing to do so I drove back to hometown to see my parents.  I had always wanted to do Crawlin’ Crab, so I toed the line of the half.  Having the hardest week, thus far in my training, plus the weather, made it easy to determine it wouldn’t be a fast race for me.  Everyone suffered from the weather, and even though I was swimming, I placed 4th female and 9th overall.

In all, I’m happy with the week of training.  It’s not what I expected, but the Crawlin Crab felt more like a workout versus a hard race.   I was more happy to meet my goal of having fun and seeing several friends.

Progression (I’ve decided to just keep the last 5 weeks to keep it less cluttered):
Week 6: 45 miles (1 workout)
Week 7: 40 miles (13.1 miles workout)
Week 8: 43-45 miles (2 workouts: 1 race/1 tempo)
Week 9: 41-43 miles (2 races)
Week 10: 50- 53 miles (13.1 miles workout)

Posts of the Week:
September Training
Why I Don’t Post Paces Online

Questions for you:
Did you race this weekend?  There were a lot of good ones!
What was your best workout?

Why a Running Streak Does Not Work for Me
Why a Running Streak Does Not Work for Me

Why a Running Streak Does Not Work for Me

As the fall rolls in (if you’re on the east coast, not so much fall weather), more people take to running outside.  As much as I do enjoy the summer for “real life,” it’s more enjoyable to run in the fall.

Many magazines, including Runners World, host a “running streak challenge” between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  The Runners World Running Streak sets an end date, but some people spend months, or even years, running 7 days a week.

I, however, am far too injury prone for that. However, if a streak is what helps motivate people and get people out the door, I’m all for it.  There are benefits of a running streak, I’m all for doing what works for you, keeps you happy and is healthy.

But What is a Running Streak?

A run streak is simply running every single day.  Some people say a mile every day is sufficient.  Some people say more than that to be considered a run streaker. You don’t have to do a “long run” every day. 

What are the Benefits of “Run Streak”?

Running Streaks Give You More Motivation to Run:

It’s hard to stop once you get past 1…2…3…days…then somehow you find yourself at 100 and who wants to break that? Daily running can help anyone get out the door.

Running Streaks Help Build a Base:

By streaking, you’ll probably run more miles, and your general fitness will improve. Like any training and fitness plan, you’ll have high points of feeling on top of the world, and low points and plateaus. There is no set rules for a running streak, and you just need to run daily to keep the streak alive. Some people run a mile every single day, others run more.

So there are many different clear positives of streaking! You build more mileage and endurance and possibly get stronger and faster.  What type of runner doesn’t want to get stronger and faster? 

So Why isn’t a Run Streak Something I’m Interested In?

I’m injury prone.   I’ve come to a point with my running that I need to take a rest day fairly often. Running consecutive days with no rest causes more harm to me long term. I run higher mileage and race a lot. Personally, this causes me to not only need but WANT more rest days. I take anywhere from 4-8 rest days a month.  I like those rest days.

But to honest, even when I’m running lower mileage, a rest day is something I want.  You don’t lose fitness from a rest day or even a rest week.

Sometimes sipping coffee during my typical run time is all I want to do.

For instance, a couple of Thursdays ago I woke up and felt unexpectedly sore. I didn’t plan to rest, but I knew it was the best option. I couldn’t even imagine running a quarter of a mile, let alone 1. So I rested.  I drank coffee, read blogs, and went about my day.

If I were attempting a running streak, I would have still gone for a run.  That one mile would have done nothing for me fitness-wise, but, I probably would have been sorer the following days.

Keep in mind, there is a perfect training plan for everyone. There is no single plan great for everyone.

Some people thrive on running streaks and being a run streaker…

Other people like myself, don’t…

The beauty of running is there are so many paths to fitness once you cross your own personal start line.

In summary, running streaks have their positives and negatives. They are beneficial for some and not for others. Similar to running shoes, it depends on the person, the lifestyle, and the goals to whether a running streak will work for you. Either way, it’s important to have some sort of activity throughout the year.

Related Posts:

How to Race Well in Unfavorable Conditions
Importance of Deep Tissue Massages
How Social Media Skewed My Thoughts of Running Fast
Sometimes Running Sucks
Steps to Increase Your Mileage and Stay Injury Free
Why Building a Base is So Important for Running
How Easy is it to Get Out of Running Shape?
Running on an AntiGravity Treadmill

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you: 
Have you ever done a running streak?
How many rest days do you like weekly?

