Yesterday I did a 10 mile race. I read running magazines and articles every month on how to optimize training, tapering and eating for the best performance. Because I read about so many different approaches to take in order to race best, I was able to work out a training schedule that worked for me taking into consideration to demands of my job, my eating preference and the time I had to train.
I ran everyday but did “workouts” three times a week of different variety. One day a week my running was a quarter mile jog to the gym where I cross trained. One run was a LSD [long, slow distance] and the others were 45 minute jogs of a medium pace, probably a zone 3 out of 5 effort. My daily workouts would take about 1.5 hours including warm-up, cool-down and commute. Two days a week I did mile repeats of one mile at about 7:30 pace and one mile at 7:00 pace for a total of six miles. One day a week I did ten minutes at 7:30 pace, ten minutes at 7:00 pace and ten minutes at 6:40 pace followed by a half hour of easy biking while I read a book. My long run varied between 8 and 16 miles.
2. Job/Life Stress:
I am on my feet at my job all day so I figured I did not need to do more than one long run per week. I did that run on my day off. I wake up between 6:30 and 7:00 most days and try to be in bed by 10:30 or 11:00. I run in the mornings before work and after work I spend a lot of time with my feet up reading and writing. I did not “taper” in a traditional sense for this race because I still had to work my job. The only thing I changed was I did not do a long run this past week.
It’s not secret I follow a plant-based approach. I would say I follow a higher-carb diet but it’s all relative. I eat foods with flavor. I eat breads, pasta, rice, beans, tofu, chocolate and most things as long as they don’t have a mother or a central nervous system. I did not take gels on my long runs nor did I use them during a race. I also did not bring water. The night before the race I actually thought about eating just rice and sweet potatoes. I considered this not because of the carb heavy load, but because I did not want my gut to feel weird if I had too many flavors and spices. I actually decided not to do this. I decided to keep things the same. To eat the way I normally eat because that is what has worked through my training. By eating plain foods I would have been changing things which is very advised against in every fitness article I have read. It’s most important to keep things the same in the lead up to a race because that is what the body is used to.
The Day After [Today]
My foot is really sore but I feel pretty recovered. I napped and rested yesterday after the race. I refueled with a lot of potatoes, hummus and nuts [it’s what I was craving] and watched old sitcoms. Because there is lingering soreness in my foot and I have another race in two weeks, I have decided to cross-train all week to maintain fitness but go lower impact for my foot. I hope this works and I have a good half marathon. If it doesn’t though, I am VERY HAPPY with my race results from yesterday so if that is my peak I am fine with that.
How do you train for your fitness events? Hiking? Biking?
Do you change anything leading up to the event just to be safe?