Marathon Training: Week 2

This week went by pretty quick. With finals week and many project deadlines approaching it was going to be a tough week to get by. I almost didn’t do a workout because of how tired I was but I did it today, and I’m glad I did. What I want to incorporate next week is strength training on my off-days of running.

This week was 2 distance days and two interval training days. Day 1 was a 3 mile easy run. Technically, all of the runs are suppose to be easy since I’m just building back the endurance I lost after the fracture. But before, on easy runs, my goal was to keep my average heart rate at a 150 range. My watch lets me know where my heart rate is but it does have an error range of +/- 5 beats which can be the difference between 2 heart zones. so I definitely want to invest on a chest heart rate monitor. Those are said to be a bit more accurate.

Day 3 was an interval run; 5 minutes on 1 minute off. I like these runs because it gives me time to recovery and focus on my breathing. Breathing is everything when running. a bad breathing rhythm can make the difference of feeling gassed or feeling great. I usually go for the 2-in and 2-out and keep it in line with my cadence. Day 5 and 6 was basically the same.

It occurs to me that many people don’t know what all these different running terms like cadence and breathing cycle may mean. Basically your cadence is determined by the number of steps you take in a minute. An elite long distance runner usually wants to keep their cadence at 180 BPM. that means for every minute of running your feet is hitting the floor around 180 times. I usually keep track of this using music specifically designed for runners. It’s not the greatest sound track of all time, but it does help me keep my feet moving. I suggest if you are starting from scratch that you build up to the 180 bpm. It’s not necessary, technically, to run at 180 bpm. Everyone has their own natural cadence. What I mean by natural cadence is that there’s a certain stride length for each individual person. For taller people it may be less than 180 and for shorter it may be more. But the reason to build up to something like that is so that you can get used to moving your feet faster underneath you. I think it also helps if you have issues with shin splints or achilles pain to shorten your stride which helps prevent injuries.

A lot of runners make the mistake of thinking that in order to go faster you have to reach your feet as far as possible but that only leads to injuries. There’s so much to the mechanics of running that’s it’s easy to get muddled and bogged down by all the details. My suggestion, something that helped me a lot especially since I suffered with knee pain and shin splints, would be to shorten the stride, lean forward with your chest, and breath as calmly as possible. Shortening the stride allows you to keep your feet under your body, which is the ideal position, and allows you to bring up that cadence number. leading with the chest puts you in a position where your body is basically falling forward which means you’re going to be using less energy to move forward. Breathing in calmly takes some effort especially if you feel like you are gasping for breath. For one, if you can’t control your breathing, then you are going way to fast. Slow it down. Every workout has a purpose and the purpose of running slower is to build endurance. Endurance you will need when you start incorporating speed workouts. This is something I need to tell myself constantly on easy runs.

The breathing cycle is the most important part of running. there are many people that go by the rule three in/ two out but I find that difficult to sustain when I am pushing the pace. So I practice two in/ two out. Also many people say you should breath in through your nose and out through your mouth but I disagree. Your nasal cavity is not very big so it can only let in so much air at one time. What I do is breath in through both my nose and my mouth concentrating on most of the air going in through my nose and breath out through my mouth. IF you try to breath in through your mouth exclusively, your mouth will get dry real quick and that will add to all the discomforts you already have mounting on you as you run. Breathing in through my mouth and my nose allows me to take in a full breath but at the same time avoid the dry mouth.

This week I ran a total of 19 miles with an average pace of about a high 9 minute mile. the most difficult of these runs was actually my three mile easy run because I was wanting to keep my heart rate low but at the same time my ankles were bothering me from the mileage from last week. This week my goal is to incorporate more strength training and also try to do some mobility work for my feet and ankles since they are the ones holding me back right now. my weight is down two pounds at a 185. With that I will end this blog! God bless!

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