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PASTAFARIAN's Photo PASTAFARIAN Posts: 2,321
2/23/16 5:15 P

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For my first marathon, I chose optimal: a marathon training program with a live hands-on coach. Since then, I've become non-optimal. Most significantly, I refuse to go to the track for speedwork. I accept slower times over speedwork.

I run 3x/week averaging 30 miles/week. I alternate with cycling and strength training. (Sure, I occasionally hike and other stuff.) I have a rest day but on that day, I play chamber music - it's kind of aerobic since I play a wind instrument :-)

I'm getting ready for a 50K (31M) next weekend. If you read my blog posts, I just did my longest long run (19M) in preparation.

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2/23/16 4:50 P

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Very interesting. I see that you gals run more days in your planned week than I do. My plan has 4 running days, I am using Higdon's method. This has worked for my past races.

I get that if I was really looking for super times and really pushing to be the best runner that I can be, that my focus should turn more towards that goal. Honestly, I really don't do much speed work. I love hill work but speed is not for me. I really must keep my breathing under control due to severe asthma.

I was just curious how you fit everything else in if you do more than run. I have started yoga last year and I really feel the benefits of that, especially after a harder run or longer run.

So Pasta, what do you do for cross training?

Live your life as though you are obligated to make the world a better place. Make a difference today, be the one!


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HEATHERLEIGH44's Photo HEATHERLEIGH44 Posts: 937
2/23/16 1:39 P

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I think it is important to try and get in cross training or other activities. Cross training especially, because if you are injury prone, this will help keep you healthy. I am not big into mountain biking, but my husband attends all my races and will occasionally do a 5k with me, so when he asks me to go on a ride with him, I do it. I dont love it like I do running, but I enjoy doing something else for a change, that still burns calories and uses similar muscles, and is something I can do with him. Sometimes it's nice to alternate other activities with running, especially when you are deep into training and it might seem like ALL you do is run. It is important to remember there is more out there and to do other things you enjoy. However, I do agree that if you have a goal for a specific race, running has to be in the forefront. It is important to follow your plan, and run on days you dont want to run since this builds mental strength, but I also think there are days that you can make an exception and do something else you enjoy.

Now that I am following Hansons which has you running 6 days a week, it is hard to get in cross training. But after my hamstring injury, I know it is important, so I will do light yoga on my rest day. I have a Jasyoga membership and love the different options for workouts based upon specific body parts and the time that I have available. I will typically try to do a more intense strength training workout or core workout on a day with less mileage. If I feel ok after my tempo run, I will do it then, otherwise I will do it before my Friday run which usually is a slow short/med run. I also try to get in strength moves from PT that I continue to do at night. This usually takes 15 min or so and I will do this about 2X a week. So basically, it helps if you can have a schedule, but fitting in activities where you can is better than nothing.

AIMLESS_AM's Photo AIMLESS_AM Posts: 2,667
2/23/16 1:17 P

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I'll jump in and offer a counter opinion and say that you can have it all! I love to run, that's no secret, but I also love swimming and biking, and live in a place where hiking and kayaking are basically mandatory for citizenship. I also adore yoga and will never stop doing it no matter what.

I've trained for many half-marathons and two marathons and just worked my cross-training loves into my training plan. I typically have five days a week scheduled to run and, like most plans, there's a couple of easy days, a day for speedwork, a day for pace work, and a long run. I tuck my cross-training activities into the nooks of my plan. I do yoga on those days that are harder runs. I hike and kayak on my rest day because they aren't too taxing. I do a long swim on the day I don't run and a shorter one on an easy run day. I can throw in biking by bike commuting to work a few days a week. Sure, it makes for a lot of physical activity, but it's never felt like too much and it's never been the source of injury. I think the key for me is building it into my training plan from the start.

Now, as a caveat, I also don't know what the "optimal training for running" would be. But like you, my goal is to run races, feel great, and do what I enjoy. So for me, this IS the optimal training for running, I guess.

- Amy

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PASTAFARIAN's Photo PASTAFARIAN Posts: 2,321
2/23/16 9:52 A

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By "doomed to fail" I didn't mean anything like what you're suggesting I meant (crossing finish lines, weight loss, etc). I simply meant you couldn't bring two conflicting goals together (doing what you enjoy, doing optimal training for running). At least, that's what I understood to be the basis of your original post.

I thought it pointless to add that "we all face this same struggle and people decide to go with one goal or the other." Yes, you did ask about others but I figured it was more a rhetorical device and you didn't really want to hear people go on and on about their training schedules and how/if they deviate from them.

Edited by: PASTAFARIAN at: 2/23/2016 (09:56)
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CHANGINGHORSES's Photo CHANGINGHORSES SparkPoints: (0)
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2/23/16 4:49 A

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I really wasn't throwing a problem out there Pasta. I just wondered if others stick strictly to running while training. I do have lot's of love for the outdoors and admittedly, I want to do everything.

"Doomed to fail"??? Now that is a bit strong. Fail at what exactly? I have crossed plenty of finish lines since I started running. I have seen many beautiful views from mountain tops while hiking. I have made some wonderful friendships along the way. This is a success for me. Living and experiencing a variety of different things and people.

I have maintained a 65lb weight loss for the past 7 years. I am never going to be an elite athletic runner and qualify for Boston. Maybe that is the fail you mean.

Live your life as though you are obligated to make the world a better place. Make a difference today, be the one!


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PASTAFARIAN's Photo PASTAFARIAN Posts: 2,321
2/22/16 9:28 P

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You're trying to bring together two conflicting goals:

1) Do what's best for your running.
2) Do other activities you love.

As long as you think this way, you're doomed to fail. I'm not saying either goal is bad or wrong. I'm saying you can't do both. Pick one. (Or at least, don't give us impossible problems!)

(PS: Before anyone criticizes me, I'm not saying hiking, snowshoeing, etc., can't be part of a training program for runners.)

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2/22/16 7:23 P

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I don't know about any of you, but I do a multitude of different activities and I am constantly having to adjust my training to fit in other activities that I love. Some times I honestly don't know if I am doing too much or not enough. Am I helping my running or hurting it. I do a lot of hiking and at this time of year it is snow shoeing. I also love x-c skiing when the snow and time are on my side. Summer time I ride bike, kayak and hike a lot.

Last weeks schedule for example was suppose to be 4,8,4 and 15 miles to run. But this is what I actually did: Rest, Run 4, Run 8, Run 4, Walk 3.2, Snow shoe 8.5, Run 15.16. This week is suppose to be 4,8,5,12 of runs and I am looking Run 4, rest, run 8, run 5, run 12, and then hike about 15 miles between Sat and Sun. Sometimes I use a hike of a longer distance as my lsr for the week.

Anyone else find them selves in this camp? I guess that I consider a slower walk okay on a rest day. So I average one real rest day per week usually. I do typically go to bed at a reasonable time and stay there for about 7-8 hours, sleeping or not. Body at rest.

Just curious how you include your other favorite activities while training. Do you stick to the plan no matter what?

Live your life as though you are obligated to make the world a better place. Make a difference today, be the one!


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