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Running Drills + CFE Update!

Caution: This post is lengthy & wordy!

I’ve mentioned in various posts that i’m experimenting with the Crossfit Endurance Program for the year to stay fit, healthy & in racing shape as I attempt some speedy PR’s. I think it’s time to update you dudes about the program, how i’m liking it, and how my body is changing. Obviously, I had a speed bump recently with the IT band, but I was still able to continue with the running drills & strengthening my weakness during time off from running.

The major changes with¬†Crossfit Endurance were training with higher intensity, lower volume & running with a skill based approach. I eliminated “junk miles” and replaced them with shorter interval workouts. I traded in traditional strength training workouts for High Intensity Circuit Training (which also helps replace junk miles) and started working on running skills to increase cadence (steps per minute), improve muscle elasticity and activating the hamstrings & glutes, which are often “asleep” in most runners.

The program claims to keep you working at a high intensity level where you will be in racing shape year round and be less likely to get injured at a lower overall volume.

I’ve been following this program since January so i’m going to start with the thing I did not like. The major flaw with the CFE program that I didn’t notice until after I got hurt —Crossfit doesn’t do a ton of lateral (side-to-side) movements. Since Crossfit Endurance is geared toward tri-athletes & marathoners, i’m disappointed that the lateral movement is missing where it is needed most.

That being said, I’m impressed with the program. Crossfit bears a negative connotation most of the time if you hear the name, however after reading two books (The Ultimate Runner and Power Speed Endurance ) & following the program, Brian MacKenzie is a smart guy who puts mobility, functional movement and recovery first!

Let’s talk about the things I enjoyed with the program. First off, I lost body fat % and inches in my waist & thighs, while gaining some inches in my hips (woo!). My cadence increased, I’m now hitting 173-185 per minute easily. With the hamstring activation drills, my quads don’t tire out any more. I actually enjoy the High Intensity Circuit Training —> where i fell in love with the rower!

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The coolest, biggest surprise of all? Through my IT band injury i kept up with the intense circuit training & running drills along with the hip/glute IT band exercises and I haven’t lost much speed! Taking off 8 weeks of running is always scary. Especially when it comes to speed. I’m definitely not where I was in April, but i’m not far off either and that i can say is why I’m a Crossfit Endurance believer. When they say you keep up the intensity (which can help replace some speed work) they weren’t kidding.

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3 weeks ago! Hitting those sub 8s!

I’m finally going to share a few sample running drill routines i’ve been doing since January. My lovely friend Sarah let me film a few videos to help everyone out. Most of these drills you can also find on the instagram account BVMCrossfit <—i highly recommend following this for ideas!

The drills are specifically for activating your hamstrings to pull (heel up toward glutes) instead of reaching (when you heel strike) so you train to take shorter quicker steps (like the elites!) and you don’t lose forward momentum. What does all this mean? Basically you will run faster and more efficient because your full leg (hamstrings/glutes/quads) are working to move the feet up and down as quickly as possible. (Pose Method)

I’ve put several clients though a drills & skills day and each of them agreed, the drills are way harder than they look, they didn’t realize their imbalances & all found benefits with the workout. I actually had a heel striking client do a 180 and started mid-foot striking by the end of our 40 min session. ūüôā Another one of my clients who does 100+ mile bike rides during the weekends said that learning how to “pull” has helped her tremendously in terms of saving her quads from burning out.

WORKOUTS!

July 13th-19th

Monday: 20 min lats/shoulders, 2m walk with LE

Tuesday: 5m easy 8:20/pace, pushups + core

Wednesday: 3000m row + upper body circuit + 1.5m walk with LE

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 5m easy 8:45/pace

Saturday: 50 min total body HICT

Sunday: 9m easy 9:00/pace

Total Mileage: 19 running, 3.5 walking

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July 20th- July 26th

Mon: Rest

Tues: 4m easy 8:45/pace, 20 min hips

Wed: 1 mile walk w/LE

Thurs: 6m easy 8:32/pace

Fri: 2500m row, 25 toes-to-bar, 50 bench triceps dips, 50 wall kick ups

Sat: 2m walk w/LE

Sun: 10m long 8:42/pace

Total Miles: 20 running, 3 walking 

What are your favorite running drills?

