Last week’s workouts reaffirmed that a gradual return from injury works. I have been back to running for about nine weeks now, all easy to moderate miles. My endurance is building back up and, as this week showed, my basic speed is there. Now, I just need to put those two together and work on my speed endurance for a 10K race in early April.
I still need to be more consistent with strength training! I completed one solid session at the gym. I had every intention to utilize our basement gym (kettlebells, mini bands, and TRX) for a second workout – and then I kept saying, oh, I’ll do that tomorrow. It’s something about winter – the dark evenings, the cold weather, etc. – that makes me less inclined to double up workouts. I don’t feel like going down to the basement to strength train after a cold run, I just want to shower, change into warm clothes, and eat a bowl of oatmeal. At night, I don’t feel like squeezing in a second workout when it’s already dark. Hopefully as spring approaches, I will find my motivation for more strength training again.
Monday: 60 minute run
Mild temperatures require such a mindset shift after weeks of bitter cold. It feels fundamentally weird to not bundle up for a run when there’s still snow on the ground.
This run was a significant post-injury milestone. One hour represented my previous level of fitness in my mind. Yes, I still have a long ways to go in terms of speed and endurance, but one hour makes me feel like my normal running self. The 7-mile distance has long been my favorite distance for a weekday run. I kept the effort comfortable and I was really, really happy to run just over 7 miles in this hour. Even with a strong wind, this run felt so good.
Tuesday: 20 min stepmill & 35 min strength training
I wanted to run (since the roads weren’t too icy yet). However, I knew that if I wanted to strength train twice this week, I had to go to the gym today. Plus, I’m still cautious about running more than four days in a row.
At the gym, I did 20 minutes on the stepmill while catching up on podcasts. For my strength workout, I completed three sets of the following exercises:
Trap bar deadlifts (bar only to practice form)
Bicep curls to shoulder press
Reverse lunge to single leg balance
Resistance band Palloff press
Resistance band deadbugs
Lateral band walks
Med ball slams
Wednesday: 40 minute run
I almost left Ollie at home due to thick fog but I’m glad I brought him. I decked us both out in reflective gear and we enjoyed a wonderful 40 minute run. It’s funny how, without any fatigue of speedwork or long runs in my legs yet, I settle into almost the exact same pace on each easy run (on clear roads).
Thursday: 50 minute fartlek run
This was my first speed workout after injury! I am transitioning back into harder workouts gradually so this was a simple workout with relatively low volume. I warmed up for 15 minutes, then ran 10 x 1 minute hard, 1 minute easy, then cooled down for 15 minutes.
The weather was not pleasant for this run, with a light drizzle and moderate winds. The first couple intervals made me feel like a baby deer, learning how to move my legs all over again. Then muscle memory took over and the workout felt more comfortable. Overall, the run felt really good and I was pleased to hit paces around 6:15-6:35/mile. Headwinds definitely made my pacing inconsistent. However, these splits are similar to the last time I ran this workout over the summer, before my injury!
Friday: 35 minute run
It was deceptively beautiful outside, but 40 mph winds and a negative 10-degree windchill weren’t worth blue skies. I caught up on some older podcasts (Stephanie Bruce talking about CIM on I’ll Have Another With Lindsey Hein) and zoned out as I ran circles around the indoor track.
My legs felt sore from the fartlek the day before. But like a good recovery run, the easy pace here refreshed my legs by the end.
Saturday: 45 minute run
The weather was absolutely beautiful: 20 degrees and sunny. Ryan and I took Ollie out for a five mile run. The first mile felt fantastic. In the second mile, we encountered large patches of ice, probably due to poor drainage of melting snow and the sudden drop in temperatures after the melt. We all slid on a large patch, stopped to walk over some bad patches, ran a really slow mile, and eventually turned around to head back to clearer paths. Once we got away from the ice, we got back into a good groove.
Sunday: Rest day
Ryan and I assembled our kegerator this weekend! The more accurate way to say it is that he assembled it (it involved drilling a hole in a mini-fridge) and I helped when possible. We then kegged and force carbonated the beer we brewed in January. I cannot tell you how much better this was then bottling 5 gallons of beer, capping 48 or however many bottles, hoping they actually carbonate and don’t explode, and cleaning up the subsequent mess.
What’s your biggest struggle with winter running?
How was your week in running?