Six Week Training Recap – Jan 1st to Feb 17th, 2018

The Past Six Weeks

The past six weeks have been nothing short of incredible! Full of highs and a couple of lows, but overall a very fulfilling experience. I was suddenly injured on October 25th, 2017 and my season was cut short. Six weeks of NO running! I started to slowly run again in mid December. It was a day by day approach. Sometimes painful and uncomfortable but eventually I was pain free and my left foot healed. Almost four weeks from when I started again, I was running pain free. Since I could not do long runs yet, I started cycling training once/week with PowerWatts to help with the development of my aerobic system.

A New Year/New Beginning/Final Prep Week

After the holidays, I was good to go! However I still did some final preparation training to make sure I was ready for more volume. The last week of December and the first week of January were 2 prep weeks. 

Totals Jan 1-7:

  • 4 runs. 22.8km. 3h14m35s.
  • 2x Strength in the gym
  • 1hr PowerWatts.
  • 1hr Swimming

Week 1

The next week I was to run six times/week, continue with PowerWatts once/wk, and continue with strength training twice/wk. I was very excited to start this new chapter. Especially the part where I got to run six or more times/week! The question was how my foot and body would respond? 

Totals Jan 8-13:

  • 6 runs: 54.95km. 5h15m15s.
  • 2x Strength in the gym
  • 1hr PowerWatts
  • 1 hr Swimming

Let’s just say that the response was GREAT! This was confirmation that I was ready for the six weeks of “volume building” ahead of me! 

Running Twice/Day/Week 2

The following week I began to run 8 times/week. On my strength training days, I would do an easy outdoor run in the morning followed by strength training, and a 40 min run with strides on the treadmill. This week was especially challenging because my husband was away on business and I had to handle everything alone at home, while working and training. But, I managed to pull through with some “extra organization”, and a stronger than usual mindset. We also decided that I would stop swimming for now, at this point. 

Totals Jan 15-21:

  • 8 runs. 63.16km. 6h06m35s.
  • 2x Strength in the gym
  • 1hr PowerWatts

Plyometrics/Week 3

We added 3 different Plyometric drills on the week of January 22nd. I would do 3 sets of each drill before my 2 treadmill/strides runs on my strength training days. These drills were to prepare me for hill training after this deload week. The pace range of my easy runs had gotten faster this week too (4:47/km – 5:33/km)! Unfortunately, I began to feel this odd feeling in the back of my right shoulder during my runs this week. Not necessarily pain, more of a “pinching” feeling. I went to see my PT, we weren’t exactly quite sure what the problem was. The shoulder was definitley not sitting properly. Treatment, stretching and taping did feel better!

Totals Jan 22-28:

  • 8 runs. 74.61km. 7h01m06s.
  • 2x Strength in the gym
  • 2x Plyometric drills in the gym
  • 1hr PowerWatts

February/New Goals/Week 4 & 5

I had reached the point of completing 3 long runs/week! I would continue to run 8 times/week, with my last Brick (bike then run) workout on February 10th. At this point I was cycling for 1 hour, then running for 1 hour every Saturday! Now that my long run was going to be over 2hrs, it had to be moved to Saturdays. So, no more PowerWatts for now. We will evaluate how removing cycling would affect me long term. I really feel as though it helped with my aerobic development and my endurance. And it was fun to be in a small group setting and “feed off” of the positive energy of my training partners. My shoulder was not getting better this week. I was still having issues, especially during my longer runs.

Totals Jan 29-Feb 3:

  • 8 runs. 86.38km. 7h52m18s.
  • 2x Strength in the gym
  • 2x Plyometric drills in the gym
  • 1hr PowerWatts

Totals Feb 5-11:

  • 8 runs. 96.04km. 8h24m14s.
  • 2x Strength in the gym
  • 2x Plyometric drills in the gym
  • 1hr PowerWatts

Week 6..The End

The last week before my deload week! This week wasn’t going to be “easy” by any means! I had 2 challenging runs towards the end of the week, including my longest run yet! It was my PMS week where I usually feel more tired. And since my cycle “shifted” this month, I wasn’t sure when I was going to start menstruating. Luckily, I started only after my long run! To add, I woke up on Monday and could barely move my neck and right shoulder. And I had accumulated fatigue from the past five weeks.

A Jammed Rib

I went to see my Osteopath who determined that one of my rib heads was stuck in between T2-T3 (in between two vertabrae). He successfully moved it back where it belonged with one “effortless” and painless try! I instantly felt better. I could even breathe better! Since this went on for 3 weeks, I had to deal with the inflammation and irritation to the surrounding nerves and tissues. At least we figured it out!

Strong Finish

Once I started to feel/breathe better and I could feel my PMS “lifting”, I knew that I had 2 more challenging runs left for the week. My coach removed strength training from my schedule due to the way I was feeling. This really helped me overall. On Friday, I was to complete a 12km run where I was to continuously run 7k at easy and then 5km faster than easy pace (around marathon pace or a touch faster). Although I ran a little too fast (misunderstood directives on my part), overall the run was a success! On Saturday, I was to run for 2hrs:15min at easy pace, aiming for 25km which would bring me to a total of 100 km for the week. This would mainly depend on the weather and road conditions. This was going to be my longest run yet!

New Mantra/Week 7

My longest/last run of the week turned out to be my BEST run of the week! Although it was cold and windy, it was sunny and the streets were clean! Once I warmed up and settled in for the first 7km, I held a steady solid consistent pace of approx 4:55/km for 19.63 km. My total distance for the run was 26.63 km, bringing me to a total of 103.65 km for the week! I was over the moon when I finished. And. I felt elated and so proud of this run! I ended up with a new mantra too “strong mind, strong heart, strong spirit”, which is what I kept repeating this to myself during the last 30 min.

Totals Feb 12-18:

  • 8 runs. 103.63km. 8h54m58s.
  • 1x Strength in the gym
  • 1x Plyometric drills in the gym

Takeaway

The key to me successfully building this amount of mileage over six weeks is that I did not “push myself” except for the one Brick per week I did. And the “pushing” was about running on fatigued legs after an intense cycling workout. I was not a “slave” to my watch for the past six weeks either. I let the the speed come naturally on what my body could do on that particular day. My strides were at Mile pace, something I can do for six minutes straight. So running at that pace for 20 seconds is “fast”, but not “hard”. Lastly, I adapted to running with NO music during my long runs. I CANNOT emphasize how important and necessary this is! I was really able to connect with my body. Every footstrike, every breath. I was more in tune with my surroundings and “soaked’ up the entire experience each time.

Looking Back/Looking Ahead

I am not one to look back. But sometimes, it feels good to look back, reflect and see how far you have come. Three months ago, I would have never fathomed running a 103 km week! Especially with the pain I was in. After this deload week, weekly mileage will decrease as I start hill training! My first race of the season will be on March 25th, I am SO excited. It’s a 5km local race. We will use it to assess my fitness. I can’t wait..these legs are “itching” to get out there again and race! Thanks for reading. 🙂