Big news in Robyn land, friends.
Yesterday, I decided to test my “my IT band is recovered” theory for realz and attempt to run without my precious strap.
This strap was the only way I was able to run when I was in the thick of injury, and slowly but surely it has helped me get back into running business. So despite a few chaffing issues (never thought I’d need Body Glide on the back of my knee) and yet another piece of gear that gets covered in sweat, this strap has been my BFF for the past month and a half.
However, I knew that ultimately the goal was the cut the proverbial cord with my Velcro friend and get back to running au natural. I think that might actually mean running naked, but you get the idea.
And although I did become enamored with this dinky little gizmo’s ability to get me from 0 to running nearly 50 miles a week…I didn’t like feeling that I needed it. Sure, using the strap is about 1,000x better than not running at all, but I knew I’d never consider myself fully recovered until I could run sans strap.
As I’ve mentioned in pretty much every post for the past two weeks, I haven’t been having knee pain due to my IT band at all. Before, even with the strap I would experience some tightness inevitably—especially on longer runs. But recently I haven’t even been noticing it—which was both encouraging and a sign that it might be time to break up with my beloved friend.
So this morning, as I embarked on my tempo treadmill run, I started off bare-legged with my lonely strap sitting on the side. And then 7 miles went by, and I had no pain at all.
I had a feeling this would happen, I was just a little bit scared of going strapless and having all my IT band issues return. Alas, I had a feeling my ailments had mended—and it would seem that I might be out of the woods.
I will probably wear the strap for my next couple of longer runs, or maybe wear it half the time, just to be safe, but I think I’m nearly at the point where I can kiss my little IT band injury’s ass goodbye! Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
And for the sake of safety, let’s all knock on some wood.
Now I’ll back up to the workout from yesterday, which is slowly becoming my favorite weekly workout. My favorite workouts are almost always my long runs—they are just normally the most gratifying—but recently I’ve been digging speed and strength more. So here’s what my workout looked like at 0500 yesterday morning, which is similar to the routine I’ve followed for the past month or so.
7 miles on the treadmill: 1 mile warm up, 5 miles @ half-marathon goal pace, and 1 cool down mile.
I have been on the t(d)readmill for the past two weeks for my tempo runs, and I have to admit I don’t hate it. I love being outside, but the treadmill forces me to stay at a consistent pace, and I like the subtle, incremental increases. Also, I can watch Gossip Girl reruns while pounding out my miles, which obviously is the best kind of brain fuel when you first wake up. The real reason I’ve been treadmilling is because the strength class I do after running fills up super fast and you need to be there early to get a spot/set up your station. It’s just more convenient. Plus…Chuck and Blair. SCREW SERENA!
Anyway I felt great on this run. No strap (obvs) and I was able to hold a 7:40 (my ambitious HM goal pace) without too much trouble. I also was able to check my reflection in the window to watch my form, and the lesson I need to cram into my brain is to LOWER MY ARMS. This is my worst running form habit, and I know that lowering them will help preserve energy.
After I sweat it out on the running machine, I headed to the strength class which is slowly becoming my favorite thing at my gym. It’s technically called Maximum Sculpt, although it’s essentially classic Body Pump, and the woman who teaches it is an Ironman who is perhaps the nicest person in the world. I want to be her/have her as my life and fitness coach.
The reason I love this class is because it is SO different than most of my weekly workouts. It’s got a pretty quick pace to it, but it’s all about strengthening all major muscle groups with weights exercises, balancing, planking, squatting, etc. etc. It is the exact opposite from a 7 mile tempo run, which is why I love pairing them together. It’s two great workouts in one, and I feel like I can give my all to each without taking away from the other. Granted, I’m starving/thirsty all day—but that’s manageable. I like the high intensity of this combo workout, and because it’s in the middle of the week it’s far enough away from long runs and I can stack easier, shorter runs on either side.
I love new things, and I love that a revamped exercise schedule can totally rejuvenate your mind and body.
What’s your favorite weekly workout? Has it changed over the years?