So last week’s milestone was that I made it to the halfway point. This week marks the end of my 10 week “speed” building segment of my training. The final eight weeks will use that speed, but the focus will shift to endurance. I’ll still have “Track Tuesdays”, but starting next week the goal of the workout will be strength. For the past 10 weeks, my goal pace for track workouts has been 5K pace. Starting next week, the focus is going to be workouts like 6×1, 4×1.5, 3×2, and 2×3 but the pace changes to marathon pace -10 seconds/mile. I’ll be gunning for a 6:50 pace for these workouts, rather than the 5K pace of 6:12. In theory, it sounds easier. It’s the volume that’s going to make these workouts challenging and effective.
Here’s the pace guide I’m using:
Marathon Goal – 3:05
Marathon Pace/Tempo Runs – 7:03/mile
Recovery Runs – 9:11/mile
Aerobic A/Easy – 8:36
Aerobic B/Easy – 8:01
Long Run: 7:42
Monday, 2/15: 10 Mile Easy Run+ Core/MYRTLs
We had off for President’s Day, so I met Emily for a hilly run around Saucon Valley. We did 10 miles, and kept the pace comfortable, 8:23. I went home and did some core and MYRTLs, and had intentions of going to pole class at night as usual. Mother Nature had other plans. By the time I had to leave for pole, it was snowing and the roads were a mess. It’s about a 20 mile drive for me to get to the studio, and the highways I normally take were completely jammed. I stayed home, and I heard I made the right decision. I was SO bummed to miss it.
Tuesday, 2/16: Track Workout: 3.25 mile warm up, 3×1600 w/400 meter recoveries, 3 mile cooldown (10 miles) + Pole Fitness + Strength/Core/MYRTLs
We had a super surprise snow day. I really didn’t even think we had a shot at a delay. It snowed, then it turned to sleet/freezing rain, and then turned to rain. Then, it warmed up to 50 degrees! But thanks to the arctic air over the previous weekend, the ground was so cold that most of the surfaces were like skating rinks. I wasted no time going to the gym for my track workout, and then headed right to pole class since I missed out on my Monday night class due to weather. It was ahhhhmahhhhhziiinnngggg! Best day ever.
So, the track workout. The repeats. I mentioned it before, I hate them. Mile repeats scare the eff out of me. Thanks to the ice, I was (once again) on the treadmill. My goal pace for these is 6:12, and I did them in 6:08, 6:10, 6:04!! I started with the treadmill set at 9.7, and then at the end of the first two repeats would crank it to 9.8. The last one, I started cranking the pace earlier and got it up to 10.1 mph! I felt really good, and I really enjoyed the run. After the workout, I did my Nike Training Club workout, Runner Strength and Balance. I mentioned it last week. It’s only 16 minutes and really targets your lower body.
I headed right to the pole studio and worked on a new combo that I plan to use in my competition piece. I really need to get my spin combo together, because everything else is pretty set. I have an idea as to where I want it all to go, but it’s still a huge work in progress.
I went home, did some MYRTLs/abs, and spent the rest of the day relaxing on the couch.
Wednesday, 2/17: Elliptical, 25 min + Barre Strength + Skiing
“Rest” day (from running)! I had an hour before work so I used it on the elliptical and that Nike Training Club workout from last week, Barre Strength. It is so challenging and I really love it.
We skied for a few hours after work since it was a ski club night, but we had terrible conditions. We had the cold weather and the snow, but the ice turned to rain and 50 degrees made for a really interesting textured snow. We had fun anyway.
Thursday, 2/18: 14 miles w/8 at Marathon Pace + Pole Fitness + Abs/MYRTLs
You guys…consistent tempo runs…it’s what my training was missing before. I know different training stimuli work differently for everyone, but seriously. Why was I not doing weekly tempos before? Oh, right – because they are scary and freaking hard. They still scare the shit out of me. They are still hard as shit. But I am beginning to develop a love/hate relationship with these runs. I don’t know how I trained for marathons before without them. Just the confidence booster alone is worth the anxiety of having them on the schedule.
