I’ve started training for a 16 km (10 mile) race. It’s in mid-September and since the half-marathon last fall, I have really fallen off track with my cross training. I don’t think I picked up a weight in 6 months and my running took the toll. Everything just felt harder to do and the muscles got soft.
After the three races I ran in June I felt like I was finally back on track, so I signed up for the 16km race. I also started weight training again as part of my cross training. We don’t have that many weights at home and I don’t have time to go to a gym (you know, full time job and 3 kids) so I have to work with what I’ve got. Husband and I have talked for years about converting our garage to a gym and maybe one day we’ll do it. In the meantime, I’m happy to use my free weights. I know it isn’t a lot of weight but for what I need for it to do it’s working well.
This time around I am also going to make more of an effort to incorporate hill training and speed workouts. Hill training involves running up a hill repeatedly (fun, right?). My first session last week saw me do three hill repeats. The hill is about 200 m long and I have no idea what the incline is but it felt steep. I’ve heard the hills should be 400 m long but again, working with what’s in my neighborhood. Every week I will try to add 1-2 more repeats.
As for the speed workouts, this is a warm up of 5 min followed by 7-8 sets of 1 min sprint and 2 min recovery periods, ending with a 5 min cool down. Ideally I would like to see these runs clocking in around 7 min/km or less. This time last year I was running pretty consistently under 7 min/km except on the long runs. I know my body can do it, it just needs to remember how and that’s why I think the weights will help.
Last week I had a specialized physical exam as part of my training for a new part-time job at a medical facility. This included an exercise stress test and body fat analysis. It was very interesting being on the other side of the examination table. They calculated my BMI at 23.1 with a 28% body fat composition. I was pretty happy with those numbers, even though I know they don’t mean a hell of a lot. Still, the message I got was that running is working for me. I’m back in a good space with running and I hope it keeps up.