I got lucky this morning. We received some much needed rain over night but by the time I was ready to get my run in it had cleared out and I was able to run rain free. I’ll run in almost any conditions but besides swimming and taking a shower I hate being wet. So I was excited to run with the rain gone and I was also excited to try out my Garmin Forerunner 620 watch my wife had just gotten for me.
Today’s workout was a sort of hybrid workout in that I did some medium distance miles and speed work. I started off with 3.75 miles of moderately paced running (pace in my training is determined by length and type of runs) along a route that eventually takes me to one of the many long and steep hills I usually run during my medium and long runs.
Once there at the bottom of the hill I spend a couple minutes recovering before transitioning into my hill running. I did two different length runs. a 50 meter sprint and 100 meter sprint. After the 100 meter sprints I jog downhill using the decline for some over-speed training. I run primarily middle distance races but at the CT Master’s Games the last two years I did dabble in a sprint event in addition to my main race, which was the 3000 meters., so I like to make sure to keep my fast twitch muscle fibers firing too.
I follow up the hill sprints with one final 50 meter and 100 meter sprint on the crest of the hill so my legs do not get trained to be slow and in the presence of fatigue I can maintain a race or faster pace and quick foot turnover.
Here is the workout for Tuesday September 27, 2016 broken down.
Tuesday Sept 27, 2016 Training
Barefoot warmup series
3.75 moderate paced run
5x 50 meter sprints with walk back recovery
5x 100 meters with run back recovery
From the crest of the hill perform 1×100 meter and 1x 50 meter sprint.
.75 mile easy paced cooldown
Finally finished with 2 sets of 12 bounds on each leg and some foot turnover drills before static stretching.
I have been a personal trainer/youth conditioning specialist and a coach for over 15 years. I have never once lost the passion to learn new techniques or exercises. I love to learn and stay up to date on the current trends in exercise science. In fact often the best part of my day are those sessions where a client breaks through a plateau or makes great strides.
That being said it is still provides me with a huge sense of satisfaction when a client reaches out to me with words of thanks. This was the case recently when just last week a client of mine texted me after her knee replacement surgery.
She had really struggled with her knees since way back when we first began training together especially the one that was just replaced. It has always been an issue we worked around as best we could as she had always told me someday this was going to be an eventuality. So we did with what we could based on how her knee was feeling each session.
The last couple months had been a real struggle as she ended up in a walking boot twice due to overcompensations and possibly and ironically enough while doing PT. I struggled at times too as her trainer. I worried that I might not be able to give her what she needed training wise ahead of her surgery to keep her strong, and ease and speed recovery. I wanted her to be not just physically strong but mentally strong as well because that was going to be a huge part of her recovery.
So we did what we could with what we had. Thankfully she got out of the boot with about three weeks until surgery. We modified exercises where we needed to. I never once made her fit the exercises or workouts but rather made the exercises and training sessions fit her needs. We both kept positive (though it was not always easy for either of us) and felt assured that the years of training together would provide her all she needed to get through this surgery. This is what we had to trust in. Her last couple workouts we were able to hit the elliptical and do more strength training than we had been able to do and really finished our pre surgery training on a huge upswing. I was no longer worried about how she would recover, but was already thinking about how soon she will be back at work and training with me again.
I would be right!
See the message I got from her post surgery above!
As many people who are active know things like injuries pop up. You cannot sit around feeling sorry for yourself. Find a way to modify your workouts. There is always something you can do. If you cannot run then walk or bike. If you cannot lift weights use bands, or cables, or even bodyweight exercises.
I find people who exercise to be among the toughest and most resilient people I come across. Fight through what may be holding you back and do what you can with what you have currently, but never give up.
I am lucky to live on the east coast. Within a couple of miles I can have access to the beach as well as plenty of leg challenging hills. I was able to take advantage of both in my training session today to make for a nice well rounded run, encompassing intervals, sprints, and steady paced running.
I truly enjoy running on the beach as it does slow me down considerably but conversely is much less pounding and wear and tear on my legs than the track where most of my miles come from and the pavement. The sand is also unstable which helps strengthen the feet and ankles. I usually run right where the softer sand meets up with the sand that is a little firmer where the water line has retreated from in a low tide. One other bonus of using the beach to run which will be playing a factor sooner than I would like to think, is in the winter the snow seems to melt off the sand faster. When the tracks and the roads are still snow and ice covered and unsafe to run on I can hit the beach and still get in a quality training session.
Without further ado here is my training session for this official last day of summer.
2 Moderately paced miles to the beach.
4x .25, 0.06 miles and one 8 second sprint.
Resting 2:00 between each round.
Then one more 0.06 and one more 8 second sprint on the pavement to run at actual speed.
2 moderate paced miles back home this time over a course of rolling hills.
2 x Bounding 24 total bounds (12 on each leg)
2X fast feet drill (focusing on foot turnover in a fatigued state)
I really felt great after this training run despite the warm temperature and return to humidity.
I think I am officially back. If you have followed my blog or some of the running chats on Twitter, etc you would have seen me point out that I have been struggling with my running. This has by far been my best week of training since June. Everything seems to be clicking and I am finding my running fitness getting closer to where it was for some races in May and June. I am on pace for at least thirty miles logged this week.
Yesterday, I ran my first long run in a while. I had planned for a minimum of five miles or 45 minutes, whichever came first. On my long runs as I always seek out the hills so I can slow my long run down. This can be a mistake many runners make, and I am no different. If I hit the many large and rolling hills in my area I am assured of a challenging run but will also stay closer to my desired long run pace.
I felt incredible yesterday despite the tough Triple H’s of my running this summer. Not that Triple H! I am referring to the hills, heat, and humidity that have been a part of my runs all summer. Thurday’s conditions here in CT were very hot and humid, but I felt awesome! My foot turnover felt rapid and smooth, which was confirmed as I ran when I was able to maintain a nice easy fast but flowing and steady pace during the first part of my run.
The true test comes around mile three of my longer runs as I begin the start the hills. As I crested each hill I kept waiting to see my pace fall off significantly. Especially since the ankle injury that plagued and hampered my running since July. I decided to would test my desire and fortitude as I chose to run up the longest hill on my route. As I expected, my pace at this point fell off a bit but was right where I hoped for. I still felt pretty energetic and even tacked on an extra fifteen minutes to my run so that I finished with a long run of 60 minutes!
This was my first run of this distance in some time and it truly gave me the confidence boost I needed. I cannot wait to kill it on my hill repeats run training session later today and my track session Sunday. During my struggles, I tried to stay confident that things would turn around and not focus on the fact that I was struggling. But despite the fact my running was suffering I was still blessed to be able to run. It was that thought that has helped me stay humble and help keep me determined to grind and to get back where I was. I am not there yet but it is ever so close.
P.S. As with any of my workouts I always add striders. Yesterday was no different. I added 10x 20second striders after my long run, before moving into a 5-10 minute static stretching routine. These are not sprints but definitely are run at a faster than goal pace. I find it helps workout running form as I fatigue, and teaches my body and especially my legs to still have that fast turnover at the end of my runs. I do not use these striders as a replacement for speed work.