Training: Recovering and Easy Runs

Training last week was anything but exciting.  I ran the Shamrock half last Sunday, and I can’t say I’m fully recovered from the race.  I had thought about jumping into the Love Run Half in Philadelphia yesterday, but I didn’t feel like racing hard when I didn’t feel 100%.

Most of my runs throughout the week were easy, and there was too crazy.  I ran a couple of times with my husband before he left on Tuesday.  On Saturday, I ran into one of coworkers during her first run back after an injury that involved surgery.

I did have two workouts to ease me back into running hard:

Thursday:
8X2 min hard (average 6:21 pace)
4X45 seconds hard (average 6:00 pace)
4X 30 seconds hard (average 6:00 pace…goal was 5:27)

I didn’t feel awful during my workout on Thursday, but my calves felt sore.  After my workout, I went and got ART on my calves from Dr. Kemonosh and staff, which immediately loosened them up.  Why I didn’t go earlier in the week is a mystery to me.  They are still tight, but significantly looser than beforehand.

Sunday:
As I mentioned, I contemplated jumping into the Love Run, but my body was not ready.  Could I have finished?  Yes but I know I wouldn’t have been happy or thrilled with the result.
3X1 mile (6:20 average per mile)
3×1000 (6:19 average per mile)
3X600 (6:01 average per mile)

While this workout was slower than anticipated, I was proud of myself for getting out the door and getting it done.

Next Week:

Next week I’m racing the Phillies 5k (In the last 12 months, it is my fastest 5k).  I’m looking forward to it.  I have talked with my coach recently, and I believe I run my best as well as being mentally happier when I race frequently.  We will be adding several 5ks in my calendar and racing more frequently.

Posts from the week:
Why 5ks are the Best
Shamrock Half Marathon (1:26.49)
3 Years or Reviewing NJ Diners

Questions fo you:
Do you find yourself running better when you race more or less?
What was your best workout of the week?

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Training: Every Type of Weather in 1 Week

Last week was a solid week of training.  Even though I didn’t race, I still had a quality week of training and a great workout.  Like many people in the Northeast, we had a little bit of everything weather wise.  On Thursday I swore I could have done my workout in a sports bra, followed by snow on Friday and then a deep freeze again on Saturday and Sunday.

Monday: Easy 40 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: Easy 45 minutes
Thursday: Workout
Friday: Easy 4 miles
Saturday: Easy 9 miles
Sunday: Easy 7 with 8X30 seconds fast
Total: About 57

Thursdays Workout:
3 miles (6:18)
3X5 minutes (6:15)
4X400 (5:58)

This was one of my better workouts in the last few weeks.  I feel as though if I had raced, I would have PRed in a 5k.

My easy runs were nothing of note.

Thoughts:

Next week I’ll be tapering and running the Shamrock Half Marathon.  It is my 6th year running the Shamrock half and one of my all-time favorite races.  While it’s not a goal race, I would like to do well, and my coach and I would like to see where I’m at physically.  That is, of course, if the weather isn’t like last year.

Running related posts:
Should You Race in Racing Flats?
Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup 4 Miler (24:13)

Questions for you:
How was your week of training?
How is the weather where you live?

Should You Race in Racing Flats?

As requested, I’m continuing the series of questions and thoughts from working in the running store.  If you have any questions or topics you would like answered, feel free to ask below.

Week 1: Common Questions Asked
Week 2: Today: Should You Run in Racing Flats?

As most readers know, I train in heavier and more cushioned shoes. Right now my favorite trainers are the Brooks Ghost and Saucony Freedom ISO.

Thinking out loud, when I race and do speed work, I use a lighter shoe.  Since I run high mileage, during daily runs I like the extra cushion and weight to keep me healthy.  Personally, it makes me feel more comfortable while training.

This post, however, is about racing flats!

How did I get started in racing flats? In college, we raced in spikes.  A spike is just a very light weight shoe with spikes at the bottom. Since college was on cross country courses, the spikes served to grip dirt and grass better.  Athletes running on the track also use spikes.

Spikes are similar to a soccer cleat.  You can’t run on pavement in spikes, or it wears down the actual “pointed spike, ” and they’ll break.

