Come on feet… cruise for me.

Well, it’s been a while, so I wanted to give a general-purpose update… I’ve got a few idea-oriented posts yet to come, but I haven’t actually written plainly about my training lately, so I thought it might be a good time to talk about a few things.

A note on mileage. Obviously, mileage isn’t everything, but in my case the gradual increasing of total weekly mileage happens to be a pretty important factor (maybe even the critical factor) in my training. Generally I’ve felt happy if I can keep increasing the mileage without letting my average pace slip below what I call my easy pace, 8:00/mile. So far, it’s working, but the past two weeks I’ve run into some problems that have kept me from progressing at the rate I’d like to. The following is a chart of my mileage since I decided I was going to do the trans-Canada run. Keep in mind that throughout the summer and the fall, I was doing roughly 30-40 miles per week, focusing on tempo runs and speedwork.

Week 1 (Dec 25-31): 57.2 miles, incl. solo marathon

Week 2 (Jan 1-7): 62.1 miles, incl. 27-mile long run

Week 3 (Jan 8-14): 67.2 miles, incl. 28 split up on Saturday

Week 4 (Jan 15-21): 70 miles

Week 5 (Jan 22-28): 49.3 miles

Week 6 (Jan 29-Feb 4): 71 miles

So, the first four weeks were great… slow, steady progress, without my average pace lowering much at all. Weeks 3 and 4 had some really nasty weather, too. I was upset and remain a little upset with myself about what happened in Week 5: it was all going according to plan, until Saturday came. I had a crazy long run scheduled, something like 30 miles, and the condition of the sidewalks and streets was truly horrendous. Any run over an hour was simply out of the question, and it wasn’t, like, “I don’t want to run outside,” it was really “it isn’t possible to run on that kind of ice.” I’m not going to tell the whole story of how many ways I tried to get around this problem, all too late. I lost Tomlinson Fieldhouse to the McGill Team Challenge that day and none of the other indoor tracks were really available. I ran an extremely miserable and slow 9 miles around Parc Laurier, then called it quits and told myself maybe it was good to have a sort of “rest week” amidst all this progress. But it was very depressing. This past week I had been aiming to make up some of the lost progress and do 80 miles, but on Friday night I slipped on some ice, and while I did not completely wipe out, my right ankle / acchilles tendon hurt the next day – so I only did 9 miles yesterday, instead of 18.

Blah blah blah. Of course we can never progress as fast as we want to, and I will be content if I continue to add just a little bit of distance each week. I will see if I can do that 80 miles this week, somewhat more equitably distributed amongst the days (I’ve learned from that Week 5 Saturday blunder… and I try to anticipate weather/sidewalk conditions days in advance, now). I’m also trying to get a little [strength training] “workout of the week” habit going, which worked pretty well last week. I believe maintaining some muscle, particularly around the core, is essential for protecting the body and feeling healthy. If I don’t do any core work, my spine feels really unsupported. So I compiled a list of all my favorite exercises to do at home, and I’m trying to make a unique circuit workout each week which uses a few of them. Here’s what I did Sun/Tues/Fri last week… four times through the circuit is one workout:

  • Chinups, shoulder-width grip (30)
  • Bridge position (5 slow “reps” leaving shoulders on ground, plus hold full bridge position 10s)
  • Power twister (2 reps… holy SHIT, I bought the highest-resistance one thinking I was a tough guy. I would like to see any of you show this thing who’s boss.)
  • Planks (one 60s front plank, then two sides 30s each)
  • Pushups, shoulder-width (40)
  • Wall squat (60s)
  • Handstand pushups or handstands with wall (6)

This was a really good workout. Having things like the planks and the wall squats between more dynamic exercises helped me keep the flow going without too many pauses. Wall squats build quads & protect knees without the severe muscle soreness that interferes with running. Learning to love planks. Pullups and chinups, I have always loved. Looking forward to mixing it up with some other exercises and variations on my favorites next week.

The other week I went to a yoga class taught by my singer friend Rebecca (girlfriend of my occasional running buddy Dave), which was great! I think I’m going to try to fit that in once every week, for some extra – but different and somewhat less strenuous – core work. And it’s free. AND I get a massage this week, that I think I really need… thanks groupon.

Whatever happened to the sun? Blacker than a landlord’s soul… must have run all day.


~ by edmundmilly on February 5, 2012.

One Response to “Come on feet… cruise for me.”

  1. boy is that little film weird. I believe ibuprofen (advil) would be good beyond pain relief– works against swelling and the problem.

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