Today marks the first day of week five of my training plan. My first recovery week is behind me and I'm ready to start moving faster again. For those of you not familiar with formal training programs for endurance sports, most have "recovery weeks" built in. While recovery weeks may vary slightly from sport to sport, generally speaking a recovery week is needed to let your body recover and rebuild from the three (or so) previous weeks of harder work.

Much in the same way that our body is able to repair itself when we sleep, our body is able to repair and rejuvenate when we're we ease off challenging workouts. A lot of endurance athletes (runners, swimmers, cyclists, triathletes, etc.) say the feel twitchy by the end of a recovery week. In other words, their bodies are ready to push hard again. It's a great way to prevent workout burnout that happens to so many of us when we don't shift gears.

I'm only training for a 5K, which by any measure, is not a long race.  I'm sure any one of my friends who did the Chicago Marathon yesterday would think of a 5K as a walk in the park. The intensity of a 5K is much different than a marathon, but if trained properly, both can be equally rewarding. Anyway, kudos to all of you who ran the marathon yesterday!

My race, The Hot Chocolate 5K, is only a few weeks away. It's sold out and I'm getting kind of excited for it. I know it's HUGE race, so I doubt I'll be setting any world records, by I would like to shoot for a personal best. If I hit it, I'll let you know! For me, when a race is so packed, I spend the first mile or so jockeying for space or dodging pot holes. A lot of people are fans of running in warmer weather, but I sincerely hope it's colder. I run much, much better in cold weather. How about you?

If you’re just catching up with the training plan, the four previous installments are below, followed by my most recent days of training, including the remainder of my recovery week and the first day of my new cycle of training (hurray!). FYI - you know you're training right when you're excited about pushing yourself a little harder again!

Days 1 – 4
Days 5 – 7

Days 8 – 11
Days 12 - 16

Day 17
Rest Day. If you really want to do something, try a yoga class, a long walk, an easy bike ride or anything that has no impact and isn't too hard on your body. I know yoga can be a T-O-U-G-H workout, depending on the practice and cycling can be all-out intense. So use common sense with active rest days. It's not a day to take a 90 minute Ashtanga yoga class that will have your shoulders and butt sore for the next four days!

Day 18
You should be well rested and ready to go. Hold back and stay in your training zones. Next week is what it is all about.

Mobility & Drill Work (see below)

Warm up
Four (4)  90-second intervals:  30 seconds easy, 30 seconds building intensity, 30 seconds fast
Repeat non-stop

2 minutes of easy walking

Main set
One (1)  25-minute interval. Try to keep your heart rate at  70-75% of your max. Stay controlled and easy. Hold back.

Cool down. 5-10 minutes of mobility work included.

Day 19
Nearly there! Two more days left in your recovery week! Work your cadence today. Your cadence should be over 180 per min.
(Note from Traci: When I count cadence, I usually count the number of times my right foot strikes for one minute. If it's 90 or slightly over, I know I'm keeping up the pace. If it's less than 90, I know I need to work on turning my legs over a little faster.)

WARM UP (See below)

Descending set for 28 minutes. No rest.

  • 10 mins at 65%-70% effort. This should feel easy and comfortable.
  • 8mins at 70%-75% effort. You should still feel comfortable, definitely more focussed.
  • 6mins at 75%-80% effort. You're comfortably uncomfortable.
  • 4mins 80% max. Pushing uncomfortable. Breathing is heavier, but you're still not at an all-out pace. Finish with some gas left in the tank.

Cool down

Day 20
WARM UP (See below)

30-Minute Easy Run

Cool Down

Day 21
Active rest day! Move around and get ready for tomorrow. Harder work is right around the corner.

Day 22
Recovery week is OVER! It's time to move it. This workout (not including warm up movements and drills) will take right around 42 minutes. It's not all out effort, but you'll b digging deep to get through the last ten-minute interval! Have fun. You should feel great.

WARM UP (See below)

Two (2) 3-minute intervals. Build from easy, moderate, fast pace. One min at each speed.
Main set
Three (3) 10-minute intervals (80-88%) with 2minutes recovery between each. All mental, concentrate on form, push the hip forward.
Cool down with five minutes of movement work (similar to warm up)

Mobility Work (10 minutes mobility work)
  •  High kicks
  • Hip openers
  • Side bends

Drill Work 2 Times Through:

  • 60 fore foot hops, each foot. Focus is foot strength. Take your running shoes off. You can use a jump rope. Tilt at the hips.
  • 15 right knee lift/ 15 left
  • Walking  hurdle step (open up the hips)
  • Heel to butt kicks, 2 x 20 seconds


Wait, don’t leave yet! If you’re not joining me on Facebook yet, now’s a great time. There’s a lot more information on nutrition, diet and fitness. I love talking with my fans and enjoy putting together fitness plans and body-specific meal plans…just for them! If you have any questions or comments, just let me know.