The Ups and Downs of Training

I am officially less than three weeks out from the A1A Half Marathon, and I have no idea what to expect. This week was full of ups and downs. On the up, I seemed to have beaten the flu. On the down, well, I had a flare up of my IT band syndrome on Wednesday’s run. However, I rested it, and my long run on sunday went great. So, go figure. I did change a few things, and I hope maybe I can get to the bottom of this once and for all.

Over Christmas, I went to the Delray Running Company to check out their shoes and see how they fitted me. I had come in with my Brooks Ravenas, and the owner of the store swore that I was in a shoe that had too much of a drop. She convinced me to come back in and get fitted by showing me her awesome setup where they record your running gate on video and slow it down to see your weird running tendencies. When we looked at mine, I was horrified. I am a super duper crazy pronator and I do this really strange kick out thing with my right foot. To improve my form, they fitted me into a pair of Newton Pop 1‘s. These shoes were really weird (they have these strange things on the bottom called lugs that force you to mid-foot strike) and ridiculously expensive. So, long story short, I took the info from my gate analysis, and didn’t buy the shoes. However, after my flare up on Wednesday, I decided to try and attack my form a little and go back to some of what I learned from my analysis. I also bought a compression sleeve for my knee and that seemed to help a ton. On my long run sunday, I concentrated on not kicking my foot out and trying to not over-stride, which seemed to be causing at least some of the over pronation. Hopefully, these adjustments help and I can forge ahead in my training without too much trouble.

Aren't these the weirdest shoes? I just can't commit to something so different for $175.

Aren’t these the weirdest shoes? I just can’t commit to something so different for $175.

My training last week:

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 5 mile run outside at ~9:30 pace
Wednesday: Tried for 3 miles, but only did 2.5 because of the IT band + yoga
Thursday: yoga + rested my leg
Friday: More Yoga
Saturday: Hiked 6 miles + Biked 50 min + Yoga
Sunday: Ran 9 miles at ~9:30-10:00 pace for my long run + Yoga

Total: Ran 16.5, Hiked 6, Biked 50 min and a ton of yoga

My one picture on my long run before my phone died. It was snowing the whole time and my face felt like it was being pelted by tiny razor blades, but besides that, it went great!

My one picture on my long run before my phone died. It was snowing the whole time and my face felt like it was being pelted by tiny razor blades, but besides that, it went great!

As you see…this is a pretty all over the place week. My long run went great and gave me a ton of confidence for my training ahead and the A1A Half coming up. However, Wednesday had me pretty worried since I had so much pain. Hopefully this week goes a little smoother. I have my longest run of my training cycle and this week will likely be my hardest week.

My training this week:

Monday: Yin Yoga + Rest
Tuesday: 6 miles chill pace
Wednesday: 3 miles with Fleet Feet run group + yoga
Thursday: Yoga + Bike
Friday: 5 miles with 3 miles at 8:45 pace + yoga
Saturday: Hiking
Sunday: Hiking + 11 mile long run

Total: 25 miles

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11 thoughts on “The Ups and Downs of Training

  1. Good luck on your training! Hopefully your knee gets better. Try focusing on a higher stride rate. Count how many times your right foot hits the ground in twenty seconds. It should be around 25-30. This should keep you from kicking out so much. Great post. Every training plan seems to bring a lot of ups and downs.

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    • Thanks for the advice! I’ll try that on my run tomorrow. It is really hard to change something when you really can’t feel it. I think I have probably been doing this kick out thing since I started running cross country in high school. That’s a lot of years to fix. haha.

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  2. I think you were smart not to switch to the Newtons, at least right now. I tested out a pair a couple of years ago and although it’s a nice shoe, the lip under the ball of the foot DEFINITELY took some getting used to. Hope the IT band behaves this week.

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    • Yeah. They are super strange. I tried running in them in the store, and they were comfortable, but I could tell that lip would drive me nuts if I had them on for a while. I definitely want a change in shoes, but I’ve been in the Ravenas for many years (I started with the Ravena 2’s) and I don’t want a drastic change. I probably go to my local store after my half and see what they think.

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  3. I had a very similar experience to yours several years ago. I was having a ton of knee issues when I ran and after a long run, I’d have crazy pain for a full day before it finally died down. I had gotten a pair of Nikes from the local big-box running store when I got started. I got my first pair of Newtons after reading Born to Run and learned about natural running. While that movement has tempered a lot over the last couple of years, it really taught me how to run appropriately for my body and natural gait. I have a very pronounced for-foot strike when I run (it almost looks like I’m running on my toes) and a shoe that virtually forced a heel strike was doing bad things to me!

    After finding a lot of success with the Newtons (you’ll love the lugs once you get used to them), I shifted over to Altras. They have a huge toe box, are zero drop and fit my foot and stride to perfection.

    Finding the perfect shoe is a HUGE journey and I hope this step puts you on the right track!

    Good luck with everything. Let me know if I can send you any essential oil samples to help out with the pain and inflammation. I have been using them to manage a lot of things in my health for a year and a half, but the most common thing I use them for now is training recovery (inflammation and increased circulation!).

    Cheers! 🙂

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    • Thanks for the advice! I would be interested in looking into the Newtons after my half marathon is over. I think such a drastic change could really mess me up. My form is definitely a huge problem, and I want to start working on that in my usual shoes. It seems like everyone mostly has good things to say about them, though. So, come Feb 16, I might go check them out at my local store.

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  4. I’m so glad the IT band flare up seems to be a freak thing. You had a solid week! So much yoga. 🙂 I LOVE it. I have heard of those shoes and really, really want to try them, but obviously balked at the price. Watch for them on Ebay. That’s where I got my Adios Adizero Boosts that retail for $140…and I got them for $30.

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    • Oh wow. You are brilliant! I’ll have to look on ebay. I’d feel pretty bad getting my shoes from someone other than my local store (they are also the hosts of the group runs I do), but if I can take $100 off the price, I think they’ll just have to understand. I’m really hoping the ITBS issues were just a random bad day. I’ll know more this week!

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    • No they don’t. I occasionally get blisters between my toes, but I have to be doing some serious milage to get blisters from them. That’s why I have been in Ravenna’s for so long. Other shoes have given me blisters under my big toe on the pad of my foot and behind my heel. Have you tried messing with the socks you wear? I generally use Thorlo Experias and they work great.

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