When I begin training for any event, I start planning about a month before. I pick a plan, commit to things like yoga, stretching and being hydrated. Then the plan is supposed to start and I end up cobbling together a program that changes based on my schedule and what races I enter at the last minute.
I always incorporate a long run, a tempo run and a speed workout each week. When I am not actively training, speed is the first thing to fall out of my plan. My work schedule is crazy and leaves me less than optimal time to sleep. That means less than optimal recovery and running on tired legs. The nature of my job is such that I am always on my feet and the quick paced environment can mimic some slower running and active recovery.
Tempo runs are my bread and butter. All I really need is an hour to do a tempo run with warm-up and cool-down included. These include 10k and half marathon pace runs or mile repeats at that pace. Every once in a while, if I do not have a race planned, I will do a timed trial 5 or 10k just to see where I am at.
I like doing long runs when it is nicer outside and I can enjoy the scenery, but acknowledge that they play an important part in training. The mental toughness that is achieved by going long and slow is hard to mimic elsewhere. During the winter months, I am on a treadmill logging mileage, but find if I get a good show on TV or a great podcast to listen to, I enjoy this time to myself almost as much as speed work.
In regard to marathon nutrition, this is something I will need to focus on more training for longer distances. I do not usually eat or drink on my runs, I just wait until they are over. Last year when I was going longer and thought I was training for a marathon, I began to bring a water bottle and gel with me on the treadmill. I did not carry them, I just set them in the holders. I could feel the difference in the second part of my run when the shot kicked in. It was like an extra boost of energy while I dug deep. My runs lately have not exceeded 14 miles at a really slow pace and I know I can get by with no nutrition. I bought a handheld water bottle with my $15 store credit at the running store two days ago and plan to try some liquid nutrition this Saturday on my run.
Other parts of nutrition include hydration which I am not always the best at. I do not always think about drinking water and often get my hydration from coffee, tea or Kombucha. The problem with coffee is that sometimes it leaves my throat clogged and Kombucha can make me feel bloated because of the carbonation. Oh well, I can only keep working on it.
Eating a lot of food is not something I generally have an issue with anymore. Once you get the “runger” after some serious mileage, you know how to fuel yourself for the next go around and the time in between. I am not restrictive in types of macronutrients. If I want to eat only bread, that’s what I do. After a while, my craving for whatever said food is dies off and I eat more balanced again. Through running I have gotten better at trusting my hunger cues and honoring what I want.
Doing mobility work like yoga and correct for body weight movements is a new thing I am doing this go around. Partly because I can go to a free yoga class a week and partly because I like the way my ankles strengthen doing stretches, I am trying to make this a bigger priority. I am two weeks strong in yoga right now and my goal is to master a tripod hold.
I am getting called to work, so not pictures till I edit later! Head over to Amanda’s blog to see what the TOL buzz is all about!