Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I Have Questions...Please tell me you have answers

Okay, so I have been training for the Marine Corp half marathon and the training has been a bit shady.  Shady in the way that I have been playing around with different programs and schedules this time around.  I am trying to find what works best for me and my body.  I am trying to push myself more and challenge myself.   I kind of took the Run Less Run Faster program and Hal's intermediate program and fused them....trying to find my just right fit.  I have a lot to say about my 'fused program' but before I talk about that (in another post) I need to ask some questions....that I need some serious and detailed answers to...I'm just trying to figure things out here on my own and I'm thinking some of you may have done the figuring out already ...so here goes. 

1.  When you are training and on a program that challenges you-how do you fit in the rest when the program doesn't have your amount of rest days built in?  Does this mean the program is too difficult?  Do I just keep adjusting?  For example:
Last week I did:
3 miles easy
speed workout
3 miles easy
long run -15 miles

After the 15 miles (hilly miles for me) I was sore but nothing too crazy.  I was still feeling sore today and chose to take my second off day-when I was scheduled to run a speed workout again.  I have learned the importance of rest, so these off days don't upset me--I'm just wondering plan wise...what happens when your long runs get really long and you are left sore.  Does my body get used to it eventually...?  Speak to me people!

2.  Did you ever go into a race knowing that your training really consisted of figuring out how to train for the goal you set?  I had a time goal for this race and I feel like my 'inner self' is letting that time goal go because I feel like I'm not prepared to reach it.  I can't tell if my minds just messing with me...or if I am really NOT prepared....I'm thinking I know the answers you all are going to give me for this one.

3.  Sneakers.  I know that sneakers are supposed to last for 300 miles.  Does this apply to everyone?  I am really feeling that my sneakers are not giving me what they did a few months back.  Could they possibly be worn out earlier???  Does that happen?

I have more questions...but if you all are like me...Its sometimes hard to read a really long post ;) so I will keep it to this.  I sincerely would love any advice that you guys could give!!!


  1. I'll speak to number 3...sneakers, or running shoes...

    It really depends on the shoe, your foot and HOW you run. I have also found the season to be a factor in how quickly they wear down as well. Have you been rotating shoes that are different in style and make? have you been road running more as of late than possibly treadmill running in the past? I know you, so I don't think you are wearing them outside of your runs...but, where are you running? Terrain comes into play as well...And, injuries...when injured, we tend to compensate, overcompensate...which will change our foot strike and cadence as well, therefore putting stresses different impacts on the shoe that we didn't necessarily have before...you were wearing orthotics...now not...also something to consider.
    All in all...i tend to need new shoes about every 3 months when running solidly, (can't wait for that btw)...

    1. Hm...every 3 months really? Guess I'm going online to zappos! Thanks CC!

  2. Hi just stumbled onto your blot. Here's my 2 cents which might be worth a grain of salt.

    1. I am sore a lot after long runs. One thing you might want to look at is what recovery steps you take after a long run such as ice baths recovery drinks stretc
    hes etc. In the past I would just take an additional rest day but this year I am doing the run less run faster with my long run saturday, complete rest or light yoga Sunday, xtrain Monday, run Tuesday. This has helped me because I get two days off of running.

    2. If you think your time goal is too aggressive look at your training times to see have evidence to support that. Don't be afraid or too hard on yourself if you have to adjust. I know how it feels to get a descent time but wonder if I held myself back vs. Going to fast then blowing up and getting a disappointing time. For me the 2nd Sucks worse.

    3. My shoes go out about every 3 months. But ive noticed certain brands go sooner for me.

    Good luck with your race

  3. i agree with the 3 months thing for shoes. mine typically make it to about 400 miles but i usually dont try to take them on LRs as they get closer to 400 and stick with shorter distances.

    as far as training plans go...i agree that i have found rest days are important for me so i try to make them work with whatever plan i choose. i have a love/hate relationship with running plans. sometimes they are bad for me because i take them to a perfectionistic level and get scared to miss a day or want to "beat the plan" so i try to just have an idea of what i want to do and then readjust as i go...sometimes even in the first mile of my run. like today i was considering a 2 mile tempo in the middle of my 4 miles but i just got back from traveling and yesterday i felt exhausted. i didnt want to push it if i was still feeling sluggish. but as i headed out i felt okay so i thought maybe an 8:50 pace would be feasible. in the end i felt better than i thought so i shot for 8:45. i hope this makes sense. i think this new "go with the flow" mindset for me is helping take some of the pressure off!

