Good morning!

The winner of the Reebok ZQuick Giveaway is announced at the end of the post!

Been a crazy week around here. I am glad things are winding down a bit and I can regroup and refocus.

As you know I started back on my path to running and training this week. I was so excited and still am to see what lays ahead.  I am taking the recovery and comeback very slow to avoid any unnecessary injuries or fatigue.

 

I ran my first 2.5 miles on Monday. It felt amazing. I wish there was a better word for it.

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I started this run at 4.5 mph and slowly every couple minutes worked it down and finished the last minute at an 8:30. I had no time requirements I just simply wanted to get my legs used to it and warmed up.

I’m still incorporating cross training as well.

 

Speaking of that, Tuesday was supposed to be a cross training only day.

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We got to the gym, got in the very cold pool and pool ran for just over 35 minutes. Then we called it a day.  It just wasn’t in the cards and we knew that a little extra rest wouldn’t hurt either of us.

 

Wednesday was another run day and I ended up doing a little over 30 minutes in total.

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Followed by a 60 minute pool run before getting ready to head off to work.

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Yesterday my pool running went so much better. I also threw about 15 minutes of strength training in. Trying to get my body used to it again.

 

This got me thinking about something I’ve never really been good at, but that I think is so important when training.

Flexibility when training. Especially when you are one who likes to follow a training schedule.

Flexibility in Training

I’m always a buy the books/all-or-nothing kind of girl and once I have a training schedule I will do whatever I can to make sure I stick to it. I know this about my personality and have seen the good and bad that come from it.

It keeps me motivated and working hard, but it can also make me push my body too far.

 

I love reading training books and different approaches to training. As I have discussed before, Brad Hudson has a great book called Run Faster from 5k to the Marathon. In the books he states:

“Mistake number one is to follow someone else’s recipe for success instead of developing one’s own best recipe for success based on one’s individual strengths, weaknesses, needs and goals.  Mistake number two is to guide one’s training too much by plans and not enough by the way one’s body responds to planned training.”

He goes on to say:

“There are a great many variables, including running experience; training history; relative speed; strength, and endurance; injury patters; recovery capacity; and others that combine to make each individual runner unique.  For this reason, the ideal training approach for each runner is also unique. No two runners should train precisely the same way.”

 

Of course, he is discussing how he approaches training his elite athletes but the same philosophy can be applied to pretty much any level of runner in training.  You are individual with a unique body that responds to running it’s own way.

I used to want to do exactly what my husband does, but it didn’t work for me. For one my husband comes from a very athletic background. He played soccer all through high school and was on the olympic development team. When he decided to quit soccer his focused turned to marathon running.

He has a very athletic background and his body is used to intensive training.  I on the other hand was never an athlete growing up. Sure I was on the swim team and was a very active child, but I never did intensive training and my body wasn’t used to the pressure.

 

That being said: what is the right training for me? I am not 100% yet. I am still testing and learning what and how my body responds to various training types.  I do know that my body responds best when I incorporate other forms of exercise (i.e. cross training and strength training) on top of running.

There are some runners who can get away with never strength training and have long successful racing careers; however I cannot. I have learned and accepted this about myself. That to me is the first step in really improving as a runner – accepting how your body is and learning how to train the way that it needs.

 

There are so many different training plans out there that it can get overwhelming to know which to choose. The important thing to remember when following a training plan is that it can be modified.

Again, quoting from Brad Hudson’s book:

“In my own running career I had to learn the hard way that the details of any runner’s next workout should be informed 90 percent by how he or she feels after today’s workout and only 10 percent by the training plan that was created before the training process actually began.”

He goes on to state that he trains his athletes from workout to workout instead of following a training plan.

 

Of course, if you are not an elite athlete many times we still have to following a training plan because we don’t yet have the knowledge to be able to simply train day to day and make sure we are still where we need to be by race day.

The key comes down to making sure you are prepared and ready to listen to your body and modify that training plan when the time comes. If you wake up one morning and your body is obviously not recovered (sluggish, sore, fatigued, etc.) then you shouldn’t go out and do a hard tempo or speed workout.  If you force your body to do it anyways you are setting yourself up for a greater chance of injury. You can still fit that speed workout in later down the road, but for that given day your body is saying no.

 

Listen to your body. Accept how your body is made. You will figure out what works for you and you will become a much better runner for it.

 

Do you follow a training plan?

Have you ever fallen into the “all or nothing” approach? I have!

 

Interested in some good training books? Here are a few of my favorites:

“Run Faster from 5k to Marathon”  Brad Hudson

“Daniel’s Running Formula”   Jack Daniels

“Advanced Marathoning” Peter Pfitzinger

“Hansons Marathon Method” Kevin and Keith Hanson

 

The winner of the Reebok ZQuick Giveaway is Ally Turner!

Congrats Ally! Please email me at saralovingontherun{at}gmail{dot}com and I will forward your information on so we can get your shoes on their way to you!

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