Week 4 of my training was a beautiful, glorious cutback week! I always make sure to incorporate these weeks into my plans for a little mental and physical break. During these weeks I step back in mileage bit and do a shorter long run, and instead of speed intervals and a tempo run I do fartleks and a progression run. So I am still doing some “speedwork” but it’s less structured and more fun!
Here is the overview of the week – what I had planned vs. what I actually did.
And here is the detailed rundown!
Monday: Rest Day.
Tuesday: Fartlek Run – 5 miles / 44:40. We have been having some very strange weather here in Virginia! I wore shorts and a short sleeved shirt for my 5 AM run… on December 15th?! So crazy! Like I said, since this was a cutback week for me I did an easy Fartlek run instead of my usual speedwork of mile/half-mile repeats. After a warm-up I just picked something ahead of me (like a house with lights, a mailbox or a road sign), sprinted to it, ran slow to recover and did it again. It’s a less structured and fun way to still practice the cycle of running hard, easy, hard, easy. The word “fartlek” actually means “speed play” in Swedish. I really enjoyed mixing it up!
Wednesday: 21 Day Fix – Lower Fix. This workout is starting to feel a little easier but it still makes me super sore for a day or so afterwards!
Thursday: Progression Run – 5 miles / 45:35. While I’m thankful I have it, I am soooo not a treadmill girl! I chose to do my progression run after work because it was dark, cold and rainy and that combination sounded very unappealing. Running on a treadmill feels a lot harder for me so I didn’t feel like pushing it much. I was glad when it was done! My little photo bomber was glad too because he got home right as I was finishing up and was begging me to come play! Splits – 9:31, 9:17, 9:05, 8:57, 8:49.
Friday: Rest Day (unplanned). I had a really busy last few days of work before winter break began (WOO HOO!). I wasn’t able to get myself out of bed in the morning to do an easy run or strength workout, so I planned to get it done in the evening instead but I fell asleep on the couch. I guess my body needed some rest! It didn’t help that I was in pajamas all day, since it was pajama day at both my school and my kids’ daycare!
Saturday: Easy Run – 3 miles / 26:03 + Yoga for Runners. I went to my chiropractor early on Saturday morning because I’ve been feeling a little off in my right side again. He fixed me right up and I had an awesome little 3 mile run (in shorts!) when I got home. I have a feeling I am overpronating more on my right side since having the baby, so I want to get to the running store to get it checked out and see what I can do for it. It’s causing a little bit of pain, mostly in my right foot, that comes and goes. I am making sure to make time to do some good stretching after my runs and foam rolling. I also did a 25 minute Yoga for Runners video that I like. I felt amazing afterwards. Note to self: make this more of a priority!
Sunday: Long Run – 8 miles / 1:11:20. On Sunday morning I met up with a couple friends to do my “long run,” which was only 8 miles since I was cutting back. It was much colder than the days before (temps in the 20s), but we felt really good. We were really surprised to see our overall pace when we were finished because we felt like we were running at such an easy, comfortable pace. It’s crazy to me how paces that used to be hard become effortless with time and hard work!
Week 4 Totals:
- Run: 21 miles
- Strength Training/Cross Training: 1 strength workout,, 1 yoga workout, lots of stretching + foam rolling.
My successes this week were allowing myself to really cutback in terms of mileage and intensity. I’m feeling rested and ready to ramp it back up again – which is good because my next three weeks include another 14 miler, then 16 and 18! My goal this week is to continue to do my stretching/yoga/foam rolling on a regular basis and to keep an eye on the right side issue I’m having. It feels better as of the last few days so I’m hoping it stays that way!
The thought of the week goes along with some the challenges I’ve had lately. I’ve been thinking a lot about my goals and the tough training that is ahead of me, and trying not to let it overwhelm me or freak me out. I have had to work a LOT on the mental/emotional side of running, probably more than the physical part. I have had difficult runs and races with unexpected outcomes, which have broken my spirit and motivation in the past. Over the years and after many experiences that I previously called “failures” I realized something. There are no failures, only lessons learned. I really believe that every run, every race, every effort of ours teaches us something. The key is to reflect and figure out what that lesson is. Once you learn and accept that there are no failures, it’s so much easier to push yourself without that fear limiting you. I need to remember this as I move forward into my longer runs and harder speed workouts. If I do my best and take away a lesson from each run, I will not have failed. Truly believing this is very freeing and empowering!
4 weeks down, 11 to go!
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