As I enter into peak training for my goal half marathon race I can’t help but notice that my average weekly mileage has gone down each month since January. Now I’m certainly not a running expert, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that’s not how you’re supposed to train for a race! My original goal for the race was to PR which would mean to come in under 1:50:00. I still think that’s totally doable, barring my IT band completely seizing up. Along the way I felt like 1:45 was possible and started training for that. While I’m not ready to totally rule it out, it feels like a long shot at the moment. There’s been a lot of missed runs in the last month and with just under 4 weeks to go to race day there’s not really time to make it up.
After my last long run where my IT band brought me to a limping walk home, I took the next 6 days off from running to really focus on strengthening my hips. Sure I would throw in 15 side lying leg lifts and clamshells on each side after
all, most, some of my runs, but I had gotten really lazy about strength, core, and MYRTL (because it rhymes with hip girdle) exercises. This week I went back to it in full force! I traded in the treadmill for the elliptical on 0% incline – which no matter how hard I try, I never feel like I got a really good cardio workout in on the elliptical – and focused on improving my core and hip strength. Twice a day I went through my MYRTL routine of : 15-20 reps/leg of each – side lying leg lifts, clams shells, hip thrusters, single leg hip thrusters, donkey kicks, and hip hikes. When I’m at the gym I also use a resistance band to do side shuffles. This link and this video is also are great resources for MYRTL exercises.
On Sunday I decided to test out running and hoped to make the 10 miles I had on my training plan. I broke out my old IT band strap and headed out with my cell phone in case I needed my husband to pick me up. The first two miles felt great and my legs felt like they wanted to fly. By mile 3 my lungs were like “what the *&@! do you think you’re doing?” and I slowed down. My plan was a simple out and back on a flat road since downhills can aggravate the IT band. At mile 5 I did a sharp u-turn to turn around which looking back wasn’t a great idea. Half a mile later I could feel my ITB tightening and at mile 6 it was really tight. Stopping to stretch helped marginally, but I started to pull my cell phone out to have my husband come get me. Then I decided I needed to see if I could run through it. When I had ITB pain during my first marathon training cycle it would be worst when I had to stop and start again, but would loosen as I kept going. If the pain got worse I planned to stop and call my husband. The next few miles it still felt tight and I would stop to stretch at the end of every mile. But the last two miles it felt much better – still a small tightness, but not painful. So, we’ll see what the next few weeks hold in training.
How was your April?
Any spring races coming up?