Weekly Update: Marathon Recovery, 6/22 – 6/28

When I got home from Minnesota, I mapped out how I’m planning to get from here to Hartford in October. Since I worked with a coach for the past year, I haven’t had to do this in a long, long, time. I forgot how much I actually enjoy it. My favorite training plan comes from Advanced Marathoning by Pete Pfitzinger, but I’ve also have success with a book called Run Faster: From the 5K to the Marathon by Brad Hudson and Matt Fitzgerald. So when I developed my plan of attack, the structure came largely from Pfitz. Run Faster has some unique workouts that I used to enjoy. I compared each week and made a few changes to incorporate some of those workouts. For example: in Run Faster, the authors add short hill sprints to one easy run per week. It’s where you find a short, steep hill and sprint up it for 8-10 seconds, come back down and repeat 8-10 times. It’s a quick and effective way to learn to power up hills. I used to do them regularly, but it’s another habit I’ve since dropped.

To kick off my new plan, I’m starting with a few weeks of easy miles: recovery runs, and general aerobic runs. I have a few shorter distance races starting soon through early fall to keep things interesting and fresh. This week, I had some mileage goals but nothing crazy – mostly, it was just about getting out and running and doing whatever felt good. I took some new fitness classes and got back on my bike, which felt great.

Monday, 6/22 – Rest!

Tuesday, 6/2 –  5 Mile “Recovery” Run + Core
I use the term “recovery” loosely here, because it wasn’t recovery paced. Cassie, my speedy friend, wanted to meet me for some easy miles but we have very different definitions of the word easy! My recovery run range, according to the McMillian Pace Calculator, is 8:20-9:01, but we ran 5 @ 7:51. I felt every second of it. Surprisingly, my legs were fine but it was humid. I felt like throwing up pretty much the whole time. It was fun to chat and catch up, but it took every ounce of energy I had that day! Post run I did drills, MYRTLs, and Oiselle’s Dirty Dozen workout, but I was beat so it was pretty half-assed.

Wednesday5 Mile Recovery Run + Strength/Core/PT + Pole Fitness
A true recovery run this time – 5 miles @ 8:25. It felt really, really good! I also ran the first mile in these:

Newtons Distance S

I used to be a Newtons girl, but when I injured my calf last summer I began the hunt for new shoes. I’ve since settled on the Brooks Pure Connect and love them, but I still often miss the feeling of Newtons. I had a brand new, never worn pair of the Distance S sitting at home that I won through our local running store. Problem is, they have a 2 mm heel-toe drop and I’m currently running in a 4mm drop shoe. So, I can’t just go and run five miles in them – I need to break them in sloooowwwwlllyyyy. One mile at a time. I did one mile around the park and was reminded about how oh so good Newtons feel, and then changed into my Brooks for the remainder of the run. Running felt great, and the weather was perfect! I went to the gym after to do drills, MYRTLs, strength, PT, and abs.

Two of my sister-in-laws are getting really into pole fitness classes at a local studio called AirFlex Fitness. They have yoga, aerial classes, core classes and pole classes. I’m certainly not in the market for a new hobby but they were offering a free one week pass to try the studio, and my sister-in-laws asked me to come. They don’t enjoy working out, so I never really gave it a second thought when they would talk about the classes. I was glad they were doing something active that they enjoyed, but I didn’t have any interest in trying it out myself. When they asked me to join them for a class, I knew it was because they were excited to share their new hobby with me so I went to support them.

Let me tell you. It. Is. HARD! Holy crap. I’m so proud of them – they went from doing nothing to doing a kick ass workout. My upper body felt so jacked up the next day – super sore. I’m the most ungraceful person ever. The little spinny moves and the whole trying to walk around the pole looking all cute was probably a comedy act for anyone watching me. I really liked the climbing up the pole portion of the class. I have bruises everywhere from it. I was pouring sweat. I couldn’t believe how awesome of a workout it was! I think I’ll go every so often to spend time with my sister-in-laws, but DUDE. IT’S HARD.

ThursdayGeneral aerobic 7 mile run + Bike + Core
It was hot but not super humid, and I met Kathy for a run since she was at her son’s soccer camp right by my house. It was my first true scheduled non-recovery paced run for the week, and we averaged 7:31 pace! It didn’t feel as hard as Tuesday, but I was sore from the pole class the day before so it also didn’t feel easy. I brought my bike along and did 20 miles in the area. There was some road work that re routed me in an unfamiliar area so I had to stop to look at a map on my phone.  It was nice to be out riding, but it seemed to take forever since I had to keep figuring out where I was going to go. At home, I did drills, MYRTLs, and abs.