During the offseason and after college, I also wanted to race in a light weight shoe. I feel faster when I run in flats, and typically I do run faster.

There is no point in training in a flat because the goal of an easy run is not to run fast.

For comparison purposes, the average weight of trainers are about 10 ounces versus the average weight of flats are 5.

The first flat I ever purchased was the Nike Waffle. It was the exact version of the spike I used to race in (but without the spike plate in).

I’ve run every distance from a 1-mile race to my first marathon (which was dumb). To be honest, I raced my marathon in that shoe because I didn’t know any better. While I didn’t get injured from it, I will never do that again.  Most people (myself included) need more cushion during a marathon.

After realizing I liked a little bit more cushion in my racing flat than the waffle, I graduated to the Nike Streak Streak (I’ve gone through several models of both 1 and 2). The shoe is much softer and only weighs an ounce more than the waffle flat.

Keep in mind, what works for me might not work for you and it’s important to find a shoe you are comfortable in.  Out of any racing flat, I’ve had the Nike Streak LT racer has been my favorite (and no, Nike is not paying me to say that).

Recently, I’ve been running more in the Saucony Type A.

So now that I’ve given my personal background why choose to race in flats?

With less weight on your feet, it’s easier to run and increase your turnover. Think about it, less weight (to an extent…) produces faster times.  Carrying an extra few ounces on your feet for thousands of strides really adds up.

Disadvantages of Flats:

  • You are more prone to injury: since there is little to no cushion in a flat, you are more susceptible to injury.  Think about those who train solely in Nike frees or minimalist shoes…that is why it’s not a good idea to train in flats. If you train all of your runs in flats, you will probably hurt yourself.
  • It also takes longer to recover because your feet are taking more of a pounding from the pavement. I’ve always found myself sorer after racing in flats.

How to Get Started in Flats:

As most people know, I work in a running store and tell people the same thing whether it’s kids going to their first XC race, customers at work, blog readers or whomever…you have to slowly work into them.  

Don’t go run a 5k, half or marathon in new shoes. 

I recommend first trying a few SHORT training runs and seeing how you like them.

First try a (fast) mile, then 2 miles…then race a 5k.

Once you have raced a few 5ks, try longer distances.

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is not to just jump into a race wearing flats. Not only are they a brand new shoe from your trainer, but flats are drastically different shoe than what most people train in!

If you go from never using a flat to racing a distance event, you run the risk of injury.

Personally, I love the feeling of racing in a different and lighter shoe.  I have no plans to change that!

If you have anymore questions feel free to ask away.  I really enjoy the benefits of racing in flats.  I do alway feel faster and stronger.

Questions for you:

Do you race in flats?

What advice would you give someone beginning to race in flats? 

Training: Heat and Moving

Monday: 55 minutes easy
Tuesday: 60 minutes easy
Wednesday: Workout: 4X1 mile and 4X400s
Thursday: Easy 55 minutes
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Easy 45 minutes
Sunday: Mercedes Half Marathon (1:27.01)

Most of my week was spent preparing to move back to New Jersey.  Even though it was only 5 weeks, there were a lot of loose ends to tie up the final week.  Plus packing is hard no matter how long you’ve lived somewhere.

Workout Wednesday:

4X1 mile (6:38, 6:42, 6:27, 6:27)

4X400 (1:30)

I can’t say this workout went extremely well, but I got it done.  My body was still sore from the Double Bridges 15k.  All four of my 400s were run at exactly 1:30 and that was unplanned.  Consistency is key…I guess.

My goal when I first found out we were moving was training and PRing at the Mercedes half marathon.  The focus changed once I was settled to training and racing hard at the Double Bridges 15k.  I’m glad I did that as the weather was better that day, plus my legs felt better than they did at Mercedes.  The weather at the Mercedes half marathon was extremely hot.  At the

At the start, it was 65 degrees and 93% humidity.  By the end, it was well above 70.  It was *supposed* to pour rain which would clear that up…sadly it did not.  Out of every half marathon I’ve done, including RnR Virginia Beach, it was the worst for heat.

The race itself, wasn’t about me, though.  Even before the race start, I knew it would be a rough and challenging race.  My gut didn’t lie.  I finished in 1:27.01, which in the heat I’m happy with.

