three things thursday

1. The turkey slider recipe!

Put this in a bowl:
1lb of ground turkey, I use 99% lean
1/3-1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
ground black pepper
chili powder
red pepper flakes

Smush it all up with your hands.  Make small patties - this recipe gave me 16 sliders.  Heat up about 2 tbsp oil in a pan.  Dust each slider with flour and drop in hot oil.  Flip after a minute or two.  When both sides are crispy, pour about 3 cups of white wine over them and turn heat down to low.  Let simmer for a while until cooked through.  

I sliced hot dog buns in half and put them in the toaster oven with gorgonzola cheese, then topped them with a slider, ketchup, and pickles.  They were delicious.

2. I'm trying to make a decision about drinking during taper.  Hang on, I'm not a boozehound.  The last time I trained for a half, I didn't drink a single drop throughout the entire training cycle (until I got injured 3 weeks out, then that all went to hell).  But I don't drink often/in a large enough quantity that I think it makes a difference AT ALL on my training.  If I had to honestly guess, I would say that, on average, I have 2-3 drinks a week.  Sometimes I got 3-4 weeks without drinking at all for no real reason, and sometimes I have a couple of days where I'll have a glass of wine or something at night before bed.  It would not be difficult to not drink at all for a few weeks out from the race, but I have this feeling that I'm going to go so bonkers even during a short taper than the poet is going to want to medicate me every night.  Thoughts?  What do you do during a training cycle and leading up to a race?

3. I've had a lot of discussion lately with some friends about the merits of a "real" rest day vs. the "fake" rest day.  Meaning, taking 24-36 hours completely off but not taking a full calendar day.  For example.  My usually Wednesday schedule is to do a recovery run in the pool for an hour, swim for 20-40 minutes, and lift legs.  (I've also had some discussions lately about lifting, and the fact that what I call "legs" day most people would call "core & stability with a little bit of legs" day, but that discussion is for another time).  Anyhow, Wednesday.  I either go to the pool in the morning and lift at night or vice versa.  Everything I do in the pool is gentle and recovery-style, not busting my ass, so it's a very easy day between two tough days of running (track Tuesday, tempo Thursday).  However, yesterday I got to the pool a bit late and the water was cold and I had slept horribly and I didn't want to get in (I WANT A COOKIE!).  So I decided to bag the swim entirely and just gently pool run and chat with my friends.  (Sometimes I feel like the biggest benefit of a pool running session - due to my effort that day - is having my legs in cool water for an hour, but again, discussion for another time).  

I went off to work and spent the day feeling stressed out by work, tired from not sleeping, and just cranky overall.  When I got home, I decided to skip my legs day and hang out on the couch for a while, and then go out for happy hour & dinner.  I slept 9 hours last night and am still, right now, at this moment, laying in bed with my puppies.  I'll probably do some core stuff this afternoon before tempo tonight, but here's the question: 36-38 hours between exercise, is it a rest day?  Please think about it for a hot second before grabbing me by the ear and yelling, "NO" at the top of your lungs.  I know that the triathletes and the runners will have very different opinions on this, and to that end I say: I have 2 complete "leg" rest days every week - days where I do NO running/biking activity with my legs.  I only run (on land) 4 days a week: track Tuesday, tempo Thursday, long run Saturday, and recovery run Sunday.  I never do 2 tough running workouts 2 days in a row, and the only reason I run both Saturday & Sunday is that they are both easy-paced runs and there aren't 8 days in the week.  I'm still working on adjusting my training schedule so I have time to recover from the tough workouts, and sometimes I will do what I did yesterday - turn a recovery day into a rest day (trust me, I wasn't working hard in the pool) instead of doing what my schedule said, which was wait until Friday for the rest day.  I also think that sometimes the "fake" rest day allows me more recovery time in hours than the "real" rest day.  What do you think?  If you think the real rest day is mandatory, why?  What are the benefits/merits?


  1. While training, I use a beer or two as a recovery drink. Lots of carbs. I balance it out with plenty of water though. For your taper, I wouldn't really change too much. As for your "fake" rest day ... yeah, you should probably take a full day off, meaning even if you do something Tuesday morning, wait until Thursday to do something else. I've done what you're talking about several times though, taking a nice 36-hour break between workouts. A full 48 hours of rest though will go just as far and be as good for your body as strong workouts.

  2. The fact is that most of us are trying to train around demanding professional lives and some others have demanding personal lives too (not me since I don't do anything personal other than work/workout/sleep/Twitter). So I envy your ability to get in 2-a-days all week in the first place...but isn't 24 hours a day? So why wouldn't 36 hours constitute a rest day? I'm not very good at math but I'm very good at justifying rest days.

  3. I rest when I need it, as well as have scheduled rest days. For example, I missed swim practice this morning because I was up late studying for a biology test. I could have forced myself up at 5am but it would have made me cranky all day.

    And as far as drinking goes, I plan to drink a tiny bit during my taper for the full marathon, but nothing excessive. This is my hobby, not my life, and I dont get paid for it, so my main thing is to make sure I am enjoying it.

