Has anyone else noticed that I’ve said very little in the past few months about my recent training runs?
Training for the Phoenix Rock N Roll half has not gone according to plan. Rather than run five days a week with one long run, one speed session, and one pacing session per week, I’ve managed to run roughly every other day and strength train once a week. I have no doubt that this has allowed me to maintain a good deal of fitness, but since November, I’ve done exactly three “long” runs and two speed sessions – if I count the 5k in early December. I know I haven’t really improved my fitness, and it’s hard to look at what I had hoped to do in training and compare it to what I actually have done. I almost can’t really say that I’ve “been training” for this half marathon.
With all that said (and it feels good to confess out loud!), I believe the lower mileage and the strength training have been the key to truly recovering from Chicago. It has been at least a month since I’ve had any instability in my knee, and my knee has been loosening up in a way that indicates healing. So I think in the end, I’ve done what is best for my body and I have no regrets.
And since I have managed to do a few quality workouts, I present those now:
12/14/13 – Abominable Slowman 5k @ 7:19 pace
12/21/13 – 5 miles @ 8:10 pace
12/23/13 – 8 miles @ 9:06 pace (first long run in AZ at a mile high, on a trail)
12/29/13 – 8 miles @ 8:48 pace (on pavement)
1/1/14 – Track workout. This workout had me do 1 mile for warm up and cool down (I cut the cool down short by 1/2 mile), and the distances in parentheses indicate the length of my recovery jog.
1200 m @ 7:05 pace (600 m)
800 m @ 7:08 pace (400 m)
400 m @ 6:40 pace (200 m)
1200 m @ 7:09 pace (600 m)
800 m @ 7:04 pace (400 m)
400 m @ 6:40 pace (200 m)
1/4/14 – 4 miles @ 7:57 pace
1/9/14 – 10 miles @ 9:09 pace (on pavement, in my minimalist shoes)
Any other runs I did aside from these over the past few weeks were either really slow and/or short, or on two occasions my Garmin didn’t turn on (GRRRR) and so I have no statistics about them.
Also, I mentioned strength training in place of running once a week and specifically, I’ve been doing this routine that Lina turned me on to. It’s call the Iron Strength workout, and it was created specifically with injury prevention for runners in mind. This workout is brutal. After doing the full version right off the bat (and then subsequently not being able to function for a few days due to extreme muscle soreness), I have since been doing a modified version of it with the hopes of eventually being able to do the entire thing without absolutely dying for the next five days.
This workout is easy to modify because you can do, say, two sets of each exercise rather than the suggested 5-6 minutes (during which you may do more like 4 sets of each). As another example, at the end of the workout you are instructed to do something crazy like 8 sets of 10 burpees, and I can literally only do 2-4 sets, so do what I can and call it a day. At any rate, I think this workout is great stuff and plan to continue doing it.
For the next 9 days, I plan to do the Iron Strength workout once and one speed workout, then I will probably do one or two very short easy runs just to stay loose for the race. I am getting SUPER excited for this half marathon! Yay!