Sunday, July 8, 2012

Chicago Marathon Training - Week Four: A Cutback Week

I have been going, going, going the last few weeks with work and training so I was happy for a cutback week in my training.  A cutback week is exactly what it sounds like, a small decrease in the milage for the week so your body can recover from the work it has been doing.  This helps prepare you for the next weeks of training and can help prevent overtraining.  These come every three weeks or so in my training plan.

In case you didn't know already from all the articles and reports it was crazy hot pretty much everywhere last week.  I got up early to run, but it was already over 85 degrees at 7am every morning!

Here is the breakdown of the weeks workouts:
Monday: Easy Run 50 minutes -3.65 mi
Tuesday: XT 40 minutes - Yoga Meltdown Level Two
Wednesday: Tempo C Workout and Four Stride Drills-  3.62 mi Run easy 10 mins, run at tempo 5 mins, walk 1 min, repeat three times, run easy 10 minutes 
Thursday: REST
Friday: XT 40 minutes - 45 minutes Core Power Ryder
Saturday: Long Run 6 miles 
Sunday: REST

Even though it was a cutback week I definitely got some good workouts in.  The duration of all my workouts increased by ten minutes.  
To get in the 40 minutes on Tuesday I extended the warm-up and cool down portions of the  Yoga Meltdown DVD.  
Wednesday was my first tempo run in this training.  Marathoning for Mortals has three different tempo workouts.  Since I am running by effort and heart rate tempo in these workouts means reaching between 80-85% of heart rate for the designated time which for me is around 158-163 bpm.  Tempo runs are always a good challenge.  They can be tough in the moment, but I have found that when I consistently do them I definitely notice that my pace gets faster and I feel stronger.  They can be taxing on the body so I don't think you are supposed to do them more than once a week.  
Before Core Power Ryder class one day.

Friday I decided to switch up my cross training and went to Core Power Yoga for the Ryder class.  It is essentially a spin class that is done on bikes that can move side to side, which allows you to work more of your core.  The one I attended was moderately full and everything from the music, instructor, other people, and the workout itself were high energy.  We incorporated lots of arm and core work, did many team sprints, and a few climbs.  Everyone was dripping in sweat by the time we finished.  I'm not sure I have every sweat that much during a workout!  
Saturday I had to be at work at 10am so decided to get in my six miles before.  I started around 5:30am and it was already 80 degrees and very humid.  Although it was early and hot, the roads and trail were quiet which was nice.  Pre-run I ate half an oatmeal raisin Clif bar and water.  During the run I had 3/4 of a fig bar, water, and G2.  I only took about three short walk breaks.  The outside of my right calf felt tight for the first part of the run, but gradually felt better as I went along.  
I've been enjoying the Raspberry Strawberry Smoothies from Seedling at the market after my long runs.

I ran to the farmer's market and picked up a few things before heading back home to get ready for work.  Near the end of the day I noticed some pain on the inside part of my left knee and made sure to ice it when I got home.  Everything felt OK today though.   

The weather has finally cooled down some so this week should be more comfortable for running.  I'm looking forward to it!