After having a couple of months of a training slump, in week 11 I began cautiously using an approximation of the 10% rule to get my training (specifically my weekly mileage) back where I planned for it to be. Here’s a quick snapshot from my super-cool Excel training log showing how my weekly mileage looked up to this point:
In my last post, I mentioned these three guidelines I’m using to tweak my plan until I get caught up:
- Cut mileage from recovery runs first, then easy medium-distance runs
- Run at a ridiculously easy pace for all runs except fast workouts
- Be hyper-sensitive to listening to my body and be willing to cut back at the first sign of anything wonky
And here’s how it went:
Week 12: 35 miles
You know the drill, rest on Mondays. I also woke up at a time suitable only for vampires so I could fly to Houston for work. Very sleepy. All day.
- Plan: 8 miles; 3-5 @ tempo + 6 x 1:00 @ 10k pace (2:00 recovery); core; strength training
- Actual: 4 miles easy
I switched my Wednesday recovery run with my Tuesday workout because I was pretty tired from the travel, and I’m trying to be really cautious as I increase mileage. We had a really busy work week, so I got up way before the sun and ran with a coworker. I did three sets pushups after my run/before work – I’m trying to get better at them – but not a full blown strength session.
- Plan: 4 mile recovery run
- Actual: 8 miles; 3-5 @ tempo (9:03, 8:34, 8:38) + 6 x 1:00 @ 8:40/mile average
My Garmin acted up a little on this run; I think the first mile in the tempo run and some of the 10k pace repeats registered a little slow, but maybe it was the humidity. Either way, it felt like a good workout. After that workout and a long day at the office, I was pretty beat.
- Plan: 7 miles + 4 strides; hips/glutes; strength training
- Actual: 6 miles
easy; quick strength circuit
I ran with my coworker again and didn’t adhere to my running-super-easy plan. I also totally forgot to do the strides. My team worked hard this week and finished our work early, so we left the office early enough for me to squeeze in a 25 minute strength session at the hotel gym – I did three sets of dumbbell squats, bench dips, Romanian deadlifts, pushups, and planks.
REST DAY. I HAVE MISSED YOU, MY LOVER. Sadly, my flight was delayed.
- Plan: 14 miles
- Actual: 14 miles
I joined my pal Amanda for 14 miles of her 18 mile training run – in the rain, again. It happened to be her “worst long run” of this training cycle, so we had some walk breaks sprinkled in the run. Amanda wouldn’t have minded if I’d run on without her, but since I’ve had such a bad training cycle, I wanted to stick around and tough it out with her. She was really strong and never gave up. Having the experience of gutting out a tough run is, in my view, an underrated component of the mental aspect of training. She did great, and I know she’ll be tough in the late miles of Richmond.
Because of the walk breaks, I approximated that this run counted as about 12 miles of running toward my weekly total. It’s a rough guess, and probably a conservative one.
- Plan: 5 mile recovery run
- Actual: 5 mile
I didn’t feel nearly as fatigued as I normally do after a long run, so I set out for my recovery run on the flattest route that’s close to my house. A mile into my run, I ran into my old neighbor Kat, who is a part of our annual Savannah half marathon group. We started running together and catching up – did I mention that she is pretty fast? – so I did a couple miles in the high 8:00s, which is decidedly NOT a recovery pace for me. Still, worth it.
Week 13: 37 miles
Rest day. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.
- Plan: 9 miles: 3-5 @ tempo; 6 x 1:00 @ 5k pace (2:00 recovery); core; strength training
- Actual: 9 miles: 3-5 @ tempo (8:41, 8:55, 8:36); 6 x 1:00 @ 8:17/mile average; strength training
Holy hard workout. It finally stopped raining in Atlanta, but it was about 100% humidity. The half-mile gravel loop I chose for the workout had a couple of giant mud puddles for extra fun! (Sarcasm intended.) The workout itself went fine – I ran by feel and came pretty close to hitting the paces I wanted to, but the two hilly miles home for the cool-down were so hard. I ended up walking up the steeper uphills because otherwise there was nothing cool-down-ish about it.This was my first day deadlifting since I had the SI joint issue a couple of months ago (although deadlifting wasn’t the cause of the issue, it is a similar movement to many of the things that were aggravating my SI joint). I stuck to a relatively easy 105 lbs for 5 sets of 5 and really focused on form, specifically keeping my core strong throughout the movement.
- Plan: 4 miles recovery
- Actual: 3 miles recovery
I just barely got three miles in. I ate an ill-advised pre-run snack and my stomach was having none of it.
- Plan: 7 miles + 4 strides; glutes/hips; strength training
- Actual: 7 miles + 4 strides; strength training
I returned to basking in the calm gloriousness of easy running, then had a really good time at the gym that evening. It was one of my favorite workouts in a while.
- Squats: 3 sets of 10 @ 110 lbs
- Circuit 1: 12 minutes of clean, squat, lunge (ladder up 1/3/5) – I used two 26 lb kettlebells – it was pretty challenging.
- Circuit 2: 10 minutes of 10 TRX rows, 12 kettlebell rows, 1.5 Turkish get-ups (the half get-up is just getting your hips off the floor then going back down)
REST SWEET REST DAY.
- Plan: 15 miles
- Actual: 3 mile recovery run
I planned to move my long run to Sunday because Jeff threw a party for his grad school classmates Friday night. A really big group came out, representing 10 or so countries. A few of them said they’d never been to an American party. It was a lot of fun.
Saturday morning, I went to Tom Foreman’s book signing at the Georgia Tech bookstore. (If you haven’t read my interview with Tom, or my review of his book My Year of Running Dangerously, check them out!) Tom and his wife Linda are wonderful people. After chatting with them at the signing, I felt like I’d known them for years. Tom is really funny, interesting, and easy to talk to; and I could have talked to Linda for hours. If you have the opportunity to meet Tom at an event, DO IT! Follow him on Twitter and/or Facebook to see if he’ll be in your area.
One of my favorite parts of meeting the Foremans (besides Tom’s stories from his time in ABC’s Moscow bureau), was when Tom and Linda found out that my friend Amy is running the Marine Corps Marathon, they found out exactly what she’d be wearing so they could look out for her and cheer. This gesture perfectly represented the running community at its best: supporting each other, no matter how famous, fast or slow, old or young. I love it!
I was planning for 4 miles, but by the time I got out for my run, I had friends coming over in less than an hour, so 3 it was. Oops.
- Plan: 5 mile recovery run
- Actual: 15 miles @ 10:15/mile
I went back to the Silver Comet Trail, where I did most of my long runs last year training for the St. Jude Marathon. This run was less challenging and a bit faster than most of my long runs from the last cycle, so I think(hope?) this is a sign of progress.
What’s your favorite strength or cross-training exercise? Can you work it in while traveling, or do you cut yourself some slack?
Have you read My Year of Running Dangerously yet? If so, let me know what you thought of it!