When I am training for a race, I always have a training plan that progresses, cuts back, peaks, and tapers. But when I’m not 12-16 weeks out from a race, I let my running become more intuitive and flexible. I will set intentions for each week – this number of runs, one long run, one faster run, and a few strength workouts, for example – and then go with how I feel each day as the week progresses.
Last week was a week of intuitive running. I had my intentions in mind and completed those runs when felt best (and when the weather was best) and had a great week of running.
Monday: 5.8 mile trail run
One of my friends (who I also coach) invited me on trail run since it was a holiday. We began running on a long hill, descended and climbed again as we looped through a local state park on dirt trails, and descended back down the giant hill for a total of 750 feet elevation gain. While trail running is certainly not my forte (I am not fast on the trails and inevitably have to power hike some of the steepest hills), I really enjoyed this run and the company.
Tuesday: 5.2 mile run & 30 minute strength train
I felt the past three days – the first long run in 6 weeks, ski lessons, and a trail run – on this run, so I kept the mileage low, the terrain flat, and the effort easy. I ran Ollie, who was practically vibrating due to his excess energy, for four miles, and then I took Charlie out for 1.2 miles. Charlie and I got caught in the rain, only to see the sunshine emerge about half an hour after we completed our run.
Ryan does his speed workouts on Tuesday nights at the gym (at least right now, when it’s dark before 5 PM), so I tagged along and did a strength training workout:
3 sets of 10:
Plank with knee dips
Medicine ball slam
Bridge with alternating leg raises
Med ball Russian twist
Med ball thruster
T-raises on the stability ball
I followed up the workout with some hip and shoulder mobility work.
Wednesday: 35 minutes Pilates
My hip flexors were sore and tight, so I took a rest day from running and hit the mat for a magic circle Pilatesology workout. My workout focused on hip, core, glute, and back strength and mobility and finished with a few minutes of stretching out the hip flexors. My posture felt back to normal after this session and I was ready to run again!
Thursday: 7 mile progression run
My legs felt fresh after the rest day, so I decided to run a little farther and faster. I took Ollie with me to tire him out. We ran the first three miles easy, the middle two miles moderate, and the final two miles comfortably hard.
In the final mile, we were sustaining a surprisingly quick clip for the effort – a 6:55! – until we hit the final stretch along a boardwalk. The bouncing of the boardwalk and the slick surface of recently rained-on wood made me nervous; I had a mental image of Ollie seeing a bird and pulling, sending both of us careening off the boardwalk at that fast pace and crashing straight into the bog. So, I reined in our pace a bit and we finished strong (and more importantly, on dry land) with a 7:08 mile.
This winter’s weather has been so strange and therefore difficult to dress for, and I let the slightly warmer temperatures trick me into thinking I didn’t need gloves. I need to learn that if I plan on running hard, I need gloves even if it’s almost 40 degrees. I had to run my purplish hands under hot water once we got home to even be able to text Ryan about my run!
Friday: 4 mile easy run & Pilates
I took Charlie out for an easy three mile run. In authentic puggle nature, our run involved more potty spots than miles. I took Ollie out for a quick mile to get to four for the day, then completed a short Pilates workout.
Saturday: Rest day
Originally, Ryan and I had the intentions of completing our long run on Saturday. We got out later than planned and found that our long run route was being used as a race course. We were both hungry at that point and Ryan was feeling slight under the weather with allergies, so we opted to move our run to Sunday.
Instead, we went shopping for ski boots. Just like running, a properly fitting boot makes a significant difference in efficiency and comfort. We visited a local shop (Eastside Ski and Sport for local readers) and got fantastic service and brand new ski boots.
Sunday: 10 mile long run
Ryan’s training plan called for a 10 mile long run with the last 2 miles at half marathon race effort, and Ollie and I joined him because company always makes long runs better. Our run started out in the rain and wind, which quickly dissipated. We maintained a comfortable pace in the low 9’s until mile 8, and then we picked it up to finish with 7:59 and 7:54.
Linking up with Weekly Wrap!
How was your week of running?
Do you start each week with a plan or do you base your week off of how you feel?
Receive Weekly Running Tips & Motivation
Subscribe for my weekly newsletter and receive a free download of injury prevention exercises for runners.