6 easy miles at 7:33 pace. A bit faster than I was anticipating, especially coming off Sunday’s 10k steady state run, but my legs felt fresh and loose so I just went with it. The run actually turned into a perfect progression run – with miles 3-5 at/just under 7:15 pace. They felt totally comfortable and in control. Makes me very excited for my upcoming half next Sunday. It was also the longest run (up to that point) in my Saucony Virratas!
Speed day. 5 x 1 mile repeats + warmup/cooldown. I decided to try something different this week. After some recent conversations on twitter about the benefit of eliminating the rest in between each mile repeat and only utilizing an active recovery, I wanted to give it a try. I still like doing a 1/4 mile active recovery (usually I do the active recovery + 30-60 sec of rest to stretch/drink water) so my active recovery was about 2:15. My goal is to get that down closer to the golden 2-minute recovery that I’ve been hearing / reading about. To ensure I was able to get through all 5, I made a conscious effort to start a bit slower than I have been running my repeats. Less recovery = slower repeat times.
The first three felt comfortably hard, but by the 4th, the minimal recovery was starting to catch up to me. When I started the 5th, I actually went to hit “stop” on the treadmill but at the last second convinced myself to keep pushing…I envisioned myself in the NYC Half next Sunday and told myself that I was at mile 12.1 and was just under 1:26. I needed that last mile to be as close to 6 as I could get it. It worked. Last repeat: 6:07.
Definitely one of the tougher speed days in a while. It was first time I’ve done 5x repeats as well so overall, I’m pretty happy with how the workout went. After the speed workout, I hopped on the gym’s bike for 30 minutes and followed that up with some ab work and pullups/dips. I’m really trying to focus on spending a bit of time each day on my core and upper body. It’s much easier to do this when I’m in the gym b/c everything is right there. When I’m running down the basement, I tend to come immediately upstairs after a run.
I got my first pair of PRO Compression socks in November when I was just starting to increase my mileage and intensity of my runs. Up until that point, all of my runs the previous 8 months had been easy paced (no speed work) and less than 14 miles (due to pregnancy). I was training for a 10k in January AND a marathon in May so would be focusing on both speed and distance.
I’m not the best at making sure my body recovers as well as it could after a long or tough run. Sometimes I feel like I actually sabotage myself by doing NOTHING. Since I was going to have my hands full with training for multiple races (and now an Ironman as well), I knew I needed to really focus on recovery. I needed to help my body rest/recover as much as I could in between workouts.
So I started with the basics. Fueling, hydrating and stretching. Easy ones.
Fueling = PowerBar Recovery bars
Hydrating = Nuun
Stretching = Stretching (no magic here)
I thought about doing ice baths after long and hard runs. But I just can’t bring myself to getting in a tub of ice after a frigid 20 miler. I’ve tried them a few times in the past and they have been torture. So I needed another option.
The first time I tried PRO Compression socks was after a 5k time trial. It was the fastest I had run in over 9 months. My legs were tightening up shortly after I finished the run so I put on my socks and wore them for the remainder of the afternoon:
I woke up the next day and was able to do an easy 7 mile recovery run. Legs felt loose, fresh, and ready for some more mileage.
I wear PRO Compression socks on a regular basis now. They are completely part of my long run recovery regimen…post shower, they are on my feet and I often wear them for the rest of the day. They are perfect because I immediately am on the go after my long runs on Friday…I spend a few hours out with my oldest son at a mommy and me class and am on my feet for most of the day. They have helped prevent muscle fatigue and overall helped my recovery.
I also have started wearing them after hard speed workouts and even during some of my tempo and recovery runs. Despite my mileage AND the intensity of my workouts increasing, I have been able to not complete my runs, but also nail the times I’ve been shooting for. And I definitely attribute some of that success to my ProCompression socks.
But why are they so effective?
“PRO Compression socks are designed specifically to deliver both maximum comfort and speedy recovery times. The science is complex, but benefits such as improved blood flow, stability and comfort are universally understood. The moment you put these socks on your feet and incorporate them into your game, you will feel and understand the difference.”
PRO Compression is currently holding a HUGE giveaway on their blog. They are giving away Marathon Socks (2 pair), Marathon Calf Sleeves (2 pair), an iPod Nano (1 item), and an iPad Mini (1 item) – so six total prizes up for grabs!! For more information on how to enter their giveaway (and official rules and regulations, click here).
Do you wear compression socks?
How do you recover from a long or tough run?