Training Update: More Reflecting than Training

Last week a combination of life and reflection happened.  I realized I am diving too quickly into training.  This post is lengthy and more of a reflection than a training post.  If you want the training side: I ran 25 easy, uneventful, miles.

If you want the reflection side…here we go.

As funny as it sounds, I’m not as young as I used to be and also not a new runner.  Due to my awkward form, I’m more susceptible to injury too.  I’m not sure why I thought increasing mileage and adding racing was a good idea but it’s not.

Unsurprisingly from jumping into training too quickly, everything feels achy.  While I could continue to increase mileage, I would probably increase those aches.  Running is funny that you think you can get away with things…sometimes you can, but 99% of the time it humbles you later.

Right now, nothing is injured but quite frankly I don’t feel good running. I have a gut feeling I would get injured soon if I didn’t change something. I’ve decided to actually go about getting back into running the smart way. 

How will I do that?

Instead of increasing mileage, I’m going to keep my mileage low.  In fact, I’m not going to race again for a few weeks.   Currently, I am achy, tight and sore, plus I don’t feel great.

I would like to be glamorous and say I’m coming back from my running break well but the truth is, I’m not.  That’s fine and I’m not upset about it.  Last week, I wrote a post about coming back easy and not comparing yourself to anyone (including yourself).  If I can’t take my own advice, I have no business writing posts about it.

I’ve also been talking to one of my post-collegiate coaches and mentors frequently.  While running with him a while ago, I ran well (in the 2012-2013 time frame).  Life happened and I moved 4 times in 2014 and didn’t run very competitively either.  After that, I remained coachless until last year.

We have been talking more regularly the last few weeks, and he suggested taking 2 weeks off and using the antigravity treadmill, and building mileage from there.

He also knows my early running history better than anyone (and knows my history now too).  While I don’t need a coach right now, I am talking to him consistently and would like to give credit.  When I’m looking for a structured plan, he will probably be the first person I will seek (and he knows that, so thanks Jim 🙂

On the personal life side, for the rest of June and possibly even July, my life is going to get extremely busy.  Due to my husband’s job, it’s not something I can talk about online and will never be able too.  I will still work regularly at my running store job but will be doing a lot more again outside of that. I don’t like vague blogging, but saying “I’m busy” will have to suffice.  ETA: I’m excited about this change and no one is forcing me to do anything.   

That being said, this summer probably won’t be the summer of hard training.  I won’t say definitely not, but I doubt I will train and run hard. It will make my running blog more boring because I’ll be running and racing far less (if any).  Heck, I don’t even have children or pets to talk about. I’ll run when I have time, but with the summer heat, my only time might be a quick hour in the middle of the day (in that case, I won’t run or run on the antigravity treadmill).   If I’m going to run on a treadmill at all, might as well as be in style right?

For the first time in a while, I am 100% okay with not training seriously.  Six months ago if I had been thrown the same situation, I would have begun to stress out with cramming runs into that situation.  Right now, I’m okay with not getting into serious training right now.

Below is last week of running.  It doesn’t feel like a lot but to be honest, it’s probably the most I’ll log outdoors for a while.

Monday: Easy 5 miles
Tuesday: OFF
Wednesday: Easy 5 miles
Thursday: Easy 5 miles
Friday: Easy 5 miles
Saturday: OFF
Sunday: Easy 5 miles

Total: 25 miles

So yes that was a lot of life updates.  If you just scrolled to the bottom: you missed that I’m backing off running seriously for a while, ran 25 miles last week, and going to be busy for the next 2 months.  I’ll still blog and I’ll still run but probably nothing more than 5-6 miles and minimal if any racing.

Posts from the Week:

The Importance of Easing Back into Training

HT 3.9 (26:12) miler Race Recap

Questions for you:

Are you training for anything?

When is your favorite time to run?

Advertisements

Workouts Last Week: Back to Running

Last week was my first substantial week of running.  I increased my mileage a bit more than I anticipated but I felt good and didn’t have any issues.  Right now, I’ll probably find a local race weekly and work on chipping my 5k back down to where it was prior my break.  I won’t add much solo speed for a while.  It will be a long road to get back to where I was physically, but more importantly I’m already mentally back.

