Week 11 was my fourth week of focusing on quality strength training sessions, and I’m pleased to say that I’m seeing a HUGE difference in my running!
A few weeks ago, my IT band was very unhappy. I started doing some IT band rehab exercises 3-4 times a week. Then, I started strength training for real and stopped doing the rehab exercises, but my IT band has never been happier. If I start to feel it creeping back, I will definitely hit those rehab exercises hard and swift, but for now, the strength training I’m doing otherwise has been more than enough to keep my glutes, hamstrings, adductors, and abductors strong and healthy.
A few weeks ago, I couldn’t run more than 8 miles without experiencing pain in my knee, thanks to my IT band. Sunday, I ran 15 pain-free miles!
I’m telling you, this strength training business is no joke. It works.
- Monday: 2 miles @ 11:00, 60 minute Hip Hop class
- Tuesday: 3 miles @ 9:44, 30 minute warm up/cool down on elliptical
- Wednesday: 60 minute personal training session
- Thursday: 60 minute CRT class
- Friday: 4 miles @ 10:14
- Saturday: Rest!
- Sunday: 15 miles @ 12:16
Weekly Running Total: 24 miles
It was another great week of training. I finally made it to the hip hop class on Monday, and it’s awesome. Super fun, and a great way to get my heart rate up without stressing my muscles too much. I plan on making it an active recovery day after my long Sunday Rundays.
I did a speedier progressive run on the treadmill on Tuesday – Half mile repeats @ 10:30 / 9:30 / 10:15 / 9:15 / 10:00 / 9:00. I was very pleased with how my body handled it, and it felt great to push a little harder.
Wednesday, I had a personal training session where I did a bunch of towel exercises. The most notable was the seal crawl –
- plank position with toes on towels.
- Pull yourself forward while maintaining plank position.
- Then, push yourself back to where you started.
- 3 trips forward and back x 3 sets.
HOLY OUCH, ABS! Seriously, that one kicked my boo-tay. I also loved the skating exercise –
- Feet hip width apart, one foot on a towel.
- Squat down and push the foot on the towel out sideways, keeping your opposite foot/knee/hip in a straight vertical line.
- 15 reps x 3 sets on each side.
This one hit those hips hard, and I dug it. It’s been so much fun learning new exercises to add to my bank, and I love knowing that I’m going to get a good 60 minutes of strength training without having to think about it.
Sunday, I met Carrie for our weekly Sunday Runday date with 15 miles on the schedule. It was a beautiful day, absolutely perfect for a long run – sunny and 60s! We decided to try the Heritage Rail Trail (<– that link plays music, FYI!), and it was perfect for our needs. It’s actually very similar to the course for the Athens Marathon, so we got a taste of what we’ll be running in a few short weeks.
Honestly, my 15 miles flew by. Carrie had done 5 before we met up, so her 15 may have been a bit different, but we just kept plugging along and before I knew it, we were done! During the last few miles, my legs felt really strange – they were tired for sure, but they didn’t hurt! It’s been so long since I’ve been able to push my legs to the point of feeling simply tired but not injured or painful. I have to admit, it was a glorious feeling.
After a hilarious water bottle incident, I skedaddled home to an epsom salt bath and some foam rolling. I’m definitely an epsom bath convert – much more enjoyable than an ice bath, although I wouldn’t rule out ice for those hot summer long runs. Whether it was a placebo effect or not, I don’t care – I’m not even remotely sore today. Maybe a teensy bit stiff, but nothing too noticeable, and I plan on hitting up hip hop here a in a few minutes.
Sooo excited for week 12 – 18 miles coming up on Sunday!! 🙂