Happy Monday! How was your weekend?
This week was a scheduled cutback week, but I ended up reducing my mileage even more due niggles on the top of my right foot and in left calf this week. I can’t quite pinpoint whether the cause was not taking a rest day for two weeks or slipping while hiking last week. Stiffness in my left shin on Sunday’s run came and went, but then on Monday and Tuesday an ache set in on the top of my right foot (along my extensor tendon), followed by an extremely tight and sore knot in my left calf on Thursday.
By Tuesday’s run I could tell that these little aches needed some babying, so I opted to cross-train on Wednesday at the very least rather than push myself. By Friday, aching gave way to just tightness. It’s still early in marathon training: one week of missing a few miles will not do any damage, but aggravating a minor ache into a potential full-blown injury will destroy my training cycle.
I’m fairly certain (thanks to digging through all of my coaching materials) that tight calf muscles caused a minor inflammation in my right extensor tendon and a tight knot or slight strain in my left calf. My calves are my “problem area,” so to speak, even though they don’t give my much trouble. Nothing hurts except when I run on the treadmill, which can trigger further irritation of the extensor tendon. Easy outdoor runs don’t cause pain, thankfully, so I’m logging only easy and moderate miles (no faster than near marathon pace) until the tightness subsides.
Thank goodness also for icing, foam rolling, compression socks, and athletic tape!
Jack and Jill Marathon Training Week 4
Monday: 5 miles easy on the treadmill, 8:58/mile
A weird work schedule meant an early morning run, so I swapped my scheduled tempo run for a few miles on the treadmill. I followed Meredith’s easy run treadmill workout and threw in some hilly inclines to keep my pre-coffee brain engaged in the workout.
Tuesday: AM: 8 miles easy, 8:39/mile; PM: 25 minutes of Pilates
To avoid aggravating my foot (sort of the theme of this week’s workouts), I scaled back a tempo run to 8 easy miles, which felt good. My theory is that if I can run without any pain, I can run on the niggle. I also relaced my Kinvaras to put less pressure on the top of my foot, based on this article in Competitor.
Wednesday: AM: 65 minutes elliptical; PM: 30 minutes strength training
I exercised for just over an hour on the elliptical and managed not to cry or scream. The last time I used the elliptical was probably 6 years ago when I had sprained ankle, so I always associate it with injury.
Thursday: AM: 30 minute Pilates; PM: 2 mile walk
In order to scale back my training overall (6 days of running per week just does not work for me), I decided to take Thursdays as my rest day from running. I did a Pilates for athletes workout in the morning and then took Charlie on a long walk while Ryan ran. Actually, Charlie was supposed to run with Ryan, but couldn’t wrap his little puggle brain around why I wasn’t running with them and kept stopping. Although part of me thinks he just wanted to play in the grass at the park.
Friday: 12 mile long run with 3 mile moderate progression, 8:39/mile avg. pace
Oh my goodness did it feel good to run again. After what felt like weeks of rainy long runs, clear skies and warm weather made this run feel fantastic. I felt as if I could have run forever, but capped it at 12 miles per my training plan. My foot and calf felt tight but there was no pain or discomfort.
I let myself ease into a comfortable moderate pace over the final 3 miles, since I felt no pain in my foot. I finished with 8:13, 8:03, and 7:55 – a perfect progression and a good idea of the range where marathon pace may possibly fall if my foot does not ache for too much longer.
Saturday: 10 mile hike, 1400 feet elevation gain
One of our favorite hikes from last season, Goat Lake, was finally snow-free, and the gentle terrain would not stress my foot or calf, so we headed out on an easy long hike for Saturday. I love this hike! The trails and views at the top are stellar!
Sunday: 10 minutes treadmill running + 20 minutes elliptical
Because of rainy weather, Ryan and I opted to take our Sunday run inside. Within a few minutes I knew treadmill running was not going to work, since something about the treadmill caused my foot to hurt. I’m fairly sure I alter my gait on the treadmill, which would probably cause my foot to hurt more due to further stress on the tendons on the top of my foot. I hopped on the elliptical but just wasn’t in the mood to work out for too long because I was frustrated, so once I hit 30 minutes total I quit to ice and elevate my foot.
26 miles run | 85 minutes cross-train | 10 miles hiked | 2 supplemental workouts
Linking up for Weekly Wrap!
How do you handle niggles and aches during marathon training?
What muscle group always gives you issues?
How was your week in running?