I had a long 4 workout week this week. It was long because there were 4 workouts (the 4th workout is still a tough one for me) and it was long because it was a difficult week for me. A majority of the week didn’t have us switching between blocks, so I was spending 30 minutes straight on the treadmill. I was hoping for a run/row day, and never really got one.
Monday was one of those 30 minute treadmill days. I’m still testing myself with my push paces, but I’m really most comfortable at 3.5 miles an hour for my pushes (and 3.4 miles an hour for my base pace). I’d really love it if before my next 5K I could bump both of those paces up .1 miles an hour, but it’s so tough for me to do it. I think I’ve hit a wall with my speed training, and I need to figure out something that will help me get out of that rut.
Besides the long treadmill time, we had some rowing that I didn’t do too much speed one. I wanted to work on my form so I kept things pretty slow. So often I’m the last person getting off the rower when we have rowing, so it doesn’t bother me at all to be much slower than everyone else. We also had a ton of TRX strap work which is starting to be something I’m enjoying more and more. I’m finding that I can push myself a lot more with squats and other leg work because I’m holding on to something that helps me balance. I’ve been scared to push myself too hard because I know when I’m doing bodyweight work my hips hurt. But I’m starting to see that as long as I’m holding on to the straps really tightly and with very little slack in the straps, I can do more than I thought.
Wednesday was another 30 minute treadmill day. The blocks were all 5 minutes long and it really felt more like a 30 minute block and not 4 blocks that were 5 minutes each. Since we only had a minute of walking between blocks and long push paces, it felt like we would never get off the treadmill. But I think I did really great on the treadmill and took pretty limited breaks during the blocks (I look forward to the day that I don’t need to take breaks during the blocks because of pain). Since I was kind of on a high from doing so well on the treadmill, I kept things going with using 20 pound weights on the floor work. Those 20 pound weights are something I’m using a lot more often and I think that it’s a great thing that I’m more and more comfortable using them.
Friday was a pretty tough day. Again, it was another 30 minutes on the treadmill day. I was doing ok for the first few minutes and then my shin splints came back really strong. I have no idea what set them off (I’m doing research on what I’m doing that might be triggering them) but I know that once I feel them I probably won’t get rid of them during the workout. I tried to do my best, but I was doing more like 1 minute on the treadmill and then close to a minute break after. It was on and off like that. My Friday coach, Bruce, encouraged me to lower my incline to help so I spent a good portion of the workout at 2% incline (instead of 4%) and at 3.3 miles an hour. I didn’t feel too great about my work, but I know that doing something is better than nothing. Fortunately, the shin splints didn’t bother me during the floor work and I was feeling better that night.
Just like I have planned, my Saturday workout was done on the bike since it was my 4th workout of the week. I think that was smart anyway because of the shin splints the day before. Of course, this was the day that was closest to the run/run I had been hoping to have all week. It was a run/bodyweight workout. We had short cardio segments (I think the longest I was on the bike was about 3 minutes) and then we jumped off of the cardio equipment and did bodyweight work like squats or calf raises. It was nice to have the workout broken up and I think that I probably could have done the treadmill if I wanted to. There was also rowing before each of the cardio blocks and I was able to get my wattage on the rower pretty high since everything was a sprint.
On the floor, we had a lot of squats, lunges, and crunches. All of these things are pretty fine with me, but I usually don’t push myself too hard because I know for squats and lunges I can get a lot of pain in my hips. One of the lunges we had were lunges where your back leg was on the weight bench and then you did the lunge. I rarely do these because it is so difficult to balance, but I took my time and was able to do them all that way! I’m pretty happy with myself.
So this past week wasn’t really any great progress but wasn’t too much of a set back either. It was more like 1 step forward and 1 step back. But the consistency is paying off and the little improvements I’m making really are making a difference.
This coming week is a 3 workout week, and I’m glad to have a short workout week. Hopefully the shin splints won’t come back and I’ll be able to do my treadmill work. I did just order new calf sleeves to wear because I was feeling my others were a bit stretched out (I’ve had them about 6 months). So think that those might help me this week keep the shin splints away.