A day in my life: Tuesday August 23, 2010

First things first: my “race season” starts tomorrow. I’m doing a 5K which starts at 7.35 pm in a town which is a 10 minute drive. I’ve done this race last year when it was very hot. I’m glad it won’t be that hot tomorrow. See here for last year’s recap

Lately running is a struggle for me. I can’t remember when I had a good run for the last time. My legs and hips feel tired all the time, even after a rest day.

After reading  Heidi’s plan for increasing her mileage in which she also added recovery weeks it made me think that maybe I need to do that too.
Since I started running in March last year I (never) have hadrecovery weeks. After searching the internet on this topic and an email from Heidi (thanks) I found out that it’s good to take a week recovery after 3 weeks of training.

I’m going to do this so that I won’t lose my pleasure in running and my body can heal. I can feel it needs to heal. Especially for the last 3 weeks, it seems my body is always tired, even after a rest day.

I’ve rescheduled my half marathon plan. Three weeks of the half marathon plan and 1 week recovery. This means I will be finished with the plan on April 10th. When I finished my new schedule I decided that I will run my first half marathon on April 24th, Eastern Monday, 2011.

A recovery week doesn’t mean I won’t workout at all because I will. The workouts will be shorter and less intense. Basically a recovery week is:
– 2 rest days
– a Pilates class or WII yoga
– a short cardio and a short strength session
– 2 easy runs, mileage will be approx. 60% of the mileage I’ve run the week prior to recovery.

One other thing I’m going to work on is run my trainings at the pace that goes with it. I’m running to fast now on almost every run which also can explain why I’m so tired all the time. I’m going to take the time I run tomorrow on the 5K as a starting point. Running at the right pace will be one of my September goals.

I hope this will help me to become a better runner and that not every run will be a struggle. My first recovery week will be next week.

I love to hear your opinion on this. Do you add recovery weeks to your schedule and what do you do in these weeks?

Monday morning at 5.30 am I went out for my run and it was dark, darker than I expected. I ran my usual route but 60% of this route has no lights at all. I know the route but I didn’t like it that much. I wasn’t scared, I live in a safe village but the fact that I didn’t see much was annoying. So have to map a new route through the village where there are more lights. I don’t prefer that but I’ll have to accept it during Autumn/Winter. The run itself was terrible, I didn’t enjoy it either. It seems I don’t have any good runs anymore lately and hope that will come back soon.

Weather: a bit of rain, a light wind, 15C/59 degrees.
Distance: 4 K / 2.4 miles
Time: 00:28:33
Average time: 7:08 /km
Average speed: 8.4 km/hour
Last song on Ipod before finish: Pink! – Please don’t leave me.

The final countdown:


Chicken breast from the grill, stir-fried spinach with onion and garlic, couscous.

Calories: 1664 (goal 1500-1700).
Calories burned:
(daily exercise not counted)
I’ve noticed that I fell back in old habits this weekend. This is what always happens after about 3 weeks. Usually I let go of my healthy way of living but not this time. I’ve picked it up immediately on Monday.

Beef with red pepper, onion and tomatoes with little baked potatoes.

Calories: 1429 (goal 1500-1700).
Calories burned:
339 (daily exercise not counted)
Good day!

Fran’s daily outfit:


Shoes Monday


Shoes Tuesday


13 responses to “A day in my life: Tuesday August 23, 2010

  1. I think allowing time for your body to physically recover after a time of dedicated workouts is really important. I think it will allow all of us who workout to workout longer and longer. Meaning – as we get older. I’d rather be a super fast walker for the next 40 years than a runner for the next five!

    You will do great on your race – can’t wait to hear how it goes.

  2. Have fun at your race!

  3. Glad I could help. I think you’ve understood what I was saying perfectly, and I hope that it works for you.

    Some people call them “stepback” weeks too. This is the same idea.

    Sometimes I see people who run almost every day, or people who have tons of mileage. I’m coming to realize that not everyone is wired for that and also alot of these people are significantly younger than me or have been running or extremely active all their lives. Like Diane said above, I want this body to last and am willing to take things a little longer to make it last.

    Good luck at your race tomorrow!

  4. No matter what, if you don’t get some pleasure out of running, then what is the point? First and foremost you have to enjoy your chosen form of exercise or you won’t want to do it. I’m going through some of the same feelings about my workouts and will have a post on it tomorrow. I’ve not heard of recovery weeks but it makes sense. Of course, I am just starting to ramp UP my running, so I probably won’t be doing any of these for a while, but I’m curious to see how they work for you. And that’s what is important – making exercise work for YOU!

    I ran in the dark last Friday and it was a little scary. Not sure if I’ll be able to get used to it…next time I might carry a little LED flashlight.

    I hope you have a great race and find your running mojo!

    Oh, and I see you’re reading Sarah’s Key – I read that a couple of years ago and loved it, although it was so tragic. I had no idea France did what they did during the war – shows how bad my American education was!

  5. I do recovery weeks. Every 3 months I take a week off of lifting and just do cardio. I always feel refreshed after that.

    Good luck on the 5K – here are some speedy wishes headed your way 😀

  6. Good luck on your race!! I’m sure you’re going to do great!

    As for recovery week…I do think it’s necessary. The plan I followed for this half-marathon had “step-back” weeks, where after a long run/high mileage week, they stepped it back so the next week I did a shorter long run/less mileage. It gives your body a chance to rest up and the move forward again!

  7. I have had a recovery 6 months! I had been going steadily for 2 years straight, and then it all just stopped. I needed the mental and physical break, so your strategy of recovery weeks is a very wise one. It is getting light later here too, so even at 6ish, it is still pretty dark, so good on you for getting the job done. Hope your race season rocks!

  8. I am no expert but I ran when I could and listened when I had to ;-). Meaning when my body was too tired I rested.
    I know that you know what’s best for you Fran, listen to your body, you know it best!

  9. Love the shoes!!!

  10. Good luck in your 5K! Can’t wait to hear about it.

  11. Hope the 5k went well! I know what you mean about feeling tired – I was pooped all this week and ended up not going to the gym as planned…I was also thinking about the need for recovery – I had worked out for 6 days a week for the last four weeks – no wonder I am tired! I think a planned recovery week is an excellent idea – mine kind of happened by accident but I think I really needed it.

  12. Your race season begins one day (and 1 km. less) before mine. Good luck for tomorrow. Waiting for the report. Your recovery week looks very wise. I like your monday dish!!!

  13. Hi Fran,
    I hope that the 5k went well for you! That distance kicks my butt! Since I have been so many halfs…my body doesn’t know how to run the shorter distances and it hurts so bad:)

    Love the outfits:)

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