My Training Life + Tips


It's been a while since I've updated you all on the rollercoaster that is my training schedule. I've been making a lot of changes since my injury filled 2018 summer and finally have some sort of rhythm with what I'm currently doing. So I don't end up rambling to the point of writing a novel, I thought to take you on my training life through questions:

What has my training schedule been like?
To put it simply, I've started including ~speed week~ in my training every other week.

What's that supposed to mean?
Uh well, I sort of invented this ~speed week~ myself. Speed Week is where my week includes either 2 Hill Sprints & 1 Track Workout OR 2 Track Workouts & 1 Hill Sprint session for that week.

Then, after that speed week is completed, the very next week includes a 5K run, 1 Track Workout and 1 Hill Sprint session.

(p.s. I also do some home workouts to build strength! I will be getting to this in another post!)

Why aren't you sticking to an online training schedule?
 I used to follow online training schedules and even did a Nike Run Club training schedule too, however I felt they didn't fit me. All online training schedules are very much a one-size-fits-all type of thing. So while I personally wanted to decrease my 5K time, it's possible that the 5K training plan online is more for someone who has never run a 5K distance before.

Ok but what about the Nike Run Club Training Schedule? That's pretty specifically for runners isn't it?
Well, yes and no. On the Nike Run Club app there is the option to do one of their schedules and it tailors each week based on the week you've done previously. This is technically the closest you'll get to a trainer without actually paying for one.

I've done Nike Run Club training plans a few times before and I enjoyed them - I've written positively of them here and I 100% stand by what I've written. As I look back at the training plans, and where I am at this point of my running life, my goals aren't really in parallel with the training plans provided. Was I speeding up when I was using the training plans? YOU BET! They are a great way to having structure for your running, every week is planned by the app. There's a Get Started, Get More Fit, and Get Ready for Race Day training plans.

I'm not in the Get Started phase in my running life, I'd probably fit more in the Get More Fit, however there was still the issue of:

 It wasn't/isn't angled towards improving specifically in the 5K distance in terms of speed. So although they did help in terms of speed in the past, I find that at this point of my running life, since the plans aren't specifically for speeding up in the 5K distance, I am better off creating my own training plan tailored to me specifically.

Wait a second, what about the online training plan for the 5K distance from Nike - they have one for it I think?
After a whole lot of searching, I did find a 5K training plan. And, as I mentioned above, it was essentially designed as a one size fits all. I began the training plan as I was gearing up for a race that was going to be in 3 months after I had started it- I ended up having shin splints midway through the plan.
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your favorite track human not knowing what to do for a photo, I think I was looking at someone who was looking at me taking a photo with my tripod

Something that was new for me towards the end of 2018 was Hill Sprints. Whenever I used to look at Hills, I'd kind of be terrified of them. I used to do hill sprints in my high school track days, and uh I left high school track traumatized of hills.

 After seeing Georganne Moline (U.S.A Olympian, 400M hurdler & World Champion) mention in a post on Instagram that although she was resting for a weekend, hill sprints were planned, I left in a comment that hills kind of scare me a bit and asked if she had some advice. I was really surprised when I saw she responded and gave me some tips on tackling my first hill session. 

If you're also thinking of tackling hills, here are two tips she gave me:

1. Find a hill that isn't too steep with a slight incline - you don't want to be on a massive hill for your first one, that will not be doing you any favors. Start small and work your way up to a steep hill.

2. Keep your running rhythm. 

In the beginning, it was actually terrible. My body was the equivalent of ????? as I sprinted up a hill 20 times in a row with 1:30 rest in between each. The first time I did my hill sprints, I averaged at 7'50 pacing for the 20 times I sprinted up a hill. As of recent, I averaged at 6'55 pacing for the 20 times I sprinted up that very same hill. I was consistent with it for 2 months and finally found myself in the 6 range. (consistency! is! key!)

