Hartford Marathon Training, Week 8: 8/17-8/23

My last week of freedom before the start of the 2015-2016 school year! Last Sunday, I ran the ridiculously hilly Perk Up Half Marathon. Though it went well, I was a little fearful for the effect it would have on my upcoming week. I didn’t want to taper or recover from it, which I realize sounds stupid and stubborn. I had one more week of climbing in mileage to get through and I didn’t want to slack – next week is a recovery week! I kept telling myself that everyday. After considering the past three weeks (two consecutive weekends of racing, a week of running on total hills while vacationing at Babcock Lake, and my highest mileage weeks of my training yet), I had the following goals for the week.

  • Pacing: For any runs that were to be recovery or aerobic, keep them on the slow side. For my speed workouts, start all intervals on the slower end of the prescribed range and progress from there. Recover for the 20 miler and use up whatever my legs had left. When my mileage was lower, it was easy to be on the faster end of these ranges. If I want to run all of the miles, I need to really embrace the easy running philosophy.
  • Terrain: Although I need to be more regular about running hills, I wanted to keep the majority of my week flat so I could get the miles in, but hit the roads and some hills for the 20 mile run.
  • Cross-Training: Since I’ll really miss the freedom of going to pole class whenever I want, I made pole my cross-training priority. I planned to try to stick with the yin yoga after harder workouts, and abs as often as possible. Minimal to no biking because of the mileage jump, but possibly getting in the pool to swim once (but the pool was closed this week for it’s annual maintenance). Mostly, I wanted to run and do pole to enjoy my last week of freedom.

Monday, 8/17 – 5 Mile Recovery Run + Pole Fit + Strength/Core/PT +Yin Yoga

I really wanted to get a longer run in today, but I knew it was dumb and asking for an injury to do anything more than a recovery run. I headed to the Plainfield trail and actually felt decent, though my quads were still feeling a bit like Jell-O. Overall pace, 8:36.

Headed to pole class but felt tired in general and didn’t accomplish much, and then off to the gym to lift some weights and do my PT. I also did some speed drills and MYRTLs and an ab circuit with weights. When I came home, I knew I needed a good stretch for my quads so I went back to this yin yoga video:

Yin Yoga – Hips and Thigh

You don’t need props to do these poses and can use whatever you have laying around the house (pillows from your couch, foam rollers, etc). I happen to have a lot of props since I teach yoga (I haven’t actually taught in about a year) and took full advantage of them today:

imageTuesday, 8/18 –  15 Mile Medium Long Run + Pole Fitness + Core/Yin Yoga

Still not feeling recovered but also not feeling terrible, I headed out for my second longest run of the week with the intention of keeping the pace on the easier side of my general aerobic range (7:14-8:14). I was able to negative split the run, with the first half being in the 8:00-8:10 range and the second half being in the 7:50 range. Final mile was a fast finish mile, and my overall pace was 8:01.

Headed to pole class and made some progress on a few poses but nothing too significant. When I got home, I did my MYRTLs and a quick 15 minute ab circuit. My sister-in-law came over to sit by the pool for the afternoon and soak up the last few days of relaxation before I go back to work, and we did some yin yoga to stretch:

Yin Yoga for Runners – Hips and Hamstrings

Wednesday, 8/19Specific Endurance Intervals (20×400) + Strength/PT + Pole Fitness + Yin Yoga

I wasn’t sure how this workout was going to go because it was 88% humidity and HOT outside. I knew from the previous week that the Lehigh athletes get the the track around 8am, and I didn’t want to interfere but really wanted to run as early as I could to avoid the strong afternoon sun. I got there a little after 6am, as the sun was rising:

imageThe workout was to warm up for 2-3 miles, and then do 2x(10×400) – 1 minute recovery between each 400, and then a full recovery between sets. So 10, recover, 10 more for a total of 20. The workout called for 5K to 10K pace. I used the McMillian calculator and used their prescribed times for 400s but took 5K-10K pace into consideration (that’s a little slower) since I was doing so many repeats and came up with 1:25-1:35 as my range for each 400. I was pouring sweat by the end of my first warm-up mile and drained my whole water bottle by the third mile – and I was still in my warm up (found a water fountain that I didn’t know existed though, SCORE!). My first set of repeats went by fairly quickly, and I walked each of my 1 minute recoveries. The air was SO THICK! I also walked a 400 after the first set since the workout said to ensure a full active recovery between sets. The second set was definitely more difficult, but I was able to stay consistent and within my goal range:

