Category Archives: training

Week in Review: 2.6.17 to 2.12.17

Monday: First day back in the hospital. 6 mile early morning workout with 10 by 1 on, 1 off.

Tuesday: 3.25 easy run in the early morning snow.

Wednesday: 5 mile treadmill hill run.

Thursday: 7 mile progression run, starting at 6.1 and ending at 9.1.

Friday: Post-call, prorated off day. 4 miles.

Saturday: Nordic skied in the morning, downhill in the afternoon.

Sunday: 6 mile run plus arms and core.

Total Miles: 31.3

First week back on service! The good news is that I did a good job of getting up and getting my run done. The bad news is that I didn’t get a lot of lifting in and I missed my long run this week. I had intended to do it on Friday when I was post-call because I expected to be done around 1 but didn’t leave the hospital until 5. I coached on Saturday and I am back at work today. I got up early to fit a run in but felt miserable so just did an easy run and lifted.

We’re heading into a big storm cycle today which is going to be GREAT for skiing and snowshoeing but less good for running. I’ll be on the treadmill for my workouts this week but hoping to get outside for my easy runs and hopefully by next weekend, there will be enough clear roads for a long run.

In general, it’s working well for me to have workouts scheduled without prescribed mileage because it changes my perspective to be grateful for any effort. I am of course frustrated that I can’t seem to string together any real training but I’m working on being grateful for the running I can get in.

Finally, I got to try my new Lumo Run  this week and will admit to being a little nervous to see what it said but my initial run was very positive. The pace was off because I was on the treadmill but all of my markers looked good except for braking. I’m so excited to see how this project goes and how I can tweak my running form.

Treadmill Workout: Stamina Progression Run

I LOVE this run for a winter workout on the treadmill where I need to build fitness AND not go nuts on the treadmill. This is a 7 mile version but you can extend as you want by adding to cooldown or adding another mile progression segment. If you’re short on time, you can always just do a continuous progression with a short cool-down but that’s a different workout purpose.

The goal of this workout is to progress throughout your run, ending at what should be your tempo pace. It should never be over-the-top difficult, but should feel like you’re cruising smoothly through most of the workout and working pretty hard by the last mile. For each segment, you speed up through most of the segment then finish out the mile at the top speed for that segment. When the next minute comes around, you start progressing again. By doing this, you’re getting a little extra time in each zone but not as focused on holding tempo pace/effort continuously.

Right now, I start at 6.0 and go to 9.0, then cool down for a mile at 7.0. (10:00, 6:40 and 8:34 paces respectively). Pick whatever pace is very easy to start that gets you into your tempo range by the end! The example below is based on my paces, adjust as needed.

Mile 1: Starting at 6.0, increase speed by 0.1 each minute until 6.5. Finish the mile at 6.5. (Warmup)

Mile 2: Starting at 6.5, increase speed by 0.1 each minute until 7.0. Finish the mile at 7.0

Mile 3: Starting at 7.0, increase speed by 0.1 each minute until 7.5. Finish the mile at 7.5. (By now, you should be warmed up. Good time for a stretch break if you take them)

Mile 4: Starting at 7.5, increase speed by 0.1 each minute until 8.0. Finish the mile at 8.0.

Mile 5: Starting at 8.0, increase speed by 0.1 each minute until 8.5. Finish the mile at 8.5.

Mile 6: Starting at 8.5, increase speed by 0.1 each minute until 9.0. Finish the mile at 9.0.

Mile 7: Easy mile at 7.0 pace.

Training Approach for New Bedford

One of my strengths/weaknesses (can you tell I’ve been on the interview trail…) is that I am a hyper-analytical person and I am constantly thinking about how to change a process to make it better. While this is generally a good thing, at times it makes it difficult for me to relax, enjoy and experience. It also makes me attempt to exert control over situations where that is just not feasible. In terms of running, however, it allows me to look over past training cycles and evaluate what worked and what didn’t work.

Two of my most data rich training cycles are my two lead ups to the Philadelphia Half Marathon, one where things went well and I felt amazing and strong through a 1:21:45 half and one where I struggled to a 1:22:25 finish. Some of the differences may have been due to weather and iron deficiency, but one of the biggest things I noticed in my 2015 attempt at Philly was that I a) never felt comfortable and b) had no extra gear to kick up to. At first, I assumed that this was because I hadn’t done enough interval work but as I looked over my training log, the biggest difference was that in 2012, I did a TON of stamina and steady state work and very little frank interval work.

