Monday, July 4, 2011

5k training begins now

Well, maybe it started last week.

I started the Squires and Lehane 5k pre-season training plan last week and reached my highest weekly mileage (76 miles) in 9 months.  It was a good week of training including my first double workouts of the season.  I ran an 8 x 600m workout on Wednesday in the heat (mid-90s) and managed to keep all of the reps around 2:08 (~5:45 pace), with the last one at 2:05.  I ran my long run including a tempo workout on Saturday at noon in the blistering sun and turned it into a 2 x 2 mile workout rather than the planned 4-mile continuous workout.  I thought I drank my weight in water out there, but I still lost  nearly 5 lbs over the 90 minutes I was out.        

This Friday evening, I am racing the 5000m on the track: my first race in 8 months.  I don't plan to bust ass in this race mostly because I'm not in shape to.  I just want to enjoy participating in the World Masters Athletics Track and Field Championships.  I am so excited to watch the events being held pretty much in my backyard over the next two weeks. The Genius is running the marathon, on Sunday, July 17th, and I look forward to watching him loop past me 5 times, as I cheer him on.  He has an advantage, having run his last few long runs in the heat and along the course.  Go Genius Go!

My body has been adjusting well to the higher mileage, but I'll be taking advantage of this week's race to come down a bit before pumping it back up for the last 5 weeks of my 5k training.  After 4 weeks in the pre-season program, I go into full-on 5k training mode for 3 weeks.  My target 5k race is the all women's Susan B Anthony 5k in River Park on August 13th.  My goal is to PR at that race.  It's a fast course, and I think there will be some good competition.

Allow me to present my next 6 weeks of training:

The schedule looks more complicated than it is.  The various colors mainly represent my shoe transition.  The orange shows my planned strength work (though the days are very flexible).  I have just added core work back into my routine and have started doing some exercises to increase hip mobility since I now know this is something that is a real limiting factor for me.  I am trying out these exercises to see if they help.  I continue to do my hip capsule stretch with a strap 2 x per day, and I roll everything from my feet to my shoulders every day for a total of about 30-60 minutes, depending on how much attention the various parts need.

I was doing eccentric hamstring exercises once a day for a couple of weeks to relieve a chronic hamstring tendinosis on the right side.  Those exercises and rolling my butt and hamstrings did the trick, and I am backing off of those as a result.  I thought I might be starting to do general strength work by now, but I am really hesitant to add it without having a good focus for the exercises I do.  Hanging out with Dr. Ball made me reconsider what I do for strength training.  So far, I have limited it to the stuff I need to relieve known problems.  I also added in functional strength work in the form of hill sprints.  With the transition to less shoe, higher mileage and speed work, I feel this is enough new stimuli for now.

I have been tracking my food intake more or less daily for a couple of years now and finally stopped about two months ago.  I decided I was tired of it and could probably do a fair job balancing my diet without my iPad given my years of practice and constant feedback.  If my weight is any indication of how that's gone, I am succeeding.  Without targeting weight loss as an explicit goal, I'm down to my pre-Chicago "racing weight" of 125.  I think some of this is loss of muscle mass in my upper body, and I honestly don't miss it.  I don't think a marathoner needs huge lats, traps and deltoids to be fast.  These are muscles that get big on me if I just think about them.  So, I stopped thinking about them. Well, I also stopped doing exercises that make them larger.  Alas, they're still big, as the photo below shows.  I guess they might serve a purpose in scaring off would-be attackers on the Bike Trail late at night.  If I were a bad guy, I would think twice before messing with that V taper and those guns!
My massive back, after 3 months of no upper body work
I am ready for some speed and excited to see how this 5k plan goes before heading back into marathon training madness.  Happy 4th of July, everyone!!


  1. I know they aren't beneficial to distance running, but well-muscled shoulders, arms, and back are wonderful things to have. Sprinters are quite proud of theirs, so show off that beautiful taper!

  2. Thanks, Liz. If only I was a sprinter and fast like you. You are in great shape, and I can't wait to see you tear it up at WMAs!!!

  3. I have that "think about traps/lats and they get huge" thing going on too. What gives? Well, rock those muscles, I say :) You look great.

    Is your goal 5k race in August a track race or a road race?

  4. You share the curse, Heather. So sorry:) Thanks for the compliment.

    The 5k is a road race.