Workouts: Swimming and Strength Training

Another week of workouts down.  As most readers know by now, I’m currently not running.  Some days, there is a twinge of excitement to run again, but some days I want nothing to do with the sport.  This break has been nothing but good.  I don’t feel jealous of others running and don’t feel the need to “do something.”  Although this week was a high volume of workouts for where I’m currently at.

Right now, I’m getting more into lifting and strength classes than I’ve done in the last few years.

Workouts Last Week:

Monday: Swimming: 1 mile
Tuesday: 45 Minute Strength Class
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 45 Minute Strength Class
Friday: Swimming 1 mile
Saturday: Body Pump Class
Sunday: Walking Around NYC

As many readers know, before running, I swam.  Then, I burnt out, and in the last few years, I’ve gotten in the pool less than a week of college swimming.  After graduating, I decided I would try and swim a mile every year.  It’s the distance I used to race, and it seems like an achievable/attainable goal.

My strength classes have been going well.  I’m just working on getting stronger as I figure out when I want to run again.  I like to go to a class because I know I’m getting an all body workout, versus me pretending to know what I’m doing in the gym.

Other then that, it’s been a quiet week.  My husband came home from a deployment on Thursday, so workouts weren’t the focus this week.  tim and i

We decided to take a try up to NYC and explore.

Thoughts:

I’m currently trying to figure out what I want to do with running and training right now.  My body has needed this rest period.  I thought I would probably want to run by now, but the truth is, I don’t!  At first, I compared myself to other people.  Why does X only need a day off and they love running again?  Then I realized, I’m the same way with marathons.

I need a lot more time to recover from a marathon (at least a month!), and I need a lot more time to recover from a burnout and find my enjoyment out of running again.  Do you know what?  That’s cool. Rushing back into running will just result in a bigger burnout or injury.

Post from the week: NonRunning Workout Ideas (Apparently I haven’t been blogging much either)

Questions for you:

How long do you typically take off from running?

Have you ever been to NYC? 

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NonRunning Workout Ideas

As most people know by now, after the April Fools half marathon, I experienced a serious running burnout.  In fact, I wrote about it here. It wasn’t the race itself, but more of running hard for 6 months and not achieving a goal.

My personal friend Steve asked to write about other things to do outside of running!  To be honest, I’m still not running, but I am enjoying doing other things.  Don’t get me wrong, running is a great workout, but it’s not the only one.  It’s important to take the time to look at other things to do.

Right now, I have no goal races I’m trying to maintain fitness for.  Thinking out loud, I have no need to hit up the gym daily.  Do I like working out?  Yes.  Do I need to workout for several hours daily?  No.  Do I care if I missed a workout?  No…

Ideas for Cross Training to Maintain Fitness:

Here are a few things I like to do to preserve cardio fitness:

Elliptical:

I might be one of the only people who doesn’t hate the elliptical.  If you workout hard on the elliptical, then it will simulate running.  If you leisurely pedal, you aren’t going to get the same benefits as having a higher heart rate.  There are a lot of programs that you can adjust based on ability and how hard you want to workout.  My heart rate is never as high as running, but I can say it has gotten pretty high during the elliptical.

Alter G Treadmill:

Finding an Alter G treadmill can be hard.  If you’re in Southern Jersey/Philadephia area and want to use one, let me know, and we have one at RunningCo.

Admittedly, I haven’t used it right now.  That’s only because I don’t want to run.  The AlterG is running without the pressure of body weight.  It takes body weight off so you can simulate running without putting the extra pressure and weight on your body.  The chamber fills with air, so you are essentially free floating around. Here is a more in-depth post about the AlterG when I was using it!

Alter G
After my metatarsal stress fracture, I used it frequently

Swimming:

Before picking up running in 2010, I was a competitive swimmer.  I swam through college.  While I no longer swim regularly (and have no interest in Tris), I will frequent the pool.  Swimming takes all of the pressure off your body will still allowing for a great cardio and strength workout.  It’s one of the best workouts you can do.

