Take One

Sadly, I had to ruin my hair by running four miles today. But it was worth it because I also had my first personal training session with the coach.

As part of my individualized coaching, I have every workout planned out for me. So what does this include? Well, basically I wanted no guesswork in my training. I never wanted to have a day come up and wonder if I should or shouldn’t run, if I should cross train, if I should go for a walk, if I should just sit on my couch.

The beauty of this plan is everything is broken down for me. Every day tells me whether it’s an on or off day. If it’s off: I rest. If it’s on, it includes a warmup (which can be anything from a mile to stretching to running drills), a run, and a cooldown.

But one of my main concerns was strength training. My hugest downfall in training for my half marathons was giving up on lifting legs. I was building endurance in them and that’s definitely important, but I didn’t think they were at their strongest. My problem was I never knew how much to lift and when to work it in. I didn’t want to be sore for the runs because running was my end goal.

My coach totally understood what I meant by that so we worked it out that she’d also include my strength in my logs. This way there truly is no guess-work. But she wanted to see where I was at currently and show me each move. So I ran two miles to meet her and we got to work!

Today was basically an assessment. She timed things such as how long I could hold a plank and a squat and made me to lateral lifts and single leg hip drives to fatigue. It was interesting to see the imbalances in each leg and she talked about what we would and wouldn’t work on due to my results.

From here on out, though, my strength training will only be a means to further my running. Instead of doing a regular lunge, my stance will be much closer together to mimic actually running. There will be a lot of single leg work to strengthen balance that is needed during running. Arm work will be focused on the driving movement during running.

Do you see a theme? Running, running, running. Nothing is “just because” and I love that.

And now to answer the question discussed earlier. Basically she said minutes and miles are simply a means of variety. She feels that when a lot of people see 3 miles, they map out their run and aim for a certain pace. When people see 30 minutes they’re less likely to be as strict. For instance, I usually just do a 15 minute out and back. But this requires to be a lot more aware of my pace otherwise I will need to add distance once I get to my apartment if I sped up, or walk the rest of the way if I slowed down. So essentially, its variety but it’s also a way to gage my pace and eventually it will help with splits once we have a better idea of where my easy pace lays.

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My New Best Friend

Seriously, after today (well yesterday because that’s when I officially signed up), I am no longer spending money. Because I just made the best investment ever. Yes, ever. Running coach with personalized weekly workouts here I come.

Watching Ali’s marathon training with the amazing Coach Cane made me kind of jealous. Runner’s World never answered my questions. They never told me i was doing a good job or to step it up because today I sucked. They never helped me with my pacing issues that make me stop to walk 15 thousand times in a 3 mile run. They never said “it’s okay to avoid hills in the beginning” and they actually preferred that I run less. 3 days a week for a marathon? I don’t think so.

Within minutes of sitting down to talk to Sarah, I wanted to be her best friend. She answered all of my questions that I blurted out basically the second I walked in the door. She told me I had a great base. She understood why I stop to walk and she said we’d fix it! She’s going to give me personalized training each week. She wants me to email her all the time with comments, thoughts, and concerns. She’s even going to do my strength training for me. And make routes for me. Because let me tell you I can’t even manage to run 14 miles in this tiny little village that is Boston, let alone 20.

She wants me to run 4-5 days a week. She thinks runners are amazing. She called me an athlete that participates in a competitive sport.

I almost died.

That ex-boyfriend of mine used to tell me running was a “hobby” it couldn’t be a sport because it’s not an athletic event. Yeah, okay. I don’t see him running over 2 miles, no matter how many “sports” he plays.

So I did it. I splurged. I never spend money. I know where every penny I have is. But I worked on Monday and it was a holiday and I got holiday pay. So, clearly what better way to save for my future apartment on the East Side that is the size of a closet than to get a running coach?

It was actually a decent price and after talking to her for 45 minutes, I knew this was absolutely the best way to get through my training without going crazy and being healthy.

When I left she already had an assignment for me, keep my pace around 8:30 for the 2 mile run home and don’t stop. We realized a lot of my walking was due to the fact that I tend to run around a 7:20 and then get tired. Clearly. Because that is fast. Well, for me.

Anyway, I passed with flying colors. Can’t wait to get my weekly workouts!