A recap of last week’s workouts and my ideal running and strength training schedule.
Hey friends! It’s my birthday and I’ve spent the last two days celebrating with friends and plan to have a low-key evening at home with Tommy and Maizey. It’s been a really good birthday weekend and I plan to keep celebrating all month! (If you missed today’s newsletter with my gift for my subscribers, email me at af[email protected] and I’ll send you the details!)
I had more wine and more sugar in the past three days than I’ve had in a long time and it was all 100% worth it. I’ve talked about how I approach here and while my daily dessert is typically dark chocolate or dried fruit (boring I know, but I love it), I happily ate coconut cake at Mozelle’s on Saturday, key lime pie at 1703 on Sunday and plan to eat tonight the To Your Health cupcake my esthetician gave me today when I arrived for my birthday facial.
I eat healthy 80-90% of the time and not-so-healthy 10-20% of the time. And for me, that IS healthy. If you’re following a food plan that doesn’t allow you to enjoy food and enjoy life, I’d ask you to evaluate what the goal of it is. Yes, there are food allergies, food sensitives, dietary preferences, physical goals, athletic goals. I get all that, I have some of my own too. But I just see so much diet advice given on the internets and on the instagrams that I worry does more harm than good. Comparison. Restrictive. One size fits all. I don’t buy it. Also, if someone is asking you to buy something to help you lose weight or change your diet habits, I would dig into their training, education and credentials to be giving that advice.
A diet is like writing: you first need to understand the basic principles. Once you do, you’ll be able to break the rules intentionally and create your own style guide. If a diet takes away more happiness than it adds, it’s probably not a sustainable diet. Find a lifestyle that is sustainable. And remember, there is NOT ONE SIZE FITS ALL. Find what works for you. It may take trial and error and it’s okay to ask for help, but don’t walk away from your common sense and intuition.
Anyway – super random tangent. But it’s been on my mind. Let’s get onto last week’s workouts.
Last week’s workouts
M – 7.1 miles, 8:24 pace
- I REALLY needed a recovery run this day and I should have run solo so I could go as slow as I needed to, but I wanted to run with my friends on the Labor Day holiday. I paid for it and felt terrible the entire time.
T – 5.0 miles, 9:06 pace
- Ran solo and got my recovery pace miles in!
W – 8 miles, 8:41 pace + quick core/upper body strength + dry needling
- I started solo so I could warm up a bit (9:20 pace) before I met my friends for our usual loop since we almost always run a 8:30 pace.
- I had a dry needling appointment in the afternoon since my calf has been a MESS. It was intense but I could tell it helped a lot once Friday and Saturday rolled around.
Th – 4.0 miles, 9:01 pace
- I felt AWFUL on this run and walked every couple of minutes. More on this run below and what I learned from it.
F – 9.2 miles, 8:30 pace
- Kelly was doing her long run on Friday due to some travel plans so Clare and I went along for the ride. It felt so leisurely to do a longer run on Friday. It’s funny how breaking a routine immediately feels like vacation.
Sa – 11.1 miles, 8:15 pace
- I went into this run with an open mind. If my body wanted 3-4 miles, that’s what I would do. We did some loops and I knew it’d be easy for me to drop off if I needed to and I was really happy that I ended up with 11! I give the conversation with my friends credit for most of those miles – the time flies by when you’re solving problems on the run.
Su – quick strength training session
Total Miles: 44.6
How I’m feeling: Despite having two runs that felt awful this week, I am really happy with how the week turned out. I’ve been working to gradually increase my mileage with two “up weeks” and one “down week” (e.g. increase mileage, increase mileage, drop down mileage, repeat). And my body is tolerating it pretty well — as long as I get my recovery days in and listen to my body.
So when did I not listen to my body? Thursday. I did NOT feel like running, slept in and procrastinated my run until lunch time. Around noon, I got dressed to run because usually that gets me in the mood. I still wasn’t. So I got in the car and drove to my run start spot. I started jogging, telling myself I’d just go for 10 minutes and that I’d come around. Since I know my body, I knew within 60 seconds that I should NOT run. But, I ignored it. The run was AWFUL. Physically and mentally, that run was not what I needed.
So what did I learn? I have been running long enough that I should trust myself to know when my body just needs a break. Since I was 2 miles from my car by the time I admitted to myself I just needed to end the run, I turned it into a walk-jog so I could make it as much recovery as possible and still make it back for a meeting. I think that tactic helped salvage the situation since Friday and Saturday both turned out to be great runs.
My ideal running and strength training schedule
I’m working really hard to maintain some strength training in my schedule since I know that I’ve lost a lot of muscle since I quit Crossfit. And, when I was training for the Boston Marathon, strength training had to take a back seat. Strength training for distance runners is particularly important since your body needs muscle to sustain you over long distances and help delay fatigue.
I often get asked by fellow runners on Instagram, “Should I strength train and run on the same day?” My response is yes, since doing strength training and running on the same day allows you to really recover on your rest or recover days. I typically prefer to lift after a hard run or even in the afternoon of my long run. Now, it doesn’t always happen (like this last week!) but that’s my goal. Sometimes my schedule dictates that I need to lift on a rest day so I just keep the strength session more low-key.
Here’s what my running & strength training plan might look like on an ideal week:
- M – easy run
- T – workout run (tempo or intervals) + 20-30 min strength training immediately after
- W – easy run
- Th – workout run or medium-long run + 20-30 min strength training immediately after
- F – easy run or rest
- Sa – long run + afternoon 60 min strength training
- Su – rest
When I’m running immediately after a run, I keep it short for schedule’s sake and because I’m just more fatigued. When I do it the same day as a long run, I like to go in the afternoon. That way, I can refuel and relax a bit after my long run before hitting the gym. I save my longer strength sessions for the weekend since I have more time in my day vs. during a work day.
Do you struggle to balance different types of workouts? How do you approach it?