By Bri Wilson
I need to stay healthy, injury free and well rested for at least the next nine days.
I always seem to have something come up just days before a goal race, which probably has something to do with the time of year I like to run marathons (fall, when flu season hits), how hard I run my last long run or if I do a tune-up race near the end of training at a tempo pace (my immune system gets knocked down a bit), and how much sleep I get in the two weeks leading up to the race.
Because I’ve been feeling yucky since Monday (headache, stomach ache, generally blah-ness), I’ve been taking it easy this week on workouts and runs. I usually like to do shorter duration, higher intensity runs in the last two weeks leading up to a marathon, but I think I’m good for speed since I nailed my half marathon race pace two weeks ago. This week and next I plan to focus on some easy runs with a few pick-ups near the end, yoga and foam rolling.
Long run day! I went out for a 26 km easy run at a 5:48 pace in a time of 2:31. I didn’t take any water or fuel (I ran one loop around Elk/Beaver lake so I hit the water fountains twice) and felt really good, despite feeling tired and a bit under the weather that day.
On Sunday I opted for an easy 5 km recovery run instead of a rest day, as I took an extra day off during the week. My legs were a bit tight but felt fine once I got going.
MONDAY (this week)
I wasn’t feeling good on Monday so I took another rest day. I also stress-ate half a box of sugary cereal and immediately regretted it. Ugh.
I got up early and did 30 minutes of light strength training, a bit of core work and yoga, followed by a 20-minute incline walk on the treadmill. I still wasn’t feeling well, so instead of taking the dogs out for a walk when I got home I had an Epsom salt bath and went to bed early.
I was feeling a little better, so I did an 8 km tempo-ish run after work. I did a slow jog for the first 2 km, then picked up the pace for the next 4 km, followed by an easy 2 km jog back home. I forgot to charge my Garmin so I relied on my FitBit to track distance, time and pace, which said I ran a 5:42 pace for 7.64 km in 43:33 minutes (I find FitBits tend to be off when it comes to run tracking, but I haven’t yet tested my new FitBit Charge 2 against my Garmin). I was feeling a little winded at the end, but okay. I took the dogs for a 1 km sprint after since my FitBit said I came up a bit short for distance.
On Thursday I focused on strength training using mini bands (great for glute exercises) and a few body weight exercises, followed by a 20-minute incline treadmill walk. I was feeling a lot better by Thursday (probably because I didn’t eat half a box of cereal this time) but had a terrible sleep, so I think a low-key weekend is in order.
I have a flex day today, so I plan on doing an 8 km run with a few intervals and hill sprints thrown in for good measure, followed by some yoga, rolling and stretching on the yoga wheel. Saturday will be a 15-16 km run, and Sunday will be another 5 km recovery run.
Bri Wilson is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and freelance fitness and health writer based in Victoria, BC. Bri writes about training for marathons, triathlons and ultra marathons on her blog, runliftyoga.com.