Set #1 (10×400): 1:31, 1:29, 1:29, 1:28, 1:28, 1:27, 1:29, 1:29, 1:29, 1:30
Set #2 (10×400): 1:31, 1:29, 1:29, 1:28, 1:29, 1:31, 1:29, 1:29, 1:30, 1:30

I was happy I was able to keep them all in my goal range since I was doing so many of them. The most I’ve ever done for 400s was 12×400, and that was in the late spring. I did a three warm up and a two mile cool down at a recovery pace, I walked the each recovery – including one full 400 around the track. I didn’t stop my watch for any of it – the whole workout was 12 miles and with the warm up, cool down, 400s, recovery walks, it was a 9:06 pace. The intervals are the focus of this workout, not overall pace.

Did my drills and MYRTLs at the track, then headed to the gym and spent an hour doing some upper body, core, and PT exercises. At pole that night, I finally was able to get into a “French Press” – I was having trouble grabbing my foot for the past week and wanted to get it so badly!

imageI also did a loooonnngggg yin yoga practice after dinner while watching some TV and it felt GREAT!

Yin for the Neck, Shoulders, Back and Hips

Thursday, 8/205 Mile Recovery Run + Pole Fitness

As the week was winding down, I still had two tough run workouts on the schedule after this recovery run, so I went nice and easy on the run and headed to pole class. No abs, no yoga, no lifting, no extras. Just enjoyed an easy run around Lehigh Parkway (overall pace, 8:52) and started working on some new moves at pole. One pose I began working on is called an Ayesha- it’s really impressive but so hard. It might be a little while until I have some good pictures of that one!

Friday, 8/2110 Mile Tempo Run w/4 Miles @ 15K-Half Marathon Pace + Pole Fitness

I was happy with how this run went, especially considering the weather. I ran pretty early because once again, the weather was showing 93% humidity. I didn’t know the humidity would drop as the day went on and I wanted to get it done before pole class at 9:15am. I was out running super early – and in the humidity, of course. I kept the pace easy for the first 5 miles, hit my tempo miles and cooled down for a mile. I like to try to push the tempo miles off until later in the run so I can do them on tired legs. My tempo miles progressed from half marathon pace to 15K pace: 6:57, 6:52, 6:44, 6:38. Overall pace, 7:34. I cooled down for a mile, and headed right to pole, and that was it for the day. I wanted to enjoy the rest of my day since work is starting on Monday!

Saturday, 8/22 –  REST!

First actual rest day since 6/22! I thought I might try to get to the gym for a swim, but I was content with sleeping IN (well, 8am) and spending the morning running errands with my husband and the afternoon at my brother in law’s house, who had a tye-dye party. So much fun! I knew I still had a 20 miler on tap for Sunday and this was my highest mileage week yet. I want to make it through my recovery week next week and get into the 70 mile weeks so I figured that finally, I would rest!

Sunday, 8/23 – 20 Mile Run + Core + Yin Yoga

Met Mark and Kathy for our long run. We haven’t gotten together for a long run since before school ended, and the weather was AWESOME. Perfect temps. We had a great run and the miles flew by – overall pace was 7:38! We also had a fast finish mile – 7:12. Came home and my sister in laws came over and we did abs and yin yoga poolside.

Yin Yoga for a Deep Stretch

It was a great day, and a great summer! Back to work on Monday!

Swim:  0 meters ♥ Bike: 0 miles ♥  Run: 67 miles

As the mileage has gotten higher, I’m finding it harder for me to find the time and motivation to add in the swimming and the biking. I’m going to really have to prioritize next week as school starts up, especially since I want to continue going to the pole studio. I really like swimming before work, so I know as school begins I will get in the pool more often. As the miles climb, I’m keeping the focus on running and adding in a second workout of cross training in when I have the time and energy. As for now, I have a reduced mileage week coming up next week, and it’s coming at a good time! I’m ready for a little break to let my legs absorb everything I did in the past four weeks.

