Weekly runs & workouts: July 20-26

Winter is not the easiest time to stay motivated when it comes to running and fitness in general. I often rather snuggle up with a book and hot drink than going out in the rain and cold. Fortunately, this weekly post seems to be a good motivator to get my workouts in. Hopefully, the motivation will last until spring arrives…

Let’s take last Monday. I had a 30-minute yoga session planned, but after 10 minutes Maria woke up. I would have forgotten about the rest of the video, had I not in the back of my mind these weekly posts. So, after we put Maria down to sleep in the evening, I continued the rest of the video. Boy was I proud I did!

The other strong motivator is the running club I joined. In last week’s post I already wrote how competitive this club seemed, and the previous two trainings confirmed my impression! The road runners train twice a week together. Tuesday evenings are for interval workouts with a trainer and Thursday evenings for tempo runs. For me, it is a fun way to meet people and challenge my running, as I tend to do mostly easy, steady runs when I go out on my own.

Here is an overview of my runs and workouts from Monday, July 20, to Sunday, July 26:

Monday: As said, I planned to do a 30-minute ashtanga yoga session in the afternoon that was cut short when Maria woke up after 10 minutes. Thanks to this post, I continued the video in the evening when Maria was asleep.

Soy cappuccino and homemade cinnamon coffee cake: a good pre-workout snack!

Soy cappuccino and homemade cinnamon coffee cake: a good (though slightly decadent) pre-workout snack!

Tuesday: Interval training with the Hamilton City Hawks. I had been told the interval trainings were very hard but shorter than the Thursday tempo runs, so I left home thinking I would be back within an hour or so. Turned out not only were the intervals very tough indeed, the warm up and cool down were more of a tempo run as well! We did a total of 14.66 km with an average pace of 5:00 min/km – that is including warm up, cool down and rest between the intervals. As for the intervals, the instruction was three times 500 meters in half marathon pace and 500 meters in 5-km pace; 2:30 minutes rest; another three times 500 meters in half marathon pace and 500 meters in 5-km pace. I clearly have to work on my pace, as I could hardly keep up during the fast bits, and I ended up doing the 500 meters in 5-km pace much slower than I am supposed to.

Wednesday: Tired from last night’s run, I decided to have a rest day. I did go out with Maria for a one-hour walk in the afternoon, though, as the weather was gorgeous.

Thursday: Another tempo run with the Hawks. I ran a little late because I was feeding Maria and trying to express some milk at the same time – no one told me it was so hard to express! – and when I arrived I didn’t see anyone from the previous week. Funny, I thought, last week there were mostly ladies and one guy, while this time there was only one lady and several guys. As we left I realized why they were all different: This was a different group, and a much faster one! I couldn’t keep up with them even during their so-called “warm up”. The trainer, however, was so nice to accompany me around the lake until we met someone from the group I had run with the week before, who still ran way too fast for me. So I ended up running alone most of the time, but it was nevertheless a good run. Total: 14.25 km at 5:04 min/km.

Refuelling with baked potatoes, salad and tofu slices

Refuelling with baked potatoes, salad and tofu slices sprinkled with smoked paprika

Friday: On my training schedule was a stroller run with Maria as well as some strength training, since I hadn’t done any the entire week. I was hoping for a pace somewhere between 5:30 and 5:40 min/km. Soon after I started I realized this was too ambitious: My legs were heavy as lead and I had to drag myself forward. I decided to just do what I could, and I ended up running 11.90 km at an average pace of 5:57 min/km. Very slow, I know, but the important thing is I did it! While running, I took a few breaks to do some upper body and core exercises – think pull ups, crunches and push ups.

Saturday: We went out with another family to the Karangahake Gorge for a stroll, but I can’t count that as a workout. That evening I figured I was going to have to write down another rest day unless I would do something. I checked my “Liked videos” on YouTube and decided to do this ab workout that is quite challenging, to say the least (i.e. my muscles are still sore!). I am currently trying to focus on my core, because while running I noticed this part of my body is rather weak.

Sunday: Ideally, I squeeze in one slow, long distance run a week, but it is always a challenge to make it happen. As soon as Maria was asleep in the afternoon I quickly changed into my running clothes and headed outdoors. Needless to say, she woke up half an hour after I’d left, but my awesome husband took care of her until I finished running 19.20 km at a pace of 5:28 min/km.

Great slow, long distance run on Sunday

Great slow, long distance run on Sunday

Total: 60.0 km of running, one yoga session and two strength workouts (in addition to some random push ups and crunches throughout the week). I hadn’t run 60 km in a week before this year, and I feel pretty good about it! I wasn’t planning on running so much, as I was suffering from a cold a week ago, but luckily I recovered very quickly. I am hoping to keep this mileage in the weeks to come, because I plan to run a 10-km race in Cambridge on August 23 and need to train for that! Although another yoga session would have been nice, I simply couldn’t find the time and energy to do so.

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