Welcome to check-in #4!
(More information on the Happy Runner Half Marathon Challenge can be found HERE)
This happy runner feels good about the way training went last week! I pretty much hit all the right paces and I rocked my long run so, yay! Training is going well.
The worst part of my training so far is that I am TIRED. This whole breastfeeding-a-baby-while-training-for-a-half-marathon thing is a bit tough. Niall is still waking up at night -- some nights more (much more) than others and while I'm mostly used to it at this point, it does take a bit of a toll on me. So, I'm trying to rest whenever the opportunity arises but that doesn't seem to be as often as I would like.
Anyway, as I said I'm mostly used to the lack of sleep so no real complaints. It could be a lot worse!
Here's what I had planned to run / what I ran
Mon: rest / yup
Tues: 5 miles easy / Done! Ran 5.3 miles on the 'mill at my easy pace and felt good.
Wed: 5 miles w/3 @ tempo / Sorta: I was all sorts of annoyed at the world on Wed and after my warm-up and 1 mile at tempo, I just seriously felt the need to do something different so I alternated 30 seconds at mile pace with 90 seconds at 10min/mi. That workout did wonders for my outlook!
Thurs: rest /yup
Fri: 4 miles easy / Done! Ran 4.5.
Sat: 10 mile long run / Done! Ran 10.03 hilly miles on the roads near my house, at 9:24 pace. Was pleased that I was able to keep my pace slower for this long run -- my last outdoor long run was too fast.
Sun: rest / Oh, yeah. Done!
Total mileage: 24 / 24.8
I was worried about running my 10 miler on Saturday morning, just about 12 hours after running on Friday. But, my thinking in putting together my schedule was that I would stress my system in a different way with the back-to-back runs. I'm not going to do it with every long run but some of my research shows that taxing your muscles in that way helps with late race fatigue. That tends to be my downfall so I'm hoping that workouts like the Fri/Sat runs will help me get beyond that on race day.
And it seems that the workout agreed with me, at least in the short term. I felt GREAT while I was out running the 10 miles. I carried Gatorade with me in my handheld and that was enough fuel for the run. Here are my splits (you can see by the vast differences in pace among the miles that my route is super hilly!)
mile 1: 9:56
mile 2: 8:55
mile 3: 8:56
mile 4: 9:53
mile 5: 9:44
mile 6: 9:20
mile 7: 9:37
mile 8: 9:46
mile 9: 8:41
mile 10: 9:15
total: 1:34:18, 9:24/mi
Yay! And, friends? That run was my LONGEST run in about two years. Two years! Wow. I'm glad to be up in double-digits.
I'm equally as glad to have a cut-back week this week. My body will do well with some extra rest.
Here's this week's plan:
Mon: 4.5 easy
Wed: 6 miles w/4 @ tempo
Fri: 4 easy
Sun: 6.5 miles @ long run pace
Now, throughout the Happy Runner Half-Marathon Challenge, I've invited you all to submit questions and for everyone to give feedback/advice/answers to those questions. This week I have a bunch for you. I'll start with some questions from Julie/Nobel4Lit today. She asks:
1) Is it really true that you can do a long run (much) slower than your race pace?
(Because that's what I do.. about 1-2 off pace per mile, in fact!)
2) How do you train at race pace without getting injured? I'm always getting injured the minute I think about pushing my pace any significant amount. =(
3) What is your opinion on number of days per week that you run? I'm currently subsisting on 3/4 days, as 5 was too many for me...
4) What is your pacing stretegy for a half?I'll give my thoughts and I hope you guys will jump in and leave some answers for her, too.
1. YES! By most accounts, your long run should be anywhere from 45-120 seconds per mile slower than your race pace. So, you'd be right on with 1-2 minutes/mile slower.
2. That's tricky. If you push your pace and you get injured, that pace might not be the right one for you. But, if you want to go for a certain faster pace, consider doing your faster runs on softer ground or running hills. Hills are great for building speed and strength and tend to be less punishing on your legs, as long as you take care on the downhill.
3. I like to run 5 times per week but for this half marathon I am trying to stick to 4 days. For me, right now, the extra days of rest are important. First, I'm coming off a year of pregnancy running so I need to rebuild. Second, I'm not getting as much sleep as I would like so my body would probably break down if I tried to run 5-6 times per week. If you are running 3-4 times a week and you are doing consistent, quality workouts, you should be able to see progress.
4. Good question! I've generally focused on shorter races ranging from the 5k to the 15k, with only one marathon. This half will be my first so I'm hoping to learn about my pacing during this training cycle. I hope others can jump in with some good advice here!
Thanks in advance for any answers you can share!
Hope everyone had a great weekend -- thanks for checking in!
And PS: A yogurt giveaway is over HERE.