This week I resumed structured training for the first time since 2018. I have a couple of spring races in my sights, including a 10K that I’m registered for and a possible 10 mile race. I’m not greedy for PRs yet, but I still want to race to the best of my abilities. I ran a 48-minute 10K last spring while 16 weeks pregnant; my goal for this spring is to beat that time.
I am starting with a strength phase before tackling harder speed workouts. A C-section truly saps you of your strength, both from the procedure itself and the long recovery. This phase includes lots of hill training (in the form of the treadmill incline), weight lifting, Pilates, increasing mileage, and fartleks at fast tempo efforts (vs more intense VO2max).
Sleep returned to normal this week after the 3- to 4-month sleep regression over the holidays – which is amazing, considering last week began with teething symptoms and ended with a cold. I would not undertake an increase in training load if we were sleep-deprived, but since everyone’s sleeping well, I am ready to push myself.
Monday: 6 mile run
I selected one of the Boston Marathon courses on iFit and followed that for its duration (53 minutes). The inclines were a bit more challenging on this one, with one 10% climb and several 4-6% climbs, and I really enjoyed it. By the time I finished, I was so close to 6 miles that I added on the distance in the cooldown.
Tuesday: 30 minutes run and 10 minutes Pilates
I set the treadmill to 6.7 mph with a 0% incline for an easy run. It was a cruise control easy run, and honestly I probably could have run for longer. After the run, I did Pilates for the first time since pregnancy. I started with a short session to ease back into it (and because I wanted to do some housework before Isla awoke).
Wednesday: 50 minute fartlek run
I was really excited to do a hard workout! I warmed up for 15 minutes, gradually increasing the pace from 6.2-6.8 mph and varying the incline from 0-2%. I then ran 6 x 2 minutes hard, 2 minutes easy. The hard intervals were at 8.2-8.4 mph with a 1% incline and the easy intervals were 6.0-6.4 mph with a 0.5% incline. I cooled down for 11 minutes, gradually decreasing pace.
The hard intervals felt good. My breathing wasn’t heavily labored, but I am still working on feeling comfortable with pushing the pace again. It’s weird to think that two years ago, I ran a half marathon at that pace.
Thursday: Strength training
I have no problem hopping on the treadmill with just a little bit of coffee in my system, but something about strength training requires being a bit more awake.
I have to use lighter weights now than I did for even most of my pregnancy. I used 12 and 15 pound kettlebells and 8-lb free weights for this workout.
15 lateral band walks
10 monster band walks
10 KB goblet squats
10 modified push-ups (on knees)
10 KB swings
10 reverse dumbbell flyes
30 sec side planks
10 single leg lowers
10 banded clamshells
10 banded glute bridges
Friday: 30 minute run
I delayed getting out the door due to dark, dreary weather – which meant that I didn’t run until Isla was awake for the day. Ryan had the day off, so I was able to run outdoors. I took Ollie with me, and we ran 3.5 easy miles at an 8:30-ish pace.
Saturday: 7.4 mile run
I try to run outside every Saturday, but this particular Saturday, it was mentally easier to run inside. Isla was sick with a cold and the weather was cold and rainy. Sometimes, the best thing for training is what is mentally easier, if that means getting the miles done.
I picked an hour long simulation run on the treadmill – the last hour of the Boston course, complete with a simulation of Heartbreak Hill.
Sunday: Rest day
Sunday was as much rest as a day spent obsessively cleaning and taking care of a sick baby can be. Everything – from kettlebells in the basement to each and every baby toy – was disinfected and cleaned. I started babyproofing as well, which involved moving some furniture. By the end of the day, I was tired!
How was your week in running?
Do you often divide your training into focused phases?
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