Falling into a running rut is the worst. I was there several weeks ago. Running seemed more like a chore than the hobby I fell in love with. Out of desperation, I reached out to my former cross country coach for guidance. Through talking to her, she created a training plan for me titled: Jane's '"I Love To Run" Training Plan.
Included with the list of workouts was a note: "Feel free to adjust the days of the week to fit YOUR schedule. Since your goal is to feel like a runner again and enjoy running, I encourage you to just run the miles without your watch. Just go out and listen to music, or talk to God. Try not to worry about your speed."
Run without my watch? I thought she was crazy, but I gave it a try.
On the plan, she has me running four days, training for strength (weights/plyos/circuits/videos) two days, and taking one rest or active recovery day.
The first week was an "easy" week. The mileage was low and it was to help me get back into a groove. I ran the first couple times without a watch to get past a mental block. The next week was the first of three "build" weeks. Though hesitant about Build Week 1, as it included a 10K for my long run, there was no turning back now--I was determined to be and feel like a runner again. I incorporated my Garmin watch back into the mix, followed the schedule, and to my surprise I dominated the 10K, and then some.
According to the Garmin Forerunner 405CX (which I am now in LOVE with after my cousin gave me a tutorial and customized the watch to fit my needs), I ran 6.38 miles at an 8:13 minute per mile pace. Clocking in my last mile at a 7:47 minutes, I felt on top of the world; I felt like a runner again.
The best part of a long run? When it's done. It is important to stretch your muscles afterward while they are still in a jello-like stage to help prevent turning into the Tin Man later. My favorite activity to do after a long run is called a "leg drain." Simply scooch your butt up as close as possible to a wall, swing your legs up, and let the blood drain from your feet to down your legs. Typically I will stay in this position for 4-10 minutes, but cater it to how your legs feel. I love leg drains because it allows you to relax and restore your heart rate.
Currently, I am in Build Week 2 which includes some speed-work and hill intervals. This weekend I'll be hitting the trails and soaking up the gorgeous fall weather while on a 7-miler. What plans do you have this weekend?
Catch me if you can,