In training again

This week I started my 10K training program, organized through my local Fleet Feet store. The Fleet Feet Distance Project: Faster/Farther program has a goal race of a 10K on May 11. This week saw our first two group workouts, as well as the first session of the related optional weight training class.

I discovered a few things this week, including the fact that the afternoon is apparently my best time to go running, that I’m not sure yet when the optimal time for weight training is, and that I’m really starting to get “real runner” impulses.

Tuesday, 2/18:

Second consecutive SRD [Scheduled Rest Day] here. Tomorrow is the first workout of the 10K program, followed by weight training, so I’m hoping that my system will have performed a complete reset and I’ll be able to run the way I was going about a week or so ago rather than how I’ve been the last week. Here we gooooo!!!!!!!

Wednesday, 2/19:

Tonight was the kickoff of the spring Fleet Feet Distance Project Faster Farther program, with a 10K goal race on May 11. After some introductions and discussion, we headed out for about 2.5 miles just to get started. After sitting around for 20 minutes or so, all of the stretching and warming up that I did had vanished and it took a while to shake things out. Also discovered a short way in that I should have taken my asthma inhaler before we started. Either that, or I shouldn’t have tried to keep up with the running pack at the start. They took off at a faster pace than I was ready for without warmup. Even with the walking, I had a 12:33 pace for the run, so that’s pretty good.

After the run, I had about a half-hour to change, get a little nutrition in, and get set for weight training. Wow, my butt got kicked tonight. It really didn’t have anything to do with it coming right after the run, either. Most of this was upper body, and I was just pushing it as much as I could. Many of the exercises would have been easier if I didn’t weigh so much, but that’s part of why I’m doing this in the first place, so….

All told, a great workout that wiped me out. We’ll see how I do next week. Meanwhile, our training plan has me running 25 minutes either tomorrow or Friday, a 4 mile group run on Saturday morning, and another 25 minute run on Sunday. I also have to fit in another day of weight training on my own between now and next Wednesday to do my “homework.”

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can….

Thursday, 2/20:

After the beating I took from the weight training last night, I was in fairly rough shape this morning. The program’s training plan had me doing a 25-minute run either tonight or tomorrow night. Since I’m not sure whether or not we’ll be doing a family thing tomorrow night, I decided to run tonight. With the rain coming down and my wife working late, I decided to hit the dreadmill since it was a short run. I was determined to push the pace a bit despite last night’s workouts, and I ended up doing an average 11:17 pace for a total of 2.2 miles. That’s actually a PB [Personal Best] for pace for me! According to RunKeeper [my run tracking app on my phone], my average pace for the week is under 12:00, and my average pace for the month is under 13:00, both current PBs as well. And after this weekend, I’ll have a PB for mileage in a month with a couple of scheduled runs left. Nice!

In thinking back about last night, and after some comments on a Facebook post on my timeline by a personal trainer friend and a marathoner friend, I’m seriously considering seeing if I can switch to the Friday weight training class so that I’m not stacking the workouts on Wednesdays. It’ll mean running on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays on the program, with weight training on Fridays and either Mondays or Tuesdays (for “homework”). Anyone here with experience on intense half-hour weight training following running workouts? Our Wednesday group workouts will include tempo, interval, and track workouts, so I expect them to be fairly intense themselves.

Following some helpful comments by others on the thread:

Thanks for your input, everyone. Between that, feedback from Facebook friends (including a marathoner and a personal trainer) and IRL feedback, I think I’m going to stick with Wednesdays for one more week and see how I feel before I decide on whether or not to try to switch to Fridays. According to the schedule, it looks like Wednesday will be a speed workout of “tennis court loops,” which if I measure correctly would mean about 1K repeats [a repeated series of shorter runs, with short rests between each run].

Some more details in case it amplifies or changes your recommendations:

  • Strength workouts are scheduled for either Wednesdays or Fridays at 7:30 p.m.
  • Wednesdays at 6:00 p.m. we have either intervals [runs broken into fast and slow segments], tempo [runs at a faster pace], hills, or other “specialty” runs
  • Saturdays at 8:00 a.m. are long slow runs
  • The strength workouts are 30 minutes or so
  • This week’s workout featured timed sets (20-30 seconds/set) rather than by rep counts
  • The workout was split squats, barbell rows, dumbbell rows, front squats, jump squats, pushups, and long-lever planks, grouped two or three exercises per circuit
  • There’s also “homework” for the strength training to do another workout the same as the group class during the week, so I still have that to do for this week. I’ll probably do that Monday night.
  • For those that can’t remember exactly, I’ve been running for about 7 months

Thanks again! It’s great to have experienced input in addition to my thoughts when weighing this decision.

Saturday, 2/22:

Yesterday was an SRD, complete with family Italian dinner out that put me way over my calories for the day. Today, we had our group long run on the schedule for this morning at 8:00. I’m usually just crawling out of bed at that point. We had 4 miles planned, but the walkways at the state university campus were still very slippery, so we skipped the tennis court loop and just did a perimeter loop on the roadways for about 3.2 miles. It was probably in the low to mid-30s out. I felt crappy the whole way, but finished with a 12:29 pace despite having to stop and walk when drinking. I think next time I need to be more careful about how hard I push staying with the people in front of me if it’s above my usual pace. Especially when we get to the quarter-mile, 4.4 percent grade hill.

We got back to our cars and I had a flat tire, so I got to sit around for an hour waiting for AAA to show up. There was a fairly large self-tapping screw in the tire. They patched it up (additional $20 charge) and I got to go home. I guess it’s a sign that I’m really a runner that this afternoon when I had a meal in me and the temperature got up over 50, my brain and body said “Hey, it’s much nicer out now and we’re feeling better. Let’s go running again! I bet it’ll be better than this morning!” Of course, I smacked my body down and told it that we’d run again tomorrow, when I’m scheduled for another half-hour easy run. It’s supposed to get up to 41 tomorrow. We’ll see how that goes….

Later Saturday afternoon, when the weather got really nice and the temperature got up over 50 degrees, I almost went out for another run because it was so nice and I felt so much better; I wanted to get the bad run out of my head. When did that happen?

Sunday, 2/23:

The program schedule had me running for 25 minutes today, but since we had to cut yesterday short due to road conditions, I added 10 minutes today. After all of the struggling yesterday, today was great! On yesterday’s 3.2 mile run at 8 a.m., I had to slow to a walk 3-4 times, and went through a whole bottle of water. On today’s 2.9 mile run at 3:20 p.m., I ran without stopping and didn’t even bring water with me. Yesterday, 12:29 pace. Today, 12:08 pace. I hate mornings. Running in the afternoon is great.

Tomorrow night will be my weight training “homework”, with a SRD on Tuesday. Wednesday’s group workout will be 1KM repeats, followed by a second try at weight training right after the group workout. If I’m still not happy, I’ll see if I can switch weight training to Friday starting next week.

I’m also starting to do some research into nutrition for runners. I’m trying to process everything that I’m reading so that I can put together a plan for better fueling and better all-around eating. I’ve got a couple of books by Nancy Clark, a noted sports dietician, that were recommended by multiple people, and I’m working my way through them. I’m also trying to experiment with getting a little outside my usual restricted comfort zone with foods and try healthy stuff that I usually wouldn’t want to touch. We’ll see how that goes. In the meantime, I Keep Moving Forward.

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