With a little over 4 weeks to go until the Disneyland Half, I’m happy to say that I’ve gotten over the illness (thanks to a second visit to the doc and another round of antibiotics) and I’m back out claiming the kilometres that I had been missing over the past 4 weeks.
It dawned on me as I was getting ready to start running again that I had a small amount of time to get my fitness back up and running to be able to get my Dumbo medal, and honestly it was quite intimidating. Luckily I had taken part in a BibChat discussion a few weeks before with Run The Edge as a sponsor. I had a quick glance at their programs during the chat but couldn’t do much at the time as I was having to sit out. I knew that simply going out and doing what I was doing prior would not cut it this time, given I really had no clue (I had briefly googled a half plan that I was loosely sticking to) and wanted to be as near ready as I could possibly be!
Firstly before I get onto the training plan, a little about Run The Edge – created by Adam Goucher and Tim Catalano, the program sets out to be the most innovative training plan out there that allows you to run at your own pace and advance as soon as you feel you are ready. It’s utilises a points system with a minimum amount of points required to progress to the next level. Some levels may be done in a week, some may be completed over a longer period of time.
Once I had found the program that suited me – 13.1 check, and let’s settle with the premium for the time being, it was an instant download straight to my computer. I highly recommend viewing the demonstration video which explains the training system, how to level up and most importantly how to obtain the virtual BLING! The video can be found here.
I looked through the program and decided to try and find the comfort level that I was at pre-illness. I realised that my fitness would have decreased given the 4 weeks off, so I wanted something I knew I could start out on (my base was 10K confirmed, working on upping it to 14K at the time I had to stop). I chose to begin at Level 11, which won’t get me to the fully trained 13.1 program by August-end, but I think if I play it smart I should be ok.
What I like about the Run The Edge program is the different activities you can choose to do, each level represents 7 squares with activities on the majority – obviously it changes per plan and per level; and there is also the option for rest or cross train. Each activity has points attributed and once you’ve hit the minimum weekly points, you can progress. Simple!
I started the week off with the 25 min run, which I thought was the easiest out of the week. My first run back and I ran the first kilometre like I was a pro – not really, but I ran it faster than what I thought I would or perhaps what I should! I struggled in the middle and made an awesome comeback for the final K. It was hard but great to get the first run done and dusted, and 3 points accrued!
The next couple of days consisted in a 94% run/ 6% walk combo which was over a 50 min period and then a run/jog combo which started off at run 5 mins, then building up the run to 8 mins and finally 15 mins with 2 min jogs in between, and then back down again. I had never done any sort of interval training in the year and I knew this would have to be treated differently to a standard run. I did push it a little, seeking reprieve on the jog. I did feel a little uncomfortable, not to the point of pain, but rather not in the comfortable zone that I had been used to running. When I had finished, I was absolutely shattered!
The key activity for the week (the one activity that you HAVE to do to progress) was a 55 min run and honestly, I was a little worried as this would have been the longest run in a while. I did do this run backing up the next day after the intervals, so I was a little slower than the times from the previous day but overall I felt great on the run, completed it and LEVELLED UP!!. What was even more awesome is that I claimed the Level 11 Epic Finisher medal!
With the completion of my first level, and getting back on the pavement; I certainly feel more zen like in the approach to the Disneyland Half. I’m not stressing out about being completely not ready for it due to the unscheduled break. I am thankful that Run the Edge had hosted the BibChat a couple of weeks ago, otherwise I wouldn’t have ever known about their programs.
What I like about this one is that it’s based on time rather than distance, so it really is suitable for every level of runner. Plus there’s virtual BLING at the end of a level – what more could you want??
If you are in the market for a training program, definitely check them out! The website has all the information you need and can be found at www.runtheedge.com. If you don’t like a soft copy plan, they do offer a physical training guide which is a little more cost wise.
Additionally I ran for the first time in my Altra Running shoes and they are amazing! The toe box is incredible and while I did still get a little pins/needles in my toe, it didn’t spread to the rest of my foot. As for the remainder of the hip flexor/ITBS issues – I think the 4 week sit out was a blessing in disguise, no pain at all during any of my runs during the week!
Finally: End of the week rest day means it can rain, and rain it did!! No run today but BRING ON THE NEXT WEEK!!!!
Disclaimer: I was introduced to Run The Edge through BibChat participation as part of the BibRave Ambassador team, however I did purchase this plan independently. This post and all views & opinions are entirely my own.