Preseason Training Blog: Lansing Catholic's Jaden Theis

Jaden Theis broke out in a big way last cross country season. The Lansing Catholic junior -- the younger sister of University of Michigan sophomore Olivia Theis -- scored her first Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 2 Lower Peninsula state championship, her first Foot Locker Nationals qualification and her first All-American finish, finishing sixth in San Diego. She broke 18 minutes for 5K six times last fall, and ran a personal best of 17:07.30. While injury from the outdoor track and field season, where she finished fourth in the 3,200m (10:44.90) and sixth in the 1,600m (5:02.67) at states, slowed her runway into the fall, Theis and her Lansing Catholic coach, Tim Simpson, are taking things slow as the high school junior builds back into full form. Theis wrote about her road to recovery below, along with some key insights. Check it out. 

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Week 1 - Week 2 - Week 3 - Week 4

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Week 1 (August 5th - August 11th)

About my training: I just started running (actually on the first day of this blog!) after having a stress fracture in the femoral neck of my right leg from track season. But after about two months off, I am ready to rock and roll! I tend to do a lot of cross training even when I am fully healthy, so my returning to running training is not all that different from my regular training. When I am in full health, I typically run two days on, one day off (4 to 5 days a week)

Monday, August 5th: 1.45 miles easy, 40 minutes aqua jog

After a very good sports med appointment that cleared me to run, I went across the hall to PT where I ran for 10 minutes on the treadmill after doing some strengthening exercises. Man, I forgot how awesome it feels to run! I was also reminded of how much you can sweat on a treadmill. Later, I went over to my cousin's apartment's pool to aqua jog. I added a few pickups just to make time go by, nothin' too crazy. Then I laid out to dry off and got a tan (5 minutes will give you a tan, right?). I did some light stretching when I got home. 

    Tuesday, August 6th: 45 minutes on the stationary bike, 20 minutes of arm/core work

    Today, I stationary biked at my school. I got to try out our newest bike and it only took me about five minutes to realize that I was not a fan.... ironically, it was the lack of a fan that I did not like about it because I sweat a lot more than I usually do. Either that or I now sweat profusely. Afterwards, I foam rolled and then did 20 minutes of core strength and arm work. After devouring a granola bar (Bob's Red Mill Better Bars are to die, FYI) and drove home, I did my PT exercises which consists of resistance band and stability ball work along with working on balance and core. I did some light stretching before I went to bed. 

    Wednesday, August 7th: 2 mile run, 70 minute swim (2.25 miles)

    I got up early to swim across town at 6 a.m. I did 20 minutes of the swim as a warmup, and then went straight into some pickups (12x 4-lengths fast, four lengths easy) and then a few minutes of easy swimming as a cool down. I surprisingly did not have any goggle or cap malfunctions during my swim, allowing me to swim all 70 minutes continuously.

    I came home, gobbled down some pancakes and a few hours later headed out the door to go for my first non-treadmill or AlterG run in 2 months! I warmed up with a lunge matrix and some plyometric drills. And I had the time of my life, to say the least! I ran a lot faster than I anticipated, averaging 6:12 pace. Not too shabby for pretty much my first run back at what seemed like an easy-moderate pace. I cooled down with some active recovery drills and stretched following that. Later, I did my PT exercises and went to go hang out with some of my buddies for my friend's birthday. 

    Thursday, August 8th: 60 minute aqua jog workout

    Okay, so I really enjoy aqua jogging workouts. I love the feeling when you get out of the pool and your legs all of a sudden get really heavy (I know, I'm weird). The workout I did today consisted of a 5-minute easy warmup and after that 10x 3-minutes hard, 1-minute easy. Following this I did 10x 30-seconds hard, 30-seconds easy (mimicking strides after a run) and a 5-minute easy cool down along with some active recovery stretching (leg swings, etc.) before getting out of the pool. After driving home, I did some PT and stretched. Today, I was definitely sore from running yesterday, but it felt good because it has been so long! 

    Friday, August 9th: 70 minute swim (2.33 miles)

    I did my PT exercises pretty early in the day so my legs wouldn't be as tired for my swim later in the day. I did the classic 70-minute swim ... again, and after 20 minutes of warm up swimming, I added some pickups (10x 6-lengths moderate-hard, 4-lengths easy) and ending with some easy swimming to give me a total of two and one-third miles. When I got home, I did some light stretching before taking off to go to a team bonfire!

    Saturday, August 10th: 2 mile run

    I got up early today to run two miles. It felt nice to be a little cold when I started my run! I averaged these 2 miles at 6:11 pace, which felt a lot harder than the other day considering I had just woken up. I went to a family reunion later in the morning, where we played some intense beach volleyball in some very hot sand (may or may not have 3rd degree burns on my feet). 

    Sunday, August 11th: Off day

    I was at my cottage today so my day still consisted of some activity. I did 20 minutes of core, PT, and some light stretching. 

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    Total mileage: 5.45 miles