Thursday, February 9, 2017

Pittsburgh Marathon Training: Week 5

Going into this week, I approached it with an open mind to try new things.  I know there are parts of my training that, setting my ego aside, I need to change.  I have neither mastered the marathon or the training leading up to it meaning I have a lot to still learn about the process.  

Monday: 3 Miles - On occasion, the little one falls asleep in the car between daycare and home allowing the Mrs. and I to both exercise at the same time.  Thus, with the baby monitor in tow, we headed to the basement where the wife started up her workout video while I jumped on the treadmill.  To our surprise, we were both able to finish our workouts before the peanut woke up.  Now if only things ran this smoothly every day.

Tuesday: Rest Day

Wednesday: 7 Miles - One of the most common training tips emphasized within the running community is to take easy runs easy and hard runs hard.  As someone who has fallen into the trap of practiced the complete opposite, I resolved that today's workout would be different.  As I started my run, I let my body dictate the relaxed pace with no concern for the numbers my Garmin was broadcasting.  It was nice to finish the run and not feel like I just attempted a 5K PR.

Thursday: 3 Miles - Maybe because I had taken the previous day so easy, my legs felt fresh for today's miles.  I trotted along enjoying the run following my usual out-and-back.  As I was wrapping up this workout, I began to give thought to what I could do the next day knowing that "cross-training" was on the queue.

Friday: HIIT Workout - After hearing on several podcasts recently about the benefits for runners of performing High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts, I jumped on the bandwagon for a very eye-opening experience.  While I had heard of some of the exercises like burpees and and high-knees, others completely eluded me and my ability level.  How exactly am I to do a side plank while also extending my arm and leg in order to touch them?!  I'm pretty sure the last time I saw that move was in Cirque du Soleil.  Nevertheless, I'm sure I'll be revisiting this type of cross-training in the weeks to come.

Saturday: 14 Miles - After the disappointment of bailing last week on hitting the roads with Up-N-Running, I was grateful that today was different.  While this was only my second run with the group, one of the things I love about this community is just how organic it feels.  When we set out, we don't separate by pace groups or ability levels; everyone just runs.  When we reach the various aid stations along the route, we regroup before heading on for the next few miles.  This easy atmosphere takes a lot of the pressure out of the workout while adding in a good dose of non-running related conversation.  As always, I'm looking forward to next Saturday already.

Sunday: 7 Miles - We have all done it - set out on a run only to get the "Low Battery" message popping up on the watch face.  Even worse, mine displayed that after the first mile.  Whoops!  Knowing that my watch was about to become nothing more than a piece of jewelry, I resorted to an old runner's trick from the time of antiquity; I ran until I got to where I thought was half way, turned around and headed back.  And you know what, the world didn't end!  Of course, as soon as I got into the house I headed straight for the charging station to prevent such an atrocity from happening again.

With this week being the first in which I legitimately cross-trained, my legs felt worn and tired by the end.  The soreness from the HIIT workout persisted long after I thought it should have faded leading me to believe I either pushed way too hard or this is what true total body training is all about.  I guess I'll know the verdict soon enough.

Happy running!

Thinking of signing up for the Pittsburgh Marathon?  There's still time!  Use discount code FOX17 to save $10 on either the half or full registration.

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