Friday2500 Meter Swim + Pole Fitness + Power Abs Class
After my morning swim, I decided to make the most of the free one week membership to the pole studio and took back to back classes – first an hour and 15 minutes of pole, followed by one of the most challenging ab classes I’ve ever experienced. IT WAS A FULL HOUR. OF ABS. The instructor is ripped and is not joking around, either. OW!! I’m enjoying the classes for sure, and the opportunity to try this came at a good time because my schedule is flexible. No more work for summer, no more coach, no more marathon training (for this week, at least!). My membership is good until Wednesday, but I’m thinking of buying a small class package when it’s over so I can go every so often. I’ve been lifting consistently since the fall and I can’t believe how sore I was over these past few days. It’s an incredible upper body workout. I don’t know how much I’ll be able to fit in as my miles increase, but it’s really good to change things up! And seriously, how fun does this look:

imageimageSaturdayGeneral aerobic 10 mile run + Pole Fitness/Aerial Conditioning + Strength/PT/Core
I’d originally planned to run and lift but then my friends and I decided we wanted to take the pole class but try the Aerial class right after – like trapeze stuff! I met Kathy and Cassie early and we had a great run, 10 miles @ 7:32. I felt great and we talked the whole time, but as the run ended I realized something. That was the pace I ran last week at Grandma’s, and here I was running it on a relatively easy run, chatting away. I still don’t know that I have a 3:05 in me right now, but realizing that made me feel like I’m capable of more than what happened last weekend.

Following that, we had another session of learning fun new tricks on the pole…

image imageI swear I’ll stop with the pictures now. It’s just so fun! The trapeze class after was cool – we used the slings and the trapeze – but it wasn’t as interesting as the pole classes. Maybe it was the teacher. The class moved very slowly because they don’t have enough of the slings/trapeze equipment for each participant, so we had to take turns. Though I felt like the pole class was a good enough strength workout, I really didn’t want to skip my scheduled strength training. It was a rainy day, my husband was busy, and I needed to go to the market right by the gym, so I ended up going to the gym to lift, and was glad I did. I’ve been working on doing pull-ups (I seriously have no upper body strength) and recently was able to do one or two of them. I’ve been trying since January with no luck!

Sunday5 Mile Recovery Run
I met Emily at Lehigh Parkway to run, and we did 5 @ 8:26. It was humid but cool, so it felt comfortable running. My legs felt pretty fresh. I celebrated Father’s Day this weekend since we were in Minnesota last weekend, and spent the rest of the day in my backyard. We had a clambake – it was so fun!

Swim:  2500 meters ♥ Bike: 20 miles ♥  Run: 32 miles

How was your week? Have you ever taken a Pole Fitness class before? Can you do pull-ups?

36 Replies to “Weekly Update: Marathon Recovery, 6/22 – 6/28”

  1. I just read a few of your posts! Totally looking forward to following you & thinking I’ll learn some things 🙂 I had a good week as I started a new strength training program which I haven’t done in a while.

    Pole fitness looks like so much fun -> I’m going to have to look into it and see if they have classes where I live! I can only imagine how ripped you would get doing it everyday.

    I also enjoy mapping out my training but I’m really working with coach with much more details this time and I’m pretty excited about it!

    1. Thank you so much for reading! I am loving the blog world because of the connections I’ve made (a few of us just hung out at the last marathon I ran!!) and how much I learn! I have to say, I am really loving the pole classes. It’s actually pretty far from my house (like 35 minutes) so once my free week is over I won’t be able to go as frequently! You should see the teacher – she is crazy ripped! I took a “pole strong” class with her yesterday – it’s a conditioning class that focuses on the muscles you use on the pole – and the strength she has is insane! I can’t wait to read about what your running coach has you do. The guy I worked with was great but it just wasn’t for me. I’d be interested in seeing what other coaches do!

  2. A 32 mile recovery week?! You amaze me!!! And stop lying – I saw the video of your pole spin and it was super graceful. Work it, girl!! And I really think Grandma’s was more a mental struggle for you – plus the 90% humidity really didn’t help. You have much more to bring this fall season and I’m so excited for you!!

    OHH, and I would LOVE to do that one hour abs class! You think I could get in for free as a one time thing next time I’m out your way? 😉

    1. Thanks, lady!! Ha – that was 8 seconds of semi graceful on instagram – the rest of the class is a train wreck but so fun! You could totally go free if you come to the abs class – it was crazy fun and I jotted down most of the moves to do at home! You would just sign up for a free one week guest pass – even if you never go back. The owner is really cool! I think you would love it!

  3. I’ve always been so curious about pole classes! Your photos look like a lot of fun! I can do about 2 pull ups before my arms give way, haha. I don’t have the best upper body strength. Awesome week!

  4. Great week of workouts! I have never taken a pole class but I’ve heard they’re beyond challenging!! And I cannot do a pull-up… I’m working on full body weight push ups now. Hope you have a fab day! : )

    1. Thanks!! The pole classes are soooo fun and crazy hard! They would totally help you do body weight push ups! I used to hate those but started making myself do them last spring. Now they aren’t so terrible – I just can’t do a lot of them!

  5. I saw your pole dancing moves on Instagram and loved it! You looked great! The first time I’ve ever been able to do a pull-up is this year, and I can only do one. I’m not sure why I’m able to do it now and never before, but I’ll take it. Maybe from carrying the baby around everywhere? Not sure. Awesome week this week, Allison!

    1. Thank you!!! It’s been fun changing things up and trying something new! I’m with you. I can only do one pull up – the second one, I can get like halfway there and then I just can’t go any higher! Carrying a baby around is no joke – I don’t have my own kids but I have tons of nieces and nephews (13 of them!) and I know when I’m carrying them, my arms are on fire!