As I’m approaching New Bedford with less time than I had to prepare for the “Phillies” (both week wise and day to day time wise), I’m trying to train smart with the time that I do have. As such, I’m splitting my hard effort days between four major categories: interval, tempo, stamina and steady state. I pair interval and stamina in one week followed by tempo and steady state in the following week. My long runs are easy and one of my easy runs is a hill focused run. The rest are easy peasy.

  • Interval: Still important, just not the main focus of my training cycle. My workouts are time based because I’m almost exclusively on the treadmill due to footing and are either 10 by 1 on, 1 off (emulating 300 meter repeats) or 4 on, 3 off (emulating 1K repeats).
  • Tempo: If you only have time for one workout a week, science and numbers say this is your best bet. I alternate between mile or 5 minute repeats at T pace and continuous tempo. As I get in tuning phase in early March, I’ll add 200 meter repeats after my tempo workouts to tune up my top end speed.
  • Stamina: My FAVORITE kind of run. I do these as progression runs, starting incredibly easy then gearing up until I am at tempo pace. I’ll share my treadmill version of this workout later this week but I love that this workout is challenging but not killer. When the footing is better, I also do these as long hill repeats.
  • Steady State: The ultimate awkward run, this is a continuous run done at approximately marathon effort. It is not as hard as a tempo run but was incredibly helpful for me in preparing for Philly 2012 because I learned how to cruise comfortably.

The other benefit of this approach is that although it sacrifices some specificity for the half marathon, it builds a stronger base for whatever events I jump into for the remainder of the year.

Week in Review 1.16.17 to 1.22.17

Wherein I put together an almost reasonable week of training!

Monday: 4 mile campus loop with 2 laps of ins and outs. Arms in afternoon.

Tuesday: 6 mile workout on Roanoke River Trail. 10 by 1 on/1 off. Felt at little clunky but happy to be in shorts! Legs and core afterward.

Wednesday am: 4 miles with perhaps the kindest resident ever, who met me at my hotel at 4:30 am. He’s a big runner too but still…super nice. We had a great chat about balancing training and residency and I finished the run much more encouraged that I could do both.

Roanoke Star on top of Mill Mountain

Thursday: 3 mile campus loop with Will, super easy. Arms after.

Friday: 6 miles on treadmill with 3.5 at tempo effort. Legs after.

Saturday: 3.5 miles super easy around campus. Downhill skied in the morning.

Sunday: 10 mile run and a few runs of downhill skiing.

Total Mileage: 36.6

As we’re just barely into the new year and I’m just figuring out how to make my new goals work, I made a checklist on my whiteboard downstairs to track how I’m doing with all my various goals. I used to do this on paper in college for workouts and loved being able to check things off throughout the week.

 

I did a great job getting runs and strength training in this week. Foam rolling and nutrition, however, need some work. Some of this was travel related but I need to do a better job of planning so that I can hit these goals. Morning running was relatively successful; the days when I didn’t run in the morning were more because I didn’t have to so I’m willing to be flexible on that until I go back on service in February.

I’ll be bumping my mileage up to 45 this week with a 12 mile long run, a long hill repeat stamina run and fast paced repeats on the treadmill. As a bonus, I have NO travel scheduled this week. Wahooo!! I also found out that I was selected to be an Ambassador for Lumo Run and cannot wait to start tracking my biometrics. Lots more on that opportunity and all my sponsorship plans for 2017 soon. PSSST, want a coupon for $10 off your own Lumo Run? Use code “SM10” at checkout!

Week in Review 1.2.17 to 1.8.17

A new year begins…with a week off of running.

Monday: Woods Walk with the dogs. Beautiful out!

Tuesday: 45 minute easy nordic ski.

Wednesday: Travel to UMass, nothing.

Thursday: 30 minute elliptical plus full body lift.

Friday: Travel to Vegas. Scratch that, travel to Salt Lake City on a huge delay…get two hours of sleep THEN get to Vegas…

Saturday: 15 minute bike, 30 minute elliptical. Arms and core.

Sunday: 20 minute elliptical tempo workout. Core and foam roll.

Not the worst week for a down week with two back to back interviews and lots of travel. Plus, not running leaves lots of time to lift and do core workouts. Will and I also took our first vacation in almost four years and have been loving our time in Las Vegas. We’re not gamblers (at all) but we’ve taken advantage of great food, entertainment and eight plus hours of sleep a night!

I’m traveling for another week and will start to transition back to running but with no real plan. If I have time or interest, I’ll run and if not, I’ll do the gym or rest. When I get back to Vermont on the 15th, I’ll be sitting down and mapping out my approach to New Bedford and Spring 2017.

