SPRING HALF MARATHON TRAINING - WEEK 9

This week was my last hard week of base-building before the New Jersey Half *praise hands emoji*! It was my biggest week of training, both in terms of mileage and hard workouts, and it was a good one despite its imperfections. I'm feeling stronger than I have in a long time!

I realized after my run on Saturday that my mileage for this month is the highest it's been since December 2013! That month happened to coincide with my peak training for my first marathon, and also happened to have 5 weekends, so I haven't even come within 10 miles of that record (155 miles) since then and have always considered it kind of a fluke. Given the extra long run in that month, a total of 86 of that month's miles were made up of long runs. By contrast, this month I'm not in peak marathon training, or in marathon training at all, and my long runs (of which there were 5 again since this month also had 5 weekends, so a fair comparison) only made up 54 of my 152 miles. I've never been a high-mileage runner and, admittedly, 35 mpw is not exactly high, but in the last 2 months the majority of my runs have been 6-10 miles, which was definitely out of my comfort zone when I first started and took some adjusting to. In the last couple of weeks I have really felt like I've gotten the hang of my new training approach and I'm excited to see where it gets me going forward!

Week 9
36.6 miles
(16.9 easy / 10.7 hard / 9 long)

Monday 3/26 - 1 hour Zwift ride (15 miles)

Tuesday 3/27 - 8.2 mile interval run @ 9:07
  • Goal: 3 x 1 mile @ 7:20-7:30
  • Actual:
    • 7:14
    • 7:15
    • 7:18
I was really intimidated by this one, but I told myself I would just do my best and see what happened.  Rather than trying to push myself to hit the prescribed pace I focused on running what I thought 7:30 felt like and told myself to stay there regardless of what pace it actually was.I was shocked when I sped up for the first interval and felt like I had been running that pace my whole life. Obviously those 3 repeats weren't the easiest thing I've ever done but it felt like everything just clicked. 

Wednesday 3/28 - 4 mile easy run @ 10:24

Thursday 3/29 - 8 mile interval run @ 9:23
  • 20 min @ 7:50, 15 min @ 7:50, 10 min @ 7:50, 5 min @ 7:50
  • Actual:
    • 20 min @ 8:00
    • 15 min @ 8:28
    • 10 min @ 8:37
    • 5 min @ 8:21
Yikes. I made a quick trip back home today to do some stuff for my new job, and I was actually really excited that I was able to find some time to do my run at the beach. What actually happened wasn't at all the fun run I had envisioned in my head! It was nearly 80 degrees at the beach - literally double the temperature of 95% of my runs since last summer/fall - and I did this at noon in full sun. In hindsight, this was very dumb. A few minutes into my first interval I could tell that I was in for a rough day, but it wasn't until I was running up a bridge into a headwind about halfway through the first interval that I realized how rough. My heart rate was spiking so I stopped and walked the rest of the way up the bridge, then I turned around when I got to the bottom of the bridge to head back the other way and the same thing happened. I was already really overheated and really thirsty and honestly wasn't sure what to do. I texted Katie to tell her what was going on and ask for advice, and she told me to throw pace out the window and just run as hard as I could. I don't think I made it through any interval without taking at least one or two walk breaks, and a couple of times I had to stop in a bathroom to shovel water down my throat before continuing on. I am a total wimp in the heat anyway, but not being at all acclimated to it made me want to shrivel up and die. I was completely wiped by the end and didn't even finish my full mile cooldown. I just walked for about half a mile until I hit 8 miles total and called it good enough. I actually had high hopes for this workout so it was disappointing that it didn't go at all liked I had planned, but I felt good about trying to adapt and just do the best I could.

Friday 3/30 - Rest

Saturday 3/31 - 9 mile long run @ 9:48



This run was perfect! The weather could not have been better, I loved my route, and my pace felt nice and easy. I wish every run were like this!



Sunday 4/1 - 7.4 mile interval run @ 9:53
  • 7 x 400m @ 6:48
  • Actual:
    • 6:48
    • 6:44
    • 6:40
    • 6:40
    • 6:36
    • 6:44
    • 6:32
I was really happy to have such short intervals today! The point of this run was to work on leg turnover and my legs were definitely moving. Luckily there was lots of recovery time in between (as evidenced by my overall pace). These felt fast but they were short enough (~1:40) that I didn't really have to convince myself to keep going, because by the time they started to feel hard I could just tell myself I had less than a minute left to go.

Next Races:
Crystal City 5k Fridays (4/6)
Monument Avenue 10k (4/14)
New Jersey Half Marathon (4/29)

Previous weeks:

2 comments :

  1. Wow what a week! Nice job! Do you do tempo running or any other workouts besides intervals in your training?

    I think you've mentioned before that you're not training for a specific goal race as much as you're training to improve your overall running/speed. Do you plan to keep training after your half this month, or transition into something else? Will you move to a new distance or keep working on your half time the rest of the year?

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  2. Oh man, I've made mistakes like the one you made on Thursday before, and it is NOT pleasant. My least favorite thing about spring is how the warmer weather makes it so you can't run at any time of the day without any consideration for the temperature any more. Acclimating is no fun, but it's even worse when you don't have a chance to acclimate and are just thrown into hot weather like that!

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