Last year when training for the Boston Marathon I gave weekly updates on training. This practice was more for me to record how training was going, but looking back it was a way to compare myself to others who were recording their training. This year, in an effort to acknowledge that I am never training for just one race, but rather to run healthy for a long time to come, I will be giving updates, but in a less regimented way. I have Strava, my training log I share with my coach and my Believe Journal all documenting the gory details of my training plan and I want to use this space to share the things I usually don’t record that might be useful to other people.
That being said, last week kicked off a new training cycle AND a new year, so it seems appropriate to check in and see how it went. Overall I felt pretty good about the week. Only working 3 days certainly helped, and getting to do a long run on the majestic, snow covered Yosemite Valley certainly didn’t hurt either, but adjusting to a new training approach and to running on roads again is definitely hard. Most of my runs were slower than desired, mostly due to the conditions, but it was a good chance to practice my goal of not comparing myself to others and believing in my training plan.
After months of running primarily on trails, my body isn’t reacting that well to switching back to roads: I developed some posterior tibialis tendon pain right under my left ankle which is now managed, as well as a little strain on my right hip flexor. These are minor twinges, but it is never fun to start off a new year with discomfort when running. I feel confident that I have a plan to eliminate these issues over the next week or so, but it certainly presented a mental challenge in the first week of training.
The highlight of the week was definitely running in Yosemite National Park. The park is snow covered and beautiful at the moment and despite the hundreds of tourists, I managed to avoid them for the most part and enjoy some pristine running in one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the country. I ran primarily on the Valley Loop Trail since it was cleared enough to follow. I started right in front of El Capitan and looped around Mirror Lake to end back at El Cap. We bought an annual pass and I can’t wait to go back in the spring when all the roads are open and run in Tuolumne Meadows. I recommend yak tracks and gaiters for anyone wanting to run in the snow.
Week One: Things I learned
- Running on snow is super fun but also exhausting. Think constant stabilization for 13 miles.
- Rolling is super important: Even though I brought my little roller ball to Yosemite, I only used it once for about 5 minutes. Despite taking all the runs on the snow easy, my body still felt the impact of not rolling.
- Yoga. Because: Injury Prevention. I know yoga is good for me as a runner, but I fell out of the habit of going when my yoga package expired and my new favorite yoga studio was located all the way across town. On Wed I dragged my ass to yoga and haven’t felt that good in a long time. I also may or may not have fallen asleep in half pigeon.
This week my goals are to eliminate the little niggles and really focus on incorporating all the non-running things I need to stay healthy: mainly swimming, yoga, strength and acupuncture.
Did anyone else kick off a new training cycle last week? What did you learn?