The running plan that I follow has me running 6 days a week. The runs are a combination of fartlek, sprints and recovers, longish runs and one long run on a Sunday.
I’ve really enjoyed following the plan, but 16 weeks in I’m finding the running is taking its toll on my body. I’m not light, and I’m starting to get pain in my ankles (as well as a disturbing clicking sound!) which I can only attribute to the constant repetitive pounding that they’re getting when I run.
The other issue with running 6 days a week is it doesn’t give me much chance to cross train. I think cross training is really important, and I’ve stuck with my twice weekly weights sessions because I need to be strong as well as fit to cope with a marathon.
To help my ankles out and give them a rest, I’ve been doing spin classes instead of running on some days. I get an unbelievable sweat on doing spin so I can be sure it’s working my overall fitness, but I get to do it sitting down 🙂
Energise York where I train has a rather fabulous spin robot. It’s a touch screen terminal set up in a spin studio that projects a virtual instructor onto the wall. They schedule classes each day, but if you go in between classes you can also set up your own personal spin class, choosing from cardio, fat burn, interval etc. You can also choose green, amber or red for the intensity of each track.
That’s a great option for me, because I can choose a work out that’s similar to the run that I should be doing, in both time and intensity.
I wasn’t sure if a virtual spin class would be as tough as the real thing, but I find I work myself just as hard. The virtual instructors are pretty good, if a little bit too happy. When they ask “how are you doing? You’re doing great!” I am occasionally tempted to throw a rude gesture in their direction.
This week I’ve done nothing but spin to give my ankles a rest. Sunday is a long run (18 miles) and I’m hoping to feel an improvement for the break. I’m trying to balance listening to my body and not drifting too far away from my training plan.