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Junk Talk & Half Marathon Training

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 7m combo workout -2m warm up, 3m @ 7:35/pace + 4 x 2:00min @ 5k pace 6:27

Wednesday: 4.5m easy 9:25/pace, 10min core

Holy crap i’m back to it again.. mileage is averaging about 20-25/weekly and i’m slowly starting to throw speed & hill work in. For those of you that might be interested i’m fusing the Crossfit Endurance 1/2 marathon plan and also an intermediate traditional running plan from Competitor.com together so i can run happy this fall.

As much as i love the CFE training, there are no easy runs or ‘junk miles’ or long runs built into it. It’s all business. And for me to run happy and feel good I need the easy mileage! I love the long runs, and I like the carefree, go at whatever pace, fun runs. Which is why i’m merging the two plans together.

*sidenote: all the pictures in this post have nothing to do with easy miles..unless you consider that hiking on Billy Goat Trail is no joke and definitely a hard cross training day.. Deena & I did 5 miles which took over 2.5 hours! crazy!

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Let’s talk about something I mention often. Junk miles or the easy, recovery/optional miles.  Junk miles are only “junk” if they don’t have a purpose in your training. For instance, my body doesn’t handle high volume very well. I believe this is due to the nature of my work–i’m on my feet training people the majority of the week, therefore i don’t have a ton of recovery time off of my feet in between harder running workouts. I benefit greater by strength training and cross training instead of running easy/junk miles just to add volume. HOWEVER—>there are plenty of benefits to easy running.

Straight from Runner’s World: “Running super slow and relaxed for one to three days after tough workouts gets blood flowing to muscles, which flushes away broken-down proteins, delivers new proteins to rebuild damaged tissue, and carries carbohydrates to replenish depleted stores in muscle cells. “That gentle exercise bathes muscles in the good stuff they need and removes all the bad stuff caused by the prior training,” McMillan says. “And running as part of your recovery makes your body say, ‘Oh, I’m still getting this stress—I better build this tissue even stronger.'”

(I constantly tell my clients to walk or jog or get some type of cardio in when they are sore for those very beneficial reasons! ^)

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There are also some not-so-good things about the easy extra mileage. It gives less time to cross-train, strength train, & to actually let your body recover completely. It’s still a high impact activity. I have a hard time with the concept of recovering from running by running more. It’s like if i did pushups one day, and recovered with pushups the next day—>but on day two i did less pushups at a slower pace…kinda makes me sound like a crazy person right? But in the same instance you could do pushups everyday if you wanted to, it’s whatever works for you. Is all of this giving you a headache too?

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I guess what I’m trying to say is you do you! Each individual runner needs to determine how many rest days and how many running days they need to stay healthy, progressing, and also give enough time during the week to balance out the cross-training, strength training and recovery.

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Trail Running & The Reverse Taper

Wednesday: 3m easy 9:00/pace, 20min core

I know this happened last week–but i have to talk about it. GUYS, i went on my first real, lots-a-miles/hills/creatures trail run! I don’t know what it was but I felt kinda like some sort of badass hippie. haha! I’m sure you trail runners out there get it.

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Returning to base training after a marathon is one of my favorite times. Lots of easy running and low mileage is just what my body likes after a hard race. After the marathon I took 10 solid days off running and returned slowly–my first week with just 2 miles, the 2nd week 13 and last week was 20.

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I’m finally getting the rest of my tattoo finished tomorrow which means a few days off from running as it heals. Next week I’m anticipating my mileage to be closer to 18. I like taking a week as I’m building up mileage to check in with my body and make sure i’m not increasing too quickly. (I do this about every 6-8 weeks)

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I’m thankful this is the week to ease off the buildup–my shins are being a little picky so backing off more mileage, a visit to the chiropractor and a good calf massage are on the weekly schedule.

Remember, you don’t always have to increase mileage every single week as you build your base. Plus, when you don’t have a race on the schedule yet there’s no rush to get back into full on training mode—just got to make it there healthy! Seriously though, i need a race. I feel like there’s a medal-shaped-hole in my heart that needs to be filled.

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almost squished this fuzzy bug

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Hope everyone is doing a good job at recovering from the fall marathons! Be safe & smart with your return to running!

Weekly Workout Roundup!

Monday: 5m easy run 8:06/pace

Tuesday: 3.1m easy 8:50/pace, 10 abs

Wednesday: 45min shoulders & core

Thursday: 5m tempo 7:23/pace 

Friday:  Rest

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 7m easy 7:56/pace

Total Miles: 20.6

How long do you wait before returning to your normal weekly mileage?