Manic March: Training Gauntlet Flop

March was supposed to be my bread-and-butter training month for this summers upcoming races, however unfortunately as I’d been ramping up my training to longer distances (only a couple of miles a week too) I bought a new pair of shoes that I began training in immediately – Topo Phantom 2’s, and while they were very comfortable I didn’t consider that they’re much more cushioned than I’m used to, and that this could be a problem. I kept running in them for a couple of weeks and began to develop a sharp pain in the front side of my ankle. After a full week of bracing and icing and it not going away (likely due to not discontinuing training for a few days) I went to urgent care to get it checked out – turns out it was an incredibly inflamed tendon that put me out of running for close to two weeks, and on some steroidal anti-inflammatories for a week of that time.

This was right in the first week of the month – the Ironman 70.3 in Muskoka is now a little over 14 weeks away, Buffalo Marathon is 8 weeks, Flower City is 3 weeks, and Syracuse is 2 weeks, meaning I need to get the train rolling again. This was supposed to be a month of two-a-days, three days a week consisting of a decent run in the morning, and strength training in the evening, one day being a run in the morning, swim in the evening, and a long run on the weekend giving two days of rest. So, it’s time to revamp the plan – the first piece of which is going back to the Hoka Mach 5’s. I got these back at the end of August/early September and they’ve been my predominant training shoe, along with the New Balance 1080’s ever since. With 150 and 190 miles on them respectively, I thought I might consider something different and begin to break them in with some shake down runs, I was wrong however, and when the time comes to swap these out, I’m going to just get a new pair of those exact models of shoe. Those two are, to date, the only shoes that I’ve found comfortable to run in for any more than 8 miles and I think they’re going to be what I stick with. 

Schedule? I don’t even know in all honesty – I’ve been pretty good about getting in between 25-40 miles a week as a mixture of walking and running; I’ve been hammering out 3 miles a day on the treadmill, followed up with a 30-45 min strength training session, and a 2-3 mile walk with the dog, hitting the pool at least two days a week training about 3000 yards a session, and on the weekends hitting (depending on the week) between 6 and 14 mile runs followed by a short strength set. Now that the weather is (seemingly) breaking, I’ll be able to get out on the bike to get in some hard sets there too. 

After 10 days of rest and another week easing up my speed and mileage, I’m back to feeling good in my runs, and the 5 miles I did on Sunday after my strength session really did feel like a breeze. I’m excited to get out for these upcoming two races in the next few weeks. I’m not sure if I’ll hit my target time of 1:45, but we’ll see. I’m essentially looking to shave about 13 minutes off my PR by averaging eight minute miles. That’s been my treadmill training pace on indoor run days, and I’ve been able to sustain 6 miles comfortably, but that’s also a treadmill in a contained environment with virtually no hazards to deal with, so who knows – hopefully it all pans out. I’ll have two shots in a week to record that, so maybe it’ll happen for one of them… if not, there’s always September!

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