After completing my first race last week, I kicked off my new and improved training schedule with a few days of sickness and gentle cross training. It definitely wasn't the hard-hitting regimen I wanted to start, but I made do. At this point, I shouldn't have been surprised. Since school started, I've either tutored or bartended each weeknight and freelance during the day. The workload is manageable when I don't run several miles on four hours' sleep. Lesson learned. Those four days off made for a rough first run. I started out way too fast and had to walk most of the second mile. The second run of the week was slightly better paced, but was pretty short.
Yesterday, I completed the first run on my shiny, new, professionally-made training schedule. It was at an easy pace, but let me tell you, running is tough. I fought the pace for most of the mile (yes, just one), and was just as sweaty and out of breath as if I had run much faster or longer. It's not fun, but it will increase my endurance and make me a better runner over the long term.
After running came the foam rolling and, as usual, lots of cursing. My workout schedule for the rest of the week includes a long, slow run, hip strengthening workout and speed work -- all new to me. Also new is a weekly check in with my coach, Ann Thomas, to discuss my progress and shortcomings in that week's workouts. Up to this point, I've only been accountable in running to myself and the Internet, and honestly, I need more.
For the next few weeks, I'm not making any drastic or life-altering decisions outside of this plan. Upping my weekly mileage will be a big accomplishment, and sticking to a schedule will help me to get back into the healthy exercise habit I've been trying to cultivate for so long. After that point, the sky's the limit.
Have any running or cross training tips to share? Leave them in the comments!