The last few days of my half marathon training have been going pretty well. What I continue to discover and unerstand is that there are no perfect scenarios for working out, and certainly one must prepare for outside circumstances to mix things up and force you to adapt accordingly. Last Monday our power went out, which meant that I could not hop on my treadmill to do my speedwork, so instead I went out for a bike spin. My scheduled speedwork with Coach Lisa got bumped to Thursday in order to wait for electricity to go back on. Tuesday I went for a swim, and Wednesday I did a lift. Our power did go back on Thursday just in time to rev up the treadmill, but in order to conserve for an overload on Friday I only did 5 miles with 2 miles of mild push and 4 intervals inside the workout. High heat and humidity is expected for the weekend prompting me to get out and do my long run this morning at 7am, and how happy I am that I prepared for this. Preparation included eating nutritionally the day before, hydrating and getting my gels and running gear together with iTouch charged and loaded with a new book, Garmin charged and Muscle Milk in the fridge for my post recovery.
I was nervous about jumping up to 11 miles as I have never run that far in one session. Lisa explained that increasing the mileage every week is what we call a Pricnciple of Overload. "The Overload Principle” represents the most important and misunderstood principle of physical training. The human body is involved in a constant process of adapting to stresses or lack of stresses placed upon it. When you stress the body in a manner it’s unaccustomed to (overload), the body will react by causing physiological changes (adaptation) to be able to handle that stress in a better way the next time it occurs. Thus, every week I go up a mile from the last week to cause my body to adapt to the 13.1 coming up in August. If you do not overload during your workout you will not improve or be able to GO THE DISTANCE. It's vital to allow your body to experience what it will do on race day.
I completed my 11 miles feeling better than last week's 10 miler because I had prepared more with drinks, water and I made every attempt to run in the shade watching my form most of the way. This morning's temperature was not as scorching hot as it was last run...whew. When I arrived back home I gulped down a chocolate Muscle Milk which gave me my energy and protein to replenish. I noticed upon drinking my Muscle Milk that I instantly felt stronger and felt my energy return. My favorite MM flavors are chocolate and banana creme. After running, especially a long run, you want to replenish energy as quickly as possible. Studies have shown that muscles are most receptive to rebuilding glycogen (stored glucose) stores within the first 30 minutes after exercise. If you eat soon after your workout, you can minimize muscle stiffness and soreness. Most of the time I have to stretch, jump in the shower and things always come up so having a protein drink like Muscle Milk fills the bill instantly. Try one next time you have a tough and challenging workout or run. You will notice the difference in energy.
Tomorrow I take off from working out, although I may take an easy bike ride around the neighborhood for fun and Sunday it's an easy 3 miler.
Wishing you a cool, active and fun weekend, I remain dedicated to training for my first 13.1.
Yours in energy,