Firstly, apologies to my regular readers for it being a long time between drinks. My work life has ramped up considerably which means very little time for any of my writing projects.
Did you miss me?
But I have some good news. Despite being in the usual post-race slump as my body attempts to get over the training cycle and race day that I have put it through, I am investigating some different running approaches.
I have been reading the book, Run Less, Run Faster by Bill Pierce, Scott Murr and Ray Moss. It has changed how I plan my weekly workouts. We all know that I am not particularly good at having to monitor my runs while running. What I mean by that is I haven’t mastered the ability to do a pyramid tempo run as an example because that would take too much computation time while actually out there. I am a day dreamer from way back, just ask my mother, and when I run it is with the pure delight of being able to just wander around the maze of my mind dredging up beautiful images and wild imaginings………
I am fine with a 1k warm up, run at X pace for 6km and then 1k cool down – that is totally fine – but run 1k at 6:00min, the next 500m at your 5k pace +10 secs, followed by 200m jogging, then 1km at 10k pace…. Ok, that’s a little exaggerated but you get the idea. The system put forward by these gentlemen, known as the FIRST approach, at its most basic level says one day of sprints, one day of tempo and one long run a week. Easy!
Their book does have lots of tables so you can calculate how fast you need to do each of those runs and they have training plans that lay out all manner of speed work sessions and tempo runs if that is your thing. And I do confess to having spent an awful lot of time with the calculator, notepad and an excel spreadsheet to put together my ideal training plan, but I am not training for anything in particular at the moment. This means that I took the key premise of their approach – build the different systems of your body – and adapted it.
They also recommend two cross training days where you use different muscles but still build your aerobic system. Love that. I still love to swim and bike ride. It suits me perfectly, my busy work life and family life. I feel much less pressured and can move workouts around depending on what is going on. And I am loving the speedwork. It hurts, but not for long and you feel so wonderful afterwards. Although – confession time – my speedwork isn’t so speedy as my 11 year old son can beat me with his eyes closed.
Next comes Chi Running…. I started to read the Chi Marathon book by Danny Dreyfuss but then a girlfriend sent me a YouTube video that goes through all of the exercises and theory of Chi Running. Much easier to see it than to be trying to understand it from reading it. Because I have always loved Tai Chi the idea of it resonates with me. I can’t confess to feeling effortless when I chi run but my pace has really picked up. I wasn’t much of a heel striker to start with so it must be the “lean” that is having an impact.
It certainly is worth looking into especially if you have troubles with your knees, ITB, or shin splints. I am hoping it is making me look a little more graceful. But then again, who is watching? I am running in the dark every morning and often with a bit of rain thrown in and the wind! That arctic, icy wind is beyond lazy, it doesn’t make way for anyone.
So despite not writing about it, I am still out there or on the treadmill – whatever I can get to work. I secretly dream of being able to run a PB at a half marathon race in the spring. Just have to get my long runs a bit longer and faster without feeling so tired afterwards.
Next step is to sort out my fuelling. Amazing how badly you can eat when you don’t take enough time to plan…..
How are you going this winter? Still getting out there? Trying anything new?