Fourth Week of Training

Should I still number each week of training? At some point, I’ll finish the plan and just keep going…

Monday: 5am 20 upper body strength, 10 core // PM 30 walk + run

I actually completed over 2 miles on this run, which was below a 15:00 pace. My goal pace for runs is 16:00, and while my calves were on fire, after seeing this rock and stopping to take a photo my legs felt so much better! I ended up running a 10:00/mi pace after stopping to take a photo.

Running is how I often connect with my higher power.

Tuesday: 20 min lower body strength

Wednesday: 20 min chest + back strength // 4.5 mile walk

Met up with Rebecca for a nice fast paced outdoor walk this afternoon. I needed to get outside in the sunshine after so many cloudy days in the past few weeks. Spring is starting to arrive!

Thursday: 20 min full body strength

My strength workouts are based right now on a Matty Maggiacomo March Maggic Challenge. He’s scheduling five strength workouts per week to do through Peloton and Instagram. It’s kept me accountable in making sure I add a bit of strength training to my workouts. I always end up veering into running more or strength more, so I’m trying to stay balanced. My upper body is starting to feel strong again.

Friday: 20 min core*

This was on my schedule for the workout, but I had done the one in the scheduled program previously and needed a break. So, I took a rest day. I was supposed to add a 45 min run + walk to this, but I just wanted to save up my energy for my long run the next day. I’m still trying to fit in four runs per week (most ever) and am totally okay with if my body only can handle three.

New shoes? Say whaa?

I decided to research new shoe options. I haven’t bought a pair of running shoes since late 2018 or early 2019.

I’ve been with zero drop Altras for the past 7 years, but I have had tendonitis creep in instantly once I go over a few miles of regular running. I learned I am a “supinator” who under pronates. I run on the outside edge of my feet, because I have very high arches. When I changed to barefoot running and minimalist shoes I had a huge improvement in hip/knee injuries, BUT once I took on longer distances I hit the wall of calf and ankle injuries (peroneal tendonitis).

It seems for me that under 5 miles I can do zero drop shoes, but over a longer distance I need more support to limit outward rolling which fires up my tendons.

After reading leisurely on the r/ultrarunning subreddit, I decided to try Hokas to see how they fare with relation to supporting my supination. I really want to hit longer distances and I need to find the right combination to support my runs. I’m never out of breath running, and my heart rate is in the zone, but my calves seize up almost immediately despite warm-ups, slow walk + runs, cool down stretches and foam rolling/compression socks. Altras don’t apparently have shoes in their “finder” to support supinators, and it appears most companies focus on stability for pronators.

I made a choice to take my chances trying out new shoes on a long run…

Saturday: 9 mile run/walk (2:26 for 16:13/mi pace)

My long run day was quite the day. In the short of it, I finished 9 miles in a little over 15 minutes more than my 7.5 mile run/walk, with a 2:00/mi pace faster overall. I hit my target of 16:00/mi pace for this workout.

Amazing to think I ran a half marathon in that time… alas, times change.

I tried brand new Hoka One Bondi’s and I was thrilled that they were most likely the only way I was able to complete this run. Without them, I would’ve had to stop I have no doubt. My calves weren’t screaming or tight. My feet were forced to roll inward just a touch. The cushioning was spot on for the various terrain. Roads are always annoying with the angled drainage when you’re a supinator.

The first part of the run was 3.2 miles near our house by the water. I wore a long sleeve shirt, a vest, and no gloves or hat. It was COLD. The wind was a little strong, the sun wasn’t out for much of it, and it was around 27 degrees.

Beautiful seaside near our home.

Then I had to stop to take a kiddo to a beautiful park setting for a workshop.

Thompson Park track loop.

We’re slowly venturing out to do new things while being as safe as we can. This drive was a nice break between runs, but I knew I would feel even colder once I got out of the car to start up again. It was around 25 degrees.

Freezing midday! I’m embracing the Buff lifestyle full stop.

The second leg was 3.6 miles around paved and unpaved trails. It was COLDER. The wind was whipping across the open fields. I had worn a hat, gloves, and a short winter coat this time. From cooling off in the car to warming up again, the cold went right through me. The sun never came out on this section and I felt it.

The day grew colder as it wore on.

The third and final leg of my long run was when we returned home to complete 2.2 miles. I headed straight back out the door. It was even colder and my body wasn’t interested in finishing this. I even ran into a neighbor to chat for a few during this run. I was so glad I wore a long winter coat, hat, and gloves especially since I was stopped for a bit. It was awkward to run in a long coat, so I just did whatever was comfortable.

I was impressed that I hadn’t eaten one thing during this long run, and had just a bit of water in the car rides. This bodes well for future long runs and testing out timing of small snacks on the run.

My tendonitis started to flare a bit, but not in my calves like earlier in the week. The shoes were my savior and I look forward to testing them out on faster shorter runs. I may try the Clifton’s that have gotten good ratings for supination.

I never believed in anything more than natural barefoot running, but truly that barefoot lifestyle wrecked my tendons vs maximalist shoes causing joint pain. I learned A LOT from the process these past ten years. I was a heel striker in my early days, then switched to barefoot and midfoot/forefoot strike. Combined now I think I’ve found a path forward. I just wish I had added back in more neutral shoes sooner when I was training all those years ago. Now, a good mix to keep my form better and learning more about my body mechanics after two kids will help me reach my goals.

I did it, my longest run in several years after only about 4 weeks of training! Wilpers was right. About four weeks in, and I’m finally adjusting to this new more intense workout life.

I recovered pretty well through foam rolling, stretching, resting, and recovery sandals within a day. Far better recovery than two weeks prior.

Sunday: rest

I decided not to add in the 45 min run/walk I missed on Friday. I wanted to keep my tendons happy. I picked up a pair of recovery sandals and they made another huge difference in that tendon pain. I may wear these around the house a lot. It takes the pressure off.

Hoka One One Ora Recovery Sandals.

Later in the day, I foam rolled while watching the big interview in primetime. Foam rolling hasn’t always been my favorite thing to do, but I’ve learned some great moves thanks to Peloton’s instructor Hannah Corbin on how to properly foam roll.

As long as I keep up the focus on post-workout recovery and taking good care of my body overall I am confident I’m going to make some spring races come together in a fun new way. I’ve let go of “time” goals in the way I used to. I’m happy to sit around at 16:00/mi pace for training, with a goal around 13:00/mi race pace for long distance trail races.

After this spring’s schedule I set out for myself, I may try to do speedwork and go for shorter runs this summer. Time will tell, but I do love long slow distance.

How was your week of training? Are you preparing for anything this spring?