Techniques to Help Recover Faster:
Techniques to Help Running Recovery and to Recover Faster:

Techniques to Help Running Recovery and to Recover Faster:

Last week was my longest race in a while and I’ve been spending a lot more time on running recovery.  Plus, as I continue to build mileage, I’ve been focusing more on running recovery too.  Most people know but I’m injury-prone, so I can’t get away with not focusing on recovering from running.  At this point, I don’t even try too. Recovery from workouts is important for anyone, whether you are an elite or it’s your first race.

Someone once told me that days off save seasons and I think it’s some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten.  I apply that thought process every time I have an injury scare.  Believe me, I’ve gone to my PT convinced I have a stress fracture, only for him to say…no your leg is just tight.

Here are a Few Techniques to Promote Running Recovery and to Help Recover Faster from Running:

Recovering from Workouts with Stretching:

We all know you should recover from workouts with stretching but how many people actually stretch after runs or night.  Probably not many of us. The foam roller can be our best friend post run, intense workout, or training session. I’ve attempted to add foam rolling more into my running recovery routine.

Recovering from Running with Graston/ART:

I’m a big fan of ART.  It flushes out lactic acid and waste product from your legs and muscles quicker and you recover faster.  I’ve always recovered faster when I opted to get a deep tissue massage or ART.  If you are local, I highly recommend Dr. Kemenosh and his staff (and no they aren’t paying me to tell you that).  They have helped me in multiple situations from fixing my hip/piriformis after my last marathon to loosening up my calves, and even feet. I always have less muscle soreness when I see them.

Recovering from Workouts by Upping Protein:

I’m not saying I have steak every meal but adding extra protein: including more eggs, greek yogurt, and lean meat has helped my muscles recover faster from workouts.  I’m not a nutritionist or dietician and don’t claim to be, I’ve just found it’s been working. I know a lot of people swear by chocolate milk to help with running recovery. I find I am recovering from workouts faster when I have a protein source within 30 minutes of running, especially long runs.

Running Recovery MUST Include Sleep:

This is an obvious one, but more sleep allows the muscles to repair and promotes recovering from workouts. Getting at least 8 hours of sleep has become important to me as well as muscle recovery. We know sleep is important, but there are so many distractions that make it difficult to get to bed. I try and log off the internet around 9 pm.  Sometimes I read, sometimes I go straight to bed.

Easy Runs Help Promote Running Recovery:

Running helps promote running recovery? Only if done properly!

This week most of my easy runs have been in the 9-10 minute pace which is fine.  There is no point in racing training runs, that is when injuries are caused.  If you struggle with not being able to run slower, I highly recommend leaving the watch at home.

Recovery from anything, whether it’s a race or hard training cycle takes time.  Just like training, there is no secret that does it all at once.

Recovering from Workouts Might Include Rest Days and Active Recovery: 

Full rest days are needed and you shouldn’t be afraid to use them in your running recovery process. You don’t need to be marathon training to need rest days. I’ve come to learn 7 days a week of running doesn’t work for me, so adding a rest day or active recovery day helps keep me healthy.

Running Recovering is simple and takes a few extra minutes. Recovering from workouts is what keeps most people healthier and able to push through harder and longer workouts. Without running recovery, you will probably end up burned out or injured.

Related Posts:

Quick Core Ideas for Runners

Five Tips for Coming Back after an Injury

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Question for you: What do you focus on for running recovery? Do you have any tips for exercise recovery? 

Staying Fit During the Off Season

Some off seasons I work hard to keep a base and stay fit.  Some off seasons, I don’t.  This year, I didn’t and I can definitely feel the difference.  I have no regrets about that and fitness will come back.  Last week, a reader, Mike, asked about keeping a base in the off season.

Everyone needs a break in their running.  Running year round can result in injury or like me: burnout.  Feeling completely out of shape isn’t the most pleasent way to begin running again, and there are ways to cross train and get the most from an off season.  Ultimately, the off season should be used to rest and recover.

Here are a Few Methods I’ve Used to Keep Fitness:  

Create a Schedule or Plan:

Like when you are running, it’s important to create a plan.  Whether you want make a goal to run 2-3 times a week, cross train, or whatever, just make a plan.  When you aren’t training for anything, it becomes easy to just not do anything.  Believe me, from late April until early June, I took a week of rest which turned into 2 months.  I worked out sometimes, but not enough to keep any base fitness.  I was fine with that though!

Create a Realistic Plan:

Sure you could dedicate the amount you currently dedicate to running, but it’s an off season.  Thinking out loud, you aren’t supposed to go hard, you are supposed to relax and enjoy other things.  I typically recommend about half the time you would dedicate to running but make the plan realistic for you.  Find new hobbies you enjoy, do new things, or heck do nothing at all.

