Tag Archives: recovery week

Ultra Training Week 3: Recovery

The difference between my training last week and this week is astronomical:

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This week is recovery week, and I’ve had a full week off from doing anything outside of running except yoga. It was much needed and I like to take these weeks of lower mileage every 3-4 weeks. During ultra training I think I’m going to do it after every 2 weeks though, just drop the mileage and the speed work completely. Not worrying about intervals, pace or hill repeats and just taking the time to fall in love with the simple art of running again as well as giving the body a bit of a rest.

On Monday I was feeling so drained after the 26 miles on the weekend plus walk around Hampstead Heath that I could barely haul myself off the sofa. I felt absolutely good for nothing, and also had the worst runger all freaking day. I’ve now reached the point in marathon training where being hungry is a permanent state. I did manage some yoga later in the day, but I was really lacking in energy, I definitely needed to listen to my body and take a rest day. I’ve been drinking loads of smoothies and fresh juices this week to try and help with any inflammation and give my body a boost!

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I felt better for the rest on Tuesday and had a great 4 mile run. I thoroughly enjoyed just running for the pure fun of it. I ended up running to Regents Park as I had to go nearby to pick up some books for my nutritional therapy course. I had a nice long walk home from there although it was bloody freezing.

Wednesday I could really feel the niggle in my knee again. I did 6 slower miles, but was really conscious about my knee the whole time, it’s not really painful just dull and doesn’t feel quite right. I probably should have cut the run a bit shorter, but it wasn’t getting any worse and if anything eased up after the first few miles.

On Thursday I headed out for another recovery jog and ended up doing 4 miles in 39 minutes, which is too fast for my recovery pace. It was weird as I felt like I was going slowly and taking it easy. Probably Strava messing up the distance but I’d like to think that maybe my easy pace has improved?! Who knows, I’ll take it anyway. I did some yoga in the evening again, much needed as my hips are super tight right now.

Friday was a total rest day again. On Saturday I headed out for my long run which this week was 8 miles in 1.21. The difference between 8 miles and 18 is just massive, and when I got back it felt like I had barely been out, it almost felt like a rest day later in the day! I met my brother for 3 miles in the middle around Finsbury Park which was nice, to chat and catch up. I was really happy with this as the pace was comfortable and I wasn’t pushing it. As much as I love running, it is nice to not have the entire day taken up by preparing to run/running/recovering! I did yoga again in the evening- 3 times this week- who am I?! I think I’ve rediscovered my yoga mojo!

Today I headed out for a short 4 mile recovery jog. I couldn’t get out of bed before the tennis so I paid for it with having to go out in the rain and wind, it actually wasn’t too bad though, and I quite enjoy running in the rain once I am out there.

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So recovery week has gone well, legs feel good, niggles have disappeared and I’m ready to hit the next week of training hard. I have my first race of 2014 the Longman 18m next Sunday. I am using it as a training run rather than race but I am now absolutely dreading it as the elevation gain is insane: 2362 feet over the 18 miles. I have only covered the same elevation gain across 15 runs and 105 miles this year eek! It’s going to be tough, although what goes up must come down right? I’m actually prepared for it to be harder than the Dublin marathon purely due to the elevation. If I prepare for the worst it can only be better though I suppose…

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!

“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!

Set back week

After 3 weeks of heavy training I like to take an “easier” week and drop my mileage, it gives my legs a rest and keeps my body and mind fresh for the tough training weeks ahead. I took a “set-back” week last week, dropping my runs from 5 to 4, cutting out speed/tempo sessions and significantly dropping my mileage from 29 to 18 miles. I carried on lifting weights during this time and had some tough sessions, but my legs are feeling super after the lower mileage week.

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I started the week with a slow recovery jog of 4.35 miles on Monday to shake the legs out, it ended up being 10.18 pace which is on the quicker side for my recovery ones and I felt extremely comfortable which shows me that I am definitely improving. I started phase 2 of LiveFit, the workouts get seriously intense in this phase, much heavier weights and supersets make them more challenging. I did arms/abs and carried on with my cutting the rest breaks from 1 min to 30 secs to shorten the workouts.

