This week I rested most the week but ended this training week with a bam! Ryan had a solid week and ran his first 20 miler-such a huge feat in marathon training.
Monday-8 miles (Ryan)
Thursday-5 miles (Ryan)
Saturday-5 miles (Ryan)
Sunday-15 miles (Sarah) and 20 miles (Ryan)
We ran the first 15 miles of this run together and each mile felt difficult. Despite sunshine, temps in the 60’s, and busting out one of my favorite running skirts (similar-Target) it was a challenge. We never felt like a mile was easy or flying by. We were both dehydrated. It was my first run in 11 days and if I’m being honest-it sucked! The thing about running is that even when it sucks is still feels good after or later on. You still feel proud and glad you ran even if the actual miles weren’t awesome.
It was Ryan’s first 20 miler and he took a GU every five miles and drank Nuun at the same time. I stocked up on both GU and Nuun this weekend. Both are cheaper on Amazon and you get free shipping when your order is more than $35.00. I have no ideas why both are cheaper on Amazon than on their own websites, but I’m always looking for a deal so I will always look on Amazon first from now on.
To be close to GU and water we broke our run into five mile loops. This made the run mentally smaller and more manageable. Despite trying mental strategies to make the run seem shorter, it was a difficult run for both of us, but neither of us quit. We did stretch when we felt we needed to and didn’t put any time pressure or expectations other than to finish it. I went out saying 15 was my max as I wanted to see how the foot held up and didn’t want to injure myself in another way. Ryan planned to follow the training plan and run 20.
When Ryan got back from his extra five miles I asked him how he felt. He said it sucked. He was glad to have taken my ipod with for the last miles because they were rough. In his words: the whole thing sucked! All my muscles wanted to let go.
This is the hard part with running. A few weeks ago we ran a 17 mile run and felt great. We both felt we could have kept going and perhaps ran a marathon that day. Today we struggled. Some runs are great and others are not. The important thing is to keep going. Every mile makes you stronger.
Tip of the Week: Be proactive in injury prevention. Since I’m recovering from a foot injury I thought it perfect to mention some tips to prevent injury. Even though my injury was not caused by running directly, running made it worse. Some of the most common injuries for runners are runner’s knee, plantar fasciitis, IT Band, pulled muscles, blisters, and shin splints. If you take care of yourself, then you can decrease your chance of these common runner injuries. Here are some tips to follow in being proactive against injury.
1) Warm up with dynamic stretches and movements. Ten minutes of these before your next run increases your strength and flexibility and warms muscles up so they are ready to run.
2) Run with good form. I am a total hypocrite for saying this, but I do believe some of my hip pain is because I’ve never done anything to improve my form other than focusing on holding it together on long runs.
3) Choose a training plan for your current level of fitness. It’s easy to want to run a certain time or mileage, but be honest with yourself, your current level of fitness, past experiences, and past injuries. Choosing the right training plan can keep you running healthy and strong all the way to race day.
4) Set a realistic race goal and train accordingly. Running every run really fast will not help you on race day. Neither will training on all flat terrain for a hilly course. Know your race course and fitness level, and choose an appropriate goal. If it is your first time running a specific distance I recommend running to finish not to compete. You will automatically have a PR!
5) Stay hydrated and eat healthy. Both will help speed recovery and fuel runs. The better the things you put in your body, the better your body will operate.
6) Save static stretching and yoga for after your warm up or runs. Some studies say static stretching (holding a stretch in place) before a run can actually increase your chance of injury and decrease performance. Save it for after your run when it is most beneficial.
7) Pay attention to trouble spots and past injuries. Since spraining my ankle last year I am doing extra exercises to strengthen my ankles before my upcoming trail races.
8) Know when pain is pain and not soreness. If something really hurts and feels more than sore, then you should consider cross training and/or sitting out a few runs. If the pain goes away then resume your training plan. If it doesn’t, you know you have more than muscles soreness.
Injury prevention is so much easier than injury recovery…trust me! I’m so looking forward to resuming my training plan this week.
Total Miles: 38 miles (Ryan) and 15 miles (Sarah)