Extra Running Time (or Figuring Out What I Can Do)

This past week of workouts at Orangetheory were pretty great for me. I’ve been getting ready for Hell Week (I just booked all my Hell Week classes so I can get the shirt for completing it) and I’m starting to trust that my body can handle more than I think it can. My progress is still slower than I thought it would be, but I’m seeing improvements that keep me happy. I also think this past week of workouts went well because I only did 3 workouts (and skipped my run/walk training that I do on my own) so I had more energy. But just because I did fewer workouts doesn’t mean that I was slacking on things.

Monday was a power workout day. We had a bunch of really short blocks so we never were doing something for that long. Each block was only 4.5 minutes long and on the treadmill it was going by really quickly. I ended up running for 2 minutes at a time for each of the treadmill blocks that we had. 2 minutes still feels tough to me, but I’m able to do it more and more often on the treadmill so I’m feeling pretty great. I figure the more that I do 2 minute runs, the better the 1 minute ones will feel during my next race.

After doing about 20 minutes on the treadmill, we switched over to the floor where again we had super short blocks. We were only doing the sets for the same 4.5 minutes so I didn’t get too tired of any strength exercise. The focus was on arms but we also had a bunch of lunges to get through. And after that, we had about 10 minutes left in class so we did a quick partner workout.

It was basically a run/row where one partner was on the treadmill and the other was on the rower for 1.5 minutes. The treadmill was a push pace for a minute followed by a 30 second all out. I did run for the entire thing, but I wasn’t pushing my speed up too much for the all out time since I was pretty tired at the end of the workout. On the rower, we rowed for 1.5 minutes and we were supposed to not reset the rower between switching. But I think my partner kept resetting the rower because at the end of 4 blocks of this it showed we rowed 400 meters (which is what is usually done in about 1.5 minutes).

Wednesday was an endurance run/row day. I’m not a huge fan of endurance days, but I love run/row days so I was feeling pretty ok going into the workout. The run/row was one of the tougher ones I can remember. Each of the run segments was .5 miles. Since I do the run/walk instead of just running or just walking, I try to split the difference between the run distance and the walk distance (which is half of the run distance). So I settled on doing .37 miles for each of the treadmill segments.

For each time I did the .37 miles, I ran for 2 minutes and then walked for 1 minute. I finished it with running for whatever distance I had left, which usually ended up being a little longer than 2 minutes. I probably could have increased my speed to that I could have gotten that done a bit faster, but since I’m focusing so much on running for 2 minutes at a time, I didn’t want to work on speed at the same time. It ended up being ¬†pretty great pace for me and I was tired but feeling good after each treadmill part.

For the rower, we had a 600 meter row each time. The first time, it was just 600 meters straight and the second time it was split up a bit so we had a break on the rower in the middle. There were 4 rounds we were supposed to get through, but I had a bit of a delay on the rower because the foot straps weren’t working and I had to find a different rower to work on. So I made it to the 3 treadmill part and felt ok with that.

On the floor, we had 2 blocks. The first block was pretty normal where we had a set number of reps to do for each exercise and we did as many rounds as possible. But the second block was insane! We had exercised to do, but instead of having a set number of reps, we had to do each thing for 1 minute and was told when we could move on. It got tough because I didn’t always know how much longer was left in the minute and I didn’t want to burn myself out. We had 2 rounds of each exercise for that minute and with a lot of exercises being squats I was feeling it when we were done.

My last workout of the week was on Friday which was another power day. We didn’t switch between blocks and while it was a power day, it really felt more like an endurance day. Each of the treadmill blocks had the same format: a push pace, 1 minute at base pace, and a 30 second all out pace. After each block, we had a minute to walk and recover. But those push paces started out at 3 minutes and then they got shortened by 30 seconds each time. For the pushes from 3 minutes down to 2.5 minutes, I ran for 2 minutes of that time. And for all of the ones 2 minutes and under I ran for the entire thing. I did run my all outs at a pretty fast speed (the best one was 6.3 miles an hour), but that was because it was short and I had some base pace walking before it.

The floor work was split into 2 blocks. The first one had a pretty good variety of things we had to do. Some things were using the TRX straps like triceps work, some things were body weight like squats, and we got to use the ab dolly to do some knee tucks and push ups. It was one of my favorite floor blocks that we’ve had in a while since the variety was really great and the way it was set up I didn’t have any muscle group feeling too tired from exercise to exercise. The second floor block was a mix of squat work using the medicine ball and rowing and we were running between the floor and the rowers the entire time.

I’m shocked that I was able to do 2 minutes of running for each of my workouts this past week. I think that I’m finally in a better spot to keep working on my endurance in my running and might try to push things a bit more in the next few weeks. I still think that for my next race, doing 1 minute intervals will be the best option for me. But like I said, the better my running endurance is by race day the easier those intervals will feel for me. This week of workouts will be the last week before Hell Week (which will go through the last 2 weeks of this month) so I better make sure I’m ready!

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