Category Archives: cross training

Week in Review 9.26.16 to 10.2.16

How is it already October?!

Monday: Woke up almost embarrassingly sore from hiking. Bit of a combo run, with a before practice then a few 1200s at 7:00 pace with some of the team. 8.5 miles.

Tuesday: Also known as, World’s Most Athletic Day. Hiked Eagle Mountain with Will and the dogs in the morning then did an hour run then went to CRWrx class (30 minutes of core). 4 miles with the team in the afternoon.

Wednesday: Sore, explanation above. My legs were fine but all the tiny stabilizer muscles in my core were on fire! 3.5 mile recovery run.

Thursday: 10.5 mile run at a very good clip in perfect fall weather.

Friday: 5.5 mile run in the morning then Body Pump.

Saturday: 7 mile run at Thetford plus coaching sprints.

Sunday: Felt awful all day but Will convinced me to get out for 5.

Total Miles: 51

Total September Miles: 225

Found a much better balance this week of getting out and enjoying the outdoors, being present to coach and training myself. My training isn’t particularly focused right now but I’m working on building general fitness and more importantly, actual strength through Body Pump and core class.

Had a great meeting with Dave from Skechers on Wednesday where we got to talk goals for 2017 and I got to see the new lineup! I have a bazillion pictures of all the snazzy new gear (can’t share them yet) but I was really impressed to see the following improvements:

  1. Refinement of the soles to make them more streamlined and lighter. Bonus for being more durable (~500 miles of durability in wear testing)
  2. Uppers are now all FlyKnit for a better fit and more comfortable ride
  3. The Meb Razor. This shoe is going to be an instant hit and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

Week in Review 9.19.16 to 9.25.16

Monday: 7 mile recovery run.

Tuesday am: Body Pump then 7 miles easy.

Tuesday pm: 4 miles with the team, some moderately fast in their workout.

Wednesday: Interval workout. 10 by 400 on the track (87 to 89 for all). 10.5 miles total.

Thursday: 4 miles easy plus Body Pump.

Friday: 8 mile run in the rain and cold.

Saturday: 6 miles at Manchester.

Sunday: Power hiked Camel’s Hump with Will. 45 minutes up, 30 minutes down. Both of us are sore today!

Total Miles: 46.5

I’m starting to embrace whatever the day offers me for fitness. Part of me wants to be back on a strict training plan, with big race goals and high mileage, and part of me is loving the fact that when I woke up yesterday and it was 40 and sunny and crisp, I decided I wanted to go for a hike and did that instead. As I wrote last week, I’m struggling with a comparison trap and trying hard to get myself out of that rut. I did get a super successful workout in on the track last week and am happy with my effort in that. I’m also really loving getting to Body Pump a couple of times a week. I’m sore but definitely getting stronger again.

For this week, I have a marathon pace workout today (fits with the team workout…) and a long run Thursday plus Body Pump, some doubles and a hike up Mount Mansfield on Sunday.

Week in Review: 9.12.16 to 9.18.16

Monday: Workout on the Eastern Trail. 10 by 1 minute hard, 1 minute easy in an 8 mile run. Actually felt pretty strong; relatively cool day, so I think that helped a lot.

Tuesday: Off day, prorated at 7 miles.

Wednesday: 5 mile easy run plus core.

Thursday: 8 mile tempo run with 4 by mile at tempo pace (6:24, 6:20, 6:20, 6:16). Body Pump at noon, easy run with the team in the afternoon.

Friday: 6 mile recovery run that was much needed.

Saturday: 7 miles around the U-32 Invitational. Double wins for the JV and Varsity girls! Such a proud day as a coach; they executed the race plan perfectly and didn’t get pulled out in fast starts.

Sunday: 12.5 mile long run. Thought dew points of 65 were gone but I was wrong. Total grind in the sun and humidity for this one.

Total Miles: 53.5

A bit of a weird week of running. I had two good workouts on Monday and Thursday but spent the rest of the week a little stressed out about trying to continue to train well with my other commitments. Although my schedule is relatively flexible right now, I sometimes struggle to fit in quality mileage for myself around the team schedule. I know the best thing is to get up and do my own run in the morning but then I end up doubling and that seems to grind me down as well. Hoping to firm up my racing schedule in the next week which should help me be more grounded in terms of workouts and motivation.

I’m happy that I went back to Body Pump and am looking forward to getting a couple more classes in this week. It’s so fun to do something a little different than running and challenge muscles that I used to have! My biceps, however, seem less excited about this particular plan.

