Woof It and Hoof It 5k Training Plan

Avocado and Lincoln
Hi Saltines! (mm that reminds me, I’m hungry…) Lincoln, the pup here!

I know I’m not the typical Salty contributor and you’re probably wondering how I got my paws on this post. But rest assured, the humans know I’m here. Avocado belongs to me and asked if I would be interested in guest posting to share my experiences and expertise on how to train for a 6-legged 5k.

Of course, I was excited. The humans rarely ask me for running feedback, which I can’t seem to make heads or tails of seeing as I’m twice as capable as them (double the legs, duh). Anywho, happy to share my take and offer a little guidance to any of our pup readers looking to take on this challenge with their human.

To begin, let’s talk about training, and not the kind that involves us fooling our humans into countless treats until we “learn” to stay. As a rescue, much of my early days were spent on the run so the cardio and endurance came naturally to me, as it does for many. If that’s the case for you, the most important thing in training is learning that there is, in fact, another speed besides “Go” or “squirrel.” It takes practice and patience to hone those skills. Personally, I think the most challenging part for us pups is teaching our humans to heel. In my experience, they have a tendency to want to keep a consistent speed. Humans, am I right? While it’s not in our nature, allow them to lead for the most part, but don’t be afraid to add that occasional fartlek training, especially in particularly wooded or squirrely areas.

If endurance isn’t your forte, it’s important to start by getting those miles on your paws. Morgan’s mom, Chicory, wrote about this here. Be consistent and try to get your human out with you at least a couple times a week. Pups, most of you know the basics on how to do this but a few effective tactics include: whining incessantly, destroying precious property, pooping in the house and the one I’ve found most effective, an uncontrollable bout of the zoomies. Get out and practice these 2-3 mile jogs a few times a week until you start to feel like that dash-out-the-door energy becomes more sustainable.

When it comes to race day, it’s up to you to help push (or in this case pull) them a little when they start to slow. Don’t be afraid to let that race day adrenaline take over and pick up the clip toward the end. Sniff some butts in front of you and work that tail. There are treats at the end so when your four dogs start barkin’, just remember, it will be worth it!

Most importantly, have fun! The majority of us pups are your average fur-to-5k type, so take off the pressure. The likelihood of you making it to the PuppyBowl is pretty slim so just enjoy it! Your humans will thank you and you’ll likely score an Insta feature (#goals). So buckle down that collar and get your furry butt in gear — it’s 5k season!

Reminder: Check with your vet before starting running with your dog. This post gives some guidance on the age and types of dogs suitable for running, but always get the go-ahead from your vet!

Any training tips from humans or pups on 6-legged 5ks?

Parsley’s Training Log – 10.15-21.17

My kids loved the Moana cake I made for their 3- and 5-year-old birthday party, but were terrified of the candles!

I was able to sneak (or rather pound) in one more relatively high mileage week.  So two low weeks while I was traveling plus the last two high averages out to about 70 mpw for the month. Maybe not the smartest/most consistent way to train, but taking a bit of downtime in the middle of this marathon training cycle refreshed me both physically and mentally, and has rejuvinated my running these last few training weeks left before the race!

Sunday: 2 hour moderate pace run

Monday: My husband had to leave at 7:30, and since he would be out of town the rest of the week I wanted to get a workout in. Didn’t have many options in the dark, so ran 5 miles to the track. The track was unlocked but completely dark. I don’t do very well/can’t run very fast in the dark, plus I fell and skinned my front side on the way there and was even more cautious than usual, so decided to make my workout more of a track tempo, running 400s at whatever consistent pace I could hit. That way I didn’t have to worry about splits and could just use indiglo to check each lap. Ran 20 x 400 with 100 recovery, 400s were all 88-90. 5 miles home.

30 minutes w/ the double stroller later that morning to make it a 20 mile day.

Tuesday: 1:45 total running throughout the morning w/ various combinations of kids/strollers!

Wednesday: 12 miles total on the treadmill. I’ve been struggling w/ treadmill workouts- dreading them actually, because the few I’ve done haven’t gone very well. I feel like I’m working really really hard, but not running nearly as fast as if I were doing a workout on the track. I usually had to modify them by either cutting the workouts or intervals short, leaving me discouraged and worried about my fitness. My coach suggested dialing back my pace and increasing the overall length of my speedwork. I finally took his advice, and based my workout off one I liked from Poppy’s training log a few weeks ago (she ran her 800s at a faster, consistent interval. Since I’m pretty consistent on the track, I use treadmill runs as a chance to practice cut downs).

2 miles @ 6:15; 8 x 800 descending each rep, 6:11 to 5:45 pace, 2 miles @ 6:15.                                                                     1 mile warm up/down, .25 recovery intervals all @ 7:30 pace.

