My half marathon for this spring is on Sunday, with the weather still looking gorgeous. Fingers crossed that it stays that way and that all of the rain we’ve gotten in the last 48 hours is dried up by the time Sunday morning gets here! We had so much hail Tuesday night/Wednesday morning that bulldozers and snow plows were out clearing it off roads so people could drive. Gotta love a Midwest spring. 🙂
I had a dream last night that I was late getting to the race because I did too many “one last things” before I left for the race – I know I’m not the only one who falls into that trap. Then when I got to the race and caught up to the other runners, I found out that people were lost because the race course sent us into this big building complex without telling us where to go next or how to get out. It was a very odd dream and woke up me several times. I hate when you can’t escape a certain dream loop!
Maybe the reason I was dreaming about a building full of stairs is because I was reading about stairs yesterday. Specifically, I was reading about training tips for a hike and the kinds of workouts that might help you get ready. This summer, I’m going to get to hike in Norway on the trail up to Pulpit Rock (more about it here). It’s a well established path, so it won’t be mountaineering by any stretch – just a steady uphill path. It’s about 2 miles up to the peak and climbs a little over 1000 feet from most reports, with either stacked rock steps or wooden pathways. Most reports say it takes about 2 hours to go up, which seems like a long time for that distance. I suspect that speaks to the incline and how often people have to stop and catch their breath from all of those stairs!
I’ll be a couple of months out from my half marathon cycle, so I’m sure I’ll be in reasonably good shape cardiovascularly but I did some reading to see what other things I need to think about. Turns out, one of those things is balance. That’s a problem for me, as I’m a clumsy girl and this path has no guard rails of any kind. I found a couple of articles (here and here) with strength training exercises specifically for hiking that will hopefully help with the stairs and the balance issues. I’ll also need to get out at least once a week to walk my hilly neighborhood in my hiking boots to be sure my runner feet get used to those shoes again. I know time on the stair climber would also be good, but I confess that thing kills my knees and my brain. I’d much rather do actual stairs (which weirdly don’t bother my knees) so I’ll plan on doing at least ten flights of stairs every day. My office is on the 7th floor of my building so that should be a good way to keep moving during the work day!
I have a couple of races planned this summer – the Boys Town 5 mile race that Oliver and I always run and a 10K at the end of June – as well as training for my back-to-back half marathons and later marathon scheduled to start August 1st. That means I definitely need to keep running in the mix. I think getting into the habit of regular strength training for the hiking will help my running quite a bit too! My training week August 1st includes 4 miles Saturday and 6 miles Sunday, with two three mile runs during the week. To be sure my base is at a level where that won’t be a miserable first training week, I’ll plan on running 3 days a week during this “off season” with a 5-6 mile run every weekend. I won’t worry about anything more detailed or stringent than that to give my brain a break from training and focus on strength training for the hike.
So what does that mean my weeks will look like?
Monday/Wednesday/Friday Strength training
Tuesday/Thursday 3 mile easy run
Saturday/Sunday 4 mile hilly walk with hiking boots/5-6 mile easy run
10 flights of stairs and balance training every day
This should keep me moving and fit enough for summer fun without being as mentally exhausting as a rigid training plan can be. It’ll be a nice balance I think.
Do you make a plan for your off-season training or just wing it? Ever had any weird pre-race dreams?