One down, sixteen more weeks to go. First week went great: no shin splints, no stress fractures, and no major back issues. Maybe I will see them soon but why bother; in the meantime I will keep running. Group run yesterday attracted more people than last time since the weather was warmer (relatively speaking haha, it was still freezing temperatures.) Since last week, I ran in knee and calf sleeves on separate occasions, zoned in on a pace range, and revamped my strength and cross-training workout schedule.
I purchased knee sleeves to aid in lifting when I started working on 1RM squats and deadlifts. From what I read, there is a general consensus that those sleeves make you stronger and lift heavier weights, at best, and do not do anything, at worse. I found that they do actually aid in the recovery process as I’m not as sore the following day. One down side, or up depending on how you look at it, is that because I’m wearing those sleeves, I tend to lift heavier weights and thus taxing my knees more. So between moderate-heavy weight lifting and modestly shorter recovery time I will probably opt to wear them next time I have a serious leg day.
As for calf compressions, I love those. They definitely do help in recovery as they increase blood flow to muscles and keep them nourished while you pound them running. However, when I wore yesterday for my 6-mile run it felt a little restrictive. Maybe because my body is not used to it? Maybe I need to wear it more often to get used to it? At any rate, I found myself taking it on/off periodically. I ran with them on for about two-and-a-half miles then off for about a mile. That progression seemed to keep my legs a little happy. I did have to alternate between walking and running though – something I’m trying to wean myself off of doing. At one point I felt there was incredible pressure on my Achilles tendon that I realllly wanted to just cut the sleeves.
So, all in all, knee sleeves did not help me while running; calf compressions might, I have yet to decide. Knee sleeves are restrictive, if anything. While knees were happy and compressed, my anterior tibialis and gastros were getting killed. So much pressure that ultimately slowed me down. I wore it for last Monday’s easy run and I finished with a 11.4 min/mile pace. Sadly. As for calf compression sleeves, while they definitely helped after the run, I will need to give them another try on Monday before deciding if I should stick to them or not while running. At any rate, it was a good investment and I’m happy with them.
This was a bit challenging for I do not usually shoot for a pace when running. There are many reasons as to why I run, keeping a five-min pace is not one of them. Ok maybe that was dramatic but you get the point. Previously, I averaged somewhere 10.5 and 11.5 min/mile pace. 8.2min/mile could very much be my PR and I almost threw up towards the end. So zoning in on a pace range was challenging for me.
One of my goals is discontinue run-walk-run and complete my runs just that, running. This past week I have been experimenting with my body as far as running straight without walking. I have been successful with average time walking of 8-10 seconds max per mile. I’m teaching myself to jog as opposed to walk when my muscles are cramped or tired. Since I’m running ~65-80% of my heart rate, I do not have problems with my breathing. So there is room for pace improvement one I get all the capillaries built in my system. Physiologically speaking, it is better to go slow to give adequate time for the body and circulatory system to adapt than to shock your body with say 8-min-miles.
I’m happy with my current pace and I will definitely work on improving it. Super ideally, though, I would like to go on less than 9 minutes pace so that I finish the race under four hours. Go Mustafa, go haha. Not-so-ideal-yet-a-great-goal would be to finish under five hours, aka ~-10-min-pace.
I revamped my workout schedule because my goals are different this year, at least until end of race. My previous workout focused on gaining strength and building muscle, primarily. Starting next week, I will be doing workouts that target my weak spots in running such as tight hamstrings, sore calves, and tired lower back. The program also is expected to increase strength and endurance in core, legs and back. The workout (I will dedicate a post to it later) will include two days for legs and one day for chest/back and shoulder/arms each; also, there will be three days dedicated for cross-training (somewhere between 25-35 minutes of steady-state cardio workout.) I will be resting on Sunday. I’m stocked.
Week 1 Running Stats
Monday 1/12 3 miles= 34.15 minutes, pace= 11.4min/mile
Wednesday 1/14 3 miles= 32.04 minutes, pace=10.7min/mile
Saturday 1/17 6 miles= 65.67 minutes, pace=10.9min/mile
Week 1 average pace= 10.99min/mile
To-do List for Next Week
- Run with calf compression sleeves one more time before deeming it useless while running
- Allow two hours before run for food to be digested. (I experimented with my body yesterday by allowing only one hour for my stomach to process what I ate – ~ 3 tbs peanut butter and a banana. I got an upset stomach and shooting pain in my stomach for ~10 minutes after running a couple miles.)
- Have a weekly average pace of 10.50min/mile
- Decrease walking time while running