How was your week? Any good workouts on the schedule for next week? Do you take recovery weeks in your training cycle?

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54 comments

  1. Enjoy your last week of freedom!! I’m a teacher too and it’s so weird for the first time in 9 years to not be getting ready for the school year. I am looking forward to being home with my little girl, but I always enjoy the start of a new year!! My workouts these days consist of stroller walks 🙂 looking forward to running soon.

    1. Thanks! Today is my first day back – last week was my last real week of freedom!! Next week is when it really starts – that’s when the kiddos come! Enjoy this time with your little girl!

  2. Holy shit, Allison! Do you ever have a day when you just sit around and do nothing?! Even on your rest day you were running errands! I don’t know how you do it… but this is why you’re so good at what you do – you just don’t stop!! LOL. I’m amazed by all your running – 15 miles mid-week?! Wow… and that 20×400 workout – what?? You’re nuts – in a good way 😉 Hope you have a wonderful recovery week this week. You definitely deserve it!

  3. Girl, you are a beast!!! Just reading all of your workouts wore me out!! I’m so impressed and inspired by you!! You truly give it your all! Kudos to you!! Enjoy your week back to school. As you know, today was the first day with kiddos. So great to welcome them back into my class. 🙂

    1. Awwww thank you!! I hope you have nice kids this year. It always takes a few weeks until I can see their true colors, but I’m nervous! I don’t know many names on my roster this year…that can either be a good thing or a bad thing!

      1. I have my 7th and 8th graders again each year if they sign back up for Spanish. I’m always nervous with how they get placed back into their new classes. The vibe from year to year changes. Can make for a long year sometimes. I think it’s a good thing not to know too many names. Gives you a fresh perspective on them!

  4. What a week! You have me inspired to get back in the yoga game. My first two runs have had my hamstrings aching and I am dreading the old piriformis pain. You’ve got me inspired!

    1. Yes, get on that yoga mat!!! It will so help with your piriformis. I can’t wait to read about your first runs back! This is a crazy week with going back to work so bear with me as I get caught up!

  5. You are amazing. That 20 mile pace … killing it! I always try to schedule in some significant recovery/cut back weeks into my training to give my legs and more importantly my brain a break from the training cycle! I’ll usually increase my cross training, but I find sometimes my body just needs a break from #AllTheMiles. Hope you have a fabulous week!!

  6. I really need to give one of those yoga videos a try. I am so terrible about stretching or doing any form of cross training. Today is a rest day, so maybe tonight!

    This is the start of a cut back week for me as well. How much do you usually reduce you mileage? I was thinking I’d reduce by 20%, but that is still 44 miles and doesn’t seem like that much of a break. I guess I am not used to running 50+ weeks yet.

    1. I’ve been so bad about stretching that starting up a yin practice came at the right time. Most videos are short and easy to fit in, and the poses feel good! I reduce by about 20-30% off of my highest mileage week. I ran 67 last week, and I’m running 50 this week. That’s about 25%. I just feel thankful that my body let me hit the high 60s and I really wanted to give it a minute to absorb all of that work! If you think you need more recovery, take it for sure. You train hard, and your body knows what it needs! As long as you are doing something, one week of recovery will enhance your training and leave you refreshed – it will not set you back!

  7. get it girl. that pole pose is sick! i want to start going to track again, but for now its all about ramping up the mileage. I get my short, quick interval workouts in at soccer hahaha

    1. Thank you! It’s going to be a long week this week since I’m getting back into the swing of things! The 400s were rough though – I wanted them to be closer to 1:25 but the humidity was really killing me! I’m so ready for fall!

  8. I’m definitely on holiday this week. I’ve realised how much of my activity in a week is commuting (by bike) since I’ve been away. I feel a bit static, despite getting out every day and doing something. Best of luck starting the new term. I have another week couple of weeks to go….

  9. 20 x 400? That’s so intense – and you owned it! Your training is incredible, especially with how many miles at such strong paces you log. Are you following Pfitz?
    The higher mileage I run, the more my cross-training needs to just be gentle yoga and Pilates. Or, at least, so I say until each weekend rolls around and I get seduced by the mountains again and go hiking.