I really liked this workout and will probably do it again next week. In the past I’ve always run my speedwork much faster than marathon pace- I figure that way when I actually run marathon pace, it should feel easy!  Hasn’t been working out too well for me with my recent race results (ie: the pace doesn’t feel easy), so I decided to actually do some workouts closer to goal marathon pace. I felt like I was working but strong and in control, and actually helped my confidence rather than destroying it like my previous treadmill workouts.

Thursday: 91 minutes total running through the morning, combination of triple/single stroller. 16 minutes w/ triple later in the afternoon.

Friday: 1:15 w/ the triple, strength work at the park about halfway through.

Saturday: Planned to do a long run workout, but woke up achy, chilled/hot flashes, headache. Felt awful all day. Put my running clothes on late in the afternoon thinking the fresh air would make me feel better, made it a few steps down the driveway and went back inside. I don’t feel like taking days off very often, but certainly did today. My only disappointment was that I was on track to make it to another triple digit week, but was not going to push it when sick to reach some arbitrary weekly mileage goal.



Introducing Thyme!

Hi Salties! After years of lurking on the site, I’m thrilled to be joining the team and to be in such flavorful company.

I am a museum curator living outside Washington, D.C., with my fiancé. When I’m not running, you can find me snuggling with my dog (a black lab mix), visiting museums (I can’t fight it), trying to remember to read for pleasure, bookmarking recipes I probably won’t ever make, and (gulp!) planning a wedding.

As of this fall, I’ve been running for 20 years. Just with any two-decades-long relationship, running and I have a complicated history. Like many runners, I started as a soccer player, initially joining the 7th grade cross country team to get in shape for soccer, my preferred sport. But I soon found that running came naturally: my slight frame was much better suited to covering long-distances than fighting bigger, stronger girls for the ball.

I continued running cross country and track in high school, which is when I discovered one of the magic secrets of the sport: the harder you work, the better you will be. Over four years I gradually improved. Eventually, I met my senior-year goal of finishing in the top five at our championship meet and breaking 19:00 in the 5K. That moment, when my dedication and discipline paid off, remains one of the happiest of my life.

After graduating from high school, I joined my D1 college team as a walk-on. I was one of the slowest people on a team of talented standouts. Here, I discovered another secret of running: sometimes hard work isn’t enough.

My college running career was marred by frequent injury and frustration. I learned that my body is not genetically suited to the high intensity of a D1 program. More significantly, the disciplined approach that had previously served me well led to a pattern of disordered eating and obsessive cross-training that made my injury problems worse. Throughout college, I had a handful of successful races but mostly found myself in a cycle of injury after injury. In the fall of my senior year, I learned that I had a labral tear in my hip. I opted to get arthroscopic surgery to repair it. Surgery had a 4-6 month recovery, so my college career was over.

In the years after college, I ran only to stay in shape. Emotionally exhausted from constant injury, I chose running over running fast. I was scared to train hard and set goals out of fear that my body would betray me again. To be honest, it was liberating to not feel obligated to run. Being away from the intense college environment helped me recover from disordered eating habits.

I started lifting weights, doing yoga, and gained 15 pounds. Still, I missed running: the camaraderie of being on a team, the crisp scent of fall leaves on a cross country course and the tired-to-the-bone satisfaction of completing a hard workout. So after some time I started running a little more, eventually signing up for a couple half-marathons. Seeing that I could run longer and stay healthy was exhilarating, so I decided to register for a fall 2016 marathon, with a goal to BQ. I trained conservatively, but neglected to keep up with my strengthening and #extrasalt. With one month to go, I felt a sharp pain in my IT band that wouldn’t go away. I never made it to the start line.

A year later, I’m learning a third secret: working smart is more important than working hard (secret 3a: strengthen your damn glutes!). I don’t think I will ever be someone who can run every day or log 60-mile weeks. I will likely always have to do those annoying PT exercises to stay healthy. And that’s OK. By knowing and accepting the limits of my body, I can push myself to the edge, my edge, without going over.

I wish I could say I’m now training for that marathon again, but I recently learned that I have another labral tear in my hip — the same hip as before. Apparently my bones are shaped in such a way that they are inclined to tear the cartilage. I’m hoping to avoid surgery this time, instead focusing on physical therapy, which has worked for others with this injury. My goal is to get back to running consistently and maybe, just maybe, cross a marathon off my bucket list one day.

Here at Salty Running, I will write about chronic injury, disordered eating, and returning to competitive running after a very long hiatus. A huge fan of the sport, I’m also excited to keep tabs on the world of track and field and the history of women’s running. I can’t wait to get to know you all!

