I’m not a beginner runner. I’m not a fast runner, but I am most definitely not a beginner runner. I don’t think anyone who’s run a full marathon can label themselves as a “novice.”
But then, I don’t think you need speed to be an intermediate runner. It’s all about experience.
So after my RRCA Coach training last month (which I know I haven’t talked too much about but I just…haven’t had time) I decided as I got over my angry calves, I wanted to go back to basics. I wanted to regain my strength and the speed I had worked so hard for pre-pregnancy.
So the day after Adam left for AT a week and a half ago, Ethan and I restarted Couch 2 5k. We’re almost done with Week 2.
It’s a rather humbling experience going from a 28 minute 5k to a 34 minute 5k in the span of almost two years (including 9 months of pregnancy) – I didn’t fully understand the effects of my pregnancy and my SI Joint issues on my fitness level until my first races post-pregnancy.
That being said, I’ll have to push hard for a sub 30 5k, and I don’t think I’ll ever be a sub 27 minute 5k. I know the work it took to get to that sub 30 the winter and spring that Adam was gone and it took a lot of time that these days I don’t quite have to dedicate to running. Sub 30, maybe. Sub 27? Unlikely.
And I’m okay with that.
But the past couple of runs, I haven’t had that same wonky calf tightness that I wrote about as I trained for ZOOMA. Maybe, just maybe, this whole back to basics thing isn’t so bad after all.
So maybe going easy, and walk/running it through Couch 2 5k is okay for a few weeks. Here’s how I’m making the most of it… two words: Interval. Training.
I don’t walk the warm up, but rather do a slow jog. I focus on my form – especially my gait and my core.
When it tells me to run… I run. Consider the running sections your interval training. I check my pace and I make sure it’s in the 8:30-9:30 range. The spring when I was PR’ing the crap out of most races, I was doing speed workouts 1-2 times per week with Hubs at the track. It’s pretty straight forward: if you want to get faster, you have to run faster.
Jog out the walk parts. Let your heart rate slow down, but don’t take it to a full on walk (unless you have to or in my case…want to…sometimes I like walking). I’m actually finding that walking makes my legs hurt a bit more, so I’m leaning off the walk sections, but I do realize that walking is part of the workout so if I do jog it out, it’s a super slow jog…more like a shuffle.
It’s only 30 minutes. Anyone has 30 minutes. It’s the same thing with the Bikini Body Mommy Workouts that I’ve been doing here and there – anyone has 20-30 minutes for a workout. The other night I strapped Ethan into the Bob, gave him some snacks to tide him over til dinner, changed into my pre-laid out clothes and headed out for 30 minutes. It was really quite perfect because the workout was so short, so he was still in bed between 7-8pm.
Here’s what I’m finding, by not pushing myself, and letting my body work out it’s muscle issues, I’m actually recovering. Which is a good thing. A workout is still a workout, and I’ll get back to my best but it’ll be a new, post baby best which is so much better than before. I’m excited to pick a late summer 5k (or 8k?) and really race it to see how I do versus just jogging it out.
Have you ever gone back to basics with your training?