Since three miles seems to be my safe limit before experiencing arch fatigue and the accompanying arch tightness and toe pain that limited my running last week, I’ve been limiting my runs this week to three miles, or a little over 25 minutes. I also wanted to get in 20 miles this week, which means I will be running 3 miles on the dot every day this week (barring any toe/calf pain, of course). Although a tad repetitive, this has been nice so far – three miles is the perfect length to get a quick run in before dark even after a long day, but doesn’t feel so short that I feel overly restricted by the length limit.
However, there are only so many three-mile routes from my house, so I have ended up looking for ways to add a little variety to my three-mile runs. Yesterday, that variety came in the form of lugging my burning quads and wheezing lungs around a soccer field while chanting “perfect form, perfect form…” in my head to avoid the temptation to let my exhaustion turn my stable stride into a wobbly-hipped, knee-flailing shuffle. How did I end up in such a sorry state without actually doing any speed work? I’m going to blame it on the HungryRunnerGirl and her brilliantly painful circuit track workout. Her version involved a bit more running than mine – I did a 2 mile warmup and then did circuit work about every 50 meters until I hit 3 miles total – and a bit more structure – I threw in pushups, dips, high-knee taps on an abandoned soccer ball, uneven pushups using the same sorry soccer ball, and a few sets of squat jumps. The effect was the same – tough ‘easy’ running segments spent recovering from oxygen debt and muscle fatigue, and a satisfying feeling of fatigue without risking actual speed work.
I’ll stick to easy running today, but will hopefully get another little circuit-run session in this week to keep things interesting…and to help me prep for the lung-and-leg burning trail races that I’ll hopefully be doing later this summer!