But my focus of the race that day wasn’t my own race.  It was to support, cheer and watch my husband, as he ran his first full marathon of 2:59.45.


Upwards and onwards.  We are currently in route back to New Jersey.  I don’t have any major races until Shamrock on March 18th.

Questions for you: 

What is the hottest weather you’ve ever run?

What is the hardest thing to pack?

I would say hangers, they are awkward and don’t fit anywhere.

 

Training Last Week: Mostly Boring with a 15k

For some reason, I struggled with writing this week’s recap more than usual.  My easy runs were just that, easy and boring.

Monday: 6 miles (8:40)
Tuesday: Workout
Wednesday: 5 miles easy
Thursday: 5 miles easy
Friday: 5 miles easy
Saturday: Double Bridges 15k (58:41)
Sunday: 60 minutes easy
Total: 51 miles

Tuesdays Workout:
3X400 meters
1X10 minutes (6:38 pace)
3X400 meters

The track was being used, so I found a piece of road and ran there. I felt as though I was still recovering from the Polar Bear 5k in Atlanta the weekend before, but I was happy with my effort.

Double Bridges 15k: (58:48) 6:18 pace
This was the only “exciting” aspect of training last week.  The Double Bridges 15k was a solid race effort for me.  It wasn’t a PR, as Broad Street’s pace last year was faster but it was fastest I’ve done since my ankle fracture. I will say, I’ve never been as cold as I was at a race start.

The weather changed overnight from the high 50s to 38 and windy at the start.  I barely made the start, and it wasn’t an exaggeration when I say I didn’t have a minute to spare.

The race itself was decent.  My legs never felt great and my calves actually felt stiff the entire race.  I’m happy with my performance, although I do feel as though I’m in better shape than the race shows.

Sunday’s easy run was my favorite.  I asked my husband if he wanted to take a running selfie post run.  Then when we went to actually do it, I promptly fell. As you can guess, I’m clumsy and that wasn’t a surprise.

#thatawkwardmoment you try and take a running selfie with your husband and you fall.

A post shared by Hollie (@fueledbylolz) on

Next week I’ll be running the Mercedes half marathon in Birmingham.  I ran the course preview last weekend, which was fun and I’m looking forward to running the race.

Running Related Post from the week:  January 2017 Training

Questions for you:
Have you run a 15k before?
I feel as though they are much more common in Upstate, NY.
How was your workout week?

Training last Week: Travel and 5k (18:42)

Training last week clicked off well. I ran what I needed to and got the mileage in.  I don’t have any complaints about the week.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes (9:20 pace) Core
Tuesday: Easy 7 miles (8:40)
Wednesday: Workout Core
Thursday: Easy 60 minutes (9:05 pace)
Friday: Easy 60 minutes Core
Saturday: Workout: Polar Bear 5k (18:42)
Sunday Easy Mercedes Course Preview
Total: 59  miles

Easy Runs:

My easy runs were slower than usual last week but it was also humid. Most of the days last week were either running in 100% humidity or the rain. I didn’t feel bad or injured, but the heat change was noticeable.

Wednesdays Workout:
4X60 seconds (average 6:00)
1X10 minutes (6:33)
1X3 minutes (5:56)
4X60 seconds (average 6:10)

The workout was definetely different and a nice change. Something I do like about my coach is that he doesn’t give the same workouts weekly. I’m not doing 10x400s each week hoping to see improvmeent, or worse comparing myself when I don’t.

As far as execution, it was one of my better workouts in the last few weeks.
Polar Bear 5k (18:42):

My husband and I decided to take a road trip last weekend. We went to Atlanta and then Birmingham. We have been to Altanta a few times, so we stayed away from the touristy things. We stumbled upon a 5k and when we went there, I was shocked! It was a 1000+ person 5k and we weren’t expecting that. I had a workout that day of 2X5k at 6:45 pace.

I ran the first 5k at 5:58 and the second at 6:50. It was a lot faster than planned.

My splits were 6:00, 5:55 and 5:58. I ran a smart race and I’m happy with it. It was a moderately difficult course and I’ll have a recap soon.

