What happens when you combine a mild flu, hard running, and a vaccination?
Last week introduced me to two new and challenging road workouts and a new strength routine before a perfect storm sent me to bed for 18 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period.
Monday February 25
With heavy heavy winds remaining in the area that drove the temperature into the single digits (and drove a tree into my mom’s van) I moved up my off day to today. When it comes to easy days, I am not a fan of ever skipping a workout. However, during the freezing winter months in Cleveland I am willing to be flexible with when I schedule an off day if it means missing out on uber cold weather.
Tuesday February 26
Hansons Speed Pyramid: 400m (1:28), 800m (2:52), 1200m (4:28), 1600m (5:58), 1200m (4:36 – yikes), 800m (2:57), 400m (1:25) with 400m recoveries and all run at a planned 5:55 mile pace. Total workout distance was nine miles.
Holy hell what a workout. This was my first attempt at a pyramid workout. Running at different interval distances proved a mental challenge. Where a standard interval workout, say 6 x 800m, allows your body to get into a psychological groove where you can internally measure effort and fatigue against time left to run, the pyramid workout meant every interval was a new stimulus, demanding something different from my body. I enjoy shorter intervals when running at 5k pace and struggle as they get longer. Sure enough I flew through the 400m and 800m only to spend the next three intervals hating the fact that I ever took up running. Despite the fatigue, I was able to pound out the last two shorter intervals in solid times.
Strength work: Running Rewired Horizontal Force workout + Stu McGill’s Big 3 and Deadbugs: Long arm band squat, thread the needle plank, hang spine twist, Romanian deadlift, split box jump, kettlebell swing, archer row, archer push up, single-leg shoulder press, farmer carry, hip thrust; curl up, side plank, bird dog; dead bug
Wednesday February 27
6 miles easy in 49:38
Strength work (focus on core and adductors): band assisted sliding back lunge, sliding side lunge, long adductor isometric ball holds, short adductor isometric ball holds, straight leg metronome
Thursday February 28
14 miles in 1:46:03 with the last five miles at roughly marathon pace + 25-30 seconds
Another new workout for me, the steady state long run. The workout calls for 50-75% of your total mileage to be run at marathon pace + 30 seconds. This being my first attempt at the workout, I opted to run the faster pace for just over 33% of the run. Running at the steady state pace was deceptively hard. Though 25-30 seconds slower than my marathon pace, dropping from a 7:45 mile to a 7:20 mile proved challenging and mentally taxing. The Hansons describe the run as providing a mental stimulus similar to a race and this was my experience. The final miles of a race are often about coaxing small wins from your body as you become aware of every aching muscle fiber. To finish this run I had to employ the same tactic, celebrating every mile marker, intersection, and stop sign I passed, all while continually correcting my form as fatigue set in. This is not the sort of workout I can see myself doing often but it is one I can see yielding oversized benefits on race day.
Strength work: Running Rewired Compound A + Stu McGill’s Big 3 and Deadbugs: Twisted warrior, super Swiss side plank, thread the needle plank, sling row, 4x (kettlebell squat, Romanian deadlift, lateral hurdle hop), ninja squat jump, 3x (landmine single-leg deadlift, kettlebell swing, split box jump), reach out, sling back lunge; curl up, side plank, bird dogs; dead bugs.
Friday March 1
8 miles easy in 1:05:46
Strength work: Running Rewired Band Circuit + extra core and adductor work: Banded arm circles, pull-aparts, long arm band squat, banded hip twist, bear walk, banded drive thru, thread the needle plank, foot screws, pull-aparts, banded arm circles; banded sliding back lunge, sliding side lunge, long adductor isometric holds, short adductor isometric holds, straight leg metronome.
Saturday March 2 and Sunday March 3
I did wake up on Thursday sort of stuffy and with slightly scratchy throat. I thought nothing of it and ran 14 miles and then did a hard workout. Same symptoms on Friday but my body felt great despite the previous day’s hard work so I ran another eight miles and did a workout with some bands. Then I went to work where the staff was given Hepatitis A vaccinations because there has been an outbreak in restaurants. I woke up Saturday and the combination of a slight cold/flu, hard running, and the vaccination left me feeling like death. I think I slept 18 hours out of 24. I took Saturday and Sunday off from running and will take off Monday too just to make sure I am recovered before getting back into the grind of training. Ultimately I miss out on 17 miles, seven of them at marathon pace. But that’s a small sacrifice against grinding myself into a week-long sickness because I don’t know when to take it easy.
Weekly mileage: 37 miles, Yearly mileage: 348 miles.