Sunday, August 26, 2012

Plan for a fall 10k

I've been going around & around trying to figure out how I should prepare for the Snohomish River 10k - or whether I should focus on it at all.

I've still got the f'in PF - plantar fasciitis. Doing my drills, two cortisone shots, taking it easy running light every other day. Weekly mileage ~ 10-13. The PF isn't getting any worse or better. That's good? I just don't know what to make of it but am pretty sure I should NOT attempt to really "train." That means no hills or speed work. That is not so fun for me. I really like speed. No, I LOVE speed.

I really would like to run a "Mark Remy" PR in the Snohomish River 10k (sub 49:00) and am trying to figure out if I can do it without doing track work. I'm SO afraid of re-injuring myself. Do you see a contradiction here between what I WANT to do and SHOULD do? Yes. Me = hardhead.

As I see it, the safest bet is to find an easy to moderate 10k training plan and just be very cautious about increasing mileage and intensity. And, I need to put the PR dream out of my head. For now. First goal should be to get my legs back and successfully finish a program without getting re-injured.

But, which "easy" plan to follow for a semi-injured runner? My beloved Furman FIRST/Run Less, Run Faster program is OUT. So sad, no speed for me. Not yet.

Feasible options:

1. Runner's World Smart Coach "maintenance" program
2. Runner's World Smart Coach "moderate" program 
3. Another Mother Runner 10k "Finish it" plan

RW Smart Coach thoughts:
  • The maintenance program lists no run more than 5 miles long. I think this will not do for preparing for a 10k.
  • The moderate program long run ranges from 4 to 8 miles. This is fine.
  • 3 runs per week supplemented by cross training: 1 easy run, 1 tempo or speed work run, and 1 long run. 
  • I'm familiar with RW Smart Coach programs, have used them successfully in the past prior to discovering the Furman FIRST/Run Less, Run Faster program.
AMR plan:
  • Similar long run schedule as RW moderate program.
  • 4 runs per week: 2 easy runs, 1 speed work run, 1 long run. 
  • The speed work is much more tame, based on minutes of increased effort rather than specific distance/time goals. 
  • New plan to me, never used AMR. 
I naturally lean toward the RW Smart Coach program but I'm afraid the speed work will be too tempting for me. I can see myself pushing it too hard, too soon. So, I'm going to go with the AMR plan and try to keep myself reigned in. However, I will skip one easy run every other week to keep my runs at every other day, no consecutive days of running. I really enjoy the AMR podcasts so I am excited to give this plan a go.

AMR plan starts tomorrow with an easy 3 miles + 4 strides. I will go EASY on the strides for sure.

Honestly, my ego is a bit sore going with a "finish it" plan when I know I can finish it or should be able to finish it. But, I need to get over myself and be smart for a change. If I can get through this successfully, next up will be the Seattle Half Marathon over Thanksgiving Day weekend and I'll use a (slightly) more ambitious plan then.

Fingers crossed that I can get through this without getting over-ambitious!


Earlier this summer, some very nice people at Sopeshop sent me some arnica oil to test, along with a sample of delicious oatmeal grapefruit soap and a salve. The folks at Sopeshop make all their own products, using natural ingredients and Arnica montana grown in the lovely state of Montana, which is where Sopeshop is located!

The soap is non-drying and smells lovely while the salve has been really nice to soothe my dry summer skin.

I was using the arnica oil on my PF foot but I really can't say it helped easy any pain. I wouldn't expect it to. However, I did use it on my (and my son's) many bruises sustained while playing. The arnica does seem to make the bruises go away more quickly and it made my son happy to have something to make his "tu-tus" better. Previously, I'd been using an arnica cream.

If you like arnica products, I would recommend trying this oil. It's not greasy or messy and is easy to apply.


  1. I love the AMR plans because each week they give you a workout that is OK to skip. It makes it just a little more flexible for the times life gets in the way.
    I crossing my fingers and sending good thoughts. I SO hope this works for you and we can start running together again :D
    I just want you to feel better XO XO

  2. Good luck with your training:) PF is so frustrating! I'm doing the Snohomish River half. Are both on the same day? Hope to see you there:)

  3. Oh man, that PF is FRUSTRATING! You are right to be cautious with your speed - anything that helps you shake off the heel pain. Good luck!

  4. I know in the end you will make the right decision! You may be hardheaded, but you're not stupid! :P

  5. Best of luck with your training, whichever plan you choose!

  6. Ugh, so sorry the PF is still there. I swear, it took me a good 18 months before it finally went away. Are you doing all the PF exercises, like piking up marbles with your toes and such 50x/day? I think that was crucial for me. If you want, I can give you the name of the guy I worked with who was instrumental in helping me. He lives in Vegas but we did a lot of video chatting and he gave me some great exercises. It's really a hip thing more than anything, so get that hip strengthened!

    I'm not really familiar with those programs, but I think just choose what feels best for you right now. :)

  7. Sorry PF is still bothering you. I think running 3 times a week is perfect. Slowly increasing your mileage without increasing the speed sounds perfect!

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