Saturday, January 8, 2011

Run around the clock

My running schedule is something I fight with constantly.  When I first started running very early last spring, I found running very tiring and I ran just a day or two a week.  After I started "getting into it" I started running as much as possible.  I was obsessed.  I ran as many days a week as I could, often six or seven.

You would think I would have been an excellent runner because of all of this.  I wasn't.  I still huffed and puffed.  I was pretty sore most of the time and every day was a struggle.  My dad and my husband told me to take a break.  BUT, I had a lot going on, and running made me feel a bit better so I kept pushing. I also assumed I'd finally get better if I kept running every day.

Eventually, I got hurt (there is a separate blog entry about that) and it was bad.  I went through months of PT and I was unable to run.  I wasn't even able to walk, shower or sleep for a while actually.  And so when I started running again, I was determined to do it the right way.  I'd learned a lesson.  

So now, I mix it up a lot.  I don't have a schedule that is set in stone.  I have a set of workouts that I complete during a week to ten day cycle, but in a varying order.  This is due to my schedule being so different on different days.  Some days I'm out of the house for 12 hours of more, and fitting in a "long" run is difficult.  However, other days I work from home and can sneak away for an hour or more.  Another reason I vary day is the weather.  I'm in New England and it could be cold and rainy one day and beautiful and sunny the next.  I don't fight it, I use the nice days to go out and run.  I also want to keep my body guessing as studies have shown that this helps improve fitness.

Okay so here is a list of the workouts I do.  I am constantly changing and I'd like to add more weights in, but for now, this is it.
At least one 5k tempo pace per week.  I also try to get a "long" run in of 4.5 miles or so.
At least one trail run per week.  Ideally I trail run twice a week or so.
Hike.  I hike in a local park and depending on the trail we take its about 1-1.5 hours.
Weights (quick circuit round)
Yoga (in my living room via DVD)
Speed work-1 mile warmup, then 8 rounds of a 30 second sprint followed by a 1 minute walk.
Hill work..I run about 3/4 of a mile, then run up a large hill at the park where I trail run.  I walk down, then repeat five more times.  I usually jog it back to the car, about .4 of a mile.
Spin (I have a video that is about an hour long, also done in my living room)

I think the biggest thing I've learned is that there is no right or wrong way to have a running schedule.  Variation is the key.  Your body learns all sorts of new things and adapts.  One of the biggest bonuses is that with having a lot of options and changing up what you do, the boredom factor is lessened.  

I'd love to hear what some of your favorite workouts are!  I am always looking for new ones to add in!

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