The temp at 10:31 AM today. That’s just…..cold.
First, can we talk about how Chicago is currently enduring January-like weather?! We’ve officially entered the season when I constantly check the weather to decide what time of day to run. And unfortunately, I’ve had to do the majority of my running inside lately. I have a hard time getting outside to run in anything colder than “feels like 10 degrees”. And while we haven’t had to deal with that much snowfall yet, footing is still tricky. Until my quad is back to 100% I’m being super cautious and sticking to the treadmill. And I’m going to have to come to grips with the fact that I’ll need to embrace the treadmill this winter in order to get some strong Boston training in.
Second, running is becoming fun again! (Wahoooooo!) I ran 35 miles last week, which means I’ve been able to increase my mileage every week for the past month (20-35 miles per week, along with cross-training). I’m going to level it off this week at 35 miles and include some fartlek action just to keep things interesting and to see how the leg reacts. I have been playing with the pace a bit this week, but haven’t dipped below 7:40 pace in two weeks. I’m working a lot on my form and focusing on smoothing my stride. I’ve always felt like I have a pretty solid stride but the slight difference between the left and the right certainly caught up with me over 100s of miles this year. It’s been nice to regroup. And it’s a huge relief that 35 miles doesn’t feel like a big ol’ sufferfest right now. I think ART sessions each week have made a big difference–I’m not sure I’d be running comfortably without it to be honest. Woop woop for finding a solution!
Third, I’m working on building strength in weak areas. I lost sight of my strength training in late September and I think it played a huge part in the breakdown. (How I could forget about doing that Jillian Michaels’ 6 Week 6 Pack DVD each Wednesday is beyond me!) I’ve always tried to be consistent in my strength and cross-training but sometimes it’s easier than others. (A peak at some of the strength routines I’ve done in the past.)
My PT and I discussed my weaknesses in November and came up with a few routines that should prevent future injury. A sampling for ya!:
Dynamic Warm-up: before every run
Most of these are pretty self explanatory. I notice a big difference when I commit to doing a full warm-up (takes less than 8 minutes) than when I decide to skip it.
Hip Strength Routine: 3 x weekly
I use a TheraBand for #s, 1, 4, & 11. If it feels too easy, I swap out that band for one with greater resistance.
Again, some of these seem so simple and easy but when you do it as a whole routine, you walk out of the gym feeling like you have old lady hips (in a good way?). Doing all of this with your own body weight + a medicine ball/kettlebell is a serious workout for muscles that are typically neglected while training.
If you do one set of 15 reps for each exercise, this should take you at least 25-30 minutes.
Core Routine: 3x weekly
This is Predawn Runner’s Promethius Core Routine for runners. I’ve been using this routine for almost 2 years now. It’s quick, challenging (more so than it seems), and I feel like it gets the job done. Once I feel like I’m easily doing 2-3 sets with each exercise at 1 min, I do 2 sets with each exercise at 1:30 (using the timer on my phone).
Do you strength train? What’s your favorite exercise?
Is there a difference between the strength training you do during the on/off seasons?