It has now been 7 months since my injury and 3 months since the return to running began. The first run involved 3x1 minute running with 9 minutes walking and by Christmas Eve I had progressed to a continuous easy 3 miles. I then did my first session 2 weeks into the new year and have been gradually building since then.
So, where am I now running wise?
*it is important to know this is only a rough guide and is personal to me. Depending on how I feel, it can be pulled back and changed. It is also set by my coach James Thie who has lots of experience in coaching and has come to know how my body responds to training. It is however 100% down to me to listen to how my body feels.
Monday- Progression run
Mondays have always been one of my favourite training days. Most people dread a Monday, but I see it as a clean slate and the day I decide to be the best, most sensible athlete I can be for a new week. Monday’s are also progression day, and I love a progression.
Whatever level you are at, progressions are great as they are completely relative. They do vary depending on how I feel, but I can usually suss this out pretty quickly into the run. I start super super easy and gradually increase the pace every kilometre. The amount I increase it by depends on how I feel that day, but it usually takes care of itself as I discover how the legs and body feel. It is important I start extremely conservatively, as I want to be sure that each kilometre will be faster than the previous one. You can also vary the length of the progression depending on what you are training for/how your tiredness levels feel that day.
Tuesday- Session day!
Tuesday is always a session day, and currently, this usually takes shape of a fartlek session. Fartlek is a training method that includes variations of speed and intensity. The reps and recoveries can be of any length, and this usually dictates the intensity. For example, I have done sessions of 5 minutes/4/3/2/1/3/2/1, with the following rep as recovery. The 5 minutes is a much more controlled pace that you can sustain, whereas the 1 minute, is all about pushing the pace. These are again great for athletes of all abilities, as the pace is completely relative, you just have to be able to sustain the pace for the rep length.
Wednesday- cross training and gym.
I personally respond quite well to cross training. It is an essential part of my training to help keep me fit, but it also reduces the amount of stress my body is exposed to. Following a session the day before, which is quite stressful on the body, it allows my body to recover without continuing to put a high level of impact through it. This is essential post injury, but also at all times of training to help prevent injuries.
Thursday- Easy/Steady run
This is also a very flexible day that completely depends on how my body feels. If I’m feeling tired, I will stay on the easy side, but if I’m feeling quite fresh, it can be more of a steady pace. It will however not be faster than steady, as the next day is a session day so I need the body feeling good tomorrow.
For the those who aren’t sure what a steady pace is, it is faster than easy, but it still feels comfortable. It lies between easy and tempo, but is very much dictated by feel. As you can probably tell by now, my training is very much guided by feel, which is important to ensuring I listen and respond to my body to get the best out of it on that day.
Friday- session day two!
Fridays are a good day because it’s the second session of the week, which means it’s another opportunity to get the legs moving.
Currently Fridays are usually tempo based. This may be in the form of a continuous tempo or intervals involving a mixture of tempo and other paces. Tempo is a controlled hard effort that can be held for an extended period of time. You want to feel like the body is working, but you could keep that pace comfortably going for a longer time.
Saturday- Complete rest or cross training.
Saturday has a similar explanation to a Wednesday, except it is consistently a rest day. Rest is essential to recovery, but also to keep the body in one piece. Rest days are therefore a non-negotiable. Therefore, even if I feel great, I will still have one. They only vary in the respect, if I feel I need to have an extra one because I’m very tired, this is always an option. However, not having one is NOT an option. This is something I am very strict on ensuring I do post-injury.
Sunday- Easy long run
My long run has been very slowly progressing week on week since my injury. I have currently been sat at 65 minutes for a couple of weeks. I do my runs/long runs off time as opposed to distance. I have always done this and I find it more relaxing on the brain. This is because however I am feeling, I will always have the same amount of time on my feet. If I feel tired, I can go slow and know that I will still be on my feet for the same amount of time, as opposed to longer because it takes more time to complete the distance. This is however completely personal preference.
In addition to running, my week involves a lot of other things, such as recovery methods, fuelling, S&C and cross training activities, but I will do another blog to explore these. There is a lot more to a runners life than just running.
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I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!