5k race training week 5: Getting off the pavement

It’s amazing what a few days off the pavement can do for sore shins. Last week both my sister and I thought we felt a case of shin splints coming on, likely due to a big increase  in speedwork. We didn’t back off the training plan we’ve been following, but this week we only ran on pavement once, and that was toward the end of the week. Huge difference. I’d say my shins feel almost completely recovered. Which is a great feeling with three weeks left to go before the Waterfall 5k.


It’s been a while since we did a trail run, and I guess I wasn’t lifting my feet or wasn’t paying attention or maybe both. Wound up with a bloody knee and elbow after a hard fall, but the damage was mostly superficial.

Monday: Easy 3 miles. What I did: I usually try to swim on Mondays, but since I had a cold I jogged an easy 3 miles on the treadmill at the Y instead.

Tuesday: 7 x 400 meters speed workout. Did this with my sister on a quarter-mile segment of our parents’ gravel road after riding my bike 25 miles home from work for the weirdest brick ever. Our times: 1:52, 2:00, 1:59, 1:59, 1:59, 2:00, 1:59. We were really surprised how little variation there was in our 400s after that first one. It’s cool to finally have a set distance to work from and a baseline set of times to try to beat.

Wednesday: Rest or easy run. Traci and I did Sunday’s 80-minute run instead. To give our ouchy shins a break, we did this on our parents’ gravel road and on the grass around the perimeter of their property. It was kind of liberating to just run for time without fretting over the distance.

Thursday: 40-minute tempo run. Did 4 miles on the River Greenway, with 1-mile warmup and cooldown and a fast pace on the middle 2 miles. Didn’t time ourselves (couldn’t find Ben’s watch I’ve been borrowing), just started gradually accelerating until we were going about as fast as we thought we could maintain.

Friday: Rest. Yup, that’s what we did.

Saturday: 5 miles fast. We did this on the 5.7 mile trail at Ouabache State Park. We started out easy, then picked up the pace. Once again we were without a watch, but it felt like we were going about as fast as we’ve ever gone on this trail – up until the grassy section where we emerged from the woods into the hot sun. The last couple of miles were a struggle, especially after I took a hard fall that bloodied up my knee and elbow but didn’t seem to do any real damage. Wish I could have this one back; I feel like I was too stressed out about whether we could maintain the pace instead of continuing to attack mentally even if I needed to recover for a few strides physically.

Sunday: 80-minute long slow run. My day was tied up getting ready for Cassie’s 16th birthday party, so since we’d already done this one on Wednesday, we opted to take that day’s rest option here.

Total mileage: 22.5

Cross training: 25 miles on the bike. Didn’t swim, even though I was at the Y on my usual swim day, because I had a cold.

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2 Responses to 5k race training week 5: Getting off the pavement

  1. That elbow looks sore

  2. tischcaylor says:

    Nah, it wasn’t too bad. I hate to take a tumble, but somehow having these battle wounds made the run seem more vibrant, if that makes any sense. Now twisting an ankle, that would be another story entirely …

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