Thursday, February 5, 2015

Let The Training Begin

     Well here we go!  Training for the Owens Corning Half Marathon is officially beginning for me and with only 79 days till race day I don't have a second to spare.  I have been working very hard with my physical therapist to get back on my feet and get back to regular running.  I am by no means out of the woods yet and I still have some pain and tightness as I have increased my mileage for each run, but I can say my therapist has been very happy with my progress thus far.  

     My rehab up to this point has mostly consisted of stretching exercises to get my legs, my right leg to be exact, loosened up.  Along with a handful of strengthening exercises, performing a side plank while doing leg lifts in particular is my favorite, and getting into yoga has really helped progress the distance I am able to run to this point.  Oh and let us not forget foam rolling, you end up having a very special relationship with your foam roller while rehabbing this injury.

     Recently my therapist and I discussed my goals for the OwensCorning Half Marathon and my training history over the last two years.  To be honest I didn’t have a goal for this race because without her help I didn’t think I was ever going to be able to run again.  Sorry to be so dramatic about it, but that’s how I felt and I want to be honest about it.  I told Alisha, my therapist, that I would like to finish right around where I did last year, which was one hour fifty seven minutes and change.  However, I also said at this point I don’t care what the time is I just want to be able to finish the race pain free, even if that means slowing to a 2:30 finish or whatever.  I then shared with her how the custom made plans I made for myself was focused only on running and the miles I was logging, nothing else.  

     She gave me her input on how she builds training plans that isn’t so focused on total mileage because some of the runs are set to a time limit at a certain pace verses a mileage limit at a certain pace, which is what I always did.  Her plan includes more structured interval and tempo sessions along with long runs at the proper pacing and a recovery run that is designed to be done way, way slower than I thought was the correct way to run them.  She also folds in cross training that does not include any running and a half and half type day where you do a little light running and some cross training, oh yeah and yoga, can’t forget the yoga.  She shared that her other clients have had lots of very good success with her plans and feel very prepared for the race distance they are doing, so I asked her to work one up for me.  Being that I am technically still rehabbing an injury, she has designed a plan for me that we are taking two weeks at a time.  She wants to know how each day’s run feels and if I am having any pain or tightness in my right knee or leg.  As we go she will then make adjustments, if any, to the plan that will simultaneously prepare me for the race while continuing to rehab and strengthen my knee.

Here is what my first two weeks will look like:
Sunday – Rest day
Monday – race pace run / 20 mins cross train
Tuesday - 30 mins cross train & 30 mins yoga
Wednesday – long slow run (1-1:15 slower than race pace)
Thursday – Super slow recovery run / 30 mins yoga
Friday – intervals 20 mins
Saturday – tempo run with 1 mile easy warm up & 1 mile easy cool down

     At this point I am struggling to get the runs in because we don’t have a treadmill, we have had almost a foot and a half of snow dumped on us in the past week and temperatures have plummeted into the single digits and colder.  I could get a gym membership, but I don’t want to pay for one that I will only use for maybe a month or two until things warm up a bit and is safe to run outside again.  The local YMCA that I use to be a member at has day passes that are $1 to use the track only or $7 if I want to get into the area with the treadmills, stationary bikes and ellipticals.  This option isn’t the smartest option, but it looks like all I got.  I will just have to pick and choose my battles and any chance Mother Nature gives me to run outside I’ll have to take advantage of it!

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