    1. I follow Pfitz mostly – he is my favorite! But I also love this other book – Run Your Fastest from the 5K to the Marathon – by Matt Fitzgerald and Brad Hudson. It was the first book I ever bought and I PR’d off their plans a few times. I started using Pfitz because he has plans for running multiple marathons in a season, and I needed to learn how to recover for that! For this training cycle, I combined the two plans. I went through each one week by week and picked what I thought I needed from each, but the majority of what I’m doing comes from Pfitz. The 20×400 actually comes from the other book, though! It was a brutal workout!

      1. Thank you! I’ve had my eye on the Hudson and Fitzgerald book, and now I definitely have to check it out, along with (finally) reading Pfitz.

  10. Geez girl do you ever NOT have on week? Each one that goes by I am more impressed by your beastliness. And you haven’t taken a rest day in 2 months? Holy schnikes!!

    I hope you’re having a great first day back to school! I like that you scheduled it to coincide with a cutback week, I’m sure that will work out nicely for you. I’m hoping to get into the pool this week – first time in MONTHS – and I am really excited about it! I’m really pumped to do more cross training now that my weekly mileage is lower than some of your midweek runs 😉

    1. OMG I definitely don’t always have “on” weeks!! I get the miles in, but it isn’t always pretty!! It’s easy for me to not rest in the summer because I’m off. I can usually convince myself to do something even if I feel unmotivated because I know I can do whatever the rest of the day. Now, with school starting, I need to schedule weekly rest days or I will burn out!! I’m already glad I made this week a recovery week. I felt tired after work yesterday, and it was so hot but I only had a recovery run and I did it in the morning. I so relieved I was all done with my run as I left work. Today I have to run after work, so I know it’s going to be a challenge. You are going to love half marathon training, and you are going to ROCK it! Can’t wait to hear about your cross training – especially swimming! If you get bored in the water and need some workouts, let me know. I could recommend some great books or I could send you some of the workouts my former coach used to give me!

  11. This is the first time I’ve taken “recovery weeks” in my training cycles and I wasn’t sure I wanted to but so far it’s been working out! You look completely at ease doing the French pose!!! Hope you enjoy your last week before the start of the school year!

    1. Thank you! It will be a long few weeks until we get settled in at school. That pose actually is a little easy for me – I just couldn’t figure out how to grab my foot the way the instructor wanted me to so it took a few days until I got it. Some of the “grips” hurt really badly but that one grips behind the knee and doesn’t bother me so much!

    1. Thank you! I teach computer classes – Photoshop and Web Design. It’s really fun! I started pole in June. My two sister in laws HATE physical activity but they started this and love it, and kept telling me to come. I never gave it a second thought because I wasn’t really looking for a new hobby. Summer started and the studio owner offered a free one week membership to new members and I went to spend time with my sister in laws, and now I love it! It is really freaking hard! If you have a studio near you (NY, right?? I bet you do!) you should try it!

  12. 20×400!!! A 20 miler in the 7’s? Holy crap, awesome! I’m a fan of recovery but lately everything seems like a recovery week. 🙂 And 70 mile weeks when school is session?! I’m such a slacker! Your pole moves are amazing! Glad to see you took a rest day, enjoy your last week before the kids return!

    1. Thank you!! We’ll see if it actually happens – the last time I was running 70/week was two years ago and it was in the summertime, when I wasn’t working 🙂 I will definitely have to cut out some cross training to get the miles in and not burn out!!

  13. Nice job last week and enjoy the break. I cannot even imagine running that fast in training for 20 miles, that is incredible. Glad everything is going well.

  14. Great week of workouts! I enjoy reading about them because it inspires me to work a little harder 🙂 Dang, that is an awesome pose on the pole!! Impressive!
    I use the Pfitz plans, so there are cutback weeks. Although I hardly know I’m having one because I think all of the weeks are purposefully challenging!!

  15. Awesome workouts! You make the pole moves look so easy! What a cool skill to have – I’m totally jealous 🙂 I’m prepping for the last week in the 5k summer series, and then I’m ready to start boosting my mileage in preparation for a fall half. 🙂

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