Strength Work and Core:

To be honest, right now this is what I’ enjoying the most.  I’m going to several body pump and core classes as well as lifting weights myself.  It may not “burn calories, but I am enjoying the constant state of feeling like jello and feeling stronger.

Running is a great sport but it’s not the only workout.  There are plenty of other activies that are equally as fun to do.Other Running Related Posts:

Are Losing Toenails a Runners Rite of Passage?
How to Prepare for Running in the Heat:
Why 5ks are the Best
How to Race Well
How to Race in Unfavorable Conditions

Questions for you:

What are your favorite nonrunning activities?

 Do you like to cross train? 

Workout Log: (99% Injury Free?)

Training log:

As demotivating last week was, this week was much better.  In fact, this was the best week I’ve had while returning after my injury.  Along with my running feeling good, I decided to get my butt in gear and actually do the little things.

Me running

Monday: 40-minute easy run
Tuesday: 40-minute easy run
Wednesday: 60-minute easy run Core
Thursday: 3000-meter swim Core
Friday: 30-minute easy run Core
Saturday: 30-minute easy run
Sunday: 65-minute easy run
Total: Roughly 30 miles

Thoughts:

To be honest, this was the first week of running I didn’t feel “injured.”  It’s been eight weeks, but I finally feel, “normal.”  I’m nervous to type that out. My ankle doesn’t ache during the before, during or after which motivates me.

However, I’m still monitoring my ankle.  While this week felt good, that doesn’t mean every run will.  I’m at the point that I miss running and training consistently.  I’ve been out for most of the summer, and I miss it.  Hopefully, I’ve made it through the initial hardest part of recovery, and now it’s back to increasing mileage.

I was happy to get to the pool once and do a few core workouts throughout the week too.

My plan for the next month is to continue to slowly increase mileage and possibly add a few races too. I know I’ve lost fitness, but it will be nice to get a good baseline.  I don’t have any major goal races picked out because no injury recovers the same. I don’t know where my fitness is or how fast I’ll be able to return to running.  Honestly, I don’t even know what I want to train for.

Questions for you:
How was your week of workouts?
Is it scorching hot where you are? 

Workout Log: Hiking, Humidity and Swimming

Last week flew by. Since the Fourth of July landed on a Monday, the week felt much shorter.  Which is odd because generally “short” weeks feel like they last longer.  Is that the case with anyone else?

Training wise, I’m just trucking along. Right now my foot is fine, but I’ve started to worry my foot will not respond well to an increase in mileage.  This stage of injury recovery is the hardest for me.  I find myself questioning a lot: will my foot respond well to an increase in distance? Will it not?

I’m better at just resting and “not running”.  Each time I’m cleared to run again (like now), I just constantly worry about every minor detail.

I keep questioning: will this be the run to completely break my foot?

Then I remember, I never broke my foot across the bone.  I fractured it and was still running 70 miles.

So in summary, my ankle is fine now but my fear is that I’ll gradually build my mileage back, but I will still have the same pain as before I stopped running. My biggest concern is: What if we’ve never solved the problem?  What if there is something else?

Moving on to workouts: 

Monday: —– Hike at Hemlock Falls
Tuesday: 3000 meters Swim 20 minute run
Wednesday: Core and Arm Strength 30 minute run
Thursday: Core 20 minute run
Friday: —— Complete Rest
Saturday: Core 35 minute run
Sunday: 3000 Meter Swim 20 minute run

On Monday, my husband and I went hiking at Hemlock Falls. It was more of an outing versus an intense hike. It was not a rest day either, and my legs were fatigued afterwords.  My ankle never felt any pain during the hike, and we weren’t pace pushers.  We just wanted to enjoy some of the scenes of the Garden State.

Hemlock Falls

My short runs consisted of a 20-minute run. Nothing hurt or felt off during those runs.

When I go to the pool, I prefer to swim laps versus pool running.  Both times I swam laps I swam 3X1000 meters.  One without a pull buoy, one with and one without.  It felt good.  It still baffles me I used to race that event. Swimming 3X1000s is what I like to do, and it’s enjoyable to deplug and stare mindlessly at the bottom of the pool with no interruptions.
My midweek “long run” was 30 minutes. This was where my ankle felt off, and it made me a little bit nervous. My ankle didn’t hurt, but it felt off. I know my ankle has made an improvement, but I’m worried it’s not enough. I guess we all have those fears, though.

