Running Around

I hope everyone had a happy and healthy holiday season! Mine was very low-key but full of fun.

J and I Cinderella's Castle Christmas Lights Disney Magic Kingdom

J and I spent a lot of time admiring the lights at Disney which makes even Cinderella’s Castle prettier. (That night was so cold and I actually was able to wear my winter coat. Yes, it does get cold in Central Florida.)

I decided to run Gasparilla again. It was the most fun race I ran last year and I needed to put something on my schedule to keep my motivation up.

Gasparilla Half Marathon Medal 2012 Tampa

My training is going well but strength training has fallen to the wayside. I find that it is easy to stick to either a lifting schedule or a running schedule but putting them together something gives. The Smart Coach plan from Runner’s World has runs five days a week and I have little motivation to go to the gym on my one off day. The solution is probably to lift in the morning before work and run after. I just cannot seem to get up any earlier to actually make it to the gym. So that is something to work on in 2013.

The following are Weeks One through Three of this current cycle of half marathon training. I like that Smart Coach has pace ranges for each run based on your most current race time. Sticking to those paces has helped me feel like I am getting faster. My A goal for Gasparilla is 2:14.

Week One Half Marathon Training December 2012

Week Two Half Marathon Training December 2012

Week Three Half Marathon Training December 2012

Do you have a race on the schedule?

Weeks Three, Four, And Five To A Sub-30 Minute 5K

This five-week plan feels like I just started it. One benefit in training for short races, is that five-weeks goes by so quickly when most of your past training plans are 16 plus weeks.

Week Three

Week Three To A Sub-30 5k

Speedwork: 4×800 Meters at 4:35 to 4:40 I walked instead of jogged in between the intervals

Easy Run: 5 to 6 Miles & 2 to 3 Miles I ran five on Thursday and skipped the 2 to 3 on Saturday.

Tempo: 2 x 1.5-mile tempo at 10 Jog 30 to 45 seconds between each. I walked in between instead of jogging.

Long Run: 8 Miles I ran 7 but meant to run 8. The treadmills at my gym automatically stop when you reach one hour. If you want to run longer than an hour you have to start a new run. Well I obviously have great math skills because I thought both of runs added up to 8 miles but realized when I actually added them together at home, they came to 7. Need to bring a calculator to the gym moving forward.

Cross Training: None I really need to work on this.

Weight Training: One

Week Four

Week Four To A Sub-30 5K

Speedwork: 5×800 Meters at 4:35 to 4:40

Easy Run: Both were for 3 Miles

Tempo: 3-Mile tempo at 10 I fell apart on the third mile of this run. There was some walking involved. I think it had to do with being tired but this workout felt really difficult.

Long Run: Five Miles

Cross Training: None

Weight Training: Two Getting better!

The terrible tempo on Thursday was not great for me mentally. It really made me wonder if there would be anyway I could run a 5K at 9:40 if three miles at 10 felt so difficult. I know some days are just bad and any run would feel difficult, but this one really messed with my head.

Week Five

Week Five To A Sub-30 Min 5K

Speedwork: 2×1-Mile Tempo at 9:40 I did actually jog between the two repeats.

Easy Run: 3/4 Miles & 2/3 Miles I skipped both of these workouts this week. My first race, out of a series of four, was on Saturday and I needed to appreciate the training for this week so I was rested for the race.

Tempo: 6×400 Meters at 2:25 (race pace.) Jog 1:30 between each. This workout really helped with my confidence going into the race on Saturday. After my terrible tempo the previous week, I needed this workout to go well.

Cross Training: Body Flow I always need a good stretch after a race and this felt really great.

Weight Training: Two

Race: 3.10 Miles I will get more into how this went in a post to follow

If you are looking for a great plan to reach a sub-30 Minute 5K, this five-week plan from the June 2012 issue of Runner’s World is a great plan. I have gotten faster in five weeks than I did in a year of half training. It really helped me to push myself. Most of my training has focused on base building for longer distances but spending the ridiculously hot summer months working on a racing shorter distances is ideal. This may be a way in which I focus my time between a spring and fall half moving forward.

Half Marathon Training Week Ten

If you would like to follow my other weeks of training, they can be found on my Workouts page. I break my half marathon training down by week to make it easier to follow.

Half Marathon Training Week Ten

Key Workouts:

Easy Runs: 3/3

Tempo Run: 1/1 Five Miles at Tempo with one warm-up and one cool-down

Long Run: 1/1

Strength Training: 0/2

Cross Training: 0

Total Miles: 33.21

I did well with my runs minus cutting my long run short by four miles but I still did not do any strength training. This week I will do strength training on the same day as one of my easy runs.

I think one reason that I cut my long run down is because I am slow. Yes, you are supposed to run long runs quite slow to benefit from them but I am such a slow runner that my long run pace is like molasses. After this training cycle, the only thing I want to work on is getting faster. I find myself during tempo runs or speedwork, almost afraid of pushing myself. Afraid of being uncomfortable, of feeling out of breath. I need to get over it and trust that I am in good shape and feeling some discomfort is normal. Just need to get there mentally and trust in my training.

I am at the tail end of this Half Marathon training cycle and it will be interesting to see how/if I benefited from the speedwork I have done and the mileage increase.

New Plan

My exercise sabbatical is over. This past week, I took a lot of time off work, enjoyed the holiday, and relaxed. Running my first half feels great but now I am ready to jump back into a new training plan. This time I decided to try a plan from Runner’s World using their Smart Coach program.

The selections I made to come up with this plan are:

Initial Weekly Distance: 21-26 Miles

Training Intensity: Moderate

Long Run Day: Saturday

This plan is 14 weeks long.

I consider myself a beginner and have been running for less than two years. This plan is more intense than my previous one but graduated enough that it will not be a shock to my system.

Monday: Easy Run Three Miles  & Strength Training

Tuesday: (Supposed to be a rest day but I have plans after work on Wednesday, so I am adjusting the plan.) Six Miles with Four at Tempo

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Easy Run Two Miles

Friday: Strength Training

Saturday: Long Run Ten Miles

Sunday: Yoga

I plan on adding daily stretching which will help with increased flexibility and muscle tightness. I have an AM Yoga DVD that I plan on using most mornings before work to make sure I get this in everyday. Having IT Band issues was not pleasant during my first half and I will do anything to avoid it. (Plus I can live without walking around with a slight limp and people asking me if I am OK.)

I only took a handful of pictures on Thanksgiving before the beer drinking and eating took over.

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The table pre-food massacre.

Dennis and Mom

My Brother and Mother.

How do you come-up with a training plan?