It’s so cool that it’s time to write weekly training recaps again! Almost as cool as the fact that my first week of marathon training is in the books and it went well! There will definitely be some learning experiences and areas that need improvement, but the ball is rolling and I’m excited to see where it takes me.
One thing I’ve added to my weekly recaps is target paces for each workout, to compare to actual paces. This is to help me structure my workouts, to make sure I’m doing what I need to be doing each day and honoring the purpose of each workout, and also for transparency. After a few weeks of training I think the target paces will get more consistent, but as you can see, right now they’re jumping around a lot because I’m still figuring it out as I go.
- Workout: Speed work (TREADMILL) – 1 mile w/u on the track; 3×400 w/ 90 sec recoveries; 1×800 w/ 400m recovery; 3×400 w/ 90 sec recoveries; 1×800 w/ .1 mile recovery; 1 mile c/d on the track
- Target pace: 400s – 6:58; 800s – 7:24; all recoveries – 10:00
- Actual pace: Same as target; w/u and c/d not timed
- Total mileage: 6
NOTES: First day of training!! As of now, I like using the treadmill to control my interval paces so I don’t run them too hard. After a few weeks, when I’m more used to regular speed work, I will move the entire workout to the track.
My first workout of training was a good one. I was a little worried about starting out with such a bang after several weeks of VERY low maintenance mileage, but it went well and felt great. Since I had done a handful of treadmill speed workouts this fall, I knew which paces are manageable (but still challenging) for me.
The hardest part of the workout was the 800s. That particular pace wasn’t hard for 800 meters, but after getting into a pattern of being able to let go after 400m during the shorter reps, it was mentally hard to keep holding on for twice the distance when I did the 800s. This is why I like doing mixed interval speed work, though – it helps me practice switching gears and keeps me on my toes, so to speak.
- Workout: Spin class
- Target pace: N/A
- Actual pace: N/A
- Total mileage: 17.8 cycle
NOTES: Whew! This was a workout! I was sweating like crazy in there. Not much to say. It was a spin class. Yay for cross training!
- Workout: Easy run
- Target pace: 9:45
- Actual pace: 10:41
- Total mileage: 4.6
NOTES: I have no idea what happened here. I don’t think I’ve run at this pace in almost two years. I guess my body was just really tired from the past couple days! It’s not a big deal, I was just a little taken aback. I did a few loops through my neighborhood to get some hill practice in. In hindsight, I probably should have skipped the hills this time and chose an easier route so I could truly emphasize recovery, especially since I had LOTS of hills coming up this week. But, live and learn.
NOTES: I’d originally planned to workout Monday-Saturday, but a run today just wasn’t going to work because we were busy and there just wasn’t a good time to do it. So I begrudgingly moved it to Sunday.
- Workout: Easy Run
- Target pace: 9:45-10:00
- Actual pace: 9:36
- Total mileage: 5.5
NOTES: This route had some hills that were more challenging than I’d anticipated. So I definitely could have slowed this run down a little bit, but oh well. It felt good and was a nice way to start the holiday!
- Workout: Long Run
- Target pace: 10:00
- Actual pace: 9:42
- Total mileage: 10
NOTES: I asked my mom to suggest a route that had some good hills in it, and she definitely came through!
This long run took me through some good ol’ Iowa countryside and it was probably the quietest run this city gal has ever done. I actually quite enjoyed it.
The hills were HARD, but I still came away with a faster time than I expected – mostly due to the fact that the last few miles of this route are much more forgiving than the first few. The fact that I maintained a sub-10:00 average pace for the last 7 miles of the run showed me that while the hills kicked my butt, I still ran at a pretty decent clip on the downhills and flat sections, so I did well enough recovering from the uphills.
My only regret is that this route is 4 hours away from where I live and it had to happen so early in the cycle, because it is an awesome route to train on for hills. I have other hilly long runs planned but I don’t think they will be like this. I’m actually now trying to plan a weekend trip back to Iowa in March so I can run this route again as a 20 miler closer to race day (and to visit family, of course!). Does that officially qualify me for Crazy Runner Status? 🙂
- Workout: Easy Shakeout Run
- Target pace: 10:00
- Actual pace: 9:59
- Total mileage: 5.5
NOTES: I did this in the afternoon, right after we got home from Iowa. I tried to keep it truly easy and back off on the hills a bit so I could emphasize recovery. I positive-splitted the heck out of this run because I really had to force myself to slow down and keep it light. As much as I felt like I could have gone faster, I kept remembering my run from Wednesday, and what I said before this cycle began about how my goal is to make sure easy means EASY!!
WEEK 1 TOTAL MILEAGE: 31.6
RUNDOWN: This week threw some challenges my way and it’s pretty obvious that I have a lot of learning and growing to do in certain areas *coughhillscough*. The hills I ran this week were exactly the challenge I want and need, but they were also very humbling. I don’t mind the slower paces on my easy runs, but the hills are hard and slow me down. Even though I know I’ll be doing a lot more hill training, and that I have 17 more weeks to get better, it’s hard not to lose confidence in my goal and wonder how the heck I’m going to maintain a sub-9:00 pace up hills like that in Pittsburgh.
I live in a pretty flat town so all this hill work is really a first for me. But I keep reminding myself of how it’s going to feel in a few weeks/months, when I look back on this week and see how much progress I’ve (hopefully) made. You gotta start somewhere, right?
On the whole though, this week was a great start to training and I’m very pleased with how everything went. I got in all the mileage I wanted, I cross trained, I speed work’d, and I dove right into hill work.
Up next – Week 2!
Week 2 will bring a lot more of the same – 3 easy runs, cross training, and my long run will go up to 12 miles. I’m racing a 10K on New Year’s Eve which will serve as my speed work for the week (no, this isn’t a typo; I was originally going to do the 5K I talked about, but I decided to switch to the 10K. I’ll talk more about it when I do a recap of this race). This week, I will introduce strength training. I had every intention of doing it in week 1 but it just didn’t happen, which is actually for the best because I did a ton of hills this week and that was probably enough strength training for my body for week 1. I will go a little easier on the hill work this week as I emphasize more strength training. Part of that is out of necessity – I want to do my 12 miler with my old running club, and the route they usually do is pretty flat.
Looking forward to an even better week 2 as we go into 2016 (finally!). Onward!