The more things change the more they stay the same. Although I’m shifting to a different training plan, my running last week wasn’t all that different to my old plan – minus the 10-20-30 workouts.
Training in the “Introductory Period”
As I mentioned in my post explaining the 30 Minute Runner 2.0 plan, I am following the excellent advice in the book Run Faster by Brad Hudson and Matt Fitzgerald. As explained in the book, quality training plans should always include 3-5 week “introductory period” of training.
During this period, the focus is on building mileage volume and strengthening the body for future speed and threshold workouts. Therefore, I ran an average of 30-35 minutes five days last week. On Monday and Thursday, I included one set of hill sprints.
The whole idea of using hill sprints as a method of injury training is still pretty foreign to me. However, I’m going to commit to them and see if it improves my bad track record when it comes to running injuries.
On Sunday, I ran a five mile long run – long runs are something that were missing from my original plan. I think they are a key component of building aerobic endurance, strength, and reducing the chance of injury.
Status of My Runner’s Knee Injury
Speaking of injuries, I’m still working on fixing my runner’s knee. My knee feels much better than it did a few weeks ago. The RunnersConnect strength training routines are fantastic and are helping to strengthen my weak hips, glutes, and quads.
Of course the real challenge is to commit to the strength program. This can be really tough – especially with a busy schedule – but I am trying to include at least a few of the exercises in the RunnersConnect program after every run.
Another thing that is helping my knee is self-massage on my quad muscles. After poking around a little, I discovered that my outer quad on my affected leg is super tight. I think the tight quad is slightly pulling my knee cap off its track, which causes pain on the inner portion of my knee.
I’ve been using a foam roller to loosen it up a bit – using the roller hurts a bit, but I think it’s working.
More Introductory Training – And Hood to Coast?
During the next few weeks, I am going to continue to build as much mileage as possible with my busy schedule and continue focusing on hill sprints at the end of some of my runs.
My hope that smart “introductory” training will provide me with a solid foundation for the speed workouts and threshold runs that will come later in the plan.
By now, you might be saying, “This all sounds great, Casey, but what are you training for?” Good question.
A few of the teammates on my old college team are pushing me to run on their Hood to Coast team in August. If you don’t know, the 200 mile Hood to Coast race is one of the largest relay races in the world. The course winds from Mount Hood in Oregon to the Oregon Coast.
If I run, I will be expected to run at least three legs of the relay, with distances that vary from 3 miles to 7 miles. I obviously have a ton of work to do to get into shape, but I think I will try it. It will certainly provide me with plenty of motivation.
The first week of 30 Minute Runner 2.0 is in the books. Onward!