Monday: 3 miles+15 minute core workout
Tuesday: 3 miles+ 15-minute core workout
Wednesday: 6 miles with Montana
Thursday: 6 miles with my husband
Friday: 3 miles+strength class
Saturday: 5k (21:00) Total miles: 9
Sunday: 6 miles with Laura

On Saturday, my husband and I chose to race a 5k.  We had briefly discussed it on Friday but I got a migraine and went to bed early that night.  I slept from 8 pm-6 am.  I woke up groggy and to be honest, I didn’t feel ready to race.  My husband turned to me and asked: So when are we leaving…so I decided I guess that would be the day I would jump back into it.

I know downtown Wilmington well, and suspected the course wasn’t flat.  What I didn’t realize, was it would probably be one of the top 5 hardest 5k courses I’ve done in a while.  Not because I haven’t been running, or it was hot but because it had an uphill climb.  That being said, I raced the course and my ability.  I had no goals other than to finish healthy (which I did).  I ended up finishing in 21:00 exactly and as third female overlal.  My husband actually won the race in 18:30 (which is about 60-90 seconds slower than what he has been running…so it gives me confidence the course was actually difficult…plus GPS watches don’t lie…right ;)?

Next week I plan to keep chipping along.  I don’t plan to increase mileage too much (if at all).  I just plan to continue strengthening my base.

Posts from the week:

A Day in the Life on Global Running Day

Benefits of Adding Protein after Running

Questions for you:

How was your week of training?

What is the hilliest race you’ve done?

What to Do Between Training Cycles:

After a goal race, it can be hard to figure out what to do next.  Sometimes your goal race goes perfectly, but sometimes it does not.  Either way, you are still the same person before and after the race. It’s important not to let a race result dictate how you feel.

As much as I would love to write about achieving goals at the Atlantic City Half Marathon, that didn’t happen (or anywhere close).  But life has gone on!

So now your goal race is done and over. Now what do you do?

Thinking out loud, how do you go from training hard to…well, anything else.

First, it’s important to put whatever happened at your race behind you.  Three of the most common post goal race feelings are:

We finish with a great PR, and want to jump right back into hard training with minimal rest…

We finish outside of our goals and seek a “redemption” race.

Or (where I’m at now), we miss our goals and want a break from the sport.

Whatever happened at your goal race, it’s important to take the time to rest and recover.  This time doesn’t make you weak.  It allows your body to recover and prepare for another training cycle.  If you continue to beat your body down with minimal rest, you’ll be forced to take time off because of a serious injury.

Here is a short list of things to do when not formally training for a race:

  • Run naked.  While yes, there are nude 5ks, run without a watch or any clue of pacing. Don’t worry about time, pace or routes.  Just run.
  • Run with someone new. Sometimes when you are training for something, workouts are scheduled, runs don’t match up with your friends.  Now is the perfect day to make time to run with others.
  • Run shorter races. If your original goal race was a half or full marathon, try training for something shorter.  The summer is the perfect time to run a 5k.  I love 5ks and I think they only make you stronger.
  • Do other workouts! This should be the most obvious right?  It’s great to build strength with muscles you don’t normally use.  This has been what I’ve been doing and most enjoying now.
  • Group Workouts: Whether you are going to a group strength class or a group social run, do things with new people. It will feel like an entirely different workout and it’s much easier to push yourself.
  • Focus on your diet: This is actually something my husband and I are working on now. As we get back into a “normal” routine, we are hoping to clean up our diet and work on eating more quality food.
Don’t forget: It’s ok to do nothing. Sometimes, after a hard training cycle, you don’t want to workout, and that is 100% fine.  Resting and not working out is cool.

When you find yourself between training cycles, it’s important not to push too hard, too soon. You’ll only find yourself burnt out or injured during the next training cycle.

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
How to Run in the Heat

Questions for you:
What do you do between training cycles?
What is your favorite nonrunning activity? 

