The last few weeks of training have been dominated by the mindset of, “sometimes you get worse before you get better”.
This is a very usual occurrence for when I am coming back off a break and getting back into shape. Basically what it means is as you first start to do a few workouts again you are usually pretty happily surprised to find out where the state of your fitness is at. Most of us think that once we take a few days off of running all of our hard work over the last few months just evaporates into thin air and so once we check back in and find our fitness to not be abysmal we start to feel relieved and excited about what the upcoming weeks may hold. However, for me at least, I usually find that what I am really seeing is a freshness that is allowing me to do these workouts and once I really start to train again seriously I find my workouts and my energy to be taking a turn for the worse. From years of doing this though I know that this is exactly what you should be looking to happen to you in your training. This is a sign that you are starting to tear yourself down to be built into a leaner meaner you. This phase can also be described a by many other runners as a time of “getting fit so I can get really fit”. For me these weeks are characterized by a lot mediocre work that has me just putting my head down waiting for better days to come. What you are about to see in this upcoming training week are some signs of me starting to come out of this slump and a lot of my hard work paying off.
Week mileage goal: 97
Week execution goal:
Continue to work hard in the gym at some of your weaknesses and don’t try to prove anything in the workout on Tuesday. The goal is to have a big time workout on Friday.
AM: Easy 7 miles. Felt very good today. Much better than I expected. Good pace but it just felt like a nice easy shakeout. My right calve felt much better than yesterday as well so that was great. Effort level 2/10.
PM: Easy 6.5 miles. Felt good. Calve a bit tight again though, did not feel as good as this morning. Drills and 8 x light stride felt nice and did not bother the calve. Kept the strides very chill just in my big training shoes. Effort level 4/10.
AM: Shake out 4 miles. Happy to be going in the PM for workout because calve was a bit sore to start the run but then felt great midway through. Effort level 2/10.
PM: 3 mile warm up + 10k hill climb + 2.5 mile cooldown. Goal for this workout is to try to even split the first 5k and second 5k. The first 5k has some light hills but the 2nd 5k is brutal. However, this was made much tougher to do today due to the fact that the last 4.5 miles were into an 18mph head wind. I used my GPS to make sure I wasn’t going out too fast those first 3 miles and then once I got to 5k I simply took note of the split and then put my head down and said I was just going to do my best and not look at the watch again. Although the times won’t do this workout justice I felt really strong up the hills at the end and felt like I had some pop in my legs. Happy with this workout execution on a tough day and my calve felt very good during most of the workout. Effort level 8/10.
Photo from the hill climb workout
AM: 12 miles in Boulder. Nice run. Felt a bit beat up and tired to start the run but felt better by the end. Calve was sore but better than I expected it to be. Seeing my massage guy marcus today so I am sure that will help a lot. Effort level 5/10.
Midday: Massage with Marcus
PM: 50 minutes of some good strong lifts and core. Starting to see some improvements
AM: 6 miles easy. SNOW DAY! Strapped on my nano spikes and went for an easy jog. Body and calve felt good! 6 x very light strides in the snow and in nano spikes. Not ideal but most likely the only place and way I could safety get in some strides today. EL=3/10
PM: easy 4.5 miles. Felt ok, planned on doing more but I needed to get back in time to pick up my car from the shop. Some snow starting to melt, should be good to go for a track workout tomorrow. EL= 3/10.
AM: Shake out 4 miles. Felt sluggish but should be ready for a good one this afternoon. Weather is looking promising.
PM: 3 mile warm up + 4 x (1000,600,400) with 2-3 minute jog between reps and 4-5 minute jog between sets + 2 mile cool down. Very stoked about this workout could not have gone better. I think I could have run these times with an 8 instead of a 9 effort if I had had more help but being alone for most of it and the temps dropping a lot for the last 2 sets made me have to dig for it a bit more. My biggest excitement from this workout not only came from running fast times but also from how smooth and easy I felt during the few times I got to sit behind someone else leading. Really enjoyed getting after it tonight and will have no problem just putting in the work these next few weeks after this fitness check going so well. EL= 9/10.
Photo from the track workout (with Luis Orta, @ortaluis15)
PM: Went off roading up in the mountains most of the day so did not run until the evening. Easy 5 miles on turf fields. Felt pretty rough the first few miles but ok by the end. EL= 3/10.
Photo from going offroading
AM: 20 miles easy to moderate over soft rolling dirt hills. Good run, I felt good to start but once we to started to get the pace going I could tell I was tired from Friday’s workout still. Just trying to get the miles in without putting too much heart into today. My left groin flared up really bad from miles 14-16. Stopped to give it a little break and that helped a lot. EL= 6/10.
Midday: Massage with Marcus
PM: 50 minutes of moderate lift and core. Feeling tired.
Weekly mileage: 96
Accomplished everything I hoped for this week. My calve went from being a real issue to improving while not missing any training. Got in the gym sessions I really needed to get in even though I was tired going into both of them. Most importantly I had the best workout I’ve had since Chicago marathon this Friday. Gives me the confidence to just go back to doing solid work until the next fitness check workout.