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I woke up this morning and had training for my 3rd part time job. It went great but I started to have a mini panic attack about my schedule. 

It’s not the worst in the world, but if I don’t get ahold of my schedule and get organized I could end up stressed out way too much!

I am working today on planning out my workouts and times. I’m going to begin focusing on quality over quantity. I think this might actually be good for me. 

 

The positives:

-Most of my days start later so I can fit in a workout BEFORE going to work when I have more energy.
-Most of my jobs require lots of walking which keeps me active.
-I am now more focused on time management.
-I feel like I have more of a purpose and focus.
-It forces me to focus on the quality of the workouts.

It’s all about focusing on the positives and doing the best you can.

 

I’m not running right now, but in the next few weeks I plan to start back. (Fingers crossed because that means Wes is all healed up as well!)

When you are looking at marathon training in particular a quality training week has a couple main components:


Long Run

Run Long

Of course any long-distance training plan needs to consist of at least one long run per week.  This long ran can differ depending on how current level of training. For me, when I first start back my long run will be something over 6 miles. As I work my mileage up and get into real marathon training then that will begin to increase. I usually peak my long run during marathon training at 21 miles.

Long runs are beneficial to the body in many ways. They help to increase your endurance, improve your metabolism, and help your body get used to the long distance.  Being on your feet and pounding on your legs for that long is tough on your body.  That is why most people do not suggest more than one real long run per week, especially when you are on a time crunch like me.

 

Speed Workouts

Run Hard

These workouts are vital if you are looking to get a new PR at your next race. I have a very lofty goal, but regardless of how far you have to go you need to incorporate some sort of speed work into your workout routine each week.

There are a variety of speed workouts: tempo runs, intervals, hill repeats, and even the dreaded Yasso 800’s.  The thing that I have always loved about speed work (when I say love it is more of a love/hate relationship) is that they are over relatively quickly. When you are constantly changing the pace or challenging yourself for smaller increments the workout goes by so much faster.

Speed work is very taxing on your body so it should only be done a maximum of 2 times per week in my opinion. If you are just starting out on speed work, start with one day a week and then work your way up.

You can see some of the workouts I have done previously here.

 

Strength Training

This to me is the first thing that many distance runners let fall to the way side. I am guilty of this myself, but it is so important to stay strong and healthy during your training season.

Even if you can only fit in 15-30 minutes 2-3 times per week it can really go a long way in not only keeping you healthy but helps to get your body faster and stronger.

I enjoy doing all over body weights during my strength training days because it allows me to get more in at one time, but you could also split it up and target certain muscle areas each day you strength train.

 

Flexibility and Stretching

Foam Roll

If you are a distance runner stretching and your foam roller really need to become your best friend.  It’s not always easy to add an extra 15-20 minutes at the end of your workout to stretch and foam roll but it can help your body tremendously for your recovery. It will also keep you strong and help to avoid those pesky injuries.

Just ask any runner who has suffered from IT band, piriformis or calf tightness and they will tell you keeping up with your stretching is so important! 

I usually will do a set of dynamic stretches pre-run to get my muscles warmed up and ready to go, stretching for 15 minutes or so post run along with foam rolling, and then a few stretches at night before I go to bed.  Of course, if you have a busy schedule as I do sometimes you have to fit in what you can when you can.  Stretching is always good, just be careful when stretching cold muscles. You don’t want to over do it.

 

Rest

I know isn’t this the pot calling the kettle black! I have grown and learned through my own mistakes how vital rest is.  I make sure that at least 1 day each week is complete rest. I think this works best for me.

There are some people that can incorporate cross training on their “rest” day and their body responds well to that.  I honestly haven’t really played around with that, but right now when I start my training back up full swing I plan to take one day of complete rest. There are people who can never rest (my husband) but the key is knowing your body and realizing that every person is different.

The amount of rest and recovery you need also depends on your fitness background, how long you have been running and just how your body responds to the training in general. It’s never going to hurt to error on the side of caution. In fact I would recommend it.

 

Just a few things I have learned from distance running and training in general. A lot them I have learned the hard way, so learn from my mistakes! 🙂

 

What tips do you have for distance training?

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