Olive’s Training Log-10.22.17

I’m just 3 weeks out from my goal half marathon on November 12, and this week was supposed to be 60 miles. The most I’ve ever run in a week is 63, and that was peaking for a marathon, so this feels like a lot for me. I feel pretty good for the most part, and I’m managing to hit most of my paces. One more heavy week of training before I start cutting back a bit!

Monday: Tempo day. 2 mile warmup, 4 at 6:48, 2 cooldown. Tempos are by far my least favorite workout, and this one is closer to my 10k pace then half marathon pace. I was psyched to get it over with.

Tuesday-Recovery day. I’ve been really trying to slow my easy runs down. When I run during the day for some reason I tend to run them much faster than I should. Strava convicted me of this recently-I noticed Chicory and Sesame, who are much much faster runners than me, run their easy runs slower than me! I felt silly after that and realized that my workouts were harder than they needed to be because I was running them on tired legs. All that to say-I averaged 8:50 pace for the 10 miles today which is a step in the right direction.

Wednesday- I had a day off from substitute teaching today and wanted to go ahead and knock out my long run, so I went to the local trail. I could tell my GPS was off from the start-it was reading 8:45 pace when I felt like I was working much harder. By the end of this run I was toast-I must have been going way too fast at the start of the run. 16 miles total-8:03 average according to my GPS but who knows the actual pace.

It looked pretty even when I was sucking wind.

Thursday-10 easy, 8:25 pace.  I think this is a little too fast. Managed some strength training after.

Friday-Track day before I subbed. Workout was 3x1k at 3:43, then 3×200 at 41. For some reason I thought 3:43 wouldn’t be that fast, but it’s still under 6:00 pace and I was pretty tired! 3:45, 3:43, 3:42, and then 41, 41 ,40.

Saturday- 8 easy plus strides, 8:54 pace. I had no problem going slow today, I was exhausted!


Angelica’s Training Log – 10/16 to 10/22

Recovery week after the Hartford Half marathon

I am another newbie so I thought I’d give a short overview here. I just ran the Hartford half marathon on October 14. That was my first real race after a long break from running due to plantar fasciitis. Having just run Hartford, this week is basically recovery and then I will start training for the 26.2 with Donna marathon in Jacksonville, FL (probably, see below). I have a relatively new coach and this will be our first marathon training cycle together. It’s my sixth marathon.

I work full time as a political science professor and I have two children, so I I traditionally run early in the morning (Early Morning Crew starts around 6am) to be sure to get the running in. This fall, though, my son started high school and he now leaves the house around 6am. I am also on sabbatical. My son’s early start and my flexible schedule mean that right now, I often write from 6am-7:45am when my daughter gets up. On those days, I run around 8:45am when she leaves (School Bus Crew). I am not sure what I think of this change yet. This week I had two public lectures in the evening and I was happy to “sleep in” until 5:45am and not face the dark, but I like to run with friends and they are mostly still on the earlier schedule. So, we shall see how it plays out.

Monday, 10/16, School Bus Crew – Easy: 4 miles (10:00 pace?)  

Apparently, I am taking the running without a pace thing quite seriously because I forgot to start my watch. My two running buddies today were both old school and neither of them even wore a GPS watch! But this is a well-known route, so it was just about four miles, easy cruising around.

I spent some (probably too much) time on the Marathon Time Conversion section of FindMyMarathon.com trying to decide about a spring race. This site is really fun! After comparing a bunch of potential races, I came back to my original plan, the 26.2 for Donna. This activity was definitely more exciting than preparing my lectures, which is what I mostly did for work this week.

Tuesday, 10/17, Early Morning Crew – Easy: 5 miles (11:12 pace)

I used to run trails once a week with a great group of women. We are trying to get that gang up and running again (har har) and this was our first attempt. It was also the first really cold run of the fall and the first time we definitely needed our headlamps!

Wednesday, 10/18, Early Morning Crew – Yoga; School Bus Crew – Strength Training

Sometimes I bike on Wednesday, but I was sort of taking it easy. I did not feel particularly inspired by yoga either though and kept thinking I should have been writing, so this was a bit of a wash. On the other hand, Wednesday I work out with my personal trainer and that’s always amazing. Plus, we got to re-hash the Hartford race, which was super fun.

Thursday, 10/19, School Bus Crew – Fartlek: Mixed, 5.3 miles (9:24 pace)

This was the only run all week with any structure. Two miles warm-up, then 3:00, 2:30, 2:00, 1:30, 1:00 fast with equal recovery, and one mile cool down. I felt kind of blah during the warm up, probably because of too many late nights for work, but once I got going, this was really fun.

Friday, 10/20, Early Morning Crew – 2.9 mile walk + School Bus Crew – Easy: 3.6 (9:52 pace)

My trail running gang met at 6am to walk with a friend who crashed her bike at her second attempt at an Ironman triathlon a few weeks ago. The walk was a real highlight of the week, getting to see friends I hadn’t seen in ages and especially spending time with our injured buddy. Then Rashi came over for a short easy run after both kids were off to school.