Do you know what your cadence is?


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IT Band Exercises – What Worked For Me!

Monday: 20 min lats/shoulders, 2m walk with LE

Last week I took it easy with strength training and focused on all running related workouts. Safe to say it’s not as intense of a workout week, but I feel like i’m becoming a stronger, well-rounded runner by taking the time to do all the little things. Plus i needed a down week after building mileage and general fatigue. I get asked often what I did to recover my IT Band and it’s very simple. It’s all in the hips.

I’ve been diligent with doing the¬†Myrtls¬†routine, almost daily or every other day since the end of April. Now that I’m healthier I just do them as often as I can after a workout or at night when i’m foam rolling. It’s just part of the normal routine now ūüėȬ†I do #8-11 of the Myrtl routine as a pre-run warm up and I also include 10-20 walking lunges and a set of 10-15 deep squats.

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In addition to the hip exercises, I do one running skills & drills day and one tough leg day which now includes a ton of lateral movements and single-leg movements which strengthen the hips/glutes & work on core stabilization. <—the key to get rid of ITBS is to strengthen!

Some of my favorite exercises include: walking hip abductions (band around ankles, walking sideways), crab walks (walking sideways in a semi-squat position with resistance band), monster walks (walking forward, taking wide steps, semi-lunge position), squats with band around thighs & ankles (not allowing knees to cave inward).

This trail running video also gave me lots of great strength ideas.

The hard¬†part of getting through any injury is not giving up on the rehab exercises. I didn’t see any real improvement with pain or strength until about 6 weeks in. Don’t give up! Even as a personal trainer I almost forgot that you don’t see results until 6-12 weeks into any program, so try not to get discouraged if you attempt these exercises and your pain doesn’t magically disappear. Be diligent, do quality reps over quantity, and trust that in time you will be pain free & a much better runner with happy hips.

And here’s a picture of LE and me after I ran 4 pain free & carefree miles ūüôā

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Monday: 15min glutes/hips

Tuesday: 4m easy 9:15/pace, 10 min lower back/glutes

Wednesday: 35 min running drills + skill work

Thursday: 20min core

Friday: 6m easy 8:44/pace (Longest run since MAY 10th!)

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 4m easy 8:17/pace

Total Miles: 14 running (no walk runs!)

Any one else recovering from an injury? 

Have you tried Myrtls or using a resistance band for hip strength?


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NUUN #RunBikeHydrate Virtual 5k & Foo Fighters!

Monday: 15min glutes/hips

Tuesday: 4m easy 9:15/pace

Wednesday: 35 min running drills, skill work

I’m sure by now you’ve seen the Nuun #RunBikeHydrate (Virtual 5k, 10k and 10 mile bike ride) all over Instagram! So I’ll tell you a little about how my run went.

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This 5k I planned was a loop near my gym which started downhill, climbed the 2nd mile and had a downhill finish. I wouldn’t necessarily consider this a legit 5k time since I had to stop at a few lights and stop to catch my breath in the humidity. For a speed work sesh, i’m happy with it. To even see sub-7 paces on my watch is a huge win coming back from an injury.

The mile splits were 7:00, 7:15, 6:50

Virtual 5ks are kinda strange. It’s easy to cheat…i.e. me stopping for a breather a few times. And it’s also hard to really cruise without stopping at lights, unless you’re on a track or treadmill. However! I still did feel the urge to push the pace and “race” and I still got a little nervous before I took off. What are your thoughts on virtual races?

What are your thoughts on self timers? I suck at it. haha Pretty sure I was chewing gum in this one.

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The 4th of July came and went too fast this year!!

We spent our day at the Foo Fighters 20th Anniversary show! Here’s a few pictures from the day…

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I have no idea...haha

I have no idea, literally…haha

Sarah, Domenic, me

Sarah, Domenic, me

Mon: Rest

Tuesday: 3m easy 8:45/pace

Wednesday: 25 min legs/hips/triceps, 2m walk with LE

Thursday: 1500m row, 100 pushups, 100 situps

Friday: 3.1m Nun Virtual 5k 7:03/pace, 2 cool down miles, 2m walk with LE

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 6m walk/run

Total Miles: 15.2m running, 4 walking

Ever try a Virtual Run?

