Training Cycles & The Streak Recap

Happy 2012, everyone! I’m going to pretend that today is Monday and do yet another BTAT post on a Wednesday. My days are all screwed up. I just landed in NYC after flying the red eye to Boston and connecting to JFK. Needless to say, I am a little wonky. So, it’s Monday. Can we all agree on that just for a few minutes? Thanks.

How was your New Years? Did you live it up out on the town or did you do a midnight run/New Year’s day run? Me, I spent my New Year’s Eve with my sweet baby niece and Blondie.

Happy New Year!

So much fun. We were in bed by 10pm MST. Party animals. At least we were bright-eyed and bushy-tailed the next morning for the last day of The Streak!

Angel baby is pumped for the last day of The Streak! One day, we'll be Streaking together.

I loved The Streak. It was fun and motivating and just what I needed post-marathon. Some of my favorite Streaker moments:

  • Running across town in my flip-flops to get my Streak in and get to CPR class and then go to a birthday party. Phew!
  • Mid-afternoon runs on the East River.

I love a speedy run along the East River!

  • Running to and from all of my subway stops because I didn’t have time to do a proper mile.
  • Cool runs home through Midtown at 7pm, dodging pedestrians.
  • Pre-dawn Central Park 7-miler that made me feel speedy again.

Sunrise over the Great Lawn

  • Streaking over Christmas in Colorado at my parents’ house and hearing them say, “OK, go Streak, Abby!” Hilarious.

Streaker in action on vacation

All in all, Streaking was fun. It was cool to hear about other people jumping on the Streak and how they managed to get their miles in. Did you Streak? What was your experience?

As much fun as I had, I’m glad that The Streak is over. It’s time to cycle down, cut back on mileage and cross train. This is what the pros do, too. I mean, I’m no pro, but this is still what they do. And if you’re racing/running marathons (especially if it’s more than one a year), you should be doing this, too!

Following a marathon, rest is key for recovery. But you don’t want to jump back into high mileage right away. You want to cycle through your training seasons in order to benefit as much from your strength training as you do from your distance training.

Yeah, lifting the serious weight! 15 pounds, baby! (What? You thought the 85s were mine? Ummm, no...)

Here’s what I suggest:

  • Two marathons a year, three max.
  • Two weeks low mileage immediately following marathon.
  • Two weeks building back up to 8-10 mile long runs, slowly adding some tempo runs during the week.

From then on out, it’s all about short, speedy runs and cross-training. Keep the mileage relatively low and taper down to three runs a week with one to two other cardio days that are “off” your legs (cycling, swimming, etc.). This is the time to drop some weight via weight training!!! Want to lose 5-10 pounds before your next marathon? Here’s your chance!

Why?

Well, with the low mileage, you can cut back on your calories without worrying about having enough fuel to get through a 3-hour run. Also, you can throw your focus into strength training and do some serious anaerobic workouts that will blast the calories AND make you a stronger runner for your next race.

Regardless of what sort of athlete you think of yourself as, you cannot live on running alone. Get into something new NOW before the spring marathons are upon us. Enter some shorter distance races and work on being a speed demon for a few months. It’s an especially good time since many of us will find ourselves on the treadmill during cold/wintry days and speed workouts are perfect for the treadmill.

Be a pro. Cycle like the best of them. Get speedier. Get stronger.

Now go out and run!

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Training Cycles & The Streak Recap

  1. Congrats on finishing the streak, that’s great! I love this post; I’ve recently become a big advocate of cross training and am finally learning more about how to put together a well-rounded fitness routine (one that isn’t ALL about running). Now I just need to a) find a pool and b) find some actual pool workouts…mine always consist of swimming a couple laps freestyle and then getting too bored to do anything else, haha!

    • If you find a pool, try a traditional “runner” workout in the pool. Warm up for however long a mile would take you (8-9 minutes, I’m guessing) and “sprint” for as long as a sprinting mile would take you running. You’ll have to keep an eye on the clock, but you could also break it down to laps. I used to do this kind of “speed” workout when I was injured. It made the time fly!

  2. Nice work on the streak!
    And I’m also feeling the same way about post-streak cross-training. I’d normally run a group 3-miler tonight, but I’m thinking my stationary bike and free weights haven’t gotten much love since I started the running streak. Might be time to give those a workout! ;-)

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