Half marathon training weeks one and two set my training for the Valpo half marathon off to a successful start!
The first week of my training went quite well, especially considering the stress in the first half of the week (I left a desk job that I just started – it was not the right fit for me). This week left me feeling very confident about my race goals and very excited for the rest of training. I love training – the schedule, the sense of accomplishment and little victories, the goal-setting, and the visible progress.
Monday, August 4:
6 mile run in 53:30. I started easy and progressively increased my speed each mile, starting out at 9.15 and finishing at 8.30. In the evening, I did a simple body-weight circuit of squats, leg lifts, lunges, and push-ups, along with some stability ball core work. I finished with some foam-rolling.
Tuesday, August 5:
Easy 3 mile run with Charlie. Not counting the numerous puggle potty stops, we finished in 30:05. I then ran 5 strides (20-30 seconds around 6:30 pace).
Wednesday, August 6:
7 miles in 59:37. This workout included 3 x10 min at moderately hard pace – around 7.50-7.55. It was a really great workout that left me feeling confident – and I needed those endorphins especially that day.
Thursday, August 7:
Pilates for about 45 min (video plus some extra work on legs) and this stability ball circuit. Since I was back to my normal daily routine, I covered about 3 miles in walking with Charlie.
Friday, August 8:
5 miles in 45:38. It felt really great to cover some gently rolling hills. I also walked 3 miles with Charlie.
Saturday, August 9:
8 miles in 1:11:26. I went faster than I intended (I aimed for a 9.15 pace), but I did not push myself too hard. I kept it feeling comfortable, which ended up being around 8.50-9.00, except for the first mile (9.12) and the last (8.35). I really like starting slow and finishing strong. I cooled down with a ¾ mile walk with Charlie and Ryan, who came by the park to walk while I ran.
Weekly total: 29 miles, with 30 minutes (approx. 3.75 miles) at 10K pace.
The second week of training went well, despite some modifications due to rainy weather. I want to prioritize specificity in my long runs, tempo runs, and speedwork, which means running outside for these workouts whenever possible. Since rain on Monday and Tuesday confined me to the treadmill, I moved my speedwork to Wednesday.
Monday, August 11:
4 miles on the treadmill, 35:45. I kept a steady pace at 6.7 mph the entire run, with the incline set to 1.5%-2%. Stability ball and lower body strength training in the afternoon, plus 1.5 mile walk with the pup.
Tuesday, August 12:
6.5 miles on the treadmill, 59:59. Again, a steady pace of 6.5 mph with the incline at 1.5%-2%. I survived this run by thinking a lot about food. 30 minutes of Pilates in the afternoon, plus about a 1.5 mile walk with Charlie.
Wednesday, August 13:
Finally back outside! 7 miles in 59:47. I warmed up with 2 miles and 4 strides, and cooled down with one mile. The speed work this time was long fartlek-style repeats – 3 x 8 minutes hard with 3 minute recovery jog. I need to work on my pacing – I started out fast and tapered off by the end, but I still maintained a faster speed overall for each interval than I anticipated (7.35-7.45 min/mile rather than 8.00). I also walked 1.5 miles later in the day.
Thursday, August 14:
Strength training: the same stability ball circuit plus squats, lunges, bridges, and pushups. I walked a total of 3 miles with Charlie and Ryan.
Friday, August 15:
5.5 miles easy in 50 minutes in the morning, 30 minutes Pilates in the afternoon and 3 miles of walking with Charlie and Ryan.
Saturday, August 16:
9 miles in 1:19:15. I ran 5.5 miles easy, 3 miles at goal effort, and finