Tag Archives: training

Training week recaps are here again

Hi,

Sorry for the silence and failed training recaps.. It’s beause I’ve been lazy, in both training and writing..  😀

But let’s see what I did last week:

Monday: 9.4 km run, pace 5:24 + arms

Tuesday: 30 min Cross trainer and “hills” on the treadmill (40 min running in total)

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 12km easy run,pace: 5:42 + abs

Friday: 8km run (5 of it tempo pace: 4:32)

Saturday: Off

Sunday: Off

So the week started off well. Sian asked me for a run with her and I love having running company. I was only a tiny bit scared though because she is so fast (like 1:17 half marathon pb fast) but luckily she was happy to run at my slow pace. I sure couldnt’t join her for her speed sessions 😀

thumbsuprun

On Tuesday I went to the gym to use the cross trainer but I really wanted to run too so I decided to use the treadmill. I had planned to do some intervals and run 500m repeats last week but I didn’t want to do them on the treadmill. It’s been such a long time since my last intervals so I wouldn’t even know how fast I could push it which means I wouldn’t have known what pace to put the treadmill for. Maybe later on in the year when I already know what sort of times I can do certain distances in (1km, 1 mile etc) it will be good to use the treadmill for interval training but at the moment I don’t know my paces that well.

strecthing

So after that long explanation back to the workout itself. I warmed up for just 5 minutes as I had already used the cross trainer and then ran 2 min at 4% incline followed by 1 min at 0 incline. Repeated 10 times. Plus 5 minute cool down. The overall length of the workout was 40 minutes, distance 7.31km, pace: 5:28. It felt really good and  quite exhausting as well. I did a similar workout last Autumn when I was in marathon training. That time I did 10* 2 min at 4.5% incline with 2 min recovery at 1% incline in between. For that workout the total distance was 11km (because of the longer recovery and longer warmup) and I remember being absolutely shattered. I remember having to take a break in between the sets because it was so hard. Analysing it now I did actually ran it in a faster average pace (5.20/km) and the incline was .5% higher, plus even recovery was at 1% incline instead of zero. So I think it’s no surprise I was so exhausted. But part of me feels good that I could now (even after such a long break from proper running) do a similar workout and not feel as exhausted. I think a lot of it had to do with the recovery being on 0%. After inclines the 0% feels like running downhill and really easy whereas the 1% still feels like you are working a bit. Anyhow, point being it’s worth trying to play with the inclines. Such an easy way to do hill workout without having to run up and down hills. Especially as my knee doesn’t seem to like downhill running.

Wednesday I had a day off and on Thursday I decided to test my knee on a slightly longer run and ran 12km. To my (very positive surprise) my knee didn’t hurt at all. I just ran based on feel trying to avoid looking at paces and just make it an easy run.. it was one of those flow- runs and I finished so happy.

swanrun

I was going to give my knee a rest day on Friday but because of my other plans for the weekend I knew that I couldn’t fit a run in on a Saturday and Sunday. I had a bad feeling that my knee won’t take it well after I’ve pushed to 12km distance the day before and I was right. (I’m starting to know my knee ;). I did a 2km warmup,5km tempo and 1km cool down. The knee started aching after the first 3 tempo kilometers but I had to make it home and it was too cold to stop so I finished the run.

My tempo pace was a positive surprise as well. I haven’t done a tempo run since September and didn’t know what to expect.. I was hoping for 4:40ish pace so 4:32 average was a nice surprise. I’m not gonna lie I did need a break. I started off too fast and had the worst stitches after 1km. Very weird stitches as well, I rarely get them but if I do they are on the left side. Now they were on the right and it was almost like my ribs were hurting. So I had to have a break twice, once after 1km and second break after 1.5km but then the last 3,5km tempo I was fine and the pace even felt quite comfortable. Baby steps baby steps.. but it’s nice to know I haven’t lost that much fitness over these few months.. 🙂

monitorthebeat

On Saturday the only training I did was dancing and showing off my amazing moves in the nightclubs.. which led to a very tired and unproductive me on Sunday. With the feeling in the morning after it’s easy to remember why I don’t like going out anymore. It’s sad how the 26-year old body just can’t recover the same way as the younger version 😀 Sunday involved a lot of tea and cuddles.. Oh and pancakes. Lots of pancakes.

