Category Archives: work out wrap ups

Running “Recovery” Week

During training periods I like to work on a schedule of 3 harder weeks in a row, before a set back week where I drop my mileage significantly to allow the body to recover before getting back into heavier training.

Ideally I would just run during a recovery week, but I am trying to finish Insanity before my training gets even heavier. I have been continuing on with the Insanity schedule, although I will have to see how my body responds once my mileage is upped again next week, and may have to drop a few of the workouts per week if it gets too much. This week was the start of month 2 of Insanity, so the workouts are now almost an hour long, and super intense, it’s going to be a tough few weeks!

Monday started with Insanity month 2. For some insane reason they combined the 30 minute fit test with the max interval circuit. This was an hour and a half total, and pretty much showed me that this month is going to be hardcore! In terms of the fit test I improved in pretty much every category. I was already knackered after the fit test and then had to do the interval circuit which I found tough going!

On Tuesday I did Insanity Max Interval Plyo, which I think has to be one of the hardest workouts I’ve ever done. I was pretty much drowning in a pool of sweat. I did a gentle 6 mile run in the afternoon, which was my last of 2013! We had a quiet New Year’s eve going to see Anchorman 2 before coming home to chill and watch movies, it was lovely to wake up in 2014 without a hangover.

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Wednesday I did Insanity Max Cardio conditioning which was a great way to kick off the New Year. We headed back to London in the evening, after a bit of a stressful journey with Megabus. My case was extremely full but I just about got everything in! We booked a Gold coach, which was downgraded to a regular service weeks ago, then when we went to get on the coach the driver told us we were booked onto the Gold, his coach was full and he couldn’t take us- how ridiculous! Eventually we got onto the coach as there were spare seats, but I was so unimpressed with the service, and the driver was so rude and unhelpful, I won’t be travelling with them again!

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I did my longer run for this week on Thursday as I wanted to avoid the stormy weather over the weekend. I did 10 miles. Nick came along for the first 1.5 miles for his first run in a little while, trying out all his new Christmas gear! It was an absolutely beautiful day, there were so many people out running/walking as well which was great to see. I also bumped into Laura on the canal path, although I nearly missed her completely as I was miles away listening to Marathon Talk!

I did Insanity Max Recovery after this. I’ve no idea why it’s called recovery, as it’s pretty much the opposite of that. Despite there being no real jumping around, it’s a really tough workout and I found it really hard going.

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I’ve been loving getting back in the kitchen and cooking again now that we are at home. Socca has been a big feature of this week, the above was a triple chickpea combo, stuffed with chickpeas and hummus! Can’t get enough chickpeas!

Friday I had a slow 4 mile recovery and that did Insanity Max Interval Circuit again. We were going to go and see American Hustle, but at Vue it’s only available in Vue Extreme (Bigger screen and louder) which is £15 a ticket! So we are going to go on Orange Wednesday instead.

Yesterday I did Insanity Max Interval Plyo again, and again I found it unbelievably hard. I had a short 3 mile recovery run in the afternoon for my final run of the week and managed to avoid the rain, although the Canal path was like a swamp- more puddles than pavement!

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Today is a glorious rest day, finally-it’s my first one for 16 days! I usually take one a week, but it’s just not worked for one reason or the other the last few weeks, as I’ve been trying to cram so much in! It’s a good job it’s a rest day as I’m pretty hungover after a great night out with friends last night.

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My ultra marathon plan starts tomorrow, so I’m just resting up and recovering today before the hard mileage starts!

Festive Fitness

Christmas time is my absolute favourite time of the year to run, except when it’s snowing/icy/windy/rainy!! I love the bright crisp mornings, being able to run with my brother, running in new places, and the friendly atmosphere out on the pavements/trails.IMG_0835

This week was a heavy training one as I got in my last week of base building before I start proper ultra training on the 6th Jan. On Monday I did Insanity Plyometric Circuit, I couldn’t do this last week thanks to awful cramps, so I fit it in this week, which marks the last workout of the first month- I’ll have a full recap on that coming soon.

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On Christmas Eve I went for a gentle 4 mile recovery jog and did Insanity Core Cardio and Balance. The run actually took me past last years running mileage of 826 miles. This is an Insanity “recovery” week, which means I have to do the same workout for 6 days! It’s not as high intensity as the month one workouts, but I was still in a pool of sweat come the end of the workout! There is a really tough hip flexor and shoulder burner section at the end, which is killer! I haven’t done as much walking as usual over the festive period but I did have a nice walk with Nick’s dog Lola in the afternoon.

