Race season is upon us. My family and I spent Saturday morning stationed on the side of Queens Rd West cheering on runners in the Corporate Cup 5k/half marathon. I feel so inspired watching people run in these races. I also have to admit, it is kind of nice to be on the sidelines enjoying a coffee with no pressure to perform. I will use that as my segway into today’s post. I am one month out from my first two races of 2016.
I have talked a lot about how I am working to help other people train for future races on the blog; therefore, I have placed talking about my own racing in the back seat. That said, I would like to pick back up describing my training as it leads into my upcoming competitions, so my readers can follow my preparation. So what’s on the calendar? The Cooper River Bridge Run (10K) and the Charlotte Sprint Spartan Race (elite heat).
I’m not going to lie, my approach to training for my first running and Spartan Race of the new year has been in many ways significantly different than last year. For one, I’m further out from having delivered my second child. Remember, it has still been less than a year since my daughter was born. Even my husband admits that he continues to see gains in my performance directly as a result of time passing (that’s it).
Monday – Flywheel
My cross training day. Nothing beats getting on the bike to reset my focus and shut everything around me down. I teach two classes on Monday – 6:30 AM and 10:45 AM. I ride to what I teach. By the end of my second class, my legs are beat. I have said it once, I will say it again: Riding the bike is a great cross training tool for runners to build endurance, leg strength, and anaerobic thresholds. I will never let it go.
Tuesday – Strength and Conditioning
While I still utilize my home gym, my workouts have evolved. It was during 2016 that I completed my Spartan SGX certification and I found a great group of women to workout with at Stax (a crossfit gym in Charlotte). I forgot how important the push is from having a workout partner. On days that I am exhausted, I find that if I show up to workout with these women, I get a much better workout in than I would have by myself. The workouts are total body, but many of the movements mimic strength building exercises of a Spartan Race (pull ups, rope climbing, box jumps, sled pushes).
Tuesday’s and Thursday’s have also now been reserved for my time to train others in Spartan racing. I strictly train others. I do not workout when they are working out. I will do the workout that they do on my own time. I am incredibly excited about this program, the facility and the impact that it should make on the community and the obstacle racing sport. It is in the next four weeks that we will start to train specific obstacles as we phase into the first Charlotte race of the season.
Wednesday – Running
One of my biggest takeaways from the Asheville Super Spartan race was that I wasn’t as prepared for the run as I should have been. I got passed on the downhills. I had to walk on some of the extreme uphills (we are talking mountains here). While the obstacles are a big piece of the race, you can make up (or lose) a lot of ground in your run. My injury created an urgency for me to get better at my run. I developed speed (on the track) and hill training workouts. The purpose of the speed workouts is essentially to teach my legs how to carry that faster turnover through intervals. Trust me, you can’t expect yourself to run faster in a race if your legs don’t know what fast feels like.
I ran my most recent speed workout around a park nearby our house. Relatively flat. See workout below.
- Warm up – 3/4 mile jog, increasing speed each 1/4 mile
- Upon reaching park, dynamic stretch, form running drills
- 2 x 800 – 3:10-3:15, 2 minutes rest in between
- 6 x 400 – 1:30 target, 1 minute 30 seconds rest in between
- Cool down – 3/4 mile jog, decreasing speed each mile
- Static stretch, foam roll
Thursday – Strength and Conditioning/Flywheel
I am now spending Thursday specifically completing a Spartan SGX workout. While I love my time with the women at Stax, it is imperative that I really start hammering power and agility as it relates to the upcoming races. Since the workouts are included on Wodify, if I can’t get to the gym to complete a training session, we now have most equipment at home to get what I need to get done on my own. I made out in a close out sale this week for a national exercise equipment manufacturer and distributor.
See my most recent post on Spartan SGX training that details what these workouts entail. If you would like to learn more about them, please reach out to me. I would love to continue to share workouts, but that wouldn’t make you want to show up!
Friday – Long Run, Steady State
My idea of a long run is not what you are thinking. Long for me equals five to six miles. Steady state means relaxed, controlled, enjoyable. I am working on mileage here and not trying to press heart rate and anaerobic thresholds. I do this to teach my body what it feels like to run six miles. Simple as that.
Saturday – Mobility/Recovery
Saturday is recovery (which I used to not do much of). I spend Saturday doing mobility exercises, fascia release, body maintenance, and drills that my physical therapist and movement specialist have given me to practice keeping my body loose. Sounds weird maybe, but I swear by it. My husband and I recently did a yoga class together on our family trip to Florida.
Sunday – Flywheel
With a recovery day Saturday, I am ready to ride Sunday. If you know me, you know I covet my 6:30/7:30 AM Sunday Flywheel classes. I know almost everyone that walks through the door. I know they work hard. I love getting up to see them each week. They are all so unique. They all inspire me to ride harder. If you decide to check this class out, please stop and introduce yourself to me.
In the grand scheme of things it seems like a lot, but it’s not. My anticipation of both races is building. I am starting to get a little pre-race anxiety. To be honest, I didn’t think I would ever get my shoulder back to where it is this quickly. It is kind of surreal that I will be diving back in, in just a few weeks.