Friday I needed complete rest. I needed it.  Between hiking, running and swimming I was exhausted.  Last week was the most hot and humid, we’ve had all summer. I haven’t missed running in that!

I decided to run my 35 minute run on Saturday because I was anxious to run, felt good and had rested the day before.  I didn’t have a reason to run on Sunday versus Saturday, so I switched them.  I felt a little bit of pressure on the back of my heel but nothing like before.  My breathing felt awful, and my legs felt tired at the end, but I ran. For the most part, my ankle felt fine.  Now we are two days later, and it still feels okay so I am making progress.

running injury free

In summary, I’m continuing to run and right now my ankle feels fine.  I’m a natural worrier but hopefully gradually increasing mileage keeps all injuries at bay.

Question for you:

Have you ever been hiking? 

What was your favorite workout last week? 

June Training: 4 (Injury Free) Miles

June training: 
It’s time to look at my running log for June.  Last month was an easy month to write because it was my lowest training month in the year, if not the last 3-4 years.  I think I’ve had 0 mileage months before but I can’t remember.

running 1

Moving on: 

Total mileage: 4 miles
Range of paces: 8:55-untimed
Races: zero
Workouts: zero
Favorite Run: None

Cross Training Workouts: 
Swimming: 10 times
Spinning: 6 times
Elliptical/AMT: 6 times

Thoughts: 
So why don’t I have I have a favorite run? It’s hard to choose my first run “back” as my favorite.  I’ve never come back from an injury feeling great.  I normally have soft tissue soreness which takes a few weeks to go away.  I’m hoping that’s the case as here too.  If I had to choose my favorite I would say my second run back was my favorite, but no one is making me choose.

To be honest, June was not a month I want to remember. Mentally, physically and emotionally it’s a month I am ready to leave in the past. I made the best of the situation, but I can’t say I had a great month of running, training or even life.  It wasn’t a great month for me, and I’m hoping to put it behind me.  Not every month can be enjoyable, and it’s important to remember that.

My only goal for July is to continue healing.  I can’t make any goals because I have no idea how I’ll heal and how my fitness will return.  In a perfect world, I would progress seamlessly back into running and be fully healed by the end of the month.  I would probably hop into a 5k by the end of the month.  That is a 100% dream and reach goal.  I would be up to 30-40 miles a week but if I can complete July injury free and healthy than I am fine with that too.

Posts from the Month:
Five Types of Summer Runners
5 Things that Will Make Me Love Your Road Race
8 Things Runners Training through the Summer Understand
Why a Running Break is Necessary
ON Cloud Surfer Shoe Review

Last but not least, Lindsey Hein interviewed me for her podcast: “I’ll have another”. If you want to listen to it (it’s about 70 minutes, tune in here).  Yes, I’m probably as awkward as you imagined.

At least this month provided something different besides run all the races, run boring workouts and do nothing else.  Right?

Questions for you:
How were your workouts in June?
Do you have any goal races coming up?

A Past with Swimming

Many people have asked more about my past with swimming so I thought I would share.  Plus swimming is a big sport at the Olympics, and I love watching!  On Tuesday, I wrote a post about why swimmers should get in the pool.  In summary, I was a swimmer long before I ran.  I didn’t start running until 2010-2011, and you can read about that here.

I swam through high school and three years of college.  As competitive as I am with running, I was more so with swimming.

Swimming was my life.  It was my social hour; it was my hobby, my fitness, and my fun.  Outside of school, it was everything.  Now for me running is something I love doing but at the end of the day, it’s a hobby.

swimming 2

In fact, a long time ago this blog used to be named: LOLZthatswim!  If you can remember that, you’ve been reading this ramble for a long time.  Eventually, I began running so the blog was renamed “LOLZthatswim(andrun).  Now it’s just FueledbyLOLZ.  This blog has changed a lot since I started nearly six years ago but that is a post for another day.  So back to swimming: 

Not to say I was obsessed with swimming but I spent a lot more time swimming than I currently do running.  For the high school, college or club level, the average practice is anywhere between 1.5- 2.5 hours.  You are swimming for the majority of that time. 