On Tuesday I got in a brutal leg workout before work. It was so tough, loads of step ups (ugh), squats and lunges and I just knew I was going to be so sore! I had a 10 minute cycle after to cool down and did some hip opening yoga in the evening to loosen things up.

Wednesday was recovery jog day, and it was needed after that leg day, I was so sore! I did 4.22 miles on an early morning before work.

On Thursday I did another gentle 4.14 mile recovery run, my legs were still sore from the leg session! I did a LiveFit back workout which was a short but tough one. I did hip opening yoga in the evening to loosen up my legs for my long one of the week on Friday. I also picked up these baby’s after work:

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The shock absorption on my old Asics 2170’s had totally gone, they were over 450 miles in, and around 8 months old so I upgraded to the Asics GT 2000. These weren’t in the colours I wanted, but they were more reasonable so I had to weigh that up! They are a little more snug fitting than the 2170’s and narrower, but they are comfy and they feel much better than my worn out ones!

I switched my long run to Friday as the forecast looked bad for the weekend and we were doing a full day trip to Northern Ireland on Sunday. I took out my new runners for a spin, took it slow and easy, did 6.25 miles in 1.06. It was bloody freezing out there, I don’t think it is vest weather early in the morning any more! How quickly have the temperatures dropped?! I did a short LiveFit shoulders workout before work.

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On Saturday I did my final weight workout of the week:chest/abs. I definitely did not save the best until last. This was savage, I actually felt sick after it! I cycled for 15 minutes to cool down and try and recover ha!

Yesterday we went to Northern Ireland to visit the Giant’s Causeway, it was supposed to be a rest day, but we actually ended up doing a lot of walking, it was really beautiful though, a few miles along some coastal paths and the weather was perfect too!

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That is the state of our shoe rack right now, and they are all mine. Running shoe problem?!

All in all it was a pretty active week, but I am feeling pretty good and refreshed at the start of this week. I had a fantastic 7 mile tempo run this morning, which gave me loads of confidence and made me pretty excited about the next 3 weeks of training- ready to work extra hard!!

My runger has been completely out of control the last few days, I am hungry all the freaking time, and nothing satisfies it, it’s ridiculous!

How do you satisfy the runger?

What was your best workout this week?

 

Marathon Recovery Week

I haven’t been blogging as regularly as I would like lately, I have been crazy busy in work, doing 12 shifts over 2 weeks, this combined with my ever increasing mileage has left me feeling more tired and drained than I have ever felt before!

I upped my mileage after my last update, and set a new PDR of 15 miles. It was so bloody hard! I felt like it was actually more of a mental struggle than a physical one this time around, and I was having to talk to myself throughout! I think the thought now of being out there for 4+ hours has really hit home, and as my runs get longer, the isolation, and time to reflect leaves me inevitably with doubts and questions over whether I can do it. I couldn’t feel my legs for about the last 5 miles, but I just plowed through.

After that run and my killer work week’s I decided it was time for a set back week, this coincided with a long weekend in Oslo, so although I didn’t get much rest, my legs did feel fresher for dropping my mileage.

I think I needed that break and recovery week mentally more than anything. Training for one event for 5 months is exhausting not only physically but mentally, I don’t want to end up burned out or hating running, so I am doing all I can to try and mix things up and listen to my body when needed.

I did 3 shorter runs last week, one 3 mile interval, one 3 mile recovery and almost a 6 mile gentle jog too. I had planned on doing one run while I was in Norway but it never happened, and for the first time in a long time I can honestly say that I didn’t sweat it. Usually on holiday I stick to my program whether that be running/strength training, but I just felt like I needed the break, and I have felt much fresher heading into another higher mileage week.

So there are now little over 6 weeks to go, that means I only have 4 more long run’s to do before taper time! I am aiming for 17 this weekend, so that will be another PDR! I am still trying to work out fueling throughout the run’s, I have been using coconut water/dates/figs/nakd bars. I might try using gel’s again at some point alongside those. I need to really get this down, as I do feel like I have been running out of steam towards the end of my long runs.

Physically my body feels much better for the rest week, although I trained legs at the gym on Monday and my hamstrings have been super tight ever since. I need to foam roll badly!

So I am set up for a recovery 5 miles tomorrow after a tough speed session today, a rest day on Saturday, and the long run on Sunday. 6 weeks to go.