Workouts Last Week:

While I’m not training or running right now, last week I made an effort to get to the gym.    Which to be honest, is more than I’ve done since the April Fools Half Marathon three weeks ago.  My break from running has been nice, that I’m still mentally recharging.

I like running a lot. But like anything, it’s important to take a break from it.  You can read more about my burnout here.  I’ve always found, injury or not, I come back stronger and run faster races after an extended break.  Plus I’m happier with the sport and want to run!

So What Have I Been up too on the Fitness Front?

Monday: OFF
Tuesday: 6 mile walk wondering Philadelphia
Wednesday: Body Pump class
Thursday: 30 minute Nike Training App
Friday: OFF
Saturday: Body Pump Class
Sunday: 30 minute Nike Training App

On Tuesday, mom and I went into Philadephia and walked around the city.  We walked about 6 miles and I was exhausted.  Honestly, I give people credit who walk more that much daily,  I slept soundly that night.

Cardio wise, that was by far my most active day in the last few weeks.

I’ve actually been getting more into strength and core work.  My arms and core is a constant state of jello.  I’ve done a couple of “body pump” classes which I like as well as some core.  I’m not a coach, physical trainer or anything of that nature so I can’t give out advice but can tell you what I’ve been doing.

Core Workouts:

One of my favorite workouts is the Nike Training Club App.  The app gives 15-45 minute workouts.  They have about 100+ different strength workouts from core, to glutes, to arms.  They are sponsoring this post, I just like them a lot and have logged over 1000 lifetime minutes on the app.

What’s Next?

I have no plans to run next week.  I think I’ll start running sometime in June or July.  Right now, I’m enjoying getting stronger and focusing on other aspects of life.

Posts from the Week:
My Running Burnout
Getting Enough Fiber
A Week with Family
Happy Mothers Day

Questions for you:
How was your week of workouts?
What is your favorite strength workout?

Training: April

It’s hard to believe April has already flown by.  Regarding running, April started off ok then progressively went downhill, and ended up that needed and wanted a full break from running.

april fools half marathon atlantic city me running

Miles Run: 228
Range of Paces: 5:54-10:04-untimed
Races: 3
Workouts: 4
Rest Days: 9 (and counting)
Longest Run: Atlantic City Half Marathon
Shortest Run: 2 miles 

Races:
Phillies 5k (18:32)
Clean Air 5kish
April Fools Half Marathon (1:26.17)

Favorite Race:
Phillies 5k
phillies 5k win

Favorite Workout:
None

Thoughts:
The month of April started off well.  Even though I didn’t PR at the Phillies 5k, I ran moderately well.  It was by far my favorite race.

As the month continued, I became more and more burnt out from running.  It wasn’t just April that burnt me out but training over the last 6.  After Atlantic City on April 23rd, I decided to take rest and rebuild my mental attitude.  I don’t hate running, but I wasn’t enjoying it as much, and I never broke through my plateau.

Thanks to my friend Paul for these photos

May:
I don’t know what May will bring.  I hope I’ll be ready to run again.  While I haven’t run or really worked out since last weekend but I do plan to do more cross training and get back to the gym.

Running Posts from April:
Running Related Posts
How to Prepare for Running in the Heat
Should You Wear Running Shoes Outside of Running?
How to Transition into Minimalist Running Shoes

Shoe Reviews:
Asics Nimbus 19 Shoe Review
Brooks Glycerin 14 Shoe Review

Questions for you:

How was your month of training?

What is your favorite cross training activity?

The “I Didn’t Workout” Training Post

I didn’t train last week.  In fact, the only workout I did was go to the gym once and use the elliptical.  Truth be told, after the April Fools half marathon last weekend, I was (and still am) burnt out.  I had no interest in running last week and didn’t.  Heck, I might not even run this week.

The Broad Street 10 Miler is next Sunday, and it might be my next run back.  If I run (which for me is only 50/50 now), my only goal is to finish and enjoy myself doing so.  Having fun won’t be too difficult since both my parents and my inlaws are coming to visit.

So with that, this training post is one of the most boring I’ve ever written! 

Last year around this time, I wrote a post about taking rest and burnout.  That is relevant to me today and still where I am at.