  4. I hate training plans. I read them, take some advice and listen to my body. My first marathon I didnt and I got injured. For me I run every other day, and cross train inbetween. The weight training mixed with the low impact style workout (eliptical) has helped me. Having said that the other week I was extra sore after a hilly 15.5 miles so I decided to take another cross training day. Id rather hit the start line undertrained than over trained--though I know neither is fabulous.
    As far as shoes, I try to get new shoes every 300 miles but sometimes earlier. f my joints start feeling it, I just buy a new pair. When in doubt get a new pair. I figure the money I spend on shoes saves me on dr bills (<; Also, I started to use another cushier pair for long runs only which gives my Brooks a break and helps mix it up. Good luck on your MCM training. Im sure you will ROCK it!

  5. You have a while until MCM...you definitely do NOT want to get burned out! I would add in rest days. Some bodies need more recovery. Maybe you could switch up a couple of your runs for biking or elliptical or StairMaster? When you get mentally and physically tired, it's super hard to stay on your game. I'd agree with reassessing your goal for the moment, knowing that as training progresses and you get stronger and even more fit you may revisit that same goal. Sometimes with long training plans and setting an ambitious goal, it does feel like biting off a little more than you can chew...and helpful to remember that it is always subject to change :) Good luck!

    Oh, and the shoe thing...I get 300 or less usually. My body is really sensitive to that stuff. Most of my shoes look hardly worn when I need to replace :(

  6. Hmm, good questions!
    1) Instead of taking a second rest day in a row, I'd try to switch the speed work with an easy run so you get a few miles in without overtaxing your body. Or cross train, as I think someone else mentioned above.
    2) Don't let your mind tell you what you can and cannot do until you get near the end of this cycle. Keep your goal set where it is, and set up your training accordingly (slower pace on your long runs, faster pace on your speed days).
    3) Listen to your body- if the shoes aren't doing it, definitely switch them out.
    Congrats on marathon training, I'm excited for you!

  7. Hi Annette!

    1: Gotta build in some rest days into your schedule. You've gotten a lot of great advice already, and I don't think I have much to add.......other than your body needs the rest to adjust to the workload you're putting on it. As someone up above already said, showing up undertrained is preferable to being overtrained.

    2: It might just be me and my back-of-the-pack mentality, but I find that if I really have a time goal in mind, I will probably end up disappointed. My best race experiences occurred when I forgot my "goal" and just went out and enjoyed the day.....more often than not, I'd end up finishing faster than I had planned. By the time you get to the line, you know pretty well what your time should be, but you never know exactly how the day will unfold.

    3: I might be ABSOLUTELY CRAZY, but I have 6 pairs of running shoes in rotation at present. They tend to be good up to about 300 miles, although some have worn out earlier. It tends to be clear when they need to come out of the rotation.....when I start hurting each time I run in them, out they go, regardless of mileage. I look at 300 as a guideline......

    Hope that helps.....can't wait to hear about your training. I don't start training again until June, so I'm enjoying the "off-schedule" time1

  8. Just figured I'd throw my 2 cents in, as there are a couple things that jump out to me. Hard to tell what your speed and tempo workouts are (those words are both pretty vague in terms of what one actually does without specifically listing the workouts/paces), but it seems like your long run is probably accounting for up to 50% of your total weekly mileage. My guess is that your need for more rest is because those long runs are taking an awful lot out of you. You may not feel it the next day, but add a couple of runs, and all that fatigue can definitely settle in. General best practice would be to shoot for something closer to a long run of no more than 30% of your total weekly mileage.

    Another thought is that you need to consider how your goal came about. Was it based on your current fitness (ie from a recent race performance) or did you just decide you'd like to run the race in "X" time? Time goals are great when they are based on actual recent performance. Trying to force a faster time than one is capable at a given level of fitness is another surefire way to either feeling overly fatigued and/or injured.

    Sounds like you've got a decent schedule - you just might need to tweak the workouts a bit to fit your situation.

    1. Great advice about the 30% mileage for long runs...it makes sense and I am going to look at the numbers.

      The goal I had is from doing a 2:01:20 half...I don't think its too far of a stretch...also considering I stopped for a couple minutes after doing the math wrong and thinking there waS no way i could make my goal.

      thnaks for the advice!

  9. Hi there. The first and last questions seem to be related... Perhaps you're feeling more sore and beat up because you need new shoes?? Also, are you doing your long runs too fast? I know I recover better when I go slooooooooow on those long runs.


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