Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Running Plan and CurrexSole RunPro Review

A week or so ago (okay, maybe like 3 weeks) I posted about my running comeback. The last year of little structure and less discipline had taken their toll.  I was still running, (frankly, still running somewhat fast) but I lacked the consistency needed to really see any performance gains - let alone maintain my speed as father time quietly tugged at my jockstrap. You can fake your way through a 5K, but the New Jersey marathon (and the NYC marathon before it) were painful reminders that I had been faking my marathon training for quite some time.

My comeback is a three pronged approach: EPO, vodka, and cheeseburgers Having a plan, making it a priority, and setting small milestones. Or, essentially the strategy for doing like 90% of things that are hard.  Since I rambled on and on in the previous post, I thought I’d give a real live running update on my running blog and talk about having a plan.

Having a Plan:
When I was actively coaching (I’m not now) I lived and died by my own personal schedule. I’d slave away on a long term plan and saw some really good results by following it. Of course, I’d adjust for feeling sore or god forbid coming down with the man-flu, but for the most part I stuck to it.  Because of various reasons, I can't be that rigid now, but I'm finding that having a set plan has done wonders for my consistency and sanity.

Here is how I went about building a high level schedule:
I actually don't currently have a "goal" race, but I know that 75% of marathons are in late Sept / Oct so I'm building toward that time frame.  I also knew that I wanted to get up to around 65 miles per week with a handful of speed days thrown in. Easy!  Unfortunately, a month ago I was consistently doing about 25-30 miles a week in 3-4 runs. Sooooo, I was going to need a few months to build up to that kind of volume.  Here is what I came up with for a high level schedule.

May: Build miles with 4-5 days a week ending up around 50 miles per week
June:  Start to add marathon paced and tempo workouts once a week, end at 60 miles per week
July: Maintain 60+ miles a week, have two quality tempo and marathon pace days a week OR one speed day
August: RUN ALL THE TIME!!!! Tempo, speed, 65-70 miles, 6x a week
September: Race!

Is it perfect? No. Have I already deviated from it? Yes. But, it is a plan and I'm TRYING to stick to it.  I need to sketch out June, but this is what it looks like:


Another thing that I'm doing as part of this training cycle is allowing myself to try a few new things before I get too wrapped up in miles and miles of training. I don't require a lot of "gear" to run but just kidding a freaking love running gear and that first part was a total lie.

I get a fair amount of companies reaching out to me to do reviews of one form or another and for the most part I turn them down.  I wont try out a product I don't need or wont use and buy again.  Since I am a tight ass thrifty, that list is pretty small. However, I've battled off and on with pretty bad shin issues and have always wanted to try inserts to see how they would feel. Just the tip. For a little bit.

Enter: CurrexSole and their RunPro inserts. I was sent a pair of these to try out a few MONTHS ago and am just now getting a chance to type up the review.  Since nothing makes me more frustrated than seeing a review along the lines of "I just got these in the mail today and tried them on my 2 mile run around the block! Obvs I'm an expert so here is my review" I've put ~50 miles on these inserts over the course of those few months.

But first, lets get the things in my shoes, which wasn't hard at all. They actually fit surprisingly easily on the first try.  I had the "medium" arch profile in the normal running inserts, they also had a high and low arch profiles and a minimalist style that is much thinner.

These kind of instructions I approve with. IKEA would be proud

"I'm going to send you this free product, please cut it up. Thanks"

If you've taken the normal insoles out of your shoes, you know that they are pretty basic. These CurrexSole have all sorts of features that normal insoles don't. Read about them here. They're deeper in the heel so your foot stays where it should, they are sweat wicking, more supportive in the arch, and has a bunch more cushion....which the CurrexSole people call "rebound".  It lowers the fatigue on your calves which ultimately makes you faster.  Also, there is a part of the insole called "Medium Rebound PORON cushion" which I think we can all agree looks just a little bit too much like the word porn.

Everyone knows bigger is better

Also, more colors are better, obvi

Overall I like the inserts with a few caveats. They did exactly what I thought and hoped they would do. They provided a blister free supportive run that was cushier than my normal one. I did notice that there was a bit more spring in my step, but I can't totally confirm that it wasn't all in my head.  I didn't see a TON of the faster times that were promised (but honestly did see a few), but I also wasn't brave enough to try them in a marathon when I was all out either.

The caveat that I have is that I've been trying to get away from a super cushy shoe and into a more neutral one. I'm also varying what brand of shoe I wear in an attempt to keep my feet strong and not weak in a certain area because of a shoe brand. Because of that, I won't wear the insoles on every single run, but instead will try to rotate them in like I do with various shoe models.

Additionally, I'm going to use these as a bit of a way to try to add more life to older shoes. If I can get even 50-75 miles out of shoes that would otherwise be tossed, I think it is money well spent.  Well, and at $50, these certainly aren't cheap, but if they reduce injury and help me extend the life of shoes, they are well worth it.

 So, they get my seal of approval! I need to look up how long they "last" but I'm planning on getting at least one more pair when these wear out. You can pick them up on Amazon, Running Wearhouse, etc.

I got these for free. I'm legally required to put that by the man. I'm also legally required to tell you that no one told me to give a positive review.  They did, however, tell me to cut their product with scissors.  So, lets call it even.


Sue's Ramblings said...

I might kill myself if I follow your plan! Then again, I do want your kinda finishing maybe, maybe, maybe...:)

Amanda RunToTheFinish said...

I'm awful at following plans, which I think is why I like the LHR training...just push but only so hard and I run far...ther each weekend :)

Julie D said...

Love your "seal" of approval!!

Jocelyn Wong said... did your shins feel better?!

Runners Fuel said...

Nice plan! I live making schedules!