Tag Archives: training

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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Weekly training log 8/26-8/31

31 Aug

Despite almost getting hit by a car Wednesday morning, this has been a great running  and training week! I am back into my routine of early morning runs 3 times a week and a long run on the weekend. I even managed to get some strength training in! I still have some holes to fill in my training (cough*crosstraining*cough), but I’m heading in the right direction.

Monday: Up and at ’em at 4:40 AM to get on the road by 5:00! (4.08 miles | 33:44  total time | 8:16 avg pace)

20130826_055935

It was so dark at 5AM that I ran the first miles as if zombies were chasing me.

Tuesday: Thought about doing cross training, but stayed in bed instead. Only “fail” of the week.

Wednesday: Started with an arm strength training circuit before heading out for a run.  (4.25 miles | 34:34 total time | 8:09 avg pace)

Thursday: Rest.

Friday: Another arm strength training circuit followed by another very dark and quick 5:00 AM run. (3.25 miles | 25:50 total time | 8:07 avg pace)

5amdarkrun

It’s just a little dark…

Saturday: I planned to run 10 miles on Sunday for the Fall 5 or 10, but a running friend contacted me yesterday about doing 13 this morning on a new and interesting route. I couldn’t pass that up!  (13.02 miles | 1:59:00 total time | 9:08 avg pace)

13milessoggy

Just enough light rain to make for a soggy run!

My legs were a little tight to start with, but they loosened up after a couple of miles. Isn’t it strange and awesome how our bodies get into such a groove with running that after a certain point the miles just pass by?

13milesaturday

13 miles done before 9:00 AM on a Saturday?! Perfection.

As I’m writing this, I’m icing my feet and right knee. I started to feel a little soreness and am really trying to prevent another foot injury, so I am keeping an eye on it and doing my exercises to keep my little foot tendons strong and healthy. I’ve got big plans for the half marathon in October and re-injury is NOT one of them!

Since I did my long run already, my first entry into the Fall 5 or 10 Challenge will have to be a 5 miler! I’m planning to get that one in on Monday. Now, it’s time for housework on a rainy day!

I hope everyone enjoys their long weekend and good luck to everyone racing!

The DOMS.

22 Aug

What is that, you ask? 

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. The soreness that shows up anywhere from 12-24 hours after engaging in physical activity that works muscles in a way they are not accustomed to. The worst pain may be experienced 24-72 after exercising.

If you’ve ever started a new form of exercise, did a tough workout, strength-trained, walked a bunch of stairs, ran some hill repeats, raced in a long distance event, helped move a friend into their new place, or any activity that works untrained muscles, chances are you’ve experienced DOMS.

(via)

Why, oh WHY?!

“Most believe soreness develops as a result of microscopic damage to muscle fibers involved the exercise.This type of damage likely results from novel stresses that were experienced during the exercise. One common misconception about DOMS is that it is due to lactic acid accumulation, but lactic acid is not a component of this process. DOMS appears to be a side effect of the repair process that develops in response to microscopic muscle damage.

– Info sheet from the American College of Sports Medicine.

But, why ME?!

Turns out, even all-star athletes are susceptible. Of course, soreness becomes less prominent once we get used to an exercise (say, the more our endurance for running increases), but any novel movement can create soreness.

There’s good news!

Exercise that produces soreness creates a partially protective effect that reduces the chance of soreness in that same activity weeks or months into the future.

Can we prevent it?

Not completely, but easing into a new exercise and warming up properly can help reduce the level of impending soreness. Some say stretching after exercise doesn’t really prevent DOMS, but I say it sure does provide some relief. Other things that can help are icing, massage, accupuncture, NSAIDs, and foods that are natural anti-inflammatories (like blueberries). Mostly, you just have to let it pass on its own.

Are DOMS an indicator of a good workout?

Not necessarily. DOMS can certainly mean you worked your muscles in a new way that will increase strength and endurance. However, “No pain, no gain” is generally a myth. Not having pain after a workout does not mean you didn’t go hard enough. You are still getting benefits and increasing fitness even if you aren’t climbing into an ice bath or clutching a walker afterward. As always, acute pain during exercise is a signal from your body to STOP.

Dealing with DOMS?

There are many, many articles available offering tips for relief using static stretching and handy tools like foam rollers. I will be following up this post with some of those suggestions!