Have a nice week everyone! 🙂

 

Training week (w/e 22/11/15) And an Important Question

I started the habit of posting my training recaps here so I’ll continue that…

But first, I got featured in this last week by monitorthebeat, I was so excited and I like that quote too! Their account is amazing for running photos and quotes, you can check it out here.

monitorthebeat

So back to last week, I din’t do much and my training is still a bit ‘aimless’ as I’m not back to normal running yet and have no specific goals. But here’s what the week included:

Monday:

-Stretching

Tuesday:

-5km run in 30 minutes, pace: 5:56

Wednesday:

Off

Thursday:

5.57km run in 30 minutes, pace: 5:23 + abs, arms and back.

Friday:

-Gym: 45 min session on crosstrainer; 10 min warmup, 10*2 min hard (1 min recovery), 5 min cool down, 15 min bike + legs

Saturday:

-Gym: 30 min bike + abs, arms, and back

Sunday:

5.56km run in 32 minutes, pace: 5:44

The week started off with a rest day but I did a longer strecthing session. I don’t normally include stretching in the recap if it’s the normal basic everyday stretching but on Monday I probably spent 45 minutes to an hour stretching my whole body as opposed to just the main quads, hamstrings, calves kinda thing..

On Tuesday me and JP went for a run together. This happens like once in a  blue moon. The weather was pretty extreme all morning, gale force winds and rain but we were brave (Well I was and JP didn’t have a choice ;)). It actually didn’t even rain until we were almost home but the wind was preeeeetty strong. We took it quite easy, JP was shocked that we didn’t see any other runners for the first 10 minutes as there’s normally loads around the park. He was convinced we were the only ones out but we did end up seeing 3 others. My knee started hurting a bit towards the end but because of the weather I didn’t really want to walk home so finished the run anyway to make it 30minutes.

JPrunningrunning5

On Wednesday I was meant to do circuits at home but I got caught applying for a job that had a deadline the next day and I was filling that until 11.30pm. Circuits didn’t happen and it was a rest day instead.

I attempted running again on Thursday even though my knee had been hurting a little bit during the day. I probably shouldn’t have but I did (because I’m stubborn). I ran 30 minutes again, this time a bit faster than on Tuesday. Knee was a little bit achy towards the end but not too bad. Finished it off with some core work and weights at home.

roathlake

Friday and Saturday I went to the gym. On Friday I thought I’d get my heart rate up on the crosstrainer. I did 10*2 min hard plus warmup and cool down, then some legs, and 15 min easy bike to finish off. On Saturday I did just 30 min bike plus abs, arms and back.  I had no desire really to be at the gym on Saturday I just went for the sake of going so I didn’t feel like I properly worked out.

bike

On Sunday I attempted running again. It was a very cold morning (3 degrees) but it was nice and refreshing. I took it very easy not looking at the pace at all. I ran 32 minutes and there was NO pain in my knee. I was so happy 🙂 Maybe it’s finally starting to get better. My aim is to stay patient and take it slow. So next week I’m still not attempting more than 35 minutes of running just to be on the safe side.

shoes

And now the question:

I am in the need of new running tights and wanted to know if anyone has experience of compression tights such as Skins and 2XUs? Are they any good/noticeably different than normal tights?

 

 

 

Pain or not? And what do I do when I’m not running…

Hi again,

If you’ve read my blog or follow me on instagram you might be aware that I’m still struggling with a knee injury. It started in May but because I kept ignoring it the marathon at the beginning of October made it a lot worse. It’s been almost 6 weeks now since the marathon and I’ve gradually built myself up to running about 20 minutes. It’s been the slowest recovery process I’ve ever experienced. Even with the broken ankle once the boot and crutches were off I was almost immediately back to running 20-30 minute runs whereas this time I’ve had to start with little 5 min segments.

running

With the last few 20 min runs I’m not sure if they are pain-free either. I don’t know if anyone else gets this but when you’ve been injured for a long time or had an ongoing niggle can you almost feel it on every run? I’m not sure anymore if I have pain or is it just normal sensation on the knee or is it just because I’m so used to the pain that I think it’s still there? Does that make any sense? With my previous ITB injury I had the same thing; when I started back running I could “feel” the ITB on every run, it wasn’t pain but I was very aware of it for a long time. At the moment my knee isn’t hurting in a way that I would need to stop and it’s not uncomfortable but I am not running without noticing it either. Weird. Maybe that’s just me.