Do New Things:

If all you do during your running off season is run or run fewer miles, it’s not really an off season.

Here are some other examples of other great fitness options:

Strenght Training: Some off seasons I get into it, some off seasons I don’t.  I won’t pretend to be knowledgeable in it but you can get great strength training advice from those who are or a certified coach.

Swimming: If you read LOLZ blog long ago, you might remember I swam far before I ran. Swimming is a great full body workout.  Let’s be honest, it’s more fun in the summer and outdoors but it’s just as good in the winter too.

Yoga: Yoga is becoming trendy.  Especially hot yoga, now that it’s getting colder.

Spinning and Cycling: I’ve done a few spin classes before.  I don’t need (or want) to invest in a road bike and fun spin classes are good enough for me.  Plus normally they have top 40s music, which I like.

Group Classes: Personally, I like group classes in strength and cardio because I feel like it’s more fun, I actually do core and strength, and I like pop music.

Cardio Machines: Most runners like cardio marchines as much as they like the treadmill. I like them because I can catch up on Netflix, TV shows, or just be mindless for an hour and still get a good workout in.  Sometimes, I catch up on the social media too.  You can go nuts and raise your heart rate if you want, but gym equipment is all about what you put into it.  If you slowly pedal an elliptical, you won’t get as good of a workout as if you go crazy pretending you are racing the elliptical user next to you.

Finally and Just as Important as Working Out: Don’t Forget about your Diet.

When you aren’t burning as many calories, you don’t need to eat as much.  This is something I’ve always personally struggled with and I typically gain anywhere from 5-10 pounds.  I did from April until now too.  You should not deprive yourself but you probably don’t need to eat 5 cookies after a strength session.  It’s all about balance.

Keeping a base has it’s place, just like everything else in the fitness world.  I am a firm beliver, that it’s important to take a fair amount of rest so your body will be ready for the next training cycle.

Related Posts:
How to Build a Running Base and Stay Healthy
Why Building a Base is So Important for Running
Quick Core Ideas for Runners
Why Rest? Why Cross Train?

Questions for you:
What are your favorite things to do during an off season?
Do you take an off season?  Why or Why Not? 

alter G treadmill me running
July Workouts

Where to begin about July?

Maybe with a LOL.

Weekly workout logs are one thing but reflecting upon a month of no real “training” is weird. Am I a runner? Am I a running blogger?  Do I just Instagram?

In June, I had all of the intentions to start running again.  Life happens and that went on the backburner.  Am I cool with that?  Yes, my body is just resting from heavy training a lot longer than I ever imagined.

At this point, I’m barely able to keep record of my own training log.  My running might be like a bad train wreck you may or may not be able to look away.  That’s cool though, I’ll get back to serious training and crushing PRs at some point soon in my life.  While I said this last month, I do anticipate August to be busy and September, not as much.

Moving forward, the month of July was laid back as far as training went.  I ran when I could.  I was able to run more outside than I previous ly anticipated but nothing more than 5 miles.  In fact, I think the last time I ran more than 8 miles in a row was before April.

First and foremost, I am happy.  Life is going fine and I’m enjoying everything that has kept me busy.

Something I did not anticipate, is it is hard to explain not wanting to run.  When I tell someone I’m not running, they immadiately ask if I’m injured.  Followed with am I pregnant. I’m not injured, pregnant, or whatever else.  I

I’m not injured, pregnant, or whatever else.  I prioritize other things and when I’m not busy volunteering and working, I’m living life.

I could wake up at 4, go for a run and be out my door between 5-6.  Be gone for anywhere between 10-14 hours.  Then come home and do it again.  But honestly, that doesn’t sound pleasent and I still wouldn’t be training well.  So I choose not to.

July Stats: 
Miles Run: 90 (about, my Garmin is now on 3 months of not being charged)
AlterG Miles Run: 30
Cross Training Sessions: 4
Favorite Workout:
Hiking Stairway to Heaven

Posts from the Month:
How to Choose the Best Running Shoes (For You!)
Hiking the Stairway to Heaven
Staying Fit While Not Training
Brooks Ghost 10 Shoe Review
Staying Prepared on Long Days
Running on the AntiGravity Treadmill

Personal: 
Flying through NYC
27 Facts about Me

Goals of August:

I posted on twitter but I want to jump into a local 5k this month.  I haven’t picked one out and I don’t expect any miracles but I would like to just run a race and get my feet back in the water.  Now, that I’m more aware of my schedule I also plan to consistently run.  I’m hoping I can begin to build a base.  My goal is to run 45 minutes/5 miles most days.

Questions for you:
How was your training in July?
Are you getting ready for anything? 

 

%d bloggers like this: