Race Specific Training – Weeks 3 and 4

The past two weeks have been slightly stressful and a bit of a letdown. I have about four weeks until race day, which means about 2.5 of solid work before a 10 day taper. I recently talked about reevaluating my goals and after last week, I started to reevaluate even more. But then I had an awesome workout and a huge amount of stress lifted off me and now all of a sudden I feel like I can tackle workouts. Oh, life. 

Week 3 – 3/21/16 to 3/27/16

Monday – CrossFit

Saturday – Fartlek

Week 4 – 3/28/16 to 4/3/16

Monday – CrossFit

Thursday – CrossFit

Saturday – Fast finish long run

I’ll be frank. Week 3 was a total shitshow for training. Unmotivated and sluggish, I did what motivated me and cut my losses. 

CrossFit was incredibly motivating for me. We practiced deadlifts, working up to 90% of our one rep max. For me, this was 115lbs. I think I’m getting close to breaking my 125lb PR, it just hasn’t been in the programming to go for it yet. 

The workout consisted of 3 rounds with 1 minute at each station, no rests between rounds or sets. You think a twelve minute workout sounds easy until you actually do it. The stations were: Toes to Bar, Rowing, Front Rack Hold, and Hand Release Push-ups. 

Big things happened here. I finally got a consistent toes to bar movement! Up until this class I had subbed hanging knee raises for toes to bar. Hell yes core strength! My front rack hold was 55lbs, mostly because I didn’t want to try cleaning at my maximum in the middle of a hard workout. 

 

Fartlek selfie in my beer hat
 Saturday was awful. If you recall (which would be rather crazy), the previous long run sucked. This was going to be redemption… Until it wasn’t. Nothing felt good. I wasn’t wearing my heart rate monitor but my breathing was way too hard for the paces I was carrying. After about 3 miles, I decided to turn it into something more low key but still beneficial — a Fartlek. I decided to go around the block as many times as my legs allowed (it’s a one mile block), picking up the pace on the chorus of my songs. My run ended up with 3 miles warmup/easy, 3 miles of Fartlek, and 1 mile cool down. I was disappointed it wasn’t the 14 miles I wanted but it was something. I used to be the person who would just crawl back into bed and move on, which sometimes is the right move, but other times (and more often than not, for me) it’s better to just try something new. 

The 4th week I did two CrossFit workouts because hitting any intervals or tempo runs just wasn’t on my priority list. I couldn’t feel motivated for it, but CrossFit was motivating and lately my desire has been to just do what makes me happy, even if it isn’t training specifically for my goal race. 

Monday’s class was another awesome workout for me. 

We practiced some deadlifts again and L-Sits on the bar. Deadlifts help me get strength in my legs and L-Sits strengthen my core for when I’m tired at the end of a race. See? CrossFit helps runners!

So the “buy in” was 8 rope climbs. Up until this day, I hadn’t figured out how to get my feet in proper rope climb position so I just practiced pulling up with my arms. By the 6th climb, I decided screw that, let’s try again. AND I DID IT. I climbed that damn rope!

The workout after was 4 rounds, which totally fried me for a couple days: 20 kettlebell cleans, 25 Goblet Squat, 12 Plyo Lunges (I just did backwards lunges), and 50 double unders. I don’t have 50 straight double unders, so I did 4 singles and attempted for a double. It worked about 50% of the time, ha. 

Thursday was endurance class (5:30am!) and I needed it. I really wanted to do the actual workout but knew my legs needed the running specific focus. We did a ton of drills and then 3 rounds of a 3 minute circuit, fitting in as many rotations as possible – 6 hanging single leg knee raises, 6 backwards lunges, 6 single leg push-ups. I averaged 3-5 rotations per round. Little did I know, I was going to be sore into Sunday night from this. 

 

I attempted to capture the big ass snowflakes mid run and failed.
 Saturday I intended to do my long run, but it was raining and I went back to bed. The rain stopped within 30 minutes of me getting cozy, but I felt off anyways. 

Sunday was fueled by gin and Makers Mark, plus staying out 3 hours past my old lady bedtime. I set my mind on ten miles because having 14 miles loom over me seemed to be my downfall the past two weeks and I needed something easier on me mentally. I ended up doing 4.5 easy, 4.5 hard, and 1 easy for a cool down. I hit some training cycle near PRs and actual PRs so that felt really good. Plus it was windy, snow blowing, and about 20° colder than it has been. Finally a run that felt right. My hard miles weren’t quite at half marathon goal pace yet (not all of them at least), but it felt good to hit the paces I did (7:47-8:00) on hills and in 25mph winds. 

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Brittany

Just a 20-something homegrown Buffalo sports loving, distance running, gin drinking kind of girl.

4 thoughts on “Race Specific Training – Weeks 3 and 4”

  1. I’m glad you finally had a run that felt right! I’m always impressed when people are significantly involved in more than one athletic pursuit (like you and running and CrossFit). I’m all like, “Nope, done with my triathlon stuff– I’m gonna watch TV!”

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      1. Except mine is all just three parts of one competition. I’ve been adding in some strength training for injury prevention, and I can barely deal with a few 15 minute sessions a week. I’m all like, “I did my run… do I *really* have to stretch and do lateral lunges?!” (The answer is yes, I *really* do have to. 😛 )

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  2. Those cross fit workouts sound intense! I’ve gone through a lot of times in running where it’s not fun at all and I dread every run. At my daughter’s school they have certain things that are a “want to” activity and a “have to” activity. Hope that the lifting of some stress and your awesome run are enough to shift the rest of your training from a “have to” to a “want to”!

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