  6. You had a really full recovery week, even with less running miles. I know you were trying to make the most of the one-week membership, but hopefully you got really recovered from the ‘thon with all those pole classes bc I have heard they are crazy intense. Cross training is still training even if it’s not running… sometimes it can be even tougher! One of my friends does it as her form of exercise, and while it’s not for me, she’s pretty devoted to it and goes a few times a week… and has bruises to show.

    I tried on the Newton shoes… they weren’t for me, but at the time I was running in traditional drop shoes all the time. I’ve since changed it up and vary my shoe choices, I think that really helps. I have shoes from 6mm drop to 12mm drop but think 6-8mm is my sweet spot.

    1. They are totally crazy intense – but the good thing is, they really just work your upper body. Well, at least right now that’s all I feel working – in the beginner classes. I think as you get more advanced you have to hold onto the pole with your legs more (I only learned one move like that so far) and that’s where it would be hard on your legs! Hopefully it will be okay 🙂 But, I think it came at the right time because really the first two weeks after the marathon is when I would be more open to trying a new fitness class – after that, I am too stubborn to change anything once I get rolling! I am still looking for my sweet spot. I ran the fastest with a 2 mm drop (I ran my PR in the Newton Distance) so I’m going to try to get back to that. We’ll see!

  7. Holy crap…32 miles in a recovery week?? Um. I ran 9.2 last week. I feel like such a slacker now LOL.

    Arrrgg I wish that Oiselle link came with a video or more detailed descriptions on how to do the exercises…I’d love to try the workout but have no idea how to properly do most of those things. Oh well 😦

    Those pole classes look fun! I believe you that they are a helluva workout. And you know I love my Newtons! But you are right that easing back into them is the way to go. I bought my first pair when I started training back in Feb and I just jumped right in…it definitely took a while to get adjusted

    1. HA! You are so not a slacker! Your next marathon is a few weeks later than mine, if I recall correctly! It was a recovery week, but I really want to get up to 70 mpw in this next training block so I wanted to run as many easy miles as my body could handle. I was feeling fatigued running until about Saturday. That’s when things started to feel relatively “normal”. For the Oiselle workouts – let me know if you have specific questions because a lot of those I did with my coach and can explain to you! some of them I wasn’t so sure about so I googled them, but it is a pretty badass core workout! I thought of you when I was running in my Newtons last week 🙂 I think I could probably handle more than a mile in them but with the 2 mm drop I want to be careful, particularly because if my injury history!!!

  8. There’s a pole fitness place that opened up recently right by where I live. I’ve been thinking of trying it out, but I’m afraid that it would kick my butt or that I would look like a total klutz. Your pics have me thinking about it again though. I can’t think of the last time that I even tried to do a pull-up!

    1. Ohhh, try it!!!! You will love it. If I could get through even one class (and I’ve gone almost everyday to take advantage of the free classes!) you could totally rock it. I am the most uncoordinated, ungraceful, klutzy person there is!! Try it!

  9. You make that pole class look so easy. I also have zero upper body strength, I can only imagine how sore your arms were after!

    I’m following a Pfitz plan for my marathon this fall (18/55). This is my first time trying one of his plans and it will be my first marathon. I’m glad to hear you like his training!

    1. Sooooo sore. Everyday! You will LOVE the Pfitz plan – the 18/55 is usually what I do! I am using a combo if his 12/55-70 plan with some additions from my other book. I have 17 weeks until Hartford. I used one of his recovery plans for the first three weeks. Then, I took his first week of workouts from week 1 of the 12 week plan and I am repeating it 3x – the first time, slightly less miles. The second time, all of the miles but no intensity. The third week is where I officially begin the training plan – so towards the end of July! I can’t wait to read about how it goes for you. He writes some good stuff 🙂

    1. Thank you!! You are soooooo not a slacker, omg!!!!! Ugh, I hate when studios make fitness classes so expensive. And no drop ins?! WTF is that? How are you supposed to know if you even like it? Rude. That’s what I like about this one – she has very reasonably priced packages! Unfortunately it’s a bit of a drive so I know I won’t be able to go quite as often all of the time…but it’s been fun for now!

  10. My arms are pretty much just decorative so pull-ups are just a dream. I really need to work on that though and think pole fitness would actually be a strength workout that I would enjoy. Would love to try a class. You totally look like you know what you’re doing!

  11. haha you are so awesome.! a pole class and 32 mile recovery week.! Guess you really can do it all. lol
    I’m sure this week you’ll be right back at it.!!

  12. I took a pole fitness class once as part of a bachelorette party and I LOVED it. I was sore for DAYS afterward. Unfortunately there aren’t any studios near me, so I haven’t been able to take another one.

  13. Just reading through because I was intrigued by the pole class mention! It looks really hard, and you look super strong! In fact, your recap is making me feel downright lazy for just running 55 miles this week with no cross training!! But it’s motivating me to make some time for it on my schedule. 🙂 And rock on Newtons – I love them!

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