I wasn’t really sure what to title this post. I’ve intended to have 5K training as my goal since August 1, but it’s been waylaid several times, and so this is my first time checking in. Furthermore, my goal this month is actually going to be a two month goal (so it’s really an August/September goal check in). But let’s forge on ahead, shall we? As a brief recap since I haven’t done one of these check ins yet:
Week 1: Went on antibiotics for my scraped up leg and wasn’t allowed to work out at all. Whomp whomp.
Week 2: Did an easy 4 miles Monday night to get back into things, then a Reformer pilates class and 6 x 0.5 mile interval run Tuesday morning, and started developing shinsplints from doing all this in old sneakers. Took Wednesday off, then did a treadmill class Thursday, and rounded out the week with a hike on Saturday. So – not a terrible week of workouts, but pretty pathetic for 5K training.
Fortunately, last week got at least somewhat better! Here’s the rundown:
Monday: Nothing. 3am wakeups for my commute to Dallas are tough, so I usually do an evening workout on Mondays. But I ended up not getting out of the office until 8pm, so I prioritized sleep over trying to squeeze in a workout. I promise, the week gets better from here!
Tuesday: Track Tuesday! Except I do a track-style interval workout on the treadmill because it’s more convenient. I did 0.5 mile warmup at a 9:00 pace, then settled into 0.5 mile repeats at 6:53 pace, with a 0.1 mile walk in between (so about 90 secs of rest). I did 6 rounds; the first few were easy, but it was definitely getting tougher by the end (average heart rate was 156bpm, and it steadily climbed throughout the workout). However, I really love the half mile intervals because I can get a pretty good speed going but also know it’s not that long until I get a break. Coach Adam says I need to switch to quarter mile repeats soon, and I’m not looking forward to having to do twice the number of them…
Also, I discovered a Pilates reformer class that’s relatively close to the office and doesn’t start until 7:30pm, so I was able to sneak out of the office after my 6pm meeting and get in a second workout for the day. I’ve written before about Beyond Pilates, and this was at their new-to-me studio on Lover’s Lane where the workout is just Pilates with no running. I didn’t like the instructor very much (she gave zero corrections on form, even though her instructions were fairly confusing and I know I was getting some stuff wrong), but I was glad to get some strength work in.
Wednesday: My schedule called for “Girlfriend Choice!!!” (always with multiple exclamation points), which in Adam’s plan means I can take any class I want. I decided to head up to Burn Dallas for their awesome combo of weights, running, and rowing. (The last part was actually supposed to be biking but I traded out for the rower so I could get more upper body work in.) For the running interval, I set the incline at 5% and then did 30 secs easy (6mph), 60 secs medium (7mph), and 30 secs hard (8mph) – repeat without breaks until ten minutes are up. Ten minutes isn’t very long, which is why Adam hates that I take these classes with short running intervals, but I felt accomplished hitting those speeds all on a 5% incline :) Hooray for Girlfriend Choice!!!
Thursday: Uptempo run day: 4 miles at an 8:00 pace. This was a slog and I hated it – see my post here. On the bright side, I got Coach Adam to agree that in the future, I can have my uptempo run start a little bit slower and pick up the pace every mile, which should help me beat my treadmill boredom. In a true display of how weak I am mentally, I don’t mind running faster as long as I can break up the monotony a bit.
Friday: This was supposed to be another Girlfriend Choice!!! day, but I turned it into a rest day when my hamstring was bugging me. According to Adam, this is allowed as part of Girlfriend Choice!!! so I don’t feel too broken up about it.
Saturday: Long easy run (see my post here about what an amazing time I had), followed by a 45 minute spin class at a new-to-me studio down in the Denver Tech Center, Cyclebar. A friend-of-a-friend, Kim, was the instructor, and while I totally screwed up my timing/manners and didn’t get to introduce myself, I really liked Kim’s teaching style and the class as a whole. It’s a little bit like Flywheel, but with the lights and mood of Soulcycle. Just before the arm song, we had one song where we were supposed to refocus our intentions and recommit to our goals for the ride, and while normally I hate meditative stuff, I really enjoyed that short little mind-body connection. I definitely want to go back and try this again!
Sunday: Rest day. I was supposed to go on a 6 hour hike, but woke up with a sore throat and feeling generally weak and crappy, so I chose to lay low and get things done at home instead.
And that brings me to this week! My hamstring is still a little bit sore, so Adam has swapped Track Tuesday for Thursday, and I’ll be doing some sort of an easy run tomorrow. (This is also pending my nasty sore throat/whatever that sickness is.) I’m still trying to figure out what all my Girlfriend Choice!!! workouts will be this week, since I need to figure out what’s best for my hamstring to fully recover. Probably some spin classes, and maybe some Pilates, if I am careful about skipping the exercises that aggravate it.
However, the biggest thing I’m trying to focus on is why I’ve had so many injuries in such a short time. Falling on the trail was certainly a (clumsy) coincidence, but the shinsplints and hamstring soreness were (likely) preventable. Since those flared up, I have been trying to make sure I stretch well and foam roll daily, but I likely also need to get back to some strength training. I fully admit that this month I’ve been cutting out a lot of cross-training in favor of pure running, and that might be what my body isn’t liking.
I’ve been really enjoying that my running workouts are much shorter than my typical classes (30 mins vs 50-60 mins). But going forward, instead of using that time for extra sleep, I think I’ll be better served sticking around the gym post-run and doing some weight training. As luck would have it, Daily Burn just this morning posted The Strength Training Workout Every Runner Needs – so that’s my new plan. We’ll see how week 3 goes!