Mile Markers: Dial Down

Mile Markers: Dial Down Week

This week’s workouts were on the easier, shorter side. I was down one pint of blood after donating on Monday, so I dialed down the distance and intensity of my workouts this week.

Mile Markers: Dial Down Week

Monday: 4 mile easy run

After a weekend packed with long runs and skiing, I opted for an easy and short run. I split the miles of my four mile run between the two dogs. Ollie and I ran an easy 3 miles in the rain and then I ran Charlie for one mile. 

I donated blood a few hours after my run. Since I’m not training for a race right now (my first goal race of 2018 is in May), I was not worried about a temporary decrease in performance. I had wanted and tried to donate blood for almost a decade now and never had healthy enough iron levels. Thanks to my iron supplementation, I was able to donate! I was so excited. The oatmeal raisin cookies were a pretty nice treat also. 

Mile Markers: Dial Down Week

Tuesday: 30 minutes strength training

No run today – I wanted to let my body recover more from donating blood. I took the dogs for a short walk and enjoyed a brief break in the seemingly non-stop drizzle. 

Mile Markers: Dial Down Week

I kept my strength workout lighter because I felt a little bit off during it. I did a shorter strength training workout in the evening, using a 12 pound medicine ball and a resistance mini band:

2 sets of:
Lateral band walk
X-lunge with medicine ball
Medicine ball squat thrusters
Medicine ball slams
Medicine ball Russian twists
Medicine ball planks with knee dips
Jumping lunges
Banded clamshells
Banded bridges
Banded birddogs

Wednesday: 4 mile easy run 

I took Ollie on an easy run. Our first two miles were at a 9:0x pace, and then everything loosened up and we ran the last two miles at an 8:30 pace. I felt as if I was breathing at high altitude, which I figured was from giving blood not even 48 hours prior. 

Thursday: 6 mile easy run & Pilates

Another run with Ollie! We incorporated some gentle hills into this run. This run felt smooth and we maintained a comfortable 8:39/mile average.  After the run, I a quick lower body Pilates workout and spent some time foam rolling. 

Mile Markers: Dial Down Week

Friday: 4 mile easy run

I think Charlie was aiming for a personal record on this run – by the end of the first mile, we had stopped five times for him to poop. Then, it started to rain – and Charlie hates running in the rain. Our pace was slow and we had a few more stops, but I always enjoy taking Charlie out for a run. I had the intention to do Pilates, but I skipped it because I was soaked and cold by the end of the run. 

Mile Markers: Dial Down Week

Saturday: 9 mile hilly run

Ryan and I set out with the intention of running 12 miles, but I had to bail after 9 miles. Unlike last week’s run, which was in rough weather but felt good, this run was just physically tough. Maybe I was still feeling the effects of donating blood or maybe it was just one of those off days, but I felt slow, fatigued, and achy all over. Eventually, I decided it was best to call it a day rather than push through. We returned home and I drank a protein shake and just sat until I had my energy back.

One thing I really want to improve upon in the upcoming weeks is starting out long runs earlier. I prefer to get out around 8 AM, if not earlier, to start my runs, especially if running longer or harder. We didn’t get out on this run until 10 AM, which mentally messed with me. 

On the bright side, we found some great hills and gained about 440 feet in this run, most of which was in the first half. I have really been enjoying hills lately on my runs – they’re a fun challenge without being too taxing.

Sunday: Rest day

After a stressful work week for Ryan, we slept in and opted to not go skiing. The weather wasn’t ideal anyway – 45 degrees and raining at the ski center. Some weeks, a complete rest day just feels necessary. We perused gear at REI (I’ve got my eye on a new Patagonia rain jacket once we receive our dividend), watched more MCU movies, and took the dogs for a walk in a park. 

[Tweet “A week of dialing down the mileage and intensity after giving blood via @thisrunrecipes #runchat “]

How was your week in running?
What time of day do you prefer to run?
How often do you take a complete rest day?

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21 Responses

  1. I feel like a complete rest day really helps me to reset mentally and physically. I also like running early. I like to get out around 6-7 am but in the winter I push it back to around 8 sometimes to let it warm up a bit. But the longer I sit around in the morning, the harder it is to get out there!

    1. It is so hard to get out there later in the morning – so much easier to go before the day gets started. I admire afternoon runners for how disciplined they are to get out there after a long day.

  2. MY run so have been starting all over the place! For years, I was a strict pre dawn runner but now I’m runnig whenever I can Fit it in. Mid morning, midday, late afternoon. It’s so weird but it’s working!

  3. Ahhh, what a nice, laid back week. I love how you really listen to your body and understand what you need, when you need it. It’s an important lesson and one that took me a LONG time to learn. I don’t push though long runs anymore either and I definitely need to be on my workout by 9am or else I have to eat again :-))) And poor little Charlie with all his poop stops!!! LOL. Actually, poor YOU!!

  4. Maybe you needed a week of downtime and donating blood forced you to do it! I’m looking forward to a few easy weeks after my half this weekend. I’m really tired this morning and I think that’s my body’s way of telling me enough is enough!

  5. I’ve been taking complete rest days on Friday because lately I’ve gotten sports massages on Friday and have had to work. Otherwise, I don’t really take them unless I’m sick. I’m just not a fan of complete days off because I have a sedentary job and like to move. Glad you were able to give blood, and thank you for giving and helping save lives with it! I know a few runners who give and it’s a great thing for those who can do it.

    1. A sports massage can be a hard pounding on the muscles, even if it’s not a workout! I usually do like a walk even on a complete rest day because it does feel so nice to move!

  6. I try to take a complete rest day every week – I run out of steam quickly otherwise. After having a vial or 2 of blood drawn for testing, I’m lightheaded and completely useless for the rest of the day – I can imagine donating blood would affect you for a few days afterwards.

    1. I don’t know how people go on long streaks without ever resting. The effects of donating can last for a few days – and even for a few weeks when it comes to harder running.

  7. Those ‘off’ days are no fun because I’m always trying to explain them but sometimes there is no good explanation- you just move on and know that next time will be better!

  8. Sounds like you got a solid week in!

    I take 2-3 rest days per week… haha… although I know I could be doing some strength training or yoga…. but this has been working well for me so far. (3-4 days of running + strength training). I love my rest days (it’s mostly during the week because I work long days, so I only get up really early twice during the week).

  9. Everyone needs a dial down week. I prefer early morning runs during the week and mid morning on the weekends so I can sleep later. Being and older {ahem} runner, I have no shame in complete cardio rest 2 days a week. I may or may not do yoga, stretching or foam rolling on those days. The Blood Mobile used to come to our office all the time. They’d give out the cutest T-shirts with funny sayings. I still have some of them 25+ years later. Thanks for linking!

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