Saturday, October 27, 2012

Speed, Ice-cream and Step Back Weeks

So last week I pulled out one of the tougher weeks of running I've done so far. I was pretty proud of myself actually... possibly less proud of precisely how much ice cream it took to fuel said workouts, but hey, as Cait so eloquently illustrated, is there a better incentive to run? Man, I love that girl's cartoons.

Anyway so here was my week:

October 15-21, 2012
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 9 miles easy
Wednesday: 1 mile easy, 7x800s at 6:27 pace, 1 mile easy +light leg strength (treadmill)
Thursday: Elliptical 45 mins intervals
Friday: tempo; 2 miles easy, 2x2 miles at 6:48 pace, 2 miles easy (treadmill)
Saturday: 60 mins elliptical intervals + plyometrics
Sunday: 16 miles with last 3 miles at 7:36, 7:19, 7:15

Total: 40 miles

Looking back, I probably didn't need to have quite so many quality workouts. That was the highest number of 800s I had done, the longest tempo I've done, the longest long run I had done, and I even decided to add a progression at the end. The latter was not planned for, but came about because I ate a Gu for the first time in ages at mile 8 (Hello! Energy! OMG must run fast then bounce off walls!) and frankly I was getting a little bored at the end of the long run.

I ended the week with a couple of resulting niggles; I felt a tad of my peroneal tendonitis come back, a pull in my hip flexor/groin area again (different side this time) and some general muscle tiredness (duh).

So I decided to have a step back week this week. But I didn't really know what a step back week was. Do you cut mileage? Speedwork? I dunno. I just decided to keep two key workouts and cross-train as I felt like it. Oh, and slam that bloody hip flexor with some strength exercises.

Does anyone out there understand how to do a step-back week and what is the most important thing to cut?  Miles? Intensity? Ice-cream?


  1. first off THANKS for the kind words, u rock! :)

    that said u're also doing some awesome running over there BUT yea, if ur body is starting to shout for some TLC a step-back is super smart and help u avoid injury! wat i'd suggest is cut back first on the intensity and then the volume depending on how the tightnesses are feeling. if u can run without the pain flaring up then do ur easy runs, but if feel pain doing that cross-train instead. i'd hold off on doing any kind of speed work until much later in the week, and if u get going and find that going at a certain pace of faster causes pain to flare up, back off and either do an easy run or u can do ur hard workout on a cross-trainer. hope that helps and also be icing, stretching and taking care of the bod! :)

    1. Caitlin, thanks so much for your advice! That is basically what I did (cutting out intensity) and I think it worked well. Definitely keeping injury-free is my number one priority! - Penny

  2. ohhhh--what flavor of ice cream have you been eating? KA

    1. Ive been exploring the flavors of American ice cream!! Cookies n cream for the first time... also rocky road and chocolate chip cookie dough (the latter is my fave!) PA