Intuitive Running

Another week run and gone.

november update

I’m slowly extending my out-and-back route on the Elbe and finding a larger and larger radii of running route in  my area. I live in the south western part of Hamburg, rather suburby, but delightfully green. Being able to run here is a such a joy everyday, even if I have to push myself out the door some days lately (it’s rather nippish outside now and gets dark way too early).

But I am getting out and getting miles in. They’ve slowly been going up as time and energy allows, but it’s not a strict training plan and I’m just trying to build my mileage safely.

Something I’m rather happy about is that other than a nagging plantar fasciitis issue, I am injury free for the longest time I’ve been since my first running injury three years ago. I don’t want to jinx myself, but I think part of this has to do with the weather (cold air is almost like a permanent ice-pack… I’m no longer wallowing my heated muscles in even more heat) and the terrain (I live in Florida suburbs, and there’s only sidewalk with the occasional park. Here, there’s nice dirt trails next to all the sidewalks… though I wonder if those freeze at some point).

Most of my running health probably has to do with the fact that I’m running purely on intuition. I have a race in the middle of December and I am trying to keep in shape for that, but I’m not following a specific training plan. I see the race as more a marker of my condition for my goal race: the Hamburg marathon in April 2015, so it’s not vital I PR at this race. Instead, I’m just slowly trying to build my mileage. I started in September and have gone from 35 miles a week to 47-8 in two months. Today I finished up a 50 mile week, but I intend to stay at that mileage for at least two more weeks before taking an easy mile week and then ramping it up a smidgeon. I take rest days when I feel like it (though always at least once a week), run doubles if I feel like it, run more or less miles depending on my time and energy.

In the past, I tried to do too much, too fast. The training plans I picked out didn’t help, since they had me upping my mileage by 10% each week, and I find that I actually do better if I let my body adjust to an increase in mileage first.

Since I’ve been running for quite a while now and know the balance of a training plan: mostly easy runs, at least one hard running session, and one long run a week. I’ve been naturally following this pattern and only adding miles on days I have the time.

2014-10-31 17.42.29
An artsy-fartsy photo of my soccer team. I’m officially on the team, but not allowed to play until Jan. Seems like I’ve got some training to do!

My body is also slowly adjusting to the triple stress of running, riding my bike to the Uni at least three times a week (a 5 mile ride), and soccer training Mon. and Wed.s. I consider the biking as cross training and count the mileage I run up and down the field in soccer as intervals, so I’m getting in a lot of different kind of movement that is slowly becoming less of an injury-risk as I become more and more conditioned.

There’s a big-ass hill on my route that I couldn’t run up when I first ran it. Now, I can run up it and continue running without a break. Soon, I’m going to try and do it twice. Eventually it will be my hill-work hill.

I also climb all twelve flights of stairs of my main (the building where all my classes are held) university building at least twice a week and generally am kept active every day. I think Germans are naturally active because they either have to walk to public transportation and their stores or ride their bike, even on days where they run 10+ miles, so I’m definitely much more active in Germany than in the States.

These are all positive things I have to note about my training since being here. I miss my family, of course, but not being home and having my own routine and time pressures that I set has made staying in shape much easier here too.

Hope everyone tapering this weekend or recovering from last weekend’s races is doing well. Good luck to anyone racing this afternoon/tomorrow.

Everyone else, just carry on!

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