Running: It's actually more expensive than therapy
My 5k fall training plan has unfortunately failed. My recurring hamstring injury has made it impossible to hit any speed goals or even complete speed workouts without the pain or cramping. It's not severe or anything but I need it to heal completely before taking on new PR goals. I am unable to run at a fast pace, but longer slower distances are okay for me. I have decided to forego the 5k training and racing this fall in favor of training for longer distances. I have committed to the Tomoka Marathon in March 2020 and plan on a 50k in the spring.
In the meantime, I have found a marathon training plan I want to start in October. It focuses more on longer, easier running and the mileage is less than what I am used to. It's also a much more flexible plan. I will be running in a few longer races as fun runs and by no means pushing the pace. My body is thankful for the break that I needed both mentally and physically. I have been pushing myself for the past few years and need to rest. It's going to feel weird not running 5ks for speed this fall and missing a number of my favorite races. I look forward to the spring marathon season. Running and racing is still a huge part of my life and always will be which is why I want to stay healthy.
Since I'm relatively new to competitive running, I had no idea that overtraining was a thing in non-pro athletes. I mean how can someone running only 30 miles a week overtrain? Well it's actually a real thing and it can happen. As I learned, it's more about the intensity of the workouts than the mileage. I personally had too many intense "race pace" workouts back to back without letting my body have time to recover, so of course instead of getting faster I crashed and burned. That's why most running plans call for "easy" days after an intense speed session. It's important to run at slower paces to let your body recover. Recovery is key. Luckily I found this out before it was too late and was able to find a great training plan.
So what are some symptoms of training too much or too intensely? Here's a list of some common symptoms.
1. Constant Fatigue
2. Emotional changes such as moodiness or depression
3. Poor performance including inability to get through a workout
4. Elevated resting heart-rate
5. Muscle fatigue which includes "heavy legs"
6. More injuries
7. Changes in immune system such as more common colds
8. Running isn't fun for you anymore
Since I began training with the Hanson's Marathon Method Plan using the 5k specific model, I have not only gained speed but have found a new appreciate for running again. There are so many aspects of this plan that I love and wanted to share my favorites.
1. The 16 miler long run- You're probably thinking why in the world would a 5k specific plan have such a long run in there? The long runs in this plan range from 12-16 miles. This scares a lot of people off however, all the long runs are at a slower, manageable pace. The sense of accomplishment alone after such a workout is enough to keep coming back for more. If you want to run faster, you have to run more.
2. The recovery workouts- A lot of the plan calls for "recovery running at an easy pace." You will not only get used to running on tired legs from previous faster workouts, but you will also look forward to "resting" your body on these easy days.
3. The overall mileage-The mileage ranges from 40-60 miles a week depending on how close it is to race day. This can sound scary at first, but keep in mind most of this running is at easy paces. A lot of the mileage also comes from warm-up/cool downs before and after speed work.
4. The speed work/tempo runs- The plan calls for specific speed work times which you know is essential to gaining 5k speed. It's definitely not at a crazy pace, so you still feel like you are in control of it. The calculators they provide are excellent and accurate tools in helping you find your paces.
5. The variety of the workouts- The workouts never get boring because of the variety. One week for speed work you may be running hills while the next could be something like 400M sprints. It all helps to keep your mind fresh.
Overall, this is an excellent plan for me and my running goals. So far I would seriously recommend to to any runner looking to take their training to the next level.
For those following my training, you've probably noticed I've hit a wall and cannot get any faster. Well after an extremely disappointing race last weekend (so bad I can't even bring myself to write the recap about it) I have decided to change things up. I've been doing research and all signs have pointed to over-training. At first I didn't think this was even a possibility because of the low mileage I was putting on (never over 35 miles a week), but the truth is you can over train at any mileage. It's all about the intensity of the workouts and how long you are giving yourself to recover that matters.
I was putting way too many 5k pace workouts and speed sessions together in a week and training at a pace that I could not ever fully recover from. Basically all the mileage I was putting on was essentially useless (which hurts to hear because of how hard it all was to complete haha).
I began to research 5k specific running plans and decided the perfect one for me was the Hanson's Marathon Method 5k advanced training. For those who are not familiar with Hanson's it's basically putting on a ton of mileage a week (mine will average about 50-60 miles a week with no days off and my long run will be 12-16 miles) which trains your body to run with cumulative fatigue. I've build up a base for putting on mileage so I feel positive I can do this. You can view a sample week from my schedule here.
It's important to stress this is different from over-training because most runs are at a easy pace even though they are much longer. I welcome these longer runs because it's a manageable challenge for me. I will continue to post updates with my progress. Let's go!
In running and life in general, one must be adaptive. Going into this week, I had hopes of running around 45 miles while increasing my comfortable pace on the treadmill. I was also particularly excited for fall race season to kick off last weekend. Well, none of those things happened because Hurricane Irma had other plans.
With the gym closed for almost a week, I had to get creative in my workouts. I was lucky enough to be able to run every day both before and after the hurricane. One exercise included a two mile run around my neighborhood, and the rest were all at the park. I did some long runs and some moderate ones but lacked the speed work. I was finally able to go to the gym yesterday, and I'm not where I'd like to be for my upcoming race on Saturday, but I believe I could get there with a few good speed sessions.
Overall I am fortunate only to have been affected in this small way by the hurricane. Life happens, and things get in the way of workout goals. It's important to remember to stay focused and adapt to change.