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Christmas Day started with Cardiff Parkrun. It was perfect weather conditions and I had a really good run, there was over 300 people there as well, which was such a great turn out. My brother bombed off and finished in just over 23 mins so I couldn’t stay with him. I pushed really hard as I was trying to get close to my sub 25 min goal. I finished at 25.38, 13 secs off my PB, but an official Parkrun PB as I forgot my barcode when I set my PB last time! I was pretty pleased with the time, especially as it was about 40 seconds quicker than last Saturday! We slowly jogged the rest of the 3 miles home before opening our presents! After Christmas lunch I had a nice brisk walk with the family and I wrapped up the evening with Insanity Core Cardio and Balance once again.

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I had a beautiful run on Boxing day, it was a stunning crisp morning, and I headed down to Roath Park which was packed with runners/walkers/dog walkers. I did 8 miles including 3 miles of intervals in the middle 1.30 mins fast, 2 mins slow recovery. I did Insanity Core Cardio and Balance again, despite repeating the same workout for so many days, I actually really enjoyed it.

Friday I got up early and got in Insanity Core Cardio and Balance before heading to Cornwall to spend a few days with family there. I did some hip opening yoga in the evening, something I’ve been neglecting of late. Goal for 2014!

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Saturday I headed out for my long run in Cornwall wanting to get in 14-16 miles, I only know the local area a little bit so I set off on a section I did know before heading into unknown territory. I did most of the run on the coastal path, which was off-road, and I guess my first ever proper trail run! It felt wonderfully freeing rather than road running. The route I ran was seriously hilly, and I actually had to walk up two hills as they were just too steep to run up. I think I only ran 2 miles under 11 minute pace, which is pretty slow for my long ones, but I’m not used to be being off-road, or running such an undulating route. My body felt knackered, and my legs had had it, so I stopped after 14 miles. I did Insanity Core Cardio and Balance in the evening, and the stretching segments felt really good my battered body!

Yesterday I headed out with my brother for 4 very slow recovery miles. My legs were heavy and tired, and need a running rest day now! I did Insanity afterwards the last Core Cardio and Balance one, I thought repeating the same workout for 6 days would be dire, but actually it hasn’t been so bad.

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So that was my Festive fitness period, running/insanity repeat. I actually didn’t take a full rest day this week as I wanted to catch up on the Insanity workout I missed the week before, so I am craving a rest day now!

That was another 36 mile week, so I’m pretty much at the point where the base is built. I am taking a set back week now, dropping to 4 runs, no speed work and dropping mileage before I pick it up when my training plan starts on the 6th Jan. I am also starting Insanity month 2 today, which I am slightly dreading, as it sounds terrifying! Wish me luck!

“Recovery” week

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Well the most traumatic part of my week wasn’t my Insanity workouts!! After over 3 hours on the National Express from Cardiff, we got to our front door after 11pm last night and only then did I realize I had left the house keys in Cardiff…

This was a fail on every single level. We called an emergency locksmith but he would have had to drill either one or both locks, and as we are renting and couldn’t get hold of our landlord we didn’t want to do that. So we had to pay him £78 for the call out and then we headed off to find a hotel for the night. The Premier Inn was £191 for the night, which I found outrageous, so we stayed at the Hilton which was £199, still outrageous but at least it’s a bit classier. This morning we managed to get hold of our landlord who told us that some of the other estate agents that listed the property previously had keys, so we went over to one of them at 9am this morning, and thankfully they still had a set, so finally we got into our home, £277 down for a stupid mistake, not ideal- especially at this time of year!

I actually didn’t feel too stressed or angry or anything about it, to be honest I just felt apathetic, I didn’t feel anything. It seems to be a common occurrence these days for me to do something stupid or clumsy, shit happens I guess. It’s just best to move on and forget it and not dwell too much. I needed to run today though, just to get it all out of my system, fresh air, music, empty head, no thoughts, me, the road/grass/leaves/open air. Running is the best therapy ever! I had a brilliant 7 mile run and feel a lot better. I certainly will not make that mistake twice!!

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Base building has been going well, last week was a set back week for me, I like to lower my mileage after every 3 weeks of increasing to give the legs a break. I still had some good runs including a decent Parkrun effort of 26.13. I need to find a bit of time to beat my PB and dip under 25 mins before the end of the year! This was an official Parkrun PB for me as when I ran my 5k PB of 25.25 I forgot my barcode! Standard. It was a beautiful-if cold-morning, but the turn out as always at Cardiff was amazing, I’ll be trying to fit in at least 2 more Parkruns there before the end of the year, I absolutely love it!