As I mentioned last year, The idea of rest isn’t new, unusual, or life changing.  It’s important for every single runner, new or old, elite or not, to take rest.

I’m on week 2 of resting now (the end to be determined).  My ultimate goal is to start a new training cycle both physically and mentally happy.  I want to wake up excited to run again, not say “ugh I have to run”.

Here is a list of things I told myself I might accomplish during my rest week:

  • Spring Cleaning
  • Sort old Race Tshirts and mail them to Project Repat for a Quilt
  • Find a few new gym classes to consider

Here are Things I Actually Did:

  • I actually cleaned my kitchen (that was last Monday, and it needs to be cleaned again now)
  • Drank a lot of coffee and relaxed on the internet
  • Went to the gym once and live tweeted a man chugging an energy drink before his workout

So that is where I’m at this week!  PS: Happy May 1st!

Running Posts from the Week:
April Fools Half Marathon (1:26.17)
Running Related Posts
Asics Nimbus 19 Shoe Review

Questions for you:
Do you ever take rest weeks?
When was the last time you felt burnt out?

How to Prepare for Running in the Heat

Incase you weren’t aware, it’s finally getting warmer.  Although, if you are anything like the Northeast, our weather went from 30 degrees to 80.  It feels as though there wasn’t much middle ground!  Hopefully, your body adjusts faster than mine.

Thinking out loud, running in the heat can be a challenge.  Even though it’s usually more enjoyable than running in the cold, there are a lot of difficulties and obstacles you face by running in the warm weather too.

So How can you Prepare for Spring and Summer Running this Year?

Stay Hydrated

This is probably the most important advice!

It doesn’t mean drink a liter of water directly before your run.  It means staying hydrating throughout the day.

Drink more water before, after and during your run.  Also don’t forget that you also lose electryltes while running in warmer conditions.  During the warmer months, it’s important to add salt tabs or Gatorade to the mix too.  Every runner has their own personal preferance of what works for the stomach and system.  I am fortanate that most any electrolyte drink works well for me, I just need to remember to drink it.

Adjust your Run for the Temperature and Humidity

Don’t be ashamed to back off pacing or dial it back because it’s hot.  Run by effort and feel, not based on what the workout pace should be at ideal conditions.

For example, on Sunday, I had a tempo run scheduled.  It was 85 degrees and while my pace was “supposed” to be 6:45, I ran 7:18 and was struggling.  Was I upset?  No!  Was I injured?  No.  I adjusted my pace accordingly and ran by effort.   It’s important to take note that running in the heat effects your body and you won’t hit the same paces as running in ideal conditions.

Wear Appropriate Clothing:

You could run naked but that would end up being sunburnt and uncomfortable.  Don’t forget to wear sunscreen as well as moisture wicking clothing.  I’ll have to do a current post of running clothing I’m loving this season but in the mean time here are some things not to forget:

  • Hat (to keep sun off your face)
  • Moisture wicking and noncotton clothing: including a top, sports bra, shorts, underwear and socks.  Cotton anything will absorb sweat and become heaving causing blisters, chafing and who knows what else.
  • Sunglasses: To keep your eyes protected
  • Body glide and sunscreen (because chafing stinks)
Be Flexible with Your Schedule:

Whether you need to run inside or run early, don’t be afraid to change your plan.  Run at the best time of the day.

You aren’t a hero if you run in 100-degree heat at high noon!   In the winter, typically running at lunch time is ideal but that isn’t usually the case over the summer.  That’s normally when it’s the hottest.  Don’t be afraid to change the time of day you run or where you run.

There is no shame in running on the treadmill, especially when it’s the safest option.  You can usually find me there at least once per week.
In case you missed any of the previous weeks Running Store and Training:
Thoughts While Working in the Running Store
Should Race in Racing Flats?
Are you Getting Enough Protein for Running?
Why 5ks are the Best
How Alternating Shoes Can Benefit Your Running:
How to Transition in Minimalist Running Shoes
Should You Wear Running Shoes Outside of Running?
Questions for you:
What are some tips you have for running in the heat?
Do you like summer or winter running better?