Hill sprints really helped with my 5K pacing in two ways:

1.  Mentally, I thought to myself if I could sprint up a hill then I could sprint straight no problem.

2. Before hill sprints, my arms would feel a bit weak and I'd have to shake them out while running 5K distances. Now, my arms feel stronger.

I think this is mainly because when doing speed workouts your form is always 100% so that carried over onto my 5K runs.

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i promise, the sun is lying to you. it was actually a bit cold out with a sprinkle of sunshine to blind ya girl


Also! So that way I'm not misunderstood here: I am in no way saying that running training plans aren't beneficial at all - I believe they are extremely beneficial. If I hadn't done training plans I wouldn't have known what to include and what not to include in a single training week. (Back to back sprinting workouts with no rest days at all is the equivalent to a Shakespearean tragedy for runners.)

It all depends on where you are in your athletic journey. As someone who was part of a track team in High School and later hopped from training plan to training plan throughout my years at University, I have somewhat of a grasp at what a training week should consist of. If you are doing a training plan as the New Year has just started I'm going to leave you with this advice that I really wish I plastered on my walls anytime I started a training plan:

Listen to your body FIRST and your training schedule SECOND.

How's everyone's fitness life going? Are we all on top of it for 2019?


13 comments:

  1. I really admire how dedicated you are to your training - I really want to get to a point where I can do the same in a healthy way and also push my body. Fitness and running has always been a touchy subject for me personally, but I want to change that this year and start building up my strength and endurance. Thanks for sharing your tips and being so realistic - listening to your body is definitely important!

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    1. Thank you so much! I would really recommend starting small with some home workouts perhaps either early in the morning / in the evening - wherever you have some time to squeeze in a workout; yay for starting 2019 with a bit of exercise I'm so happy! I can promise you'll love how energized you feel after a workout! :)

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  2. I honestly admire you my darling, your training is incredible! I wish you luck in all your training my darling!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

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  3. I still use the Nike app but alter my schedule if I'm feeling like more or less. I usually do mine in the get ready for race day category even if I don't have one planned, I just pick a random date in the future as 'race day'. Major respect for doing speed weeks, that sounds grim. I started running again this week after a month off and the thought of speed weeks right now is not a fun one 😂 x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

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    1. I use the Nike App to track my pacing and also for their guided speed runs- they're great to give some structure on track workouts! :) But that's great that the Race Day one works for you! It's all about seeing how you feel each day + the great thing about the training plans is that you can move a few things around to make it more tailored to you.

      HAHAHAHA speed week sometimes feels like a lot when I look at my schedule but it is the one way I've been seeing such a huge improvement in my avg. pacing per mile! YAY I'm so happy you're running after a month off - building mileage during the ~come back~ phase can be a bit tricky but you got this girl!!

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  4. Your training is great! I admire your commitment to it. I've just started going to the gym regularly and am loving it. Thanks for sharing your tips and thoughts :)

    Sarah xx
    Sarah Claire | Beauty&Lifestyle Blog

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    1. Thank you!! YAY for going to the gym regularly, the gym can be so much fun as they're so many different machines to choose from!

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  5. I love your tips, it's always body over training schedule - even when it's a bit annoying. I am so happy that your time increased by doing hill sprints - when jogging I tend to run on a flat area but while road biking I often ride near the fringe of the mountains near home and I also discovered it helps to make me faster. It's great to know that this works with jogging too so maybe I should add it to my training schedule :)

    I wish you all the best with your future training ♥

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    1. YAY so happy to hear you love the tips! And yes I completely agree - even though it can be a bit annoying when you have to decide against doing a workout you had planned, listening to how your body feels is really the best way forward. It's better for your body to be 100% during a workout than 75%.

      Wow! It must have been a great surprise to see that your road biking was making your legs stronger and making you faster! I'd definitely say to add it into your training schedule wherever you see it fits in!

      Thank you so much! I wish you all the best with your training schedule as well! :)

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