Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Spring Training: Week 14

Spring Training posts document my training for my "A" race, the Wisconsin Marathon half, on May 4.

The week, in training:

Monday: 4 miles
Tuesday: 5 miles +  BODYPUMP (taught)
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 6 miles, tempo + BP rehearsal
Friday: 3.04 miles
Saturday: BODYPUMP (taught)
Sunday: 10.1 miles

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This week presented me with an interesting dilemma - I was recovering from Run the Bluegrass and jumping on a training plan (Train Like A Mother: Own It) to bring me to a strong finish at Wisconsin. Recovery and ramping up aren't two things that usually go together.

Or do they?

While the course didn't allow me to race-race the event, my legs most definitely felt terrain of Run the Bluegrass. The quads, hamstrings, calves (of all things) and core were tight and tired. The idea of even a Sunday morning walk up a hill in Cincinnati was enough to make me grimace in pain. Thankfully, family time on Easter gave me a much needed full day of rest, and the travel time was an opportunity to think about how to tackle the week.

I decided, if I early-week miles were easy, I could amend the plan to give my legs a break without sacrificing quality miles. I cut out the hill workout - duh! - and I moved Tuesday's tempo run to Thursday, allowing for another day of rest between the race and harder effort (+ four days). I was also mindful to go light on my weights during BODYPUMP. While I did wear a watch on the runs, I rarely looked down at pace and administered the talk test throughout the runs. To avoid looking completely insane, I pretended that I was talking to Denali.

When it came time for that tempo run Thursday (4 by 1 mile tempo w/quarter-mile recovery), my legs were surprisingly springy and I ran sub-9s for the intervals on the treadmill - a first - and set a PR pace, as well. And, even better, I felt like I could have gone a smidge harder.

By Sunday's long run, I felt like a new woman. I ran a surprisingly fast 10 miles - and that was with constant reminders to not race the long run. I'm going to credit the ability to wear shorts and finally some new fuel, proper hydration (mmm, nuun) and a rediscovered route.

How do you recover from a race? Do you have favorite tips?


  1. I always tend to think some miles help recover - just to loosen the legs, get blood flowing, mentally keep us going.

  2. I've been having a very hard time pacing my long runs, which is why I'm no longer posting the "target" paces in my recaps - I've been running much faster than prescribed. I think you did the right thing by moving workouts around and listening to your body. New clothes, good hydration and a fun new route definitely help, too.

  3. It sounds like you had a perfectly planned work! Good job! That rarely (if ever?!) happens for me!

    How often do you go light at BP? I tend to go light when I teach, since I take class Wednesday and push it then.

    Ooo, race recovery... my plan involves sitting and eating. Bad, bad, plan.

    In all seriousness though, I usually do a 3 mile shakeout the day after I race, to help my legs.

    1. Les Mills encourages BP instructors to lift aspirational weights - something participants can work toward. This can be difficult for smaller muscle groups like biceps where some of the participants lift the same but otherwise I try to go as heavy as I can and still instruct the class. I will go lighter on Saturdays depending on my long run the next day but otherwise it's max.

  4. That's so awesome girl! Run the Bluegrass was brutal but seems to be making everything much easier. Congratso n a new pr pace!!

  5. Awesome job! Sounds like everything clicked this week, especially on your Sunday run! Way to go!! :0)