Life, Running

Marathon Monday #2: Finding What Works!

Hi Friends:)

I had a great week of pre-marathon training and fitness this week, which was super helpful because work has been hard lately. I am a big believer in finding joy in the little things even when everything else feels really rough. After being injured all summer, I am so thankful to have fitness and running back in my life so that I’ve always got a little bit of an outlet at the end of the day.

So, here’s the recap!

  • Monday: 2 miles of running, LiveFit Week 8 Arms and Abs workout.
  • Tuesday: 45 minutes swimming (I did a 5 minute warmup I described here, then freestyle for 35 minutes, then I do the warmup again as my cool down)
  • Wednesday: 2 miles running, at-home hip and glute workout (more on this soon!)
  • Thursday: 2 miles running, LiveFit Week 8 Chest and Abs workout
  • Friday: 30 minutes elliptical, Livefit Week 8 Delts workout.
  • Saturday: 5 hilly miles running at an easy (11:01) pace
    • Total Weekly Mileage: 11 🙂 

You might be noticing that I’ve been skipping my LiveFit lower body lifts. This is intentional, if sad; right now, come of the leg machines irritate my old injuries in my leg and ankle. Because of the way the leg extension and leg curl machine fit my short frame, for example, I found that my shins were splinting for days after a leg lift. I took a full two weeks off from leg lifts early last month, and then began experimenting with what I could do to continue strengthening my lower body without causing damage.

I’ve found that I am still able to do moderate-weight leg presses, squats, box-step ups, lunges, hip abductor/adductor, and kettle bell russian arabesques comfortably. So I mix one or two of those in every time I weight train so that I’m not stressing my legs out all at once. I focus on more reps and slightly lower weight than I typically would use. I am hoping that by wintertime I am able to work through a normal leg lift combo without issues; but right now, I am happy with the exercises I am able to do and I can tell that they are effective, even if they’re not exactly what my LiveFit app tells me to do. 

Now, RUNNING UPDATE!

I noticed in some of my race photos last spring that my knees drive inward when I pick up my feet. This suggests weak hip and glute strength, so I’ve been working on those things in strength training. I’ve also been focusing on my form and making a conscious effort at I run to drive my knees forward, not inward. It takes a lot of thought!

This form problem also suggests over-pronation. I haven’t thought about pronation since I had my first and only running-store gait analysis some 5 years ago and they told me I am a neutral runner. But about a year ago, I fell over a curb at the grocery store, rolled my ankle, and did some serious damage to the outer ligaments of my left foot. My PT had me using a light wrap and KT tape on my ankle throughout my first training cycle after the sprain, but I largely abandoned this practice come springtime. In an effort to further help my gait, I am once again taping and sometimes even wrapping my ankle, and it’s REALLY helped! I can feel and see that my foot is facing the correct direction, and it’s alleviated any pain I was getting through my calf muscle, as well. 

see my knees coming IN, instead of moving forward. also ignore my beet red face, it was super humid and there was no water for us.

I am also trying to focus on proper fueling now that I’m running consistently. I’m doing okay with food, but my once-model hydration habits have gone down the tubes this fall. Example: I made the mistake on Saturday of having just one glass of water before a 5-miler on a sunny, 65 degree day. All the fountains along the path I ran on were turned off for the season already (pipes start freezing in late October in Boston, woof) which was SO SAD.

As I nursed a dehydration headache and got nothing done for the rest of my Saturday afternoon, I remembered that I OWN A HAND BOTTLE. And I used to consciously add extra hydration the day before a longer run. And like, I should have some gatorade powder around or something, for goodness’s sakes. Like, I take three months off and I’m playing this like a newbie.

So the moral of this whole, elongated, ridiculously unwieldy post is just that every training cycle is different and fitness is a trial and error process. I’ve learned that if something isn’t working for me, I should not just march on through the pain and refuse to make alterations. No, I should make sure to address weaknesses and allow myself to be flexible while I work up to marathon-readiness!!

Now You Tell Me:

  • Fitness goals for this week? My goal is 15 miles total running!
  • Do you alter or adapt any workouts to suit your needs?
  • Fueling tips?!? GO!?