I recently started “real training” for fall half marathons.
The long break from structured training following my knee injury was not all that bad, and perhaps even a bit rejuvenating. I kept a long-ish run of 7-8 miles most (but not all!) weeks, and tried to do a faster running workout once every week or two. I added strength training 2-3 times per week.
Ultimately, I like structure. I also don’t like second-guessing if I’m doing the right things with my training. My marathon training last year got off to a horrible start when I selected a plan that wasn’t right for me. I salvaged the experience by getting a custom training plan from Jason, which helped me turn the corner and have a great time training for my first marathon. I thought about designing my own training plan, but after last year’s experience, getting another plan from Jason was the option that made me feel most comfortable.
Week 1: 26 miles
Monday: 4 miles easy @ 10:42/mile; hip/glute strength
I ran 4 miles in the morning before getting my plan in the afternoon. The plan called for a rest day. It wasn’t a terribly challenging run, so I didn’t sweat it.
Tuesday: 6 miles w/ 3-5 @ tempo pace (9:28/mile overall); core; strength training (PM)
Tuesday morning tempo runs are back. The plan said to do miles 3-5 at tempo pace. While I felt fine during the first tempo mile, the second was brutal. In the heat and humidity, I could feel that my heart rate and level of exertion were higher than they should be for a tempo run, so I turned the third tempo mile into a fartlek (each 1:00 of hard running followed by 1:00 of recovery jogging). In retrospect, I probably pushed myself too hard at the beginning given the heat and humidity. Although I didn’t adhere 100% to the plan, I did what I could to salvage the workout. Splits for miles 3-5: 8:33, 8:40, 9:30.
Thursday: 5 miles @ 9:50/mile; 4 strides; strength training (PM)
One of the main things I’m working on in strength training is my glute strength, so this was deadlift day with lots of squats and some upper body and core mixed in. I deadlifted 125 lbs. for the first time, but the trainer noticed that I’m still favoring my right side (stronger glute) during squats. Much work still to do.
Friday: 45 min. indoor cycling @ Torq Cycle
Saturday: 8 miles @ 10:46/mile
This was the worst run I’ve had in a while. I didn’t get out for my run early enough, and I paid for it with the heat and humidity. The first 5 miles averaged a 10:00/mile pace, which is on the slower end of what my plan calls for on long runs and about what I was planning for. Then the wheels fell off. I felt like I couldn’t breathe properly, my heart was racing, and my whole body was drenched in sweat. I walked hills and got the run done.
Sunday: 3 miles @ 10:55/mile; core
Week 2: 26 miles
Monday: 4 miles @ 11:00/mile
This was supposed to be a rest day, but I was in Boston for work, and I couldn’t say no when one of my coworkers wanted to go for a run! We had a nice easy run and great conversation along the Charles River.
After dinner, I walked with a few coworkers to the North End to get a cannoli from Modern Pastry. Delizioso.
Tuesday: 6.5 miles w/ 3-5 @ tempo pace (9:06/mile overall); core; strength training (PM)
An oh-so-lovely tempo run along the Charles River. With the flat terrain and cooler temperatures, I actually dipped below the 8:30-8:45 pace I was aiming for while still feeling great. Splits for miles 3-5: 8:38, 8:29, 8:19.
My gym membership includes custom workout design for members who are traveling, using whatever equipment is available. My first workout was a deck of cards workout. I used the RipDeck app to get cards (if you want face cards, you have to select “intermediate”), and it was an uncomplicated, fun workout to do away from home.
We had dinner at Strega, one of the North End’s many yummy Italian restaurants AND a good place for large groups. It’s a bit loud, but the food makes up for the ambiance. Strega also has a number of TV screens that are always playing classic movies like The Godfather. Some people love this or hate it. (I think it’s funny.)
Thursday: 5 miles @ 9:32/mile; 4 strides; strength training (PM)
The first half of my run didn’t feel great, but it’s impossible to complain about running in Boston.
Travel workout: descending ladder sets (10, 9, 8,…1) of kettlebell deadlifts, floor press, bent row, and jumping split squats.
My glutes and hips were so sore from deadlifts and jumping split squats. A much needed day of rest and travel home.
Saturday: 3 recovery miles (untimed and SLOW!)
The plan was to do an 8 mile long run here, but I was still really sore from my Thursday workout. Decided to switch up Sunday’s recovery run and Saturday’s long run.
Sunday: 8 miles @ 9:24/mile; core; yoga
Atlanta got a momentary respite from the heat and humidity, and my run definitely showed it/took advantage. It wasn’t quite 70 degrees by the time I started at 7 am, and less than 70% humidity. Despite being mostly uphill, I ran the last mile in 9:01.
I also got in a much-needed yoga class on Sunday, after my travel schedule interfered with my Sunday yoga routine the week before.
After a couple of rough runs the first week, I was so glad to have a beautiful week of running in Boston.
How about you: do you pack light for a business trip or take all the stuff?
Do you enjoy summer training or just endure it until the temperatures drop?