I put together a training plan. It includes a bunch of different ideas that I hope to refine during the year ahead. Although I haven't been training for anything specific, I’ve been running regularly, so I think I have a decent base for an 8K.
My plan includes all the typical workouts—intervals, long runs, easy runs, and fartleks. I’ve started doing hill sprints, and I’ve tried to incorporate more work at race pace or faster. I also have designated two days for weight training, but that’s the only cross training I have planned. To fit it in, I tacked a short lift on the end of an easy run, and there is one cross-training day.
I began adding weight training to my cardio regimen a couple of years ago when I was training for a half marathon. After a few weeks, I noticed I felt stronger on my long runs. My core was more supportive, and my arms didn’t get tired. Weight training also has helped me overcome some injuries over the years. For example, I credit dead lifts as an instrumental part of my recovery from some terrible tailbone pain in late 2013.
My biggest hurdle at this point is staying well. I battled an evil cold in January that caused me to miss about a week of workouts, and the first two days of this training plan were scuttled by a stomach virus. I tried not to get discouraged and picked up the plan on day three.
I've had to learn to run hill sprints on a treadmill. I’m not the most coordinated person, and running 8-second hill sprints means there’s no time to slow the ‘mill down in between intervals. Instead, I jump off the moving belt for the rest periods and jump back on (hopefully without face-planting) when it's time for the next sprint. Once it gets warmer, I’ll be searching for a hill to run up. My options include the Soldier Field sledding hill or the 18th Street pedestrian bridge that connects my neighborhood to the lakefront.
Looking ahead, I think my first attempt at breaking the two-hour barrier will be the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon, July 19 in Chicago. I like this race, and it’s the scene of my last failure to break two hours. I’d like to come away with a PR this time.
Staying sane on the treadmill
It’s been unseasonably cold in Chicago, and I’m a wimp. I don’t like to run outside if the temperature is below 35 degrees. Admittedly, I bundled up for a 7-mile run recently when the temperature was in the teens, and it wasn’t so bad. Usually, though, I head to the warm gym where I can run in shorts and a tank top on the boring treadmill.
The second week of my training plan included a great treadmill workout. I ran 2 miles to warm up and then launched into 15 1-minute intervals at 5K pace with 1 minute of rest in between. This was followed by a 1-mile cooldown. Fast and fun, the time flew by.
Do you have a favorite treadmill workout?