Train Like Meb Sweepstakes

When I was running along the Silver Strand last week, a guy came by me on an ElliptiGO and since I don’t see a lot of them in Vermont, I asked him how he liked it and he responded with a resounding “I love it!!!” I haven’t had the opportunity to try one yet (the bike shop in Coronado said they had them but apparently there was a mixup) but I’ve seen some of the UVM runners using them as well as one (possibly crazy) lady who commutes on Route 15 through insane traffic. I’m not someone who loves the elliptical because I feel locked in and get quite a bit of knee pain, so I’m interested in whether the ElliptiGO makes me feel similar aches and pains. At $2000, it’s a hefty investment right now especially when we only have one bike path where it could work but if we move somewhere for residency that is flatter, it will definitely be on my list to add to our gym.

This sweepstakes is an awesome opportunity to win both an ElliptiGO and a new pair of Skechers GoRuns and would definitely upgrade your spring training!

Have you tried an ElliptiGO? What’s your favorite cross training tool?

Week in Review 2.22.16 to 2.28.16

Monday: Tempo run. 15 minutes at T pace then 2 by 1 mile at M pace.

Tuesday: 4.5 mile trail run in Sunny Hollow.

Wednesday: 4 mile run on the treadmill.

Thursday: 6 mile run.

Friday: 5 mile workout with 10 by 1 minute hard, 1 minute easy. Felt really clunky at first but great by the end.

Saturday: 6 miles of skiing at Sleepy Hollow.

Sunday: 11.7 mile long run. Was somehow flying for this run, which is encouraging for Spring 2016!

Total Miles: 43.2

Better week! Happy to get two workouts in and even happier with the way my long run went today. It was windy and I worked all morning but I just clicked in and ran 7:30 pace that felt like jogging for almost 12 miles. I attribute some of this to my being excited to get an outdoor run in and some of it to switching up vitamins and learning to tolerate a bigger dose of iron. Regardless, it makes me excited for the season to come.

For this coming week, it’s States Week, so much of my energy will go to supporting the MMU team as they aim to win the championship on both sides. Running-wise, I’ll be doing a steady state run, another time based interval workout and a 1:40 long run. On my recovery days, I’m hoping to get back onto some trails but we have sketchy weather coming through that may make it too icy to be safe.

Week in Review 2/8/16 to 2/14/16

Well, the Trials are a wrap and it was an incredible day as promised. The heat was severe as many athletes dropped out throughout the race and even the seemingly infallible Shalane Flanagan suffered towards the end. In the end, the men’s side came out to be Galen, Meb and Jared Ward while the women’s side will be Amy Cragg, Desi and Shalane.

Monday: 4.25 mile run on the frozen golf course to start getting my legs ready for my spring adventures.

Tuesday: 5 miles early on the treadmill. Workout attempt fail #1. Hip core after.

Wednesday: 6 mile hill run on the treadmill.

Thursday: Post call, off day.

Friday: 6.2 mile plod and study.

Saturday: 10 miles feeling great on the treadmill because it was -8 out!

Sunday: 4 miles easy plus arms.

Total Miles 35.4 

Running is such a fickle beast. Last week, every run felt amazing. This week, every run was a ploddy achy struggle until Saturday when I felt great again with no explanation for either end of the spectrum. So it goes. For this week, I’ll be doing my normal running mileage plus adding in an afternoon workout of either snowshoe running, trail running, stairclimber or walking/jogging at 15% grade as the weather and snow allows.

Feel the Burn

No, this isn’t a political post even if I’m from Vermont and Bernie Sanders was in fact a bit of a track star.  This is about that burn that we all chase as endurance athletes, the one that part of us shrinks from and the other part of us reaches for.

It’s not that I can’t get good lung burn when I run but I’ve been doing it long enough that it’s rare for me to really hurt during most workouts. On Saturday, however, I remembered what it’s like to suffer. I started the day by skiing. In a normal year, I ski most days of the winter and besides the first couple days, I’m generally happy except on the steepest of hills. Thanks to surgery this winter, however, I’ve only been on my skis a handful of times. As such, I put myself in a bit of an exhausted hole by the end of the races on Saturday morning. Then I head out to run on my snowshoes. I wanted to try it before the race and with another melt on the way, it seemed like Saturday was my best bet. I set off at a good clip (read: in motion) across the fields at MMU with the plan of running our new XC course a couple of times. By the time I had climbed the first big hill, I was gasping for air and looked down at my watch: 4 minutes. Shit. As the run went on, I got more efficient and learned how to run hills without totally going into oxygen debt but one thing is for sure: snowshoe running is no joke. I’ll be thrilled if I run 11 minute miles next weekend.