I got to do my tempo run outside this week! That in itself is a huge win. I’m so glad that I didn’t attempt to do it outside last week, because the trails would have been covered for sure. There were still some sketchy, icy segments this week. Most were completely passable without having to slow my pace, but there was one patch that I hit in my warm up and cool down where I had to actually walk over it because it was like a skating rink. I almost went down both times – even just walking.
Back to the actual run. Just like last week, I made sure to get a great night’s sleep and to pack a few extra calories to eat throughout the day. I was also focused on hydration – drinking often, and making sure to add Nuun tablets to my water all day long. I ate a banana, drank a small coffee and some water on my way to the trail.
It was chilly and a bit breezy, but sunny. I started out on the trail with my warm up and I felt good. Really good. I was trying my best to stay within my easy range because I knew once I picked up the pace, I would wish for those relaxed miles back. When I hit mile three, it was time to take off and aim for my 7:03 goal marathon pace. The first mile felt uncomfortable as usual, but I settled into a rhythm and started ticking off the miles. I was trying to run off of effort rather than keeping an eye on my watch.
The trail I was on turns into a REAL trail run around mile 6.25, so I knew I had to turn around at that point (or slow down). If you run the whole trail, it’s a 15 mile run (7.5 out and back), but the terrain turns rough at the end. Not something that would bother me on any other run, but not ideal for a tempo run. As I turned around to head back at 6.25, I was just over 3 miles into my tempo and it felt decent, so I decided to take in my Salted Watermelon Gu. Last week, I waited to fuel until I was halfway into the run but really I just wanted to make sure I had enough gas in the tank to bust out my tempo miles (who cares about the cool down, I can struggle through that and eat after).
And that’s when I proceeded to crank it out:
Maybe it’s not a true negative split in the sense that each mile got faster, but I certainly laid down the second four miles of the tempo portion faster than the first four! I was smiling from ear to ear (I can’t imagine what I must have looked like to anyone I passed). When my watch beeped at that 6:39 mile, I was seriously shocked. I am still seriously shocked. Like what the actual eff even happened out there, I still don’t know. Is this real life?
The other awesome part of this run was my cool down. I decided to go for the full three miles, and so when I got back to my car I was only at 12.5 total miles. There’s a little extension on this trail that I’ve never checked out before, so I used the remainder of my cool down to go explore. It was perfect, because when I got to the .75 mile point I had to turn around because the trail became impassible with snow and ice. I literally could not go any further even if I wanted to. By the last mile, I was cold and starting to get tired so I just went with whatever pace I could comfortably manage.
I am sitting here writing this the day after the run, and I am still shocked at how this run went down. I’m so excited. I can only hope I can have a few more tempo runs that feel this way. I am so thankful for the tempo runs I’ve had in the past two weeks and I hope I can continue to see progress.
My new Garmin is still getting to know me, so every time I run I get new “PRs” that come up. It told me I ran my fastest half marathon during this run! My PR in the half is from this past September, and it’s 1:29. My watch doesn’t know about that race, but it alerted me on Thursday that I ran a 1:34 half marathon!
Regarding the cool down. So in the past, I’ve ALWAYS cut corners with my cool down. If I ever did tempo runs before, I’d do something like warm up for 2-3 miles, tempo, then cool down for one mile. It just never felt good during the cool down. I realized after the last 10K I ran where I did a cool down run of 3 miles that the cool down does, in fact, make a huge difference.
I believe a solid, honest (in pace) cool down helps your body wind down and reduces soreness, because while I definitely feel a bit creaky and stiff the day after a tempo run, I don’t feel horrendous. Same thing with these track workouts. I’ve been doing the full, three mile cool down and I really think it flushes the lactic acid out of your legs and speeds up recovery. I know how crazy that sounds – run more miles to recover better? But I’m telling you. I’m running 60+ miles per week now and it’s the one thing that I’ve really changed. I could barely walk in the fall when I was running this type of volume.