Anyhow so what have I been doing to keep some sort of overall fitness and more importantly how have I justified all the chocolate eating in the past 6 weeks?

The answer is gym, swimming and pilates.

gymbike

At the gym I’ve mainly focused on just maintaining fitness rather than pushing for improvement. I’ve done a lot of cycling on the bike, hill walking on the treadmill and crosstrainer. Plus this time around I’ve actually tried to do legs, arms and abs as well which I normally tend to ignore. I do find the bikes and crosstrainers quite boring, however, so occasionally I’ve done some intervals like 10*2 min hard with 1 min recovery for instance, just to keep the exercising a bit more exciting and exhausting.

I’ve also been going to pilates. I try to go once a week but it hasn’t happened every week just because.. well life.

pilates

As a new thing I’ve started going swimming. The pool is really far from where I live plus I lost my swimming suit so I haven’t been going before but I do like swimming because of the low impact. I originally went there because I wanted to go aquajogging; my favourite way to crosstrain, but turns out you need to bring your own belt. In Swansea the national pool let you borrow theirs and In Finland you can use theirs as well so I was a bit disappointed. Looks like I’m going to have to invest in one.

swimming

So an example training week for me:

Monday: Gym. Hard effort on cross trainer (plus warmup and cool down), legs & arms.

Tuesday: Hill walking + abs.

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: Gym. Easy 25 min bike, 20 min crosstrainer, legs & arms.

Friday: Gym. Easy 30 min bike, 30 min walking uphill on the treadmill, abs + back.

Saturday: Off.

Sunday: 2*5 min of running plus walking, total of 7km.

The following week included small attempts of running on Monday, Thursday, and Sunday, swimming on Tuesday and Gym on Saturday.

autumnpicture
I miss this weather already!

As you might notice, the training is quite easy and not as frequent at the moment. I have big plans for next year runningwise but for now I’m focusing on getting my knee better. I have no pressure to be exercising I’m just doing it to keep myself happy and half-fit  (and to be able to continue my chocolate-eating habits).

It’s completely normal to have a chocolate cupboard like this right?

chocolatecupboardP.S. I have to mention that my brother came 15th in his age group of up to 8-year olds in a Chess World Youth Championships in Greece last week! 🙂

(And I don’t even understand the rules of chess).

Life after the marathon?

I’ve discovered there is life after the marathon. Last week I wasn’t sure of this; every plan I made was related to the marathon or only concerned the time before Sunday. Even food I bought was with the frame of mind that “I won’t eat this before the marathon anyway so no point of buying it”. As if I would never eat again after Sunday. Ha. Quite the opposite.  I don’t know if anyone else gets like this but I just get so focused on an important event and forget that life goes on after that as well.  (Life has  moved on but my legs still remind me that I’ve run a marathon everytime I take the stairs!)

Anyhow what are my plans now after the marathon has been done?

School wise I really need to get my ass in gear and focus on my dissertation. Also, I’m a maid of honour for my sister’s wedding this December (which is super exciting!!!) and that involves some planning and bits and bobs I need to sort out before.

But what are my plans for running?

ratinassa1

Before the marathon I was struggling with a serious knee pain and very unsure if I could run the marathon at all. I made a deal with my body then that if it will let me run the marathon without any major knee pain, I will let it rest from running for 2 weeks or a month. (I think I promised month but I have modified it to 2-3 weeks now :D). I really don’t want to not run, however, my body did let me run the marathon and I don’t want to let down my promise of giving it a rest.

I’ve been extremely injury prone for the last few years but I tend to ignore injuries and run through them as much as I can. This knee pain has been a problem since May so I think it’s time for me to take it seriously and actually rest and recover properly. I am also going to the physio next week to get it diagnosed as it has been extremely painful today and I think it’s time to get professional advice on it.

Any races planned? Yes and no. I wrote down a 10k race and a half marathon for November couple of months ago but I really don’t think that is wise. Chester marathon was the main aim, and although I would like to get a half marathon pb for this year there will be plenty more races next year and I think I can live with “just” a marathon pb until then. The smartest thing I can do is not rush into running but heal my knee and every niggle before I go back.

