I know my body well enough to recognize the need to cutback weeks after a race. Speedwork takes more out of me than a long run or tempo run, so it almost didn’t surprise me that I needed some recovery after last week’s 10K race. My legs felt stale for most of the week, so I stuck to shorter, easy runs – and had a really fantastic week fo running.
Taking down time after a race spans beyond listening to my body: it’s keeping my long-term goals in mind, of getting faster, keeping the joy in running, and running well into my 60s and beyond. You can’t continue to progress without taking a step back – otherwise, you plateau.
I savor and relish these down weeks – I find they reconnect me with the pure and simple joy of running for the sake of running. These weeks are about ensuring that running stays fun, that burnout never rears its ugly head. Most importantly, this week, unlike most weeks, I was able to do every single run with Ryan and one or both of the pups. Ryan hit his highest mileage week ever (and so did Ollie, who becomes more and more of an endurance machine each week).
Monday: Rest day
Speedwork is harder on my body than long runs or threshold runs, so it should have been no surprise that I was sore after last week’s 10K race. I took the day off of formal exercise and instead took some long walks with Charlie and Ollie.
Tuesday: 4 mile easy run & 10 minutes core work
My legs felt a bit sluggish, as if they were still sapped of power. We ran 4 easy miles early in the morning, nice and easy to shake everything out. Later in the day, I did a quick core workout of tricep dips, pushups, planks, single leg bridges, and banded clamshells.
Wednesday: 4 mile easy run & 35 minutes strength training
Another easy 4 mile morning run! I honestly can’t recall much about this run other than it was really enjoyable and felt good.
My strength training workout was challenging. Stability ball pikes are so difficult to do and every muscle in my body quakes by the final repetition.
2 x 20 lateral band walks
2 x 15 banded squats with dumbbell overhead press
2 x 10 med ball single leg deadlift to reverse lunge with twist combo (like in this workout here)
2 x 15 bent over row
2 x 15 hamstring ball curls
2 x 10 stability ball pikes
2 x 10 stability ball deadbugs
Thursday: 4 mile easy run
Ryan and I took both Charlie and Ollie on this run. Running both dogs together is a hilarious experience because they will attempt to race each other. At one point, Charlie tried to play with Ollie while running – either that, or he was trying to tackle Ollie so he could win their imaginary race.
Friday: 5 mile easy run & 10 minutes core work
Once May arrives, the sun rises early in Seattle – which makes it easier to run further in the early pre-work hours. I usually run after Ryan leaves for work, but I love being able to check off my run before 7 AM when the weather and training plan permit. After the run, I did a short Pilates workout followed by some forearm and side planks.
Saturday: 8 mile run
I didn’t want to run the full 8 miles, which sounds really pathetic but it is true. I simply wasn’t feeling it. But that’s why discipline matters more than motivation: I just needed to get started, because once I started running, I would feel better. Ryan, Ollie, and I ran 8 miles along some gently rolling hills and finished with the last couple miles in the low 8:00s. Finally, my legs felt back to normal!
After our run, I made these blueberry teff pancakes. They are so delicious!
Sunday: Rest day
A rest day only in the sense of no formal exercise: we deep cleaned our apartment and bathed the dogs (which might as well be a full strength training session when you wrange a 50 pound wiggling dog into a tub).
This week marks the longest that either Ryan or I have lived somewhere in a long time, at least since college. We’ve been in the same apartment in the Seattle area for two years now, with no plans to move soon. It’s a wonderful feeling to be settled in someplace so beautiful – and somewhere that is a mild 55 degrees in May.
How was your week in running?
How do you stay connected to your love of running?