Woodlands Half Marathon Prep Week 4: Progress

It is the inability to practice what I preach that lead to the fiasco that was last week. Last Saturday as soon as i woke up made tea I decided that I needed to run a few miles to make up for the days i did not. I did not warm up, did not wear the proper attire and went out thinking that my body was ready to accept whatever i threw at it because i have been training for a few weeks. Yes, the human body can do great things but it also needs nutrition, conditioning and rest to be able to work efficiently. I had made the mistake of not attending to the three basic principles and paid the price. The IT band acted up, my ankles hurt and my legs were as heavy as lead when i stopped.

I was forced to rest the next three days to make the tightness go away. I went back to the foam rolling, and dynamic stretching to alleviate the muscle strain. Thursday i managed to do some strength training before my mind folded completely. I think it was the fear that I would injure myself and stop the training program that was limiting me. The wife decided that I was not being reasonable enough and goaded me into getting a run on Friday morning. She ran along with me along the Briar Forest trail. I was quite surprised by her running stride, and her pace. I kept trying to catch up with her and convinced her to go slow as I did not want to burn out and stop. The run was for 2.5 miles at 13.26 minutes per mile. I did not feel any discomfort, but my wife did comment on my gait. Apparently, I swayed a lot when I ran. I had to make a mental note to correct this as really you are not gaining anything while you move sideways while running. It helps to minimize any sort of movement you are really expending energy in useless fashion. There is a video on YouTube that shows the Kenyan runners training routine. These runners mechanics are something that i only can dream to achieve.

More foam rolling and stretching on Saturday helped set the resolve that I was ready to do this again. Sunday morning. The weather was a miserly 1 degree C. this is the first time we are seeing the Sun come out in a week. I got to the gym and locked the doors up. The atmosphere was so liberating that I was tuned in to get the maximum out of my workout. I started off with the warm up routine that included forward and reverse lunges to activate my legs. Did the side switches and stretches to activate my hips and quads. 10 minutes later i stepped on the treadmill and set the machine to roll at 3.5 miles an hour. I walked for the first five minutes, before i started feeling the warmth in my chest. I ran. When i stopped i had run 5.01 miles in about 55 minutes at a 11:19 pace. The average cadence was 161 strikes per minute. This run alone burned through 600 calories.

I was so warm from the run that I had to walk back to the house with my hoodie off. Did the cool down routine for 10 minutes and slipped on the compression socks to aid recovery. The last two weeks have not been ideal in the long-term prep for the half marathon but boy you are not giving up. Not yet, not now.

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