  4. I've already weighed in, several times, on the rest day debate so I'll stay out of it this time.

    As for drinking, I've dramatically cut back on alcohol consumption in the past year, for no other reason than it dehydrates me and has extra calories that I don't need regularly. I found that I felt a whole lot better when it wasn't part of my almost every day, even when that was only a glass or two. I've tried cutting it out completely during taper, but haven't actually seen any additional benefit from that so this time around will just stick with what I do normally which is if I feel like a glass of wine, I have a glass of wine. If I don't, I don't. Either way, the quantity stays low and I hydrate along with it.

  5. I'm always impressed by your workout schedule and am trying to figure out how I can fit in more myself. I like my current schedule, but now I need to add in swimming and biking and I don't want to give up any of the running!

    I am a big fan of the 36 hour break (morning one day, afternoon the next). Given how long it is, I would say that technically it's a rest day. But I would guess that's it's probably good for your body to throw in a full "real" rest day on the schedule on a semi-regular basis (though not necessarily once a week).

  6. I've more or less stopped drinking since I got back into training mode -- not because I'm concerned about the effects, mainly because it just doesn't appeal to me anymore. And I'm with Amy on the extra unnecessary calories. If I take those in, I want them to be beneficial (or at least from a really satisfying cupcake!).

    I tend to do fake rest days. I think active recovery like no-impact, easy pool running or swimming can be just as or more beneficial than a full day off. But that's just my opinion, not based on any real/substantial evidence :)

  7. I read an article, maybe in Runner's World, sometime in the last few months about creating a 10-day training cycle, to accommodate full rest days and to avoid back-to-back running days. It might be worth checking out. I personally need a full rest day, but if active recovery works for you, then go for it.

  8. You forgot to add in the recipe instructions: fend off hungry emily from faceplanting into the slider tray. putting out a cheese plate will help with this.

    And, rest days and drinking? Two of my favorite subjects. I used to be a firm believer in the no-drinking during taper strategy. In swimming I would go entire seasons dry. Now, I'm actually an advocate for light-moderate alcohol consumption as a means of relaxation and pleasure during the taper insanity. Also, I've PRd many, many races with much more than light-moderate alcohol consumption in the days/night prior to the race.

  9. I'm a big fan of one complete rest day a week. I think your muscles need it to repair those tiny tears, and it goes a long way toward keeping me injury-free. I also find I have noticeably more in the tank for my hard workouts. That said, a hard run on Tuesday night followed by another serious run on Thursday morning works just fine.
    Drinking. If I'm super serious about a race, I will avoid or have a one drink policy during my taper. I'm a big fan of early bedtime/extra sleep the 5 days preceding the race, and avoiding alcohol altogether helps you get better quality sleep.

  10. Rest days --I've always taken "relative rest". I definitely do NOT recover well with complete rest (I blame this in part on my lousy circulation and low blood pressure). So, for me "a rest day" involves easy pool running, easy cycling, or lots of walking. Even post 10 mile+ race, I've discovered that I recover best by a) vitamin-water + protein within 30 minutes, b) light activity that same afternoon (yoga+easy cycling), and then c) ice bath.

    As for drinking, I can't drink beer or wine (migraines) so I'm limited to hard alcohol. And, I've frankly gotten out of the drinking habit. I don't consider myself a non-drinker, just someone who hasn't had a drink in over a year (maybe more).

    The thing is, with my training, some of my days are hard training days (and alcohol definitely affects me negatively with regard to the effort I can put out) while others are recovery days (and the dehydration from drinking also hurts me there). So...I've just gotten out of the habit.

    I think many other people drink regularly and run with no negative effect.

  11. I have no read advice for you. So I'll just say YAY and RUNNING and go ahead and drink a beer.

  12. Thank you for the Turkey Burger recipe :)

    I usually stop drinking anywhere from a month to 2 weeks out before an full or half marathon. Last year I went out the night before a half marathon due to peer pressure...this is not something I recommend! But I would definitely just go with your gut and be sure not to make your dry spell go too long :)

  13. Thanks for the recipe. :)

    I think as long as you feel neither restricted from drinking nor compelled to get hammered don't worry too much about the alcohol.

  14. I don't drink a whole as it is, but I don't have a problem drinking a glass of wine or can of beer and then the next morning dish out 10 miles.

  15. Just like Amy, you know where I stand on the rest day. As for the booze, I think that everyone seems to react differently to it. I no longer get freaked out during race taper, but if I care about the race, I don't drink the week prior to it and I really try to only drink one day a week during training, after my long run. :)

  16. I think it can be considered a "real rest" day ... especially if you have a chance to nap one or both days.

  17. You know what I think, 30-36 hours is DEFINITELY a rest day.

    And I drank during taper and survived before MCM. I would say no more than one drink every other day and make sure you stay hydrated, but you just might go nuts during taper and if alcohol helps, then so be it :)

  18. I actually never really thought about a rest day being a calendar day versus 24 hours. Hmm. You are much smarter than me grasshopper.

    I HAVE thought before about doing a hard workout at night, then getting up early the next morning for a hard run. Not my brightest idea, but sometimes that just how the training cookie crumbles, right?

    So basically what I'm saying is that I have no insight on your resting dilemma. If you feel rested - go for it. You know your body. You know when you need a break. And if you don't - it will usually TELL you mid workout. I know this for sure!

  19. YES!!! I was hoping for that recipe!

  20. I will making those sliders next weekend for sure. MMMMM!!


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