Week in Review 12.26.16 to 1.1.17

Hard to believe another year has gone by! I ended 2016 with 2,216 miles and will be honest that I’m surprised I got that many in. It was a VERY chaotic year for training. I lived in Connecticut, Illinois and North Carolina for 14 of 52 weeks this year and spent October through December in the airport in three time zones and over a half dozen states. This past week, however, I had the pleasure of being at home and it was SO nice to sleep in my own bed and hang out with my dogs.

Monday: 8.5 mile outdoor run featuring wind and ice pellets. Not pleasant!

Tuesday: Super active day! Nordic skied at Sleepy Hollow then downhill skied at Bolton then did a fartlek workout on the treadmill. 7.5 miles total with 2 by (5 minutes at T, 4 minute recovery, 3 minutes at I, 2 minute recovery, 1 minute at R, 1 minute recovery). Legs after.

Wednesday: Easy ski in the morning and 5 mile recovery run.

Thursday: 45 minutes of continuous nordic skiing in the morning and a few runs at Bolton in the evening.

Friday: 8 mile tempo workout. 4 by 5 minutes at T pace.

Saturday: Downhill skied all day.

Sunday: Downhill skied all day.

Total Miles: 29 miles

I’ll write more about this in tomorrow’s post but this week was rock bottom in terms of motivation and prompted me to look back over my training log only to realize that I haven’t taken a break longer than one day since November of 2014. Which, if you’re counting, is over two years ago. I’ve been running and training for so long (sometimes I joke that running is like brushing my teeth, I don’t even notice that I do it) that I lost track of the biggest picture of periodization. At the same time, I bought a downhill pass to our local mountain and found myself BOUNDING out the door to alpine ski every day. I love being outdoors and active…I just wasn’t loving running because I’ve been aimlessly doing it for two years chasing my goals.

So, I took the pressure off and skied a bunch this week and it was AWESOME. Our big storm didn’t manifest and we’re heading for a meltdown this week but I’m off for another big set of travel so it shouldn’t affect me too much either way.

2016 In Review

As cheesy as it is, I enjoy the exercise of looking back over the calendar year. It is a natural time to reflect and reboot which is a valuable process for everyone in every aspect of their life. To start, I reviewed what my goals were for 2016. (Here’s 2015 in review, just for fun…)

  • Gain More Race Experience: Relatively successful numbers-wise and from a diversity perspective. I raced on the track, the trails and the roads and learned some important lessons along the way. My favorite races were the Rivah and the 10,000. My most disappointing race was the Rock’N’Roll Chicago Half Marathon.
  • Continue to Build Strength: Mixed success. I absolutely didn’t do four sessions a week although I did get back into the practice of doing some strength before bed every night (usually squats, core and pushups). I also went on a streak of doing Body Pump this fall which was an excellent improvement until my schedule got busy.
  • Address hip/lower back pain: Nope. I did yoga approximately 8 times this year and whined about my back for the remaining days.
  • Maintain my fitness base: Yes and no. I technically maintained a decent fitness base with a lot of obstacles but I didn’t get near 55 miles per week most weeks this year.

My mileage total for 2016 was 2,216 (42 miles a week). For comparison, 2015 was 2,654 (51 miles a week), 2014 was 2,282 (43 miles a week) and 2013 was 2,303 (44 miles a week).

The other big change for me in 2016 was the incredible opportunity to represent Skechers Performance. The beautiful thing about this partnership is that I get to run in awesome shoes (seriously, you should try them, landing at Skirack in 2017) but that I also get to connect with other Skechers athletes around the country who push (and pull) me. I can’t wait to see how this brand grows in 2017!

I would be remiss to not mention an incredible running moment that had nothing to do with my own running but was an absolutely epic moment. As I talk about all the time, coaching cross country is one of my proudest achievements and although results aren’t ever the only goal, watching my team race their legs off to come in second in Vermont was an unbelievable finish for my coaching career (for now).

Finally, I want to take the opportunity to thank all of you for reading and engaging on this blog. I am always blown away that people care about this blog enough to read and comment and truly hope you know how much I appreciate your support and interest.

What was your 2016 in Review? Have you set goals for 2017 yet?

Week in Review 12.19.16 to 12.25.16

First, I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and spent lots of quality time with friends, family or chosen family. For me, it was enough of a gift to be home for a couple of days without packing a bag!

Monday: Interview at Brown so quick early workout with 2.5 miles on the treadmill and a body weight strength workout.

Tuesday: 7 miles easy outside followed by 45 minutes of nordic skiing at the Range.

Wednesday: Appointment went way over so all I got in was 45 minute of skiing at Trapps.

