Much like I enjoy each season of the year in its own way, I relish the different seasons of running. I thrive in the hard workouts and long runs of marathon and half marathon training, but I also savor the off-season, when I’m running just to keep my base and have fun. This week finally brought summer weather back again, after last week’s chilly and gray weather, which invigorated this week’s running.
I like having my off-season in summer because the weather – I don’t handle the heat well, and it keeps running fun to adapt it day by day rather than worrying about getting a marathon long run or hard workout done in the heat. This week brought enough heat training as it was, especially for Saturday’s long run!
Monday: Rest Day
After 7 days straight without rest and with a few two-a-day workouts, I needed a rest day. This was a lazy rest day, not an active rest day – no Pilates or long walks, just some short walks with the dogs.
Since I knew Monday would be a rest day, we took advantage of Sunday night as an extra weekend night, ordered pizza, and stayed up late to watch a long movie (the extended Batman v. Superman, which was 3 hours long but better than the theatrical cut). This isn’t something I would do when training for a big race – I need so much sleep when increasing mileage or intensity – and it was fun just to be a little more relaxed.
Tuesday: 7 mile run & core/mobility work
I started out the run with Ollie for 3 miles. I was quite pleased with the progression of your paces – 8:45, 8:13, 8:01. We then met up with Ryan and Charlie (and I switched to have Charlie on my leash) for another 4 easy miles. This was probably one of the warmest early morning runs of the year so far, at 60 degrees and 87% humidity, but thankfully the weather didn’t feel oppressive.
The run flew by and the best part was how well Charlie did on the run. Once he gets into running shape, he can keep a good pace (we averaged 8:40/mile) and only stop when necessary.
In the evening, I did a quick circuit of core and mobility work. My calves were extra tight, which I interpret as my glutes not activating to their fullest potential. I did 2 sets of a straight arm plank, double leg bridges with a ball in between the thighs, leg extensions from a banded bridge, and banded clamshells.
Wednesday: 5 mile fartlek run & strength training
For our run, I paced Ryan through a fartlek workout of 5 x 3 minutes. The first two intervals were uphill and at a 7:19/mile, the third and fourth were a bit slower as we weaved through a particularly windy section of trail, and then we cranked out the final on a gentle downhill at a steady 6:30. Running fast on a serpentine path is so hard and wastes a lot of energy – next time we know to just stick to the straighter sections!
Since I do not have to worry about being too fatigued on a long run or speed workout, I am taking advantage of the base-building period to develop more strength. I’m making some small changes to my diet – including eating my daily yogurt right after strength training to get protein to my muscles – and pushing harder in my strength workouts.
Warm up: Lateral Band Walks, 1 x 20
4 x 2 assisted pull-ups
3 x 10 lateral lunges (30 lbs weight)
3 x 5-10 elevated push-ups (my arms were shaking after the pull-ups!)
3 x 40ft bear crawls
3 x 10 jump squats (I alternated these with the bear crawls which made them burn!)
3 x 10 hamstring ball curls
3 x 10 stability ball ab tucks
Thursday: 6 mile run
Ryan and I started out our run together for 4 miles (with Ollie of course) and Ollie and I did 2 more miles on our own. Especially in summer, I love the crisp feel of early morning runs, especially when fog settles into the bog.
Friday: 4 mile run
This was a light, easy run that went awry in the last mile. First, Ollie pulled his leash to its limits and darted into the grass lining the trail, and we were afraid that he had caught one of the ducklings that live there. I would not be able to handle it if our dog caught a cute baby duck! Thankfully, he didn’t catch anything, but we had to stop to scold him. Dogs are great running buddies, but they can make even the most routine of runs interesting!
Saturday: 10 mile long run
70 degrees may not be hot in many regions of the country, but in the Seattle area, 70 degrees at 9 AM is uncomfortably warm. Thankfully, a good portion of the run was shaded and there was a breeze during the sunny segments. We immediately went to the store for real fruit popsicles and cold brew coffee after the run, both of which tasted amazing.
Sunday: Active rest day
With the heat wave and an abundance of sunshine, we decided to try our strength training at a nearby park. We brought the dogs with us and ended up playing fetch with them after just some pull-ups (assisted with the band for me) and lunges.
In the afternoon, we got to meet up with a college friend and her husband for lunch and enjoyed a long walk along Lake Washington. What a beautiful day! Even though it was hot (mid-90s), the sunshine was simply amazing.
What’s your favorite thing to eat after a hot summer run?
How was your week of running?