This week was a bit of a breakthrough week in training. Breakthrough in the sense that I‘m now pretty close to the fitness level I was at pre-pregnancy. I’m still lacking the deep endurance that comes with a complete marathon training cycle, but I’ve got my speed back and am building that deep endurance one long run at a time. I can’t say that I’m “surprised” because this is really what I’ve been building towards since I started training again in late June after giving birth to Liam in May. My hope was that I would be somewhere in the vicinity of a sub 20 min 5K at the start of snowshoe racing season (which started last weekend with this race). But I wasn’t sure if that time frame was possible. I felt it was realistic, but you never know what’s going to happen and I didn’t want to make it a “goal” and push hard come “hell or high water”and not listen to my body. If a sub 20 was possible I wanted it to come gradually, step by step after laying a solid foundation. And I feel that’s exactly what’s happened.
On Wednesday I ran a 5K PR. I clocked a 19:37 5K on the indoor track, beating my personal best by 8 seconds. It was difficult and gratifying all at the same time. It’s a stepping stone on the way to some bigger (faster) goals I have for this spring. And I know that it didn’t just “happen” there’s been a lot of hill running and road intervals and miles between June and now: seven months of hard work (and another 9 months during pregnancy of making sure that my pelvic floor, hips and glutes were strong and healthy for child birth and the return to training afterwards).
Now that I’ve reached a good baseline fitness I’m focusing a lot on RECOVERY and STRENGTH. I think the better I can recover the better I will run. So that means recovering with food, recovering with foam rolling and self massage and recovering with easy efforts after hard days. And the stronger I am the less likely I will be to get injured as my mileage begins to creep up with my long runs.
Here’s a look at my running, recovery and strength training last week:
30 min recovery run on the treadmill
Strength training: 20 reps of each 2 rounds
Bridges, kettlebell swing, kettle bell row, backward lunge, bi-curl
Alternate ice Dr. Cool Recovery Wrap and heat on hamstring. foam roll with The Worm and foam roller
Eight miles in sub zero temps and wind chill. It was butt-freezing cold.
Form drills: skipping, grapevines, b-skips, high knees, butt kicks, strides
Indoor Track. 1 mile warm up, 3K time trial (19:37), 5×160 with 160 jog between (160m=1 lap on indoor track), 1 mile cool down for a total of 6 miles on the track. During the 5K I felt smooth and relaxed. I knew I wanted to be “like a metronome” and that’s the mantra I stuck to. I ran really even splits each lap was either 38 or 37 seconds with some faster in the last mile. It was challenging to run alone, but good to push myself at race effort in training. Coming through with an 8 second PR was a great feeling.
Roll with the Roll Recovery tool.
Hill climb on the treadmill. 20 min of climbing from 4% to 11% (I switch up the grade every five minutes) and maintain and steady pace. Then 20 minutes of easy running.
Roll with the Roll Recovery tool.
30 minute recovery run
Strength training: 3 rounds of each set, 15 reps each exercise
squat/front, side planks (1 min each)
eccentric hamstring cross-over/kettlebell high pull
Rest. Tempo run was planned but I took the day off.
16 mile long run. 8:49 pace. Cold. Cold. Cold. Just did it. Not super enjoyable the miles ticked by fast until mile 12 and then the last four felt like a slog-fest. Most long runs are like this. Embrace the slog.
Alternate ice with Dr. Cool Recovery Wrap and heat on hamstring and knee. Roll with The Worm.
Prone leg raise, clamshells, bird dogs and side-lying leg raises in the evening while watching TV. Then roll with the Roll Recovery tool.
40 miles for the week.
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