Monday, October 13, 2014

Training for...and some workouts that BURN

Yes, yes, this still is a training blog.  As I am gearing up for my 6th marathon, my first standalone since way way back in 2011 Goofy  which technically is a standalone but also not your typical standalone marathon (Part I and Part II race recaps).

I'm excited to see what my body can do and grateful (there is that word again) that I am healthy enough to be considering taking this on and also for my amazing Coach Jen Harrison who kicks my butt and makes me stronger every day--TRUTH.

Let's recap.  So, on July 26th the "foot slam" happened before my self-supported massive PR half ironman.  I didn't run one step until September 4th and that was only 15 minutes.  Here we are in October, roughly a month later and a few days later and I'm up to several runs a week (even a couple of double run days) and feeling good.  Pace-wise I didn't suffer too much and have been doing well at maintaining speed while increasing distance.  I'm not doing any huge mileage yet but  feeling good about where my progress is heading.

I thought it might be fun is to share some of my favorite run workouts.  Like I said, Coach Jen Harrison is doing her best to push me physically and I'm doing my best to push myself on the mental side of running which I think has always been my biggest limiter. Alright, favorite run workouts of late.

*The timed interval.  I love these workouts.  They basically consist of a warm up (15-60 minutes depending on the length of the total workout) and then a set of timed intervals.  For example, 5 "on"/5 "off" or 10 hard, 1 off, repeat, sometimes a ladder of 1 hard/1 easy, 2 hard, 2 easy, on up the ladder.  These workouts are great.  They force me to get outta my head on splits (aka mental training) and focus on time.  For these workouts I switch my Garmin to total time screen or lap time screen and use that as my guide.  I will turn off any mile split notifications and save the splits for review later.  I've found this helps me run FASTER when I don't know what my splits are.  Continuing proof that for me, my biggest hurdle is sometimes my own head. 

*The no-data run.  These workouts are a welcome respite from specific intervals, hill repeats, fartleks and long runs.  These are literally, go out and run X number of minutes.  Have fun.  These runs are all about being social, enjoying the scenery, being grateful to be out there and remembering why I chose to take up this sport in the first place.  While I absolutely love triathlon and I am not planning on hanging up my goggles or bike anytime soon, there is something about running that really neither of the other two sports can bring.  The no-data runs are a great way to reconnect with whatever THAT is about this sport.

*The long run.  Of course being the endurance junkie I am, I do love me a good long run.  At this stage, long is a relative term but they are getting longer every week.  My long runs are also different than any other time I've trained for a marathon.  They are less about just running the distance but rather about training the body to run varying paces during the longer efforts and really getting in tune with how I handle different variables over the course of progressively longer and longer durations.  It used to drive me nuts not to have a set number of miles to go run, now I am embracing the "run for time" mindset. During my long runs I often have a set or two of specific intervals or goal pace miles but also things like leg turnover sets and watch your form sets.  All of these things are making me a better runner.

There you have it, a few of my favorite run workouts that are regularly incorporated into my training.  And, just for fun, a couple of strength exercises that may sound easy but these will make you feel the burn...

*The plank set.  (This workout takes anywhere between 20-45 minutes depending on number of sets.  My core curses Jen during this workouts but thanks her the next day...only curses when I have to laugh or sneeze.)
Straight arm plank 30-60 seconds
Right into pushups (10-20)
Reverse bridge hold 30 seconds
Right into tricep dips (10-20)
Straight arm plank for 15 sec into hover pushup (think chaturanga yoga pose) for 15 sec--repeat 2-4x
Side plank 30-60 seconds
Right into side dips (10-20)
Other side plank 30-60 seconds
Right into other side dips (10-20)
Straight arm to forearm plank (10-20)
Plank right leg hover 30 seconds, then left leg hover 30 seconds
REPEAT WHOLE SET 2-3x

*Scorpion on a stability ball.  (YouTube link)
Sounds easy, it is not easy, at least for me.

*The donkey whip.
Go here for explanation.

*Squats and lunges.
Duh, these burn and are so good for you but ouch.