Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Week 5 Boston Training: Hard Days Hard, Easy Days Easy?

This week was an interesting one. On Monday night, I got some kind of one-day stomach bug that kept me up all night and home from work on Tuesday. But by the morning, it was stable. I was able to get my Tuesday workout in and not yak anything up!

This was the first week back into a WCRR training plan. The paces and mileage are up for this plan compared to CIM and I'm definitely finding it a bit more challenging. By the end of this week, I realized I really need to get a strength training routine down.

Monday: 8 miles @ 9:02

Ran my usual work route which is hilly (though not as hilly as the Thursday's route). Not much to say about this one other than I was really happy to see how low my HR was for 8 miles with 446 feet of climbing. Only 139 bpm average. 

Tuesday: 10 x 400 meters

After maybe getting a couple hours of sleep from the stomach bug, in the late afternoon once my husband got home I went down to the bay to do my "track" workout. The goal pace was 1:30 - 1:35 per repeat. I could not get my legs to run that fast. My HR never got extremely high. I hit 181 bpm but my max is 195-200. I managed one repeat at 1:35. Five of them at 1:37. The rest ranged from 1:38-1:42. I came to the realization that I probably need some kind of strength training, notably in my upper body. I feel like that could help me cover more distance because cadence is definitely not my problem (I was hitting more than 200 steps per minute for the repeats).

Wednesday: 8 @ 8:51

Uneventful 8 easy miles. Was again pleased to see only 140 average HR for this pace on hills.

Snagged this lulu skirt NWT on eBay - love the print!


Thursday: Tempo Intervals

I knew that I wasn't ready to hammer out 5 tempo miles from 7:10-7:30 on Aviara and Poinsettia (Aviara is ~180 feet of climbing over a mile). So I looked at the BAA plan which had tempo intervals and I did that instead, with a minute less of rest after the first chunk. I did 3 miles, 3 mins rest, then 2 x 1 mile with 90 seconds rest.

3 miles: 7:26, 8:19 (up the hill: +178 feet), 7:35
2 x 1 miles: 7:07 (down the hill: -169 feet), 7:29 (this one had +67 feet, so I was pretty happy with this)

I'm really digging tempo intervals because it lets you get more time at LT than you normally would. Five straight miles at 15K pace is a lot of effort and can be pretty taxing. Having short rests lets me get in 5 miles without it being too close to a race effort.

After the run, I did some strength stuff, including single leg deadlifts with weights, squats, etc.
At this point, I realized that I don't necessarily agree with the hard days hard, easy days easy. 

Friday: Rest!

Thank God because my left hamstring was none too happy with me.

Saturday: 15 @ 8:30

Started at 6:40am with a WCRR buddy and it was cold - 39! For the first time I wished I had gloves. We did almost 6 miles at a brisk pace (~8:20). She had to run off for family stuff so I ran another 1.5 or so and then met up with the larger WCRR crew. Since it was the beginning of the season, I knew it was going to be quick, we were under 8:30, easily for 6 miles. I finished up with ~1.5 miles at a considerably easier pace. By the end of this run the left hamstring hip was pretty much done with me.

Here is my awkward run selfie


Sunday: 4 @ 9:16

Went down to the bay for recovery miles and decided to try working on form a bit, adding a slight lean forward. Felt pretty good, but form is a tricky thing. When you're tired, you revert to whatever form feels natural, whatever your body finds is the best use of energy. In my opinion, form in that situation will always revert to the less ideal one unless you do other work to train your body into feeling that the "new" form is more efficient. I don't know exactly how to get there, but that is my theory. I'm thinking it has to do with strength and where you body is carrying said strength. If your arms are weak, well, not likely when you're tired, your arms are going to be of much use to keeping your form together. So I've started working on doing at least pushups and tricep work because I can see that I'm weak there. I have good core strength, but arms and upper boy: fuggedaboutit.

iPhone in dark conditions: bad picture

The rest of the afternoon was centered mostly around attending Disney On Ice at the Sports Arena which, holy crap, is that place old. San Diego has some old sporting complexes - this is where the Clippers used to play (when they were the San Diego Clippers in their first season). It's now where the minor league hockey team plays. Elise loved the event because it had most of her favorites: Cars, Little Mermaid, and Frozen. The first part was Toy Story which was probably the worst of it. It was just hard to follow with far too many props.

I think the most ridiculous thing I saw at this even was the venue selling a Bud Light for $11.50. I feel like this is worse than what I've seen at an MLB game. Maybe they figured parents were so unenthused and bored by the event that they would be willing for fork over that absurd price for an alcoholic diversion. IDK, but a 12 pack of Bud is barely worth that much.

Hard Days, Easy Days


I've seen this sentiment quite a bit, that you should do strength work on hard days so that you can truly recover on easy days. After Thursday, I can say that I don't agree with this.

What I noticed was that after a taxing workout of tempo intervals, my ability to (a) maintain proper form in strength repetitions, and (b) discern the appropriate effort level, was totally wack. What ended up happening was that I had subpar form on my single leg deadlifts and I wasn't sure how hard I was actually working because I was fairly gassed from my running workout. This resulted in tweaking my left hamstring and it is only now (one week later) starting to feel normal-ish again.

Now, perhaps if you have lots of time and can do an AM hard running workout and PM strength work, then you may be able to safely get the two done. But if you only have time to do them back-to-back without some rest in between, I think it's safer to do strength on your easy days (and obviously, not an overly crazy routine where you completely trash your body because you will definitely be sacrificing very important recovery time).