I have been enjoying my recovery week after my half marathon last weekend. I have run several times, but they were shorter, relaxed runs with no training agenda. As I wrote toward the end of my training cycle a couple weeks ago, I was feeling tired. Tired of training, tired of the hard work, tired of the heat, even tired of writing about it.
That spurred me to not only write about getting your training mojo back, but to take a look at my own training to see why I was feeling so burned out. I decided it was a combination of the hard training, two back-to-back training cycles, the heat, and the fact that I never get enough sleep.
I decided that I needed to make some changes if my plan (after the race of course), so that I could reestablish my joy in running. That being said, I do like a little structure in my workout week, a template that fits with my schedule, so that I know where I need to be each day (and what I should be wearing!).
Hence, the Un-Training Plan! With no specific goal in mind beyond staying fit, enjoying myself, mixing it up, and keeping a base of mileage, the un-plan will have lots of room for variety, flexibility, and last minute changes.
Even though the plan will be flexible, there are some things to take into account. Cross Country practice started last week, which means I run with the team on Tuesday and Saturday. Our team plan calls for a recovery run on Tuesday and a long run on Saturday, so that will fit nicely. Since practice just started, their long run is about five miles right now, building to about eight to 10 over the next two months, on trails, in the hills. Perfect.
That leaves Sunday open for whatever I feel like doing. Alan has been riding on Sunday, so I plan on joining him next week (he reads this so I’m committed now!). Sunday can also be another run day if I feel like it. And it is time to get back to the yoga studio. I just purchased a Groupon for my favorite studio, so I have incentive (plus I feel a little better about allowing my last package to expire).
Several days a week I work at 5:30 in the morning, which means I get off early. Those will be the days I finally get back to the gym. I know I’ve been saying this for months, but now the classes I teach are cancelled for the summer, so I really need to do it now. Alan wants to also, I pay for my World gym membership anyway, so it’s time to get back. Monday and Thursday work great for this.
On Wednesday I go in later to work, so I have time in the morning to work out. I’d like to keep a little bit of speed in my legs, so this run will be a little faster, on the roads, not a killer workout, but fun. Of course, Penny will still need her one or two miles (my warm up). I have time after the run for a little yoga practice, so I’m going to pull out my YogaDownload.com audios and get back at it.
Now, this may sound a little too structured for an Un-Plan, but I assure you this is a guideline (except the cross country practice). If I feel like taking a ride instead of running, I’ll do that. Or go to yoga instead of strength training. Or just (occasionally) skip the workout altogether (pause for gasp).
The sleep factor is always a challenge for me. I work so early most days, plus in order to work out outside during the summer I have to get an early start. Pet care requires feeding the dogs and cats and taking the pack for a walk before we do anything. And then there is coffee…that comes first of all. MizFit recently wrote about a test to see if you’re sleep deprived. I haven’t done it yet, but I am pretty sure I know how it’s going to come out.
So here’s the Un-Plan. Notice there are no times or distances specified. That’s what makes it special. I get to run or ride by listening to my body and my mind.
Monday: Strength or Yoga
Tuesday: Run with the team before work
Wednesday: Run, or maybe ride if I feel like it. Yoga at home.
Saturday: Run with the team. Maybe yoga if we get done in time.
Sunday: Run, ride, yoga…whatever the day brings.
Here are some pictures and a little recap from the recovery week (plus a delicious recovery meal!):
Tuesday and Saturday were both really short runs. Tuesday was the first day of cross country practice, so by the time we did all the introduction/what to expect/what we expect stuff, we just ran about a mile and a half, which was two trips around the high school campus. It was kind of fun, we had last year’s captain with us (she graduated and is off to college in the fall), and a couple seniors, so they used the short run as a little introduction for the incoming freshman, telling them which each building was, and a little about what to expect.
I had to work on Saturday, so I just ran a couple miles with the team before heading off to shower at work (nice thing about working in a gym).
On Wednesday I ran a little farther, first two miles with Penny, then a few more on my own. Even though I’m not focusing on mileage right now, I know all the mile markers, so I can’t just “not know” how far I’ve run. I didn’t look at my watch though!
The pictures above are all from my Sunday run. Alan was riding his bike, so I made Sunday the Dog Run. First I took Penny out for two miles. Then it was Buddy’s turn. He also ran two miles with me. The little girls, Lily and Olivia, are good for up to two, but with all the stopping and going, I left my bottle of InRefresh sitting on the counter at home, so I kept their run to slightly over a mile. And of course, I can’t leave out my two challenged athletes, Sydney (blind and almost 13) and Goldie (compressed disk, at one point we didn’t think she’d walk again). Even though they don’t really run and can’t go too far, we took a walk when I finished with the other dogs. They love it!
In spite of the wonderful cloud cover, it was 90 degrees when I finished my run at about 7:30. But at least it is finally back to a fairly dry heat!
This spaghetti squash was so easy, but I think it is my all time favorite recipe! Before roasting, I melted a little coconut oil on the pan, then added a little more, plus salt and pepper when it was cooked. Oh my gosh it was so good. And I didn’t overcook it, which is amazing in itself. Just about 40 minutes is a 375 oven (it was pretty small). It was so good that I bought another one today!
So that is my Un-Plan. I’m sure I will give you Un-Updates from time to time.
How did your training week go? Any events, competitions or great workouts that you’d like to share? Have you ever made a plan to not plan?