And this wasn't even deep snow!!

And this wasn’t even deep snow!!

On the way home, I was invigorated in a way I haven’t been after a run in a long time. Yes, I was humbled and exhausted, but I was also so excited to be challenged and to find a new way to expand my fitness.

What activity have you done lately that humbled you? What’s your surefire way to make your lungs burn?

Week in Review 1.25.15 to 1.31.15

Monday: 4 mile recovery run.

Tuesday: 6 mile run.

Wednesday: 9.2 mile run midweek!! Woo!

Thursday: 6 mile run plus arms.

Friday: 6 mile progression run. Legs after.

Saturday: All of the snow activities. 15K of skiing at the race then 20 minutes of snowshoe running.

Sunday: Sore! Yoga first thing then a lovely easy 5 with Megan.

Total Miles: 36.4

Total Miles for January: 138

Happy with this week and hopeful that I’ll crack 40 for next week. The weather is still all over the place up here and it’s left some very icy sidewalks but I’ve still been able to be outside a few days a week. I’m not sure the snowshoe race is going to go next weekend with temperatures in the 50s tomorrow but I’m keeping my fingers crossed (although if yesterday was any indication, 7K is going to be incredibly painful!)

Improvement Season: Strength

When I think about strength training, it splits into two categories: strength for injury prevention and strength for speed development. While I think I did a good job with the former, my form and turnover towards the end of my training cycle suggests that I was less successful at the latter.

What did I do this training cycle? Arms on recovery days, 20 minute legs on workout days and core with the team, which is to say a little more sporadically than desired. Going into Philly, I wasn’t injured but I also didn’t feel particularly strong.

I attribute part of this to the fact that I didn’t rotate routines or up my weights. When I make strength routines for my team, we do them for no more than 6 weeks then change it up so that muscles never have an opportunity to plateau. In the moderate chaos of coaching, training and classes, I didn’t spend enough time trying to diversify my strength routines.

Going forward, my goal is to do a different strength routine every day and to try to incorporate more movement and balance into those exercises. For example, rows from a plank position rather than bent over rows or single leg deadlifts instead of traditional deadlifts. One of my favorite resources for workout ideas is Pinterest. Although it’s not exactly the pinnacle of exercise science and the emphasis on “bikini bodies” or “blast those love handles” is a little nauseating, it does have tons of workouts and exercises from which it’s possible to make some great routines. I’ve spent the last week looking through all my workout pins, writing down exercises that I want to try and piecing together new routines. As I work through them and figure out what ones I love, I’ll be sharing them here.

Where do you get new ideas for strength training? How often do you switch up your routine?

Well Rounded

I love my Assistant Coach dearly. He’s been my friend and pacer for a long time and we spend an enormous amount of time together. Convincing him to coach with me was one of the best moves of my life, second only to agreeing to coach with my husband. However, we came from two very different high school experiences and as such have different ideas about structuring a running career. I prefer low mileage and support athletes doing whatever sports they love for the winter and spring. Joe is more old school in thinking that they should do higher mileage through the summer and do the traditional triple of cross country, indoor track and outdoor track. So why do I insist on well rounded runners? For two major reasons:

#1 Injury Prevention: Teenage girls excel at a few things including incredible emotional range, the ability to inject pure joy into any situation and injuries. Teenage runners are particularly excellent at that last item. One of the biggest reasons runners get injured is the repetitive nature of training. This is not unlike the year round soccer player who tears her ACL at 14. Thus, if one of my athletes loves basketball or lacrosse or any other non-running sport, I encourage her to keep playing it. She’ll use different muscles, different motions and oftentimes get more sprint work in than track can ever provide.

#2 Burnout: We were just having this conversation in our kitchen, about how horrible it is that high school coaches run their athletes so hard that they are burned out by college at worst and by the end of college at best. Running should be fun and if an athlete is doing track because she thinks she “should” and not because she loves it, we are dangerously close to the line of burnout. I’d much rather have my girls excited for cross country (which is a long season) after a spring of lacrosse than lamenting that they have to keep running after spring track.

I was a cross country-nordic skiing-track girl for 2 years, then traded track for the Spring Musical my junior year and nothing my senior year. Despite that diversity, I still left high school burned out, so I cannot imagine what some of my three season girls feel. Now I am almost exclusively a runner although I ski daily in the winter and cross train with biking and swimming. The difference now is that I LOVE running; it’s my center and I don’t feel like I need a break from it. Even so, I take time completely off every year to keep it all feeling fresh and exciting.

Were you a three season runner in high school? Do you only run year round now? How do you fend off burnout?