Post run, I did make it to pole class and worked on my routine. It wasn’t the most unproductive night, but I was certainly tired. I did some MYRTLs and core at home that night to stay true to our StrongBody Streak!
Friday, 2/19: 8 Mile Recovery Run + Core+ Pole Fitness
UGH FRIDAY MORNING RUNS…that is all.
Well, I guess it’s not all. There were some really good things that happened. Besides the fact that my legs were all, “Hey you whore, remember that tempo run where we did what you wanted us to do less than 12 hours ago? What the HELL”, it was cold as shit (like 13 degrees) and dark and I am so whiny about this run ohmigosh. But I went, and I wore my new kicks (will be posting about those one of these days) and they were fabulous. But most fabulous of all was the fact that IT WAS GETTING LIGHT OUT AS I FINISHED MY RUN. You guys. Spring. It’s COMING!
After work, I headed to pole class to work on my competition piece. I’m working on a transition from an invert where I slowly lower down off the pole in a backbend. It’s really pretty. I also added a dragon tail, another favorite of mine.
At home, I did core, MYRTLs, and a Nike Training Club Workout called Core Control.
Saturday, 2/20: 10 Mile Run + Pole Fitness + Core/MYRTLs
Woke up early and met Mark and Kathy for 10 miles. They were doing 18 and we keep the pace comfortable, 7:53. That put me about 10 seconds faster than my easy range, but I felt good and really missed running with them. However, Hanson’s has me doing Sunday long runs and I want to try my best to follow the plan. It makes sense that they fall on Sundays, so as long as it fits in with my life, I’ll follow it as scheduled. I might have to run long next weekend on Saturday to accommodate life.
Followed it up with a long session at the pole studio to keep working on my competition piece. I got closer on that backbendy-thing I was working on the night before, so I posted a clip on Instagram – though it’s still a work in progress! At home, I stretched, foam rolled, and did my core/MYRTLs, and a NTC workout called Core Stability.
Sunday: 2/21: Long Run, 16 miles + Core/MYRTLs
With Hansons, they only have you running long every other weekend. However, it does state in the program modifications chapter that you can choose to do a long run on the “off” weekends if you are trying to add more miles in. I love how adaptable this training program is. While I feel like it is much more structured than anything I’m used to, I also feel like I am truly able to make this training plan work for me.
I figured that since Megan could run (my fun, fast friend!) this weekend and we already knew the next few weeks might be tough to get together, that I would do 16 miles again. I did that last weekend at a reasonable pace in the frigid weather by myself. The weather was so much nicer this weekend that I wanted to take advantage of it.
We decided to run the towpath, which I normally hate. But instead of starting in Bethlehem, we started in Easton and we ran south – I’ve only run to Easton before, never further. We were running towards Philly, and it was so gorgeous! We had a phenomenal run – such a nice day, and great company. I really enjoy running with her.
As for pace, it was too fast by Hansons standards, 7:16/mile. HOWEVER. I felt fine running, and we were talking the entire time. I wasn’t winded, and we could carry on a conversation. The only time I felt like it was tough was on the muddy sections where my footing felt weird. I felt a little tired by the last two miles, but it was the last two miles of the long run – I should feel tired. Since we were running flat and on a soft surface, I’m okay with it for this week. I have a long run planned for next weekend, and I am planning to keep the pace within my Hansons parameters for that one. There is no need to push the pace like that, and I don’t want my weeks to turn into a point where all of my paces seem to blend together and are the same. I’ve been doing a decent job of keeping each day within the suggested pace ranges, and week 10 isn’t where I want to go and start making things harder than they already are.
Post run, we did have enough energy for some pictures…the weather was awesome!
These shoes WERE new…
I think this guy wanted to run with us:
16 badass miles, DONE!
How was your week? How is your race training going?! I am still sucking at the blog life. This post took me all day to get out!
♥ Total ♥ 68 miles ♥