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April 2014 Goal Check-In and 3 for May

Posted May 05 2014 4:30am

Hey there friends!

How was your weekend? Although it was rainy one here, mine was pretty darn productive. I got my car detailed (screw you, salt stains!) and it looks pretty darn spiffy now, logged an 11 mile run on Saturday, enjoyed girl’s night with some of my besties, had a session with one of my health coaching clients yesterday, and cooked up some delish meals. Not bad, not bad at all!

monthly goal check-in

Holy smokes April, where did you go!? It was a packed one with lots going on socially, at work, and here on the blog. Here’s how I did when looking back at the goals I set last month.

kick off the race season strong at tys10k

Yes yes yes! It was such an amazing race, and I love thinking back to it and all the great memories I shared with my other racing buddies.

4 pre-TYS10K race photos

Even though it was only 10K, I opted to take the  2 days prior off running completely – the race was on a Sunday, so I cross trained on the Friday and had a rest day on the Saturday. This proved to be a great tactic because my legs felt super fresh on race morning. I’m planning to do the same for my upcoming longer distance events as well because being well rested is key for performance and preventing injuries.

I managed to set 2 new PRs in April – 40:46 for the 10K, and 34:53 for the EndurRace 8K last weekend, which gives me confidence that the races I’m really gunning to do well in (half marathons) will be good ones. But more about those in a minute…

blog facelift

This project is well under way, and the developer that I’ve got working on it is chugging away at the new design. I’m hoping we’ll be up and running with the shiny new Eat Spin Run Repeat sometime in June, which will feature easier navigation, better searchability for older posts, and in general, a nice freshened up look. There are still a few things I have to do on my end, which I plan to keep working at over the next couple of weeks. You may have noticed that some older posts have been removed, and I’ve done this in order to make it easier to find the posts you’re looking for, as well as decreasing the load time of some pages. Back when I started this blog, I had NO idea about image size optimization and it turned out that deleting 1 out of 4 years’ worth of posts decreased the size of my blog backup file by almost half!

On the topic of improving navigation, it recently came to my attention that some of you have been wanting to subscribe to posts via email , but couldn’t see where to do it. It’s super easy: All you need to do is have a look over in top of the right sidebar for the green button that says ‘ never miss a post (+ free e-book!) – subscribe ‘, or click right on this one:

esubscribe

Alternatively, there’s a button at the very bottom of each post that will also allow you to subscribe for emails. If you have any troubles at all, please don’t hesitate to email me at eatspinrunrepeat (at) gmail (dot) com, and I’ll be happy to help ya out.

take training outdoors

Done, and I’ve got plenty of photographic evidence to prove it! We have had almost nothing but rain for weekend weather over the last couple of weeks, but I sucked it up and got outside for plenty of long runs.

after a long run - april

Weekday training is still inside on the treddy, but despite the wind and puddles, I’ve been absolutely loving Saturday mornings. Last year I did most of my outdoor training with my iPod because at the time, I wanted the music as a distraction from the miles. Things are a bit different now. For the past month my only companion has been my Garmin, and the silence has been rather relaxing. I actually kind of like anticipating the next ‘beep!’, knowing I’ve covered yet another mile!

I plan to make these long runs very regular through until the fall, working on increasing mileage a little bit while also working on speed. During April, my long runs have been in the 10-12 mile range, and since my longest races this year are half marathons, I know I don’t have to go much longer than that. However, if I’m going to crack the 1hr 30 minute mark, it’ll be about speedwork. Luckily there’s a track very close to my house and I’ve got speed workout ideas coming out of my ears, so now I’ve jut got to get ‘em done!

garmin saturday may 3

Moving right along into May, here’s what I’ll be focusing on this month…

3 goals for May 2014

1. Get my road bike off the indoor trainer and out onto the road!

My first duathlon is coming up way faster than I’d like it to (June 22), and even though it’s a short distance, I haven’t made much progress in getting my bike outside yet! It’s currently sitting on my indoor trainer and I have plans to get it on the road next weekend. As I’ve described before, I have no problem clipping and unclipping my shoes from an indoor spin bike, but I’ll be honest – the thought of not being able to unclip in time and falling off has me feeling a little scared!

Right now, I’m toying with the idea of joining a local cycling association which has a novice group that meets on Wednesday nights. I’ve heard great things about it, and the first ride is this Wednesday so I need to make up my mind fast! I’m thinking it will help to make me more comfortable with road riding… and the whole unclipping thing. Stay tuned!

2. Learn as much as I can about trail running. 

Within this are a number of sub-goals, including…

  • logging at least 4 trail runs
  • reading up on trail running etiquette (is it different from regular road race etiquette?)
  • regularly incorporating strength training moves  recommended for improving trail performance into my workouts
  • doing lots of learning from sites like  Trail Runner Magazine  and the Trail Running section of RunnersWorld.com

The whole point of this is to start preparing for  The North Face Endurance Challenge , happening in Blue Mountain, ON, July 12-13. If you missed my post earlier this month and want to learn more, you can see what I had to say about it  here , and my discount code (applicable only to the Ontario race) still works if you want to enter! Just enter D30ASON and you’ll save 10% off your entry fee.

The North Face Endurance Challenge Ontario

One thing I DO know is that good footwear is important, which is why I’ve added these little beauties to my collection:

asics gt-2000-2 trail

They’re the Asics GT-2000-2 Trail  model, and I love them. Even if I know nothing about trail running yet, at least I’ll look the part… right? ;)

3. Be super diligent about sleep and recovery.

The the cover of the May issue of Runner’s World caught my eye. It wasn’t because super-fit Shalane Flanagan was on the cover (although she did look pretty darn awesome!), but because of the words on the bottom-right corner:

cover of may's runners world magazine

Sleep is the new cross training? I believe it! I don’t know about you, but I’m a very unpleasant person to be around when I haven’t had enough zzzs. The article talked about the impact of sleep on performance and psychological state, how to tell whether or not you’re logging enough hours (hint: It’s not a more miles = more hours required deal), what your brain is up to while you’re sleeping, and ways to sleep better. Interestingly (and perhaps not surprisingly), top runners like Shalane Flanagan, Ryan Hall, and Deena Kastor regularly get 8-10 hours per night, plus naps. No wonder they’re so speedy!

In April, I wrote about  h ow to speed up recovery and get fit faster . It focused mostly on nutrition with a brief mention of snoozing, but this month I’m going to be doing everything I can to optimize my recovery time. Not long ago, I was listening to one of my usual podcasts () where Dave Asprey interviewed Amanda Allen, the women’s Masters Champion at the 2013 Crossfit Games. One of the things she said that stuck with me was something along the lines of “When I’m not breaking myself down (in workouts), I have to be building myself back up.” This has been my mantra lately, hence my use of the Sleep Cycle app  and extensive foam rolling after runs.

foam rolling on the rumble roller

This month, I’ll be amping things up a bit more by:

  • maintaining a squeaky clean eating regime with lots of inflammation fighting foods, and focusing on nutrient timing
  • logging at least 7.5-8 hours of sleep per night (8 seems to be my sweet spot)
  • foam rolling after every run and at least 3x per week before bed (stay tuned for a how-to on this, coming soon!)
  • not running the day before my races
  • taking an intuitive approach to my running – that is, if my body says no (and it’s not just being lazy), don’t go!

Phew. That was lots, and now it’s time for me to shut up. I’d love to hear from you…

  • How was your April?
  • Will you be embarking on any new challenges this month? 
  • If you have any fabulous road cycling or trail running resources to share, I’m all ears! Feel free to leave them in the comments below.
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