Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Training update! Week 11

I am on week 11 of a new training cycle with my new running coach!  Basically what  I'm working on is building my fitness. Training is hard!  Some days or weeks you feel like everything is going great, you're hitting all your paces, nailing your workouts, then the next week even the easy runs feel hard.  Last week I also developed some shin splints in both legs.  So frustrating for me.  It was about this time last year when my shin started hurting terribly and gave me so much trouble that I had to take some time off.  Then the overtraining led to a stress fracture.  As soon as my pain began I informed my coach and she backed off on all the speed work.  I'm definitely not going to let it get worse this time. We runners tend to just run through the pain and that cost me an entire training cycle last year.

While letting these shins heal I've ran just easy pace runs this week.  They are feeling so much better, but not exactly 100%.  I'll pretty much finish out this week running easy and then hit another quality session on Saturday.  Even on a normal running schedule about 80-90% of my runs are easy pace.  This adds miles to the total amount I'm running, but because of the slow pace there is minimal damage to tissue and muscle, so recovery is basically nutritional after an easy day.  Our body is able to recover faster in order to be ready for the next workout.  When our bodies are able to recover quicker then we are able to add more volume to training!  Running slow benefits our aerobic strength as well as our muscular and skeletal strength, which allows us to prepare for that strain during a marathon too.

Another benefit to these easy runs is that they train our bodies to burn fat for fuel.  During a marathon when your body depletes its glycogen stores it then will start burning fat for fuel. So also remember if you're looking to lose a few pounds, running slow will burn more unwanted fat than running fast! 
So what is my easy pace?  Right now, my easy runs range from 9:39-10:36.  Some days the weather is perfect and hitting the lower end of that range will feel super easy.  On days where the humidity and dew point are high I tend to go towards the slower end of that range.  Trying to hold that faster pace on not so perfect days will get my heart rate into a zone where I don't need it.  That makes the run to taxing on my heart and my muscles and then I won't be prepared for my quality sessions! If you go into every run at the same pace that's not going to get you faster, so backing off on that pace up to two minutes slower than goal pace is ok guys!  If you want to get faster, you have to run slower!

I have my first race on the calendar for June 10th.  Hopefully it won't be too terribly hot.  I'm just going out to test my fitness and to see where I'm at.  I'm hoping I come home with a nice little PR, but we will see.  It will be nice to see if  I've made some progress!


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