How was your 4th!?


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Random Acts of Summerness & How to Deal With Injuries!

Mon: Rest

Tuesday: 3m easy 8:45/pace

Wednesday: 25 min legs/hips/triceps, 2m walk with LE

Man, I’m a terrible blogger. Sometimes life becomes more important than sitting at a laptop though. ¬†Hope everyone is okay with the once in a while shesgoingthedistance.com becomes shesnotbloggingforawhile.com.¬†

Let’s get down to it. Summer is my favorite time of the year.. it comes with my favorite two holidays– Independence Day and my birthday.. so i’ve been extremely busy lately.

Playing board games…

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Eating too much watermelon…

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Enjoying the long nights & sunsets…

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Watching L.E. sleep…

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and growing my hair. haha

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You know, the usual. ūüôā

Recently I began running again! Hooray! The IT band pain has completely cleared up and every time I run I literally tear up I’m so happy. I don’t know what it is about running that makes the day better, but i’m not gonna question it! ¬†Here are a few tips on how to maintain fitness & keep positive during injuries!

Dealing & Working Through An Injury

1) If you’re working out and feel an “OW!” pain as opposed to a “muscle burn” pain, you should stop what you’re doing. If the pain continues, go seek a medical professional’s opinion. I trust my chiropractor, so he’s always my go-to when somethings off.

2) Figure out why you are injured. Was it a freak accident or is there a weakness to address? Whatever it is, make sure you find out how to correct & strengthen your weak areas.¬†Strengthening & rehabbing your injured area should be your top priority while taking a break from running. If you can’t work the injured area, train the healthy areas (ex. if you have a lower body injury, train your upper body. If you have an upper body injury, train your lower half).

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3) Try and maintain fitness by cross training, pool running/rowing/cycling/elliptical/strength training, whatever you can do without causing your injured area to worsen.

4) Nutrition needs to be on point! Those extra hundreds (sometimes thousands) of calories you normally burn¬†while running aren’t there, so step away from the pizza, ice cream & cookies. Try to focus on healing your body from the inside out & eat foods high in anti-inflammatories (berries, fish, etc.). I truly believe solid nutrition can help speed up recovery. And WATER IS KEY! Stay hydrated!

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5) Reach out to others who have been or are injured. I searched the hashtag #itbandsyndrome #ITBS #itbandinjury while on Instagram and man alive, i didn’t feel alone anymore. I felt support from a lot of runners and it made me feel better that I wasn’t the only one dealing with this problem.

6) Re-evaluate your previous training plan and try to pinpoint where it went wrong. Did you increase mileage too quickly? Were you skipping the warm ups/stretching/foam rolling? How many miles are on your shoes? This can go on and on, but usually if you review your training logs you can find a reason. My issue was just not doing enough lateral movements in my workouts, causing weak hips which couldn’t stabilize the IT band.

7) Stay positive! Most runners have small injuries that can heal in 4-12 weeks. Running is not life and death. Being sidelined for a month or two isn’t the worst thing in the world. Sure it sucks, but IT band pain, or a strained muscle is better than being in a cast or needing surgery. Use the time off to appreciate your body, appreciate your love for running and discover new ways to stay in shape!

Week of June 15th-21st Workouts

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 25 min TRX total body

Wednesday: 3m easy 8:53/pace

Thursday: 20 min stairmill

Friday: 25 min hips/hamstrings, 1500m row

Saturday: 1.8m walk

Sunday: 3.6m easy progressive 8:33/pace, 1m walk 

Total Mileage: 6.6 running, 2.8m walking

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Week of June 22nd-28th Workouts

Mon: 2.3m walk, 30 min hamstrings/shoulders

Tuesday: 3m easy 8:50/pace, 15 min lat pulldown circuit + Pushups

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 2800m row + upper body & single leg exercises + core

Friday: 3.3m progressive run 7:45/pace

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 5.1m walk/run easy

Total Miles: 13.75 ¬†<—moving on up!

Comment below with your tips for getting through an injury!