This workout is more mentally challening than anything.  The second 5k is always extremely difficult to get out there. It takes a lot of mental pep talk after a race to get back and run hard by yourself again (I’ve done this workout a couple times: Haddonfield Road Race and Run for Jack). I didn’t want to interfere with racers and I ended up running part of the workout in a hilly neighborhood.

We swung by Birmingham on the way back and did the last Mercedes Course Preview Run.  While the Merecedes half won’t be a goal race for me, it was nice to check out the course.  I didn’t realize it was as hilly as it is.

In summary, it was a good week. The next two weeks are bigger race weeks for me with the Double Bridges 15k in Pensacola next weekend and the Mercedes Half Marathon the following.

Running Related Posts from the Week:
How to Run with a Significant Other
Running Books I’m Reading

Questions for you:
What is the biggest race you’ve ever done?
How was your week of workouts?

Training: Taper and Another Canceled Race

Last week was supposed to be a taper week, but the 10k I was going to race was canceled due to the thunderstorms and tornado warnings.  It stinks when you adapt your training, but the things happens.

However, I would always choose safe than sorry.  In fact by Saturday morning, I committed to not running before the race officially canceled.  I didn’t show up.

Monday: Easy 7 miles
Tuesday: Workout 6X4 minute intervals
Wednesday: Easy 7 miles
Thursday: Easy 7 miles
Friday: Easy 5 miles
Saturday: Canceled Race: 2X2 treadmill (6:40, 6:18)
Sunday:  Rest
Total: 51 miles

Training Thoughts: 

Workout: 6×4 Minutes (average 6:50 pace)

This workout was done in one of the most unideal situations (for me).  I had to start the run at 5 am.  I’m not a 5am runner and I don’t enjoy doing workouts in the dark.  After warming up, I noticed the track was being used, and it wasn’t an option to use a lit track.  I found a quiet piece of road and did the workout there, but I did not feel great at all.  I finished the workout feeling discouraged.  My goal was for 6:23 pace to feel easy and 6:40 pace felt like I was working hard.  I’ve run much faster tempo runs, so it was more disappointing than anything.  Like any bad workout, I put it in my rearview mirror and moved on with the day.

Taper: Runs during taper didn’t feel great either. Throughout the week, my legs progressively got heavier and I felt more like garbage.  Friday logs one of the worst runs I’ve had in a very long time. It was 100% humidity, my legs felt heavy, and I was tired.  I felt like I had run an ultramarathon not 5 miles.

Throughout the week, I was also monitoring the weather for the 10k I was tapering for.  Not only was it scheduled to rain but it was scheduled to thunderstorm and we also had tornado watches.  Parts of the state were under a tornado warning.

To be fair, I was excited to race hard for a 10k but not in miserable conditions.  On Friday night, they hadn’t officially canceled, but I was convinced they would.  I woke up Sunday morning to thunderstorms at 5am, nothing from 6-7 and a downpour followed by a tornado touchdown about 5 miles away.

My coach had given me a backup treadmill workout instead, just incase. Instead of having the mentality of tapering for nothing, I had the mindset of taking a recovery week which I needed.  Am I sad I tapered and paid for a race that didn’t happen?  Of course, but that is the risk of the sport and running isn’t everything.

Treadmill Workout: 2X2 Mile (6:40), (6:18)

After my race was canceled, I waited out the storm and went to the gym. I struggle with running fast on the treadmill, and I am able to run faster outdoors.  Personally, running workouts on the treadmill is not ideal, but it’s more ideal than running in tornados.  In fact, since it’s located in a concrete basement, the gym on base is actually a designated safe zone tornado shelter.

The first 2 miles started at 6:50 and worked down to 6:27 and the second 200, I started at 6:40 and worked down to a 5:42.  It didn’t feel comfortable, and I felt like I was working hard.  It was a solid workout for me and I made the best of the situation.

Running Related Posts from Last Week:
2017 Goal Races
adidas Supernova Shoe Review
Birmingham MLK Drum Run 5k (18:40)

Questions for you:

Have you had a canceled race?

I’ve had three now, and two were in the last month!  The first was the only triathlon I signed up for in 2011.

How was your week of training?