Thursday: 9 mile progression run plus 45 minutes of nordic skiing.

Friday: 7 miles of easy running.

Saturday: 6 mile fartlek with 10 by 1 min hard, 1 min easy.

Sunday: Easy hour of skiing at my parents.

Total Miles: 31.5

Total Minutes Skiing: 195 minutes

I did not do a good job of balancing running and coaching this week, period. During cross country season, if I screw up my schedule or have too much going on, I still get a run in at practice. During nordic season, however, I’m on skis and although it’s a GREAT workout, it’s not a run. It’s typically my intention to use skiing as a secondary workout but that didn’t work out this week. I’m glad that I got a decent progression run in as well as a fartlek workout but I’ll admit that I’m frustrated to not be able to string together any reasonable training lately. My total mileage for 2016 will be much lower than any other year during medical school (even my surgery years), so I’m doing a little soul searching on what is going on to contribute to that and what I can do to improve for 2017.

The All-Terrain Runner series was released for 2017 so I’m debating about whether I want to sign up for that again and try to get more events in this year or simplify and stick to New Bedford with a plan to reevaluate after I know where I’m moving in June.

Week in Review 10.24.16 to 10.30.16

Monday: 2 miles continuous tempo with team, 5.25 miles total.

Tuesday: 6 mile easy run around school.

Wednesday: Interval workout. 4 by 400 (82, 85, 86, 86) and 4 by 200. 9 miles total.

Thursday: 6 miles in Asheville! Hot, humid and hilly (and high!). Fun to be back. First installment of #wheremyskechershavebeen.

Sunset from my hotel room!

Sunset from my hotel room!

Friday: Interview Day. 20 minutes of yoga for runners before the day started and a walk from Mission back to downtown.

Saturday am: Halloween Hustle 5K (19:22) and 7 miles total.

Saturday pm: 3 miles easy of course preview at NVACs.

Sunday: Off. Tried to get caught up on to-do’s, to little avail.

Total Miles: 36.3

Not the most impressive week mileage wise but really happy to get two workouts and a race in. Somehow, the weather remains atrocious in the Northeast with another race in the soaking rain and 39 degree temperatures but I ran a much smarter race and am feeling like things are actually starting to click together! I’m also really happy that I got some yoga in again. Traveling made it a necessity and I’m thinking I need to incorporate more of it as interview season goes on.

It’s States Week again, which means that my entire priority is getting a happy, healthy and tapered bunch of teenagers to the start line. I am still planning on getting in two workouts and possibly another race in, but if the girls need me, so be it!

Has anyone tried Jasyoga? Any other yoga apps that you love?

Week in Review 10.17.16 to 10.23.16

Monday: 3 mile run with the dogs and a mini-lift at 4:30 am before TA extravaganza.

Tuesday: 7.5 mile run with the team with 8 by 400 at various speeds on grass. Hip core after.

Wednesday: 6 mile trail run. Amazing fall day out.

Thursday am: 5 miles with 10 minutes at T pace effort.

Thursday pm: 2 miles easy with the team.

Friday: 5.5 miles easy with 4 by 100 meter striders.

Saturday: Decided I had to pull the bandaid off and find out where I am. Victory 5K in the pouring rain and 40 degree weather, 19:28. Not pretty but not that ugly either. 7.1 miles for the day.

Sunday: Skied for 90 minutes in the am!!! 4.5 mile run and Body Pump in the evening.

Total Miles: 40.8

In a moment of realism, I decided that trying to train for a half or full marathon is lunacy right now. I’m traveling all over this fall for interviews and it just sets me up for frustration and failure to be trying to fit 70 miles a week of training in. What I do have time for, however, are a bunch of 5Ks and 10Ks and to try to regain some speed. Despite having almost no real workouts on my legs, I hopped in a 5K this weekend and was happy to run a 19:28. It felt easy, probably because I come with one gear right now, but I’m happy to have a starting place. I’ll race every weekend over the next four weeks and then focus in on the New Years Day 5K, which I’ve won the past two years. It’s hard to watch everyone else run goal fall races but it’s a huge relief to have a realistic training plan for my schedule right now.

I’ve also decided to scrap my 9 day cycle for now. Although I think it’s ultimately the right fit for me, it is not the right fit for my life right now where my schedule is different from week to week. I also want to be able to explore all of these new cities that I’m visiting and not be tied to a workout or distance when I’m there. For example, I’m headed back to Asheville on Thursday (yay!!) and am looking forward to doing an easy hour and change of one of my favorite loops now that the weather has calmed down. Friday morning, interviews start early so I’ll probably just squeeze something easy in on the treadmill.