April in Review: Sharpen

April in Review: Sharpen

Last time I evaluated my running goals, I had just been diagnosed with a mild case of plantar fasciitis. With the fear of time off from running in the forefront of my mind, I took a conservative approach to setting my spring goals. That served me well throughout the month of April, when I needed to be conservative to ensure that my PF didn’t flare into something worse. 

April has passed, and I am managing my PF well. With renewed confidence in my ability to train without risking serious injury, I’m excited to approach the remainder of spring with more hard work and focus and, therefore, some added goals for the quarter. So how did this past month of April go?

April in Review: Sharpen

Spring 2017 Goals: April in Review

Alleviate Plantar Fasciitis

The tightness in both my arch/heel and calf have significantly reduced since the end of March. I’ve been diligently icing after each run, foam rolling a few times per week, and stretching my calves in a dynamic downward dog almost daily. I wear my Birkenstocks all day, and the difference those shoes make is incredible. You read more about how I am treating plantar fasciitis here. 

April in Review

Run a Sub-45 Minute 10K

I spent April focused on 10K training. Since I had just come off of a strong training cycle for the Lake Sammamish Half Marathon, I felt comfortable with just a few sharpening workouts to prepare me for the race. For a sub-45 minute 10K, I need to run an average pace of 7:14/mile. 

8 x 1K at 10K pace (7:08/mile average pace)
5 x 1 mile at 10K pace (7:09/mile average pace)
5 x 1.25 mile at 10K pace (7:05/mile average pace) 

Beyond goal pace workouts, I also ran some tempo and speed workouts in April with which I was really pleased. Last week’s 6 x 800 meters and the previous week’s 2 x 2-mile tempo run both stand out to me as strong training runs. While race day is a gamble, I’m feeling more confident about this goal after my workouts in April. 

April in Review

Maintain A Base Mileage of 30-40 Miles Per Week

I maintained 30-35 miles throughout the entire month of April – goal achieved! The mileage felt good and comfortable, even with the decent volume of speedwork over the past few weeks. 

I’ll be giving myself a “recovery” week next week after the 10K to just run what feels good – probably less than 30 miles, but after a race I mentally and physically appreciate a down week. 

I briefly considered applying step cycles to my training and cycling my weekly mileage (for example, 30 miles, 33 miles, 37 miles – repeat), but I also know that I enjoy a less structured training plan during late spring and summer. I don’t want to obsess over a certain mileage goal each until training for CIM begins in mid-August. Being a bit looser over weekly mileage gives a good mental break from training. Quite simply, for now, I want to maintain a good base of running that balances well with hiking. 

I’m more comfortable pushing my mileage up to 40 miles some weeks since my PF has stayed in control. Speedwork takes its toll on my body, so I always reduce my mileage when upping my intensity – and once the 10K is over, I can increase my mileage a bit more while still maintaining one workout per week (progression runs, fartleks, short tempos). 

Strength Train 2-3 Times Per Week

I met this goal as well for the month of April! I managed to do at minimum one weight lifting workout and one Pilates workout each week, with 3 strength sessions every week this month except Holy Week in mid-April. 

As I’m reading through Anatomy for Runners, I’m getting more ideas for specific strength training exercises to focus on. I really enjoy using the stability ball for functional moves like hamstring curls, planks, deadbugs, and pikes. I want to add in some hiking specific strength training as well, such as step ups, rows, and shoulder presses. 

April in Review

Core Work & Mobility Work After Easy Runs

I’m taking on an extra goal for May and June. I have the tendency to finish a run, shower, eat, and immediately jump into my work day. Jesica (rUnladylike), one of the runners I admire the most, mentioned in a recent blog post how she’s incorporating small bits of strength training after her easy runs. I really like this idea, because it will foster a valuable habit of building a stronger body without spending a significant amount more time in the gym – and opens up my strength sessions in the gym to focus on total body movements and plyometrics. 

My goal is to take on a few minutes of core work and mobility work after 2 easy runs per week, in addition to my current strength training.  10-15 minutes of core work, Pilates, or even just foam rolling and mobility work can make a significant difference on top of longer strength training sessions. 

[Tweet “April Goals in Review: Sharpening Up #running #goals via @thisrunrecipes”]

How are you doing on working towards your goals?
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18 Responses

  1. Im so glad you have been able to manage your PF! Looks like April turned out to be a great month for you. I like doing a little bit of core work and mobility just about every day. It’s harder to keep up with as mileage increases, but it seems to have become a habit for me after dealing with so many injuries.

    1. Thank you! I think building the habit of daily core work is a great idea- that way when the miles pile up in marathon training, it’s not as bad!

  2. Great job! I’m glad your PF has mostly gone away and hasn’t bothered you during all the hard speed workouts you’ve been doing. I think adding core work at the end of runs is a great idea. It’s an easier habit to get into than trying to add separate workouts during the week, I think

  3. I’m so glad your PF was manageable and didn’t get any worse! Plus it’s great you could run through it and run 30-35 mpw (which may not SEEM like a lot but is probably enough for 10K training for you since you have such a strong base). You’re so in tune with your body and know what to do to train but still avoid injuries or making it worse which is awesome!

    1. Thank you! I’m of the belief that, as Jack Daniels said, you only do as much as you need to do in order to achieve your goal – and that lower mileage is best for helping me balance more speedwork than I’m used to. It varies from runner to runner and takes a lot of intuition and trial & error.

  4. I love how you’re one of those people who make goals and then actually cross them off your list. It’s awesome and inspiring.

  5. I’m like you – I like to run a bit unstructured when I can (which Is most of the time lol). I do really well with the strength work and core stuff because of pure barre. the tone in 10 workout make it easy for me to never have an excuse!

  6. Great job with your goals!! Definitely a lot to be proud of and I can’t wait to see you crush things on Sunday!

    As you know, April temporarily took my goals onto a slightly different track; although I would not say my goals were completely derailed. My goals just had to be readjusted. I am excited to see what May brings my way.

  7. Exactly what Susie says above!!! LOL! You are killing it my friend, PF and all. Your speed workouts and structured pace workouts really indicate strong races in your future. When I had PF in 2015, what helped me the most was getting weekly sports massage and getting the hell worked out of my calves and wearing Kenkoh sandals all day every day when not running. I swear those two things in combination are magic. I also wear Birks and they are basically the only shoes I wear outside of running shoes and Kenkohs unless I’m forced to dress up.

    Also, thank you times a million for your incredibly kind words. I feel the same exact way about you! I love your thoughtful, science based approach. You are a tremendous runner and coach and we all can learn so much from you and your experiences. Can’t wait to see what the next month brings you. xoxo

    1. Thank you so much, Jes! Your blog and running journey has always been an inspiration to me. I can’t wait to see what the next few months bring you!
      And thank you for the shoe recommendations!

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