Training Update: Stronger, Faster, Better?

Phew, let’s have a seat and look back at my training this month. And what a month it has been as far as running is concerned! 

Running Training Update

About a month ago I decided to consult the trainer at the club I run with about my training paces. I wasn’t sure whether I trained at the right intensity. So we met and he immediately began to write me an entire training plan! Now, I haven’t signed up for any races just yet, but there are a couple in Holland I would love to do: a half marathon on December 17 and the traditional Oliebollenloop (10 or 15 km, depending on what I feel like doing) on December 31 to end the year on a fit note.

A few days after my meeting with the trainer I ran the East Riverside 5K at a disappointing time. The result made me realize my iron levels were somewhat low again, so I started taking iron pills once more. Now, about a month later, I’m feeling much better.

Last Tuesday I joined the club again for their East Riverside 5K race. (It’s a race held weekly during daylight saving time, but I don’t like to race every week, so I only join them occasionally.) I had already noticed a big improvement in my trainings over the past few weeks, and my race confirmed that. I started off great, flew through the second and third kilometers, had a hard time finding my pace again after the U-turn and going up the hill (the fourth K), and tried to make up for the lost seconds during my last kilometer. It wasn’t enough to finish sub-20, but I was the first lady crossing the finish line at 20:06 minutes. I can’t wait to run it again.

Whether my current training plan is making me stronger is hard to say, but I definitely do notice that I’m getting a lot more mileage as well as fast kilometers in. Coupled with not so great sleep, I have to make every effort lately to do the other things I have or want to do. The temptation to put up my feet when Maria goes down for a nap is often big. That said, it is amazing how much a rest day can do for your body. I often feel full of energy and eager to go out for my run after I’ve had a day off (such as today).

Yoga Training Update

I believe stretching is very important, but mainly after exercise.

With this focus on running, my yoga practice has inevitably taken a back seat. With so many harder running sessions, I often don’t feel like breaking up a sweat with yoga. At the same time, stretching is now extra important to prevent my muscles from tightening up. While I keep practicing almost daily, it is often not more than 15 to 20 minutes of gentle, restorative yoga. A new YouTube yogini I found and love is SarahBethYoga. She has some great videos focussing on opening the hips and stretching the hamstrings. They are very relaxing sessions of only 20 minutes and with nice background music.

When it comes to yoga, I don’t have any set goals. Cliché as it may sound, I try to focus on the journey and not so much on the outcome. Of course I hope my body will become more flexible with daily practice, but I am aware that I may never be super bendy. If I had to jot down a goal or two, I would say it is to keep my body and mind healthy and to be able to keep running without injuries. Namaste!

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