Could you imagine running or doing speed work for 2 hours daily and sometimes twice a day? 

No, you would get injured.

Most people don’t realize this, but you dive in and swim for 2 hours straight. In a given swim practice, you’ll alternate different sets.  Instead, you might warmup, do 10X100s freestyle with 20 seconds rest, 4X200 IM and so on. It never gets boring, and you don’t usually swim a practice“straight”. It’s more like doing different workouts on the track for 2 hours. swimming 3

How many miles do most competitive swimmers swim at practice?

In a given practice, you could swim anywhere from 3000-4000 yards per hour. It’s hard for me to believe that a “light” college training was around 5000 yards.  I haven’t swum more than 3000 in a very long time, and I have no plans too. Keep in mind, even though I was swimming anywhere from 14-20 hours a week, I was nowhere near professional.  I swam for a respectable D3 school, but I wasn’t anywhere close to the top of Division 3. Professional swimmers or even D1 swimmers are putting 4+ hours a day.

What events did you compete in?

I was a distance freestyler.  I swam the 500-yard freestyle, 1000 and occasionally the mile.  In later college, I would sometimes swim the 200 butterfly too, but I was a distance girl at heart. My favorite distance to swim was the 1000.

Because for me swimming is always a party...
Because for me, swimming is always a party…

What are pool workouts for runners?

This deserves a post in itself.  Pool running is the best workout for “real” running.  Like anything you have to simulate effort and pool running is what you get out of it.  If you relax and don’t get your heart rate up, you aren’t going to get the benefits of working hard.  I found this article by Jason helpful if you want to get into pool running.

So thinking out loud, that is just a brief look at my relationship with swimming as well as answering a few swimming related questions.  I don’t hate it, and I’m not on bad terms with swimming but at this point I do enjoy other things more.

Questions for you:
Do you like swimming?
What is something you did growing up that you don’t as much now?

Four Reasons Runners Should Get into the Pool

It’s interesting I’m writing this post.  After spending years of my life swimming, I gave it up five years ago.  I didn’t look back and haven’t been in the pool much since.  But due to injury, here I am in the pool.

Four Reasons Runners Should Get into the Pool

I don’t hate swimming, and I also don’t have a bitter relationship with it.  The fact of the matter is, I enjoy other activities more.  As a child, teenager and college student, I spent so much time swimming competitively that I’m still burnt out.  Now that I’m unable to do certain activities, such as running, I got back into pool.  After swimming for a few weeks, I remembered swimming does have it’s benefits.

I also joined my neighborhood swim club so I can meet my neighbors, swim outside and get some relaxing reading as well as trashy TV but enough about me.

Why should runners get in the pool? 
Less pressure on your joints

You can still get a workout in without putting stress and pressure on your joints and bones.

Less tan lines

Running outside means tan lines from compression socks, sports bras, shorts, and shoes.  When you swim outside, you only have bathing suit tan lines.  It’s perfect! You workout and get to remove any unwanted tanlines.  Despite not running much this summer, I’m still working on my compression sleeve tan line. PSA: Always wear sunscreen when outside. 

Swimming in the Summer is Refreshing 

Finishing a run can often be a hot, soggy mess.  You can swim laps in an outdoor pool when it’s 100 degrees and feel great. You can also swim at any time of the day without worrying about overheating.  The only thing you have to worry about with swimming is the occasional thunderstorm.

Strength Work

Swimming gets some (not all) of the benefits of strength work without lifting weights.  When you are swimming back and forth using the water as resistance, you build upper body strength.  I had much more upper body muscle when I collegiately swam as well.

Like anything else, swimming isn’t for everyone. You could experiment in the pool and realize you love it or you could experiment and realize you hate it.  At the end of the day, it’s about finding something you enjoy doing.

Click to Tweet: Four Reasons Runners Should Get into the Pool

Questions for you:

Do you like to swim laps?

Do you go to the pool or beach in the summer?