Nothing is impossible, Zoe’s Training week

30 May 16  / Zoe

Hello Sprint Kitchen readers.

I’m Zoe, I’m 23, a runner, osteopath and chronic pain survivor. I normally write a blog called astateofhealthblog but today I am very excited to be guest blogging about my average Training Week for Sprint Kitchen.

My Journey:

Firstly my training week has drastically changed within the last year in fact it is completely unrecognizable. When I was 18 I was diagnosed with a rare pain condition called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome in my ankle. I went from being a typical sporty teenager that loved running to being on crutches and having 4 operations in 4 months. My ankle was so sensitive I had to sleep in a plaster cast, as the bed sheets would cause burning and shooting pain. I was given a 3 percent chance of ever having a normal life and no surprise, I was told I would never be able to run again. Luckily I am ridiculously stubborn and therefore being told what I couldn’t do as well as my love for running meant I was determined to get back to it no matter how long it took.


Training week-CRPS crutches
Me on crutches back in 2011

I started with 30 secs on an exercise bike while watching the bake off, I needed a distraction, otherwise it was too much. Then I progressed to running to the end of the road and back, it felt absolutely stupid especially when it would cause me excruciating pain for days after. Then I joined a gym and ran 10 mins on a treadmill and it slowly progressed from there. It was incredibly painful and recovering from CRPS is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life but being able to run again has given me the biggest joy.

The turning point was on the 16 August 2015 yes I remember the date I did my first 5km since I was diagnosis in Easter 2011. At that point in time one 5km run was as much running as I could push my body to do. I had also just come off my at pain killers and finally was on no medication. As a celebration I approached my local athletic club, Cardiff Athletic Club. Since then with the help and support of my amazing coach my training has dramatically changed and I am loving every minute of it, it’s becoming a real addiction. Its getting to the point when people are telling me I run too much… I don’t really have an answer to that. My training week is set up by my Coach and is often reviewed and changed accordingly but here is a rough idea of my new average week (its only my 2nd week on this plan).


Training week Running progression
Running progression

My average week training week:

My training week: Monday 5km ‘recovery’ run

This run I have struggled with in the past, the idea of a recovery run is a foreign concept and I often want to go out and push it. However the idea of recovery runs is to still maintain and increase fitness. While still getting the milage in but not push it enough to be sore the next day. I use my garmin watch to run by my heart rate to make sure I don’t push it too hard and  go out and enjoy the run. 😀 I always want to feel good at the end of a run it’s always good to finish a high when you know you have a hard session the next day. As for the route I generally stay near my home which is pretty flat and normally involves running along the River Taff that goes through the centre of Cardiff.

My training week: Tuesday Track Session:

This is one of two track sessions and my main sessions of the week, one is normally shorter distances and the other is normally a combination of longer reps or a pyramid. We always start with four strides of 60m and now in the summer we try to do drills including lunges, high knee walks and then high knees. On shorter days we often do reps of 200m or 300m round the track the amount of sets varies. We also do four 60m runs to finish aswell. I am apart of Cardiff Athletic club, my group is very small only 4 of us, 3 girls including me and one guy.  The fact that the group is so small means we are very close knit and get lots of attention from the coach we call ourself Team Darney after our coach. I have to say I love hanging out with them and it certainly helps to have some company, we train hard but have a lot of fun at the same time.

Training week Team Darney
Team Darney

My training week: Wednesday = REST!!

Rest day!! This is only my second week of this schedule and now my only rest day. Why Wednesday well it’s the day between by two track sessions, which are my core sessions, and the ones I really need to put 100% into. Now that I am able to run again I can’t say I am very good at resting but there’s no the point of training hard if you don’t let your body recovery and give it time to grow stronger. If I do anything it’s normally stretching or drills like lunges.

My training week: Thursday Track Session 

Another track session we start a bit later as the academy is often on the track so it’s normally very busy. If we do a shorter session on the Tuesday then this day is normally the longer reps. I find these a lot more difficult than the shorter ones and we often do 500m or a pyramid. Sadly I like the pyramid sessions which are normally 200m, 300m, 400m, 500m, 300m, 200m, they are often brutal but I think I like them better as it’s a mix of different speeds.

Training Week Track Session
Track Session

My training week: Friday- Cross Train: Spin/Cycle + Ab workout

I have to say before I started training again this was never something I even thought to do. However to increase my fitness my coach suggested spin it put stress on different muscles to running so it gives my legs a bit of a break at the same time. I was skeptical to say the least but now I love it and look forward to it every week. In the last few weeks I have bought a road bike so I will either take that out for an 1hr-1.5hr or I will go to a spin class. I normally try to do a Ab workout aswell I use a mix of exercises from the Nike training App as well as the doing exercises with weights.

My training week: Saturday 5km run

This 5km is new addition to my new schedule I used to do my long run or rest on this day. I do try to do the park run however as a osteopath I often work Saturday mornings and so the park run isn’t normally an option. I normally do tend to push it more on this run I just cant help myself.

My training week: Sunday Long run

I normally go for my long run in the morning then I have the rest of the day to chill out and take it easy. I have very very slowly increased it to 12km from 5km in September. I have to say I am starting to enjoy it I normally prefer to run faster and shorter than run continuously for longer. I normally run round Cardiff Bay (I actually had a new patient this week that was like you’re the girl that runs round the barrage in the mornings) but last week I went off and explored a trail. My shoes ended up covered in mud and my socks drenched but I loved it, it was good to switch it up. I’ve lived in Cardiff for less than a year and often use my long runs to explore the area, it also keeps me distracted for the longer distances.


Training week Long run
Long run

So that’s my average week now a far cry from the girl that was passing out in Tescos due to pain or visiting a zoo in a mobility scooter. Hope you enjoyed the post and what I do now. I just have one thing left to say, like anything in life if you want something you have to work hard for it but NOTHING and I mean nothing is impossible.

Happy running everyone!!

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