Saturday, 10/21, Early Morning Crew – Yoga

I almost always go to the gym on Saturday, but I had a ticket for a book signing with Hillary Rodham Clinton. I’m a political scientist who studies women and politics, so that was pretty exciting and I bailed on the gym. I did my Yoga for Runners DVD instead. This time I did the whole thing, much better than Wednesday. Then I stood in line for four hours to see HRC so that turned out to be its own workout.

Sunday, 10/22, Brunch Crew – Easy: 8 miles (9:47 pace)

Eight incredibly delightful miles with Rashi. We had been planning a road trip for this weekend, but canceled it for various reasons. To make up for that, we had a great run and went to Northampton for brunch.

Ten Things I Am Looking Forward to About Long Runs

Plantar fasciitis kept me from running for almost nine months. Can you see my pained grimace? A few sporadic attempts at comebacks during that time involved paltry 3-mile runs — which, compared with my beloved marathon training, barely qualified as runs. I am finally healthy and about to start marathon training again. I love marathon training, and especially long runs, with a deep passion. Here are 10 things I am looking forward to when the long run re-enters my life.

Pre-long run texting with girlfriends

I have a great group of running buddies. We generally do our long runs on Sunday which means at some point on Saturday evening, someone starts the text-a-thon. What time tomorrow? How long is everyone going? When and where should we meet? These texts are also when we find out about things like important family events, out-of-town travel, and other minutiae that bind us together as a group. Plus, the more nervous someone is, the goofier these texting sessions get. I am so excited to hear from my gang on Saturday nights.

Caring about the weather

If I am running 5-6 miles, things have to be pretty grim before I worry about weather conditions. I can survive an hour in just about anything. If I am going to be out there for two or three hours, though, weather matters. Sure, this is about steering around rain or blizzards, but caring about the weather makes me feel more in tune with what nature is up to. New England throws a lot of weather at us and long runs force me to pay attention in a deeper way.

Buying Gels

I’m not sure why shelling out hard-earned cash for tiny flavored sugar packets is fun, but to me, it is. I often buy Gu at our local bike shop and I buy it in bulk to get the discount. This has the added bonus of making me feel like a real badass because the bike shop people always seem surprised at how much I want. Plus, if I am buying 24 Gu packets, I get to try whatever new flavors they have come up with. Ok, I am easily amused, but this injury meant I missed the introduction of the new S’mores flavor! Yum!

Pre-run griping

Bitching is always fair game, but it feels a little weak to bitch before an easy 5 miler. Bitching before 18 miles though – that’s satisfying.

Long run routes

Anything shorter than 10 miles and my gang and I fall back on some tried and true choices. We have loads of standard loops at this length that we do all the time. More than 10 miles, though, uses up nearly all of the roads in our small town so that calls for more creativity. We’re pushed to drive to the rail trail or run the hilly route through the orchards. These longer paths are more beautiful, but they don’t seem worth the drive for shorter outings. I am so excited to re-visit these places.

Long run conversations

What’s shared on the run, stays on the run. That means if someone is having real problems with a kid, a spouse, a parent, a boss — the long run is where we hash things out. These shared miles create a safe zone for advice and support. These are the miles that turn us into something closer to sisters than friends. On days when no one has anything much serious to discuss, this is also where talk gets extremely goof-ball. Sometimes the last few miles are just unfathomably inane and that’s fun too.

Moving meditation

This happens more often on solo runs, but can occur with a close training partner as well. Talk ceases. The legs turn over and over and over. An imaginary path stretches out behind and ahead of me. It’s like floating or being suspended in air. It’s detachment. Some people find this by sitting still, but I find that bodily motion is what brings me mental calm.

Being done

Sometimes a long run feels best when it’s over.

All. The. Drinks.

Post-long run café trip

I hate that advertising slogan “Own the Drink Run,” but I love owning the café run. I used to head directly home after a long run, eager to return to my family and guilty about being gone. One day, my post-run recovery meal was a nuked low-cal enchilada hours after finishing my run because I had been dealing with kids from the second I walked in the door. Now I go directly to my favorite café. I get myself some kind of veggie and egg sandwich. And fancy lemonade. And fancy coffee. Plus, I call home and bring the family whatever they want. Bagels and brownies for lunch? Sure, why not. I own the café run and I love it.

Feeling of satisfaction

The rest of my day might be great, filled with friends and family and successfully-completed household chores. It might also be filled with random errands and a never-ending pile of laundry. If I start my day by running more than 10 miles, I’ll know I’ve accomplished something worthwhile, one way or another.

What do you love about the long run?