I am still astounded by the fact that I could run 20 miles on a Sunday, and by Monday afternoon resume my training for power lifting.
It's unheard of. Endurance training doesn't usually match up well when working towards muscle and strength gains. But I figured out how to make it work-so I'm sharing my personal experience with you.
Truth be told, lifting has and always will be my main training program. I love the barbell!
However, I love a dear friend of mine just as much-in this case more, and agreed to train for a Marathon with her that we'll run together in August.
Over the weekend, we made plans for a "trial run" of part of the course. 20 miles was the goal, planned rest areas to refuel and pee, and a general agreement that it was just about getting it done-not making it pretty, and definitely not a glory run.
But before the 20 miles-why not run a 5k on Saturday we thought?!? ...and so we did.
Saturday morning I ran my fastest 5k to date in just over 30 minutes. Not fast, but fast for me-all running. Remember, lifting is my sport-not running. And prior to Sunday's 20 miler, I'd never run as much as 8 miles.
But, I had been making some shifts nutritionally -even if not physically, that I felt were equally preparing me for better performance. And I was about to test my theory. I was fully prepared for Monday morning to hit me like a Mack truck. I'd done my time under the barbell for some gnarly workouts-so I knew DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). I was fully prepared for to use Monday and Tuesday to recover from putting my body through double the work and effort I'd ever before pushed it to.
Sunday, we hit the pavement by 7am. ...and honestly, all smiles from me until about mile 9 or 10...but the rest and refuel station I was looking forward to got me to mile 12. And THAT is when the test of willpower set in.
After stopping, it's hard to start again. My body got enough of a rest that it didn't want to run again. And then, my brain jumped in with it's good excuses for why 12 miles would be good enough. My legs didn't shake out until after I broke mile 13! I celebrated my first half-marathon fighting off the urge to call a ride for home. And was definitely considering switching my race registration to the half instead of the full marathon-my body clearly could not make it to mile 20. I later found out seasoned runners call this part of the process "hitting the wall". And for good reason. I literally felt like I'd run into a wall. My legs were lead. ..and at one point (about mile 14ish-not really sure because Samsung sucks and my watch died without even tracking my full run!) my feet literally seized up and I almost found myself face down on the concrete!
But you know how they say chocolate is a woman's best friend? Well, it's mine. Actually, food in general is really motivating. And I had snacks along!
By mile 16 my legs felt great, my calves weren't tight anymore (I'll share my muscle roll-on secret soon) and I had finally reached "runners high". In fact, mile 17 & 18 were my fastest miles of the entire run...even faster than any of my 5k splits I'd been proud of the day before!
Mile 20 was just a couple more snacks away.
I thought there would have been more celebrating when we ticked passed 20 miles, but there wasn't much. Again, I'm going to blame Samsung here for their stupid watch that doesn't have a battery capable of tracking an 5 hour run...Part of me really wanted to see all 20 miles on one run analysis by Strava. Maybe that was why I lacked celebrating-or maybe it was the fact that once you hit a goal, it's not so exciting anymore and you automatically begin to plan the next one?
What I do know is that there were some definite things that played a part in my ability to go from less than 8 miles to over 20 miles for a single run, and end up without the muscle soreness, stiffness or extended recovery time that usually follows increasing my training.
Here's the list of products I'm attributing to my ability to RUN 20 MILES on Sunday and feel so good I could get back to weight training on Monday:
Peak Performance Total Health
Chocolate Mint Charge Access Shake
Sustain Sport Performance Hydration Drink
Raspberry Lemonade B-Fuel
Painatrate & Blue Heat Roll-On Muscle Rub
I'm not saying this is the magic formula, but it's pretty amazing! If you are looking at upping your physical fitness and sports performance-these products will give you the edge for your training needs.
Oh, and when you hit the wall-keep running, it get's better and YOU CAN reach your goals!