I have always been a big fan of the long run. Endurance is my biggest asset when it comes to anything related to fitness or athletics. An example from this morning at crossfit, it’s incredibly obvious where my strengths lie: our metcon was a combination of running, jump rope and hang power cleans. I felt the best during the running and jump roping and unsurprisingly, I felt the most amount of fatigue during the hang power cleans. I’ve done a bit of research and in my very unscientific takeaway of this topic, there are some limitations to how much endurance one can build muscularly. Without going all science nerd (and frankly, I’m not sure I even understand the science behind it), my muscle endurance can be narrowly improved but overall, it’s at a set point. So I’m working on embracing my plethora of slow twitch muscle fibers and trying to outrun everyone else while they out hang power clean me (insert any barbell movement). And funnily enough, a member of my gym turned to me this morning and said “I wish I had your stamina” to which I responded “I wish I had your strength” and we both laughed at the absurdity of it all.
Here is my last week of training:
Monday: Hang power clean (hit my heaviest ever at 100 lbs!) and push presses and then a WOD that involved running, wallballs and alternating DB snatches which left my back sore for a few days.
Tuesday: heavy high rep deadlifts (this did not help my already sore back situation) and a really rough (for me) metcon with more deadlifts, wall balls, burpees and pull ups. I felt a little fried from this which I assume may have been a little hangover from my 18 mile long trail run the Saturday before. (Feel like you’ve read that excuse before? I feel like I’ve written that a few times….)
Wednesday: Thrusters, pullups, burpees. A lot of all of them. And this is where I sealed the deal in feeling like crap.
Thursday: 5.25 miles which helped to attenuate some of the soreness.
Friday: game day decision to sleep in and (gasp) take a rest day.
Saturday: 20.05 miles which I freaking LOVED! My back felt sore early on which was likely due to the deadlifts and snatches from early in the week but overall, I managed to push through with a solid effort. We ran two loops of a fairly easy trail (don’t get me wrong, the hills were insane but it was very runnable otherwise) before transitioning over to the supremely unrunnable Gorge trail. If you’ve never been here, just imagine a minefield filled with boulders and you’ve got a good idea of what this trail looks like. We finished up with another loop of where we started and to be honest, those last 5 or 6 miles felt pretty decent. I think this is going to be my last long run of this training cycle.
Sunday: Another rest day. I cannot tell you how good my legs felt all day Sunday. No strain or fatigue. Typically I run 5-10 miles on the Sunday after a long run followed by a hike. By Sunday evening, I usually fall into bed exhausted (and then deal with a shitshow at crossfit for a day or three) but I basically just hung out on Sunday, did very little walking (maybe 7000 total steps) and relaxed, and wow, what a difference in fatigue. I’m writing this on a Tuesday and so far, I haven’t felt dead at the gym this week. Rest days may be my new thing. Are 2 runs per week ideal? No absolutely not and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. But the hay is in the barn so to speak and we just have to live with it. Going to taper from here on out and focus on that good recovery!
Gorge Trail Waterfall overlook