It’s hard when the Autumn weather is designed for running though.

autumn2

The plan is to focus on strengthening my body and make it injury-proof (if that’s possible). I’ll be going to the gym for some cardio to keep up fitness but also use the equipment to strengthen my body overall. I’ve been neglecting ab workouts and upper body workouts (can probably tell from my puny arms :D) when in marathon training so I’ll change the focus now to maintain the strenghtening exercises for legs plus add abs and upper body in now that I have more time.

I’ll probably still continue going to pilates because it makes me happy (and I tell myself it helps with injuries). I might look into yoga classes as well and see if I get hooked into that. Also, more stretching. Definitely more stretching. I’m actually planning on setting myself a very challenging goal related to stretching but I’ll tell you more about that next time 🙂

Happy exercising to you all!

A little bit different marathon training

It’s just under 2 weeks til Chester Marathon so I thought I’d share something about my training.

I’ve never followed a strict plan and I’ve never started marathon training exactly 12 or 16 weeks before until now.  I told you in my last post that I decided to train for a marathon without really committing to one. I knew training would suffer if I didn’t plan though, so I did count 16 weeks backwards from Chester Marathon and started my “official” training for it. I had been running before it as well though so I didn’t start from zero.

Because of my history of injuries I decided to do things differently this time. I made a plan that I would only run 4 times a week, cross train twice and have one rest day a week. I also told myself not to exceed 65km per week just in case. I don’t think that kind of week ever happened.

At the start I was being very careful not to overdo my training and not to run too much too soon. Despite that I still started to get niggles and injuries, this time around it’s been my knee. Training has suffered and overall I have had to take quite a few rest days and a whole week off during this training period. I have run on average only 3 times a week and I think my weekly average has been about 50km. So very little running for marathon training. This time I have been going to the gym fairly regularly though. What has definitely differed is that in my previous marathon training cycles whenever I have got injured I have fallen into total despair where I just give up on life and lay on the couch eating crap food and feeling sorry for myself. Whereas this time when there was knee pain I went to the gym and did what I could there so even though there were days I couldn’t run there hasn’t been that many where I couldn’t exercise.

Another thing I did differently was the length of my longest run. For all my previous marathons I have run 32km at least once. This has been mainly for me to know psychologically that only 10km needs to be added to the distance on the day. This time I decided to try and leave the super long run out. Knowing my injury history I thought that it might just tire me out too much doing it too close to the day and I don’t know if it is necessary to run that 32km. If you look at any marathon training plans or follow any runners’ blogs or instagrams most people run 22 miles as they longest run. This equals to just over 35km. To me that sounds crazy. I understand that elite athletes practise the actual marathon distances sometimes but for a normal runner I really don’t see if running 35km in training is necessary. But then again, I’m no expert.

My friend has run quite a few marathons and for one of them last year her longest training run was 25km. For some that may seem very short but she felt that was enough for her.  And I’m not talking about someone who plods the marathons, she ran a pb of 3:11. So I guess I believe that if she could do it with 25km as her longest run I don’t have to run the 32km let alone 35km to do well in mine. I was too scared to leave it at 25km however, so I did 29km as my longest 😀

I always listen to her advice 🙂

 

I have also changed my longs runs a bit and included faster sections for some of my long runs. Before I used to do all my long runs at a slow easy pace and my tempos were shorter runs. Now I added some Goal Marathon Pace (GMP) kilometers to my long runs. For instance I ran 24km where the middle 8km was bit faster than GMP, or I did 26km where the last 10km where GMP. I don’t know if this makes a difference to anything but let’s hope so.

So the things that I have done completely differently this training cycle:

  1. Only 3 times running a week as opposed to about 5-6.
  2. Lower mileage than ever before for marathon training (During previous marathon trainings I have run anywhere between 50-90km a week)
  3. Cross-training (bike, crosstrainer, pilates) every week
  4. Shorter longest run than before (29km vs 32km)
  5. GMP included in long runs.

Based on this above list it might sound like I’m not very well prepared for the marathon. I just hope that the runs I have done have been of good enough quality and the quantity of the kilometers won’t matter as much. Some days I feel like I’m well prepared and will do well in Chester and other days I realise that the reality is that my training has not been what marathon training should be like and I have not run enough to be able to push through 42km in a steady pace. I guess I won’t know until race day.

Do you have a specific amount a week you need to run in order to feel prepared for a marathon? Or a certain distance for your longest run?

running