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Thursday, December 15, 2011

rest day thoughts

Today is a rest day!  I ran 16 miles over the weekend and haven't taken a break from running since last Friday, so rest I will.  My legs feel good and honestly I would love a run, but I know the importance of rest days and am going to commit to at least one day of no running each and every week during this training cycle.

My running this week has been extra fun because I've been mixing it up with my shoes.  Here is my week so far, in review...

Monday I wore my new Kinvaras on the treadmill at the gym for a bit of speedwork.  I ran a 1 mile warm up and then hung onto a 7:03 pace for 20 minutes, followed by a little less than a mile to cool down.  I loved wearing my Kinvaras on the treadmill.  Total miles Monday: 4.5.

Tuesday I did a 50 minute run on the treadmill at home.  I started with 20 minutes at a comfortable pace (around an 8:40 mile), wearing my Asics Cumulus.  Then I paused the treadmill and hopped off to switch shoes so I could run for 10 minutes in the New Balance 1400 and see how they felt.

i love the way they look, i love the way they feel
It was FUN to wear these shoes!  I had to increase the speed on the treadmill while wearing them, you just can't put these shoes on without running faster.  I feel like I can fly when they're on my feet.  I am definitely in love with these shoes.  Though they felt great and I wanted to continue to wear them for the rest of my run, I stopped the treadmill after 10 minutes and took them off to switch back to my Cumulus for the remainder of my run (another 20 minutes).  These shoes have NO heel drop and very little cushioning.  My feet are used to being in shoes with a lot more padding and a heel drop, so if I want to wear the 1400 I need to ease my way into wearing them.  Otherwise there is no question that I will wind up with an injury and a whole bunch of regret.  I totally understand why people do too much too soon in more minimal shoes -- they feel great on your feet, you feel so fast running in them - you feel invincible.  But guess what?  We are human.  And we will get injured if we are not smart.  It is science.  So, I am being careful and will be patient, gradually progressing to wearing them for more than a mile or two.  Total miles on Tuesday: 5.8.

Wednesday is track day!  During this training cycle I will be meeting the =PR= Distance Training group at the track every Wednesday night at 6:30PM.  Coach Brian Cunningham knows his stuff and provides wonderful advice, information and encouragement in a very professional yet laid back way.  I totally dig his coaching style.

Coach Brian giving us the rules of the track and the details of our workout
We had a much larger group this week because many people were {sane} last week and did last week's track workout on the treadmill instead of meeting us in the freezing temperatures and pouring rain.  My good buddies were there though, and it was very exciting to all be together last night.

Paul, Megan and me ready to run around in circles
I decided to wear my Kinvaras on the track again last night.  Very good decision.  I am so happy in these shoes and the track is a great place to wear them!  These shoes have a heel drop, but it is much less than my Cumulus.  And they are way lighter and have less cushioning than the Cumulus.  I am going to work into wearing these more and more as each week progresses.
i love you
Last night's prescribed workout was "8-10 x 400 at "T" pace, with a 2:00-3:00 "PE shuffle" in between each repeat.  Then cool down for with a few laps at an easy pace."  Did you catch that?  No?  Me neither at first.  So I will translate for you:

8-10 x 400 = A 400 is 1 lap around the track, also known as 1/4 mile.  Do this 8-10 times.
"T" pace = lactic acid threshold pace ... this should be a pace you can manage for about an hour.  About 85-90% effort.  You do not want to go "all out" and give it everything you've got, or your pace will inevitably slow and you will also be working the wrong system for the purposes of this workout.  Generally a good rule of thumb here would be about 10-15 seconds slower than your 10k pace.  The reason for this?  This workout is designed to train our muscles to become efficient at running at that lactic acid threshold, so we will be able to maintain our marathon pace for the long haul come race day. 
2:00-3:00 "PE Shuffle" = after every 400 at T pace, we jog ever so slowly (almost a shuffle) for a few minutes before doing another lap hard.

I am not really sure what my 10k pace is, and am still trying to figure out what my T pace should be.  I ran by feel for the first several repeats and each time I looked at my watch I was coming in consistently at a 5:45-5:50 pace per mile average.  This was too fast for this workout and even though I was feeling awesome and strong, I tried to slow it down to closer to a 6:40 pace for the last two repeats, which honestly was still probably too fast for this workout.  I talked with our other coach, Adam Lesser (who I think is completely awesome by the way), about it during my cool down and he had lots of advice for me.  I am going to work on hitting the right paces for all of my workouts.  I will race a 10k or half marathon in the next month or so and that will give me a better idea of where I should be targeting.  All in all including my warm up and cool down, last night I ran a total of 5 miles.

all of us smooshed into one photo
This afternoon I am heading over to lululemon to meet the other ambassadors and hang out with the lovely team of awesome people who work there!  Baby Gus is coming too and we are both very excited.  It seems like a great way to spend my rest day.  And this afternoon I have my daughter's Daisy Troop meeting and then Robert is going out with friends after work so I will be holding down the fort on my own tonight.

It's all about balance and rest is a major part of that!  I'm looking forward to the day and to recharging my batteries for more running in the next few days.

When do you take your rest days?  Do you greet them with a smile, or do you sort of dread them?

7 comments:

Wow, you had an awesome week! I love those shoes!

I like rest days. I actually take 2 full rest days every week and that's a habit that I picked up in ultra training because my running days are a higher mileage so it makes sense. :)

I really look forward to my one rest day/week. It's the mental break more than anything, I think. So glad you are digging the lower heel drops--good move! One thing you might try is starting the runs in them and switching back to the others. By doing it in that order, you set the better form from the start and hopefully the muscle memory will follow even when you switch back.

Since my coach has me running 6 days a week now, I LOVE my Friday rest day. LOVE IT. NEED IT.

hey jessica!! sorry i haven't been blog hopping regularly!! Missed your blog. You are killing your work outs and totally inspiring me. Have a great Christmas!

I definitely welcome them. In a training plan they're usually perfectly timed; but while 'recreationally' running I kind of stumble upon them when they're forced on me and its usually for a good reason.I just hate it when they start stringing together and ruining my vibe!!!

Sounds like a much deserved rest day! I know soooo many people that love those Kinvaras but whenever I have tried them on at Expos, my feet and legs immediately scream at me. Have fun meeting the other ambassadors!

I just took a rare mid-week rest day on Weds and feel better for it. I always take one on Sunday. I'm not a rest hater, but it does make me nervous to do it when I don't usually.

Those shoes sure *look* cool. :^)

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