I’ve continued cranking out the Insanity workouts. I’ve just started my third week, and it doesn’t get any easier. You get better, so you can push yourself harder, which makes the workout as tough as ever. I did the second fit test yesterday and saw a huge increase in my number of reps for the moves, so it is definitely working! I like following a program where I know what I’ll be doing day to day. I like structure, the same with running, I write all my training plans out and follow them strictly, it’s a little bit obsessive, but I just like having a schedule and sticking to it rather than going with the flow!! Have to go with what works!

I got another sports massage yesterday, it was awesome, and my legs feel as good as new. They have been heavy and tight over the last few months so this helped a million. I’m going to try and get one at least every couple of months during this training cycle.

Last weeks training log:

  • Mon: 3 mile Recovery Run, Insanity Cardio Power + Resistance
  • Tues: Insanity Pure Cardio, 3 mile Walk
  • Weds: 4 mile Recovery Jog, 2 mile Walk, Insanity Plyometric Circuit
  • Thurs: Rest Day
  • Friday: 6 miles Shake Out Run, Insanity Cardio Recovery
  • Saturday: Parkrun, Insanity Cardio Power + Resistance, 2 mile walk
  • Sunday: Insanity Pure Cardio + Cardio Abs

This week, I’ll be continuing with the Insanity workouts, I’ll drop down on the amount of them if I find they leave me too sore or knackered and it starts to affect my runs. This is my last week of running 4 times, before I increase to 5 runs from next week, I’ve also started to re-introduce some quality sessions into my runs, throwing in some speed/tempo/hill work amongst the junk!

I’m going to Brighton this weekend, so aiming to get in a 10 miler on Friday, and maybe sneak a short one in in Brighton. I love running in different place, the absolute best way to explore!

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I finally got to open my advent calender this morning, although I’m a little behind now! Nick has 3 which seems excessive! My Montezuma’s one is awesome though! Off to get my butt kicked by Shaun.T…

Have a great week!

Taking it “easy”

So my last training update ending with me in really bad pain after the previous weekends long run, I could barely walk or do anything really for the rest of the day as my hip was causing me so much pain. So I did what any “normal” person would do and decided to take a few days off until I felt able to run again.

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On Monday I went for a 3 mile walk and my hip didn’t feel right during the walk so I knew I had made the right decision not to run. I think I tweaked something with the fall down the stairs and it was silly to push it as much as I did when I was clearly not right. Tuesday I took a complete rest day and sat around the house feeling mopey and sorry for myself. I did play around with my Vitamix and made a few lovely smoothies to cheer myself up and to try and get maximal amounts of fruit and veggies in to help with any inflammation.

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By Wednesday I was actually climbing the walls and desperate to run. I decided to test things out and I promised myself if I felt pain I would stop. I decided to try and run it as slowly as was physically possible and run on grass/dirt as much as I could. I did a very slow 7 miles in 1.16, I felt OK until the 5 mile point and after that I actually felt much better, it was like I had run something out! I did a blogilates video and some core moves in the afternoon.

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On Thursday the body felt fine, I decided on another very slow recovery jog and did 4 miles in 43 minutes. My legs have been feeling like lead during runs of late, I need to get a sports massage soon as the tightness is quite bad. In the evening we went out for our anniversary meal to the Gate in Islington in the evening, it was delicious (will have a post up soon!). Above is the “shared” Vegan banoffee pie, which Nick pretty much demolished.

Friday I woke up feeling very stiff indeed so I did some hip opening yoga to loosen things up, and I felt much better afterwards. I just had a 2 mile walk in the afternoon to stretch the legs. I have pretty much taken the week off doing any other cardio/strength/plyo just to let my body recover and do minimal activity while I manage the injury, this seems to have made a huge difference.

On Saturday I was up early and ready for long run day, determined to not have another disaster like the previous weekend. It was such a beautiful day and I headed out along the canal path to Regents park, I had little to no pain and felt good for the first time in a little while. I did 8 miles in 1.22 which is a fair clip for my long slow ones. Really I should be running them slower than this but I just felt so good I went with it!

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Nick’s parents visited over the weekend so we had a very busy and active weekend with lots of walking, we went to the Freud museum, Natural History museum and Science museum. I am a total museum geek much to Nick’s dismay!! I also managed a quick trip to Whole Foods where I got the new vanilla Coyo, it’s amazing!! So creamy. I also landed a Vegan dark chocolate advent calender, I haven’t been able to find one the last 2 years so this made me happy! I think I cooked maybe one meal last week, we have had so many visitors that we have been eating out all the time and I am certainly starting to feel the effects!!

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Yesterday I got up early and got in a 4 mile recovery jog before heading out for more touristy fun. I’ve never seen Islington so quiet as an early Sunday morning- so nice and peaceful. I did 4 slow miles in 43 and the legs weren’t feeling bad at all. I think I need to really focus on running very very slowly at the minute, and just concentrate on building up mileage, rather than pace/splits etc. I want to try and take as much strain off when running as possible, so taking runs a bit easier will help with that. I’m so glad that the hip/knee pain seems to have lessened and that I managed to get in all my training runs despite taking 3 easy/rest days during the week.

This week I am upping the mileage a little bit and again focusing on running slowly and listening to my body. I am also trying out some of the Insanity workouts as a change up to my routine, I just did the fit test today and it was pretty tough!!

Yoga and foam rolling still need to be more of a focus, alas I keep trying to remember!!

Start/Stop Marathon Training

This week marked my first week of marathon training- not sure which one I am doing yet either Greater Manchester or Connemara both in April-and my base building for the ultra in May.

I kicked off on Monday with a 4 mile run and kept a decent pace to finish in 39 mins. My training pace has definitely be getting quicker without me feeling like I am putting in much effort, but I need to be careful not to overdo it-slower is always better particularly when training for longer races! This week I’ve been stuck for what to wear during runs and can’t find a happy medium temperature wise. I had a lot of layers on on Monday and was far too hot. In the afternoon I did some blogilates videos, ‘the glad you came calves challenge’ was insane, they were just burning like mad!!

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Tuesday I did some Best Body Bootcamp total body and another load of blogilates videos, the ‘abc abs’ is so painful! I also went for a nice long walk of almost 4 miles, it’s getting dark so early now though, and it was pretty cold. We went to Primrose hill in the evening to watch the fireworks. It was packed there, with people bringing drinks and snacks, we made an error and came empty handed!

Hip opening Yoga

Wednesday was damp and miserable and I really didn’t feel like running so I took my rest day. I did some hip opening yoga in the evening as I’ve totally been neglecting that recently.

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Thursday I headed out for a 6 mile run, my legs felt like lead so I just took it slow and easy in 1.02. I don’t know what is wrong with my calves/hamstrings at the moment, but they are continually tight. Time for another sports massage I think! I also need to get on my foam roller and keep lashing on my magnesium sports spray.

I did some more blogilates videos in the afternoon, including ‘call me maybe squat’, which I loved, squats are my all time favourite strength move. I think possibly the pilates is leaving me too sore before runs, so I need to reassess what I am doing outside of running. I walked 2.5 miles in the evening as I went to a Nutritional Therapy course open day, it was really interesting, so I have lots to think about!! In the evening I had a total faux pas as I fell down the stairs. I slipped right off the top one, and sort of flew in mid air to the middle section, I came down really hard on my hip and shoulder and it hurt like hell!

On Friday I was feeling a little tender after my fall, and I stupidly went out for a run. I did 3 miles in 32 minutes, it was a bit of a shocker and every step hurt. I felt like I couldn’t get any rotation in my hip. Not a good sign. I should of just skipped out on it. In the evening I walked 2 miles to Blue Cow Yoga studio, and met some of the fab girls from Team Naturally Run. We had a great 2 hour big stretch session, it was mostly spent lying down and holding the poses for 2-3 minutes. As a runner I get very tight in the hips, so some of the hip opening poses were incredibly intense, especially on my left side with my botched hip from the fall. I felt completely wiped after the class, like it had quite a strong detoxifying effect, so I wasn’t good for much once I got home!

Yesterday morning I headed to Regents Park for my first Nike Training Club session. This was train to run, where Coach G. took us ladies through our paces, with lots of drills, core and strength moves as well as hideous burpees ha! We ran over to the track and as soon as we got there it started hammering it down. It was pretty much like a monsoon for the entire hour, and we were drenched, cold and very muddy. It was a great session though, and I can really see the benefit of going, in terms of strengthening the muscles we use to run. I will definitely be making a regular habit out of this, although I’m not sure it’s a good idea for me to do it before long run day.

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This morning I headed out for an 8 mile run along the canal to Regents Park and back, I was a bit stiff but I thought I would be able to run that off. As the run went on my hip became increasingly painful, and when I got to just over 7 miles I decided to stop as each step became excruciating and I was getting shooting pain through my hip. I hobbled the rest of the way home in a lot of pain and had an ice bath.

I’m still in pain now and struggling to move, bend, and climb stairs. I’m not sure if this is a problem since the fall as I did have the same weird shooting sensation after we went to see Captain Phillips a few weeks ago. I think I’m really missing my other cross training and strength training from not having a gym and wondering if that is a factor as well as the fact that I am doing a lot more running on pavements. I’m going to get on my foam roller later and just see how it feels, I think I’m going to have to take a few days off though, not ideal as this was my first week of training, but hopefully a few days rest will do it some good.