Archive | September, 2013

Consistency does not equal rigidity

18 Sep

We all hear over and over that in training for any long distance running goal or event, “Consistency is key.” Of course, if you keep a regular routine and follow a plan, you are more likely to see results over time. However, consistency does not mean rigidity.

Enter: flexibility. Every training plan needs it. Why? Because sometimes you simply can’t avoid life getting in the way of your best intentions to get a workout in.

Sometimes you lose that carefully crafted window of time allotted for that run or strength training session. Whether it’s traffic, an escaped kitty, a sick child, an impromptu dinner with friends, or an emergency – there are times when you just have to accept that it’s not going to happen today and make necessary adjustments.

For the most part, if you miss a run or key workout during a training cycle, you’re going to be fine. Especially if you’ve been consistently reaching your goals otherwise.

Just take a breath and readjust.

That said, all day yesterday I looked forward to squeezing a quick run in the beautiful Fall sun after work and before heading to a friend’s for dinner. That run never happened, thanks to circumstances beyond control. (We had to cancel the dinner plans, too. Boo.)

It’s OK, though. Today was another day. Considering I exercise flexibility in my training schedule pretty regularly (such as moving workouts around to different times or days), accepting a blip in my plan wasn’t too hard.

Tonight I was able to take advantage of another fantastic autumn sunset for nearly 5.5 miles at a moderate pace (8:33/mile).

Loving this weather!

Loving this weather!

I followed my run with an arm strength circuit and this 8 minute core workout that Laura posted in our online coaching forum:

8 minute core

Ow.

It felt a little bit like torture, but I’m sure it will payoff when my ab modeling contract comes through.

Question for you: How do you handle unexpected changes in your training plan?

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Monday Meditation: Clear your soul

16 Sep

As I was flipping through the October issue of Runner’s World, I came across this little pearl of running wisdom and had an instantaneous reaction of, “YES!”

“When you’ve had the perfect run, you’ve cleared your soul.”

– Pat Monahan, lead singer of Train

You know those kinds of runs. The kind where you head out with so much weighing on you that you feel heavy and anxious but return radiating light and peace. Somehow the run smoothed out the worry lines on your forehead, eased the tension in your body, and shed the burdens from your core. You are cleansed through your physical efforts, freed.

Running can take you on so many journeys, but the most important is the one within yourself. A run (especially a long one) can become a confessional where your truths are revealed in every step and through every breath. That suffering naturally releases as the miles tick away and you simply let go.

Yes, that is the perfect run.

Happy running!

It’s been a good week for running

15 Sep

With fast new shoes, (mostly) crisp autumn weather, lessening foot pain, and a long run with my hubby by my side, it’s been a good week for running. Here’s a quick look back on last week’s training…

Monday

First run in my new Mizuno Wave Inspire 9s. This was a recovery run since I did my last long run on Sunday evening. Nice and easy 3.21 miles for a total time of 30:38. I made sure to do a lot of stretching, since my hip flexor is a bit tight. I also did an arm strength training circuit.

Brilliant.

Brilliant.

Tuesday

REST!

Wednesday

An unseasonable hot, humid, steamy day that led to a little stint on the dreadmill after work for 4 miles at an average pace of 8:45/mile. Oh, and I did get in an arm and ab workout in the early morning!

Treadmill time

I took this to prove I actually went to the gym.

Thursday

REST!

Friday

I incorporated a speed workout from the Fall 5 or 10 Virtual Race Series online coaching group. It was a neat little interval workout that kicked my booty into gear.

30-20-10 Intervals

Warm up for at least ten minutes. Then jog 30 seconds, run at a comfortably hard pace for 20 and sprint for 10, and repeat for five total cycles.

Then jog for two minutes. Beginners can cool down for another 10-15 minutes. Advanced runners can jog for two minutes and then repeat the five cycles of 30-20-10 another 2-3 times.

This workout has also been featured here in Runner’s World. I did 3 sets for a total of 3.71 miles, including warm up and cool down.

I then spent the evening with ice on my left foot, left hip flexor, and right knee. NBD.

Saturday

REST! (Seeing a pattern here?)

We spent the day at the museum with our friends and their kids. I was eaten by a T-Rex.

RAWR!

RAWR!

Sunday

Being the super awesome husband that he is, Mark let me wake him up at 6:30 AM so he could bike alongside me during my long run and keep me company. The sun was bright, but the air was crisp and cool and the river alongside the bike path was smooth and peaceful. This is truly the best weather to run in.

Today's view

Today’s view

Love, love, loved this run! My mind and body felt good the whole time (even with a hip flexor that took forever to loosen up) and I really enjoyed having Mark with me.

How does a Garmin get foggy on the inside?!

How does a Garmin get foggy on the inside?!

Mile splits: 9:24, 8:52, 9:11, 9:05, 8:57, 8:54, 8:53, 8:48, 8:36, 8:39, 8:32, 8:26, 8:15, last .11 – 7:47 pace.

Negative split, baby! 

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend!

Question for you: How was your training week?