It's Memorial Day in the States. First, I would be greatly remiss if I didn't take this opportunity to acknowledge the veterans and express my gratitude for their service to our country, and for fighting for the rights that we consider to be so fundamental.
Second, this is supposed to be the unofficial start of summer. Oregon didn't seem to get that memo...or maybe it just chose to ignore it. I woke up to rain pattering against my bedroom window this morning, which made it quite difficult to want to get out of bed. I eventually did, but I still haven't ventured out for today's run (or really, any errands, for that matter). Rather than start this week's training, I'll reflect on last week's.
Last week's workouts (week ending 5/26)
Running - x5 (27.20 miles total)
Cycling - N/A
Core - x2
Strength - x1
Foam rolling - x3
Salt bath - N/A
For the first time in a while, I went trail running. I did 4 miles on the Wildwood Trail on Monday. While the hills weren't easy in the least (the first two miles were uphill, and resulted in a 600' climb), it was a great way to just lose myself in a run. I normally shy away from this run because of that climb, but my runner friend Darren reminded me that I shouldn't shy away from the hills and trails because they'll make me stronger and less injury-prone.
I also did my first unstructured fartlek workout on Friday. (Up until now, I've just done basic intervals with the same amount of rest between each interval.) And dare I say it was actually kind of fun?
In the days after Eugene, one of the big things that I noticed was that my appetite decreased. I've read about runners eating just as many calories post-marathon as they were during the peak of their training, so for that reason, I was grateful that my hunger levels decreased. This week, I noticed that my hunger levels increased, which I'm convinced is due to the increased activity (i.e., increased mileage, 5 days of running instead of 4).
I did one day of strength work (20 min) and two days of core work (about 30 min, collectively). After my core work yesterday, I concluded that I should put more emphasis on ancillary work. My goal for this week is to do at least 2 days of core work and strength work (2 days for each). Three days of each would probably be optimal for making me stronger overall, but when setting/achieving goals, it helps to break up the bigger goal into smaller, more attainable benchmarks.
I came across a couple of interesting articles this week. I can go into detail about these in another post, but I wanted to share them with you now.
"The Exercise Equivalent of a Cheeseburger?"
(Source: Wall Street Journal)
The article claims that endurance running (over 30 miles/week) could result in elevated levels of coronary plaque and increased vulnerability to other adverse cardiac conditions. If you follow me on Twitter, you already know that I'm skeptical and critical of this article. The references that it cites are limited and hard to track down, and the one I could find was a flawed study. My friend and MPH classmate Annie suggested I use my skills from grad school to compose a more developed and eloquent critique. This is in progress.
"Why Long Runs and Workouts Don’t Need to Feel Like You Could Run Goal Pace for the Full Marathon"
(Source: Runners Connect)
I've been asked before why marathon training runs max out at 20-21 miles if the race is 26.2 miles. I think that this offers an interesting (i.e., one I've never heard before) perspective on the subject.
"Summer Reading: 2013′s Best New Running Books"
I haven't read any of these, but some of them look really interesting. Hopefully, I'll be able to read some of them this summer!
Thanks to Erin and the lovely world of Twitter, I've looked into the USATF and RRCA Coaching Certification courses. Both are well-regarded, but I'm more inclined to take the USATF course. USATF is the sport's governing body, and the course prepares one for both club- and school-level coaching. Sadly, neither is being offered in a convenient location for me anytime soon. (C'mon guys, add some more west coast dates!)
Have you read any good running books/articles lately? And if so, which one(s)?