Salmon Falls 50k Training Recap: Week 4

Why ‘only’ train for an ultra when you can train for an ultra while testing out not one, but two cross-training/workout apps?

This week, I added in 7 days of barre workouts to the 3 day a week core workout program that I was already doing in addition to all my running.

15 1/2 workouts in one week?

Even I’ll admit, that’s a bit much.

Read Prior Recaps

Salmon Falls 50k Training Recap

Training Goals

  • Strength work 2x/week
  • Hit my pace when pacing group long runs (starting in late Nov.)
  • 1 new route / week
  • 2 trail runs or hilly road runs /week
  • Regular mobility/flexibility work

The Plan vs. Reality: Week 4

 MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
Planmobility 4 miles
strength
5 hilly miles5 miles
strength
mobility12 miles
strength
8 miles
ActualBarre4 miles
Barre
Core
5 hilly miles
Barre
4 miles
Barre
Core
Barre13.1 miles
Barre
8 miles
Barre
Core

Area of Focus This Week

Post-run stretching and cool down.

The Week That Was

Monday

Why experiment with one new workout app when you can experiment with two?

I’m in the midst of playing around (and so far liking) the Adidas what’s-it-called app. (Runtastic? Runtastic Training?)

Now, I’ve also started using Openfit, an app with on-demand and live workouts that can be done a la carte or as part of a prepared program in one of a few different workout disciplines (Barre, Yoga, Tough Mudder, 600 seconds (looks like px90 kinda thing), ‘Rough around the Edges’ a cardio workout put together by female stunt people). (Full disclosure: I was given access to the app for free, the opinions are my own).

I decided to start with the 7-day Xtend Barre On-Ramp program, a program that provides an introduction to the different types of barre workouts available on the app. Each workout is 30-minutes long.

The first day was ‘Barre Basics’ – more of a walkthrough of the body positions and common moves used in barre than a workout.

This is largely a recap for me. I’ve done Bar Method and the Dailey Method at different times, so I know the basics, but form pointers are always welcome.

Tuesday

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Not a bad view to stretch to. #runoak #hellarunner

A post shared by Sara Kurth (@puffincoaching) on

The day started with a 4 mile run. Nothing special, just the usual route.

Then, the latest Adidas core workout. 15ish minutes of planks and single-leg airplanes.

Finally, I did day 2 of the Openfit Xtend Barre 7-day program – ‘Xtend Signature 1.’ A typical barre workout: lots of tiny moves with super lightweights that seem super easy in the first repetition, but nearly impossible after 45 seconds.

I really enjoyed this workout – it was a good reminder of how much I enjoy barre workouts.

Today I got a glimpse of how insane it is for me to maintain 3 workout plans simultaneously. It’s only something I could do early in the running program, when the mileage isn’t too insane.

Wednesday

For my run, I did my hillier route from home, once again heading over to (and around) Mountain View Cemetery.

This time, I actually found the Black Dahlia’s grave. I’d been close in the past, I only found it this time because the super-tacky plastic flowers stuck by her tombstone.

She deserves better flowers than she has.

Then, day 3 of Xtend Barre on Openfit – ‘Flexibility & Balance 1.’ More stretchy than yesterday’s strength-focused workout.

So far, I really like the Openfit app. After trying out dozens of workout apps in the past few years with little success, is it possible I’ve found two good ones back to back?

Total glutton for punishment, I also tried my first live Openfit class – the 11 minute foam rolling class.

I didn’t feel like I needed to foam roll, but I wanted to try a live class.

It was a good workout, but the live class format didn’t do much for me when I could get the same class on-demand. Fun option though.

Thursday

A shake up to my usual routine today.

I started the day with day 4 of the Openfit Xtend Barre program: ‘Xtend Pilates 1.’ A pilates based mat workout.

Tough, but good. I’m 4 for 4 liking the Openfit Barre workouts!

For change, I ran at night, heading over to an event the running club was having at Road Runner Sports as a run/info night for the training program. A 4-mile run followed by pizza and beer. I even won a raffle prize -a free pair of socks! Yeah!

When I got home, I finally did the core workout.

Good moves (as usual), but they seemed poorly arranged.

I’d be in plank, then would be dead bug (on my back), then a move done from standing. Sure, the program has rest/readjustment time in between moves, but today seemed to require way more re-adjusting than usual.

Friday

‘Only’ day 5 of the Xtend Barre plan today – ‘Flexibility and Balance 2.’

This was a good workout, and I hated it.

It focused almost entirely on flexibility (of which I have little).

As with all the classes, beginner/easier modifications were provided (and more challenging options too, not that I’ve ever used them), but given my total lack of flexibility, what I really needed was modifications to the modifications.

It was a good workout, but a bit of a blow to my ego.

On an unrelated note, I’m a brand ambassador for Tecnu– the makers of the product I use to wipe down my legs after a trail run to prevent poison oak rashes.

It totally made my day today when I got their (third!) care package, which included (among other things) a National Park annual pass! I’m planning 2020 road trips already.

If you are prone to poison oak/ivy/sumac, get yourself a bottle of Tecnu – they are a great company that makes great products.

Saturday

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A beautiful morning to get dusty. #runallthetrails

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My last free Saturday in 18 weeks (coaching/pacing for the running group long runs starts tomorrow). So, I (again) hit the Briones Reservoir loop to get in some dusty trail miles.

Doing another workout after a nearly three-hour long run? Why, yes, that is a little silly, but I’m 5 days into my 7 day program, now isn’t the time to quit (Exhibit A of why I like to plan my workouts in advance).

Today’s Xtend Barre class was ‘Ballet Sculpt 1,’ to date, my least favorite workout. Not terrible, but while I’d rate the other classes as an 8 or 9 out of 10, this was maybe a 6 or 7.

Why?

It was more choreographed than the others. While far from a zumba or step class, it had more dance-y type in-out-up-down combo sequences. I don’t like these and I’m not particularly good at them. I get so focused on trying to remember the sequence, I lose track of the ‘workout’ aspects of it and my form goes to hell.

The instructor also did one of my least favorite things. We hold a move for (as she says at the start) 8 beats. We get done with that, and she says something along the lines of that was so much fun, lets do it again!

I’ve always hated that. If we are going to hold something for 16 beats, just say that. Don’t get all cutesy and act like you just changed your mind. She only did it once, and I know my negative reaction is way out of line to what it should be, but it is suuuuch a pet peeve of mine.

Sunday

First group run for the running club!

These runs will usually be on Saturday, but a local running store wanted to host us and give us brunch, so we did it on Sunday so we could have the store to ourselves.

It was a great turnout, over 60 runners total. I am a coach and pacer for the 10:30 min./mile pace group and we had 10ish runners (a mix of marathon and half marathon trainees). Good run, except for they had all but run out of brunch by the time we finished.

No more coffee, out of yogurt, only dried out quarters of wheat bagels.

Grrrrr….. Don’t promise me food then not have food!

Then… day 7 of the Openfit Xtend Barre 7-day program – ‘Cardio Barre 1.’

Full confession time- today is where the 1/2 workout comes in: I bailed about 10 minutes into this workout.

If it had been a standard barre, pilates, or flexibility workout I would have stuck it out, but I just couldn’t do a cardio workout after running 8 miles.

I maybe even could have stuck it out if the instructor stopped talking – ever.

All of these workouts had the same instructor, who I’ve otherwise really liked, and who gives good pointers and cues.

In this workout, I guess she was channeling her inner 1980’s aerobics instructors and wouldn’t stop the ‘Come on! Alright! You got this!’ It was driving me absolutely bonkers, so I bailed.

I still have one more Adidas core workout to do this week, and as of this writing, it hasn’t happened.

I swear it will get done before I go to bed.

Week Overall

  • OK, this was a lot. 3 workout programs being done simultaneously? Even I’ll admit it’s a little insane, but I found too many good options at once and I was too excited to try them all. I normally would never do barre workouts (or any workouts) every day, but I wanted to do the 7-day program (as intended) to give the app and the workouts a shot. I really liked the barre classes and will continue to do them, probably 2-3 times a week as cross training, as well as trying some of the other Openfit yoga and strength workouts.
  • Amid all the other workouts, I kind of lost track of the running – but in a good, just follow the plan and do the running without too much hemming and hawing kind of way.
  • While I did way more stretching and mobility work with the barre classes than usual, my goal of focusing on cool-down and post-run stretching got lost in the shuffle.

Next Week: Week 5

Schedule

 MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
PlanMobility4 miles
Strength
6 hilly miles5 miles
Strength
Mobility14 miles8 miles
ActualYoga4 miles
Core
6 hilly miles5 milesRest15 miles
Core
8 miles

Area of Focus

Find a more sustainable balance of workouts.

Sara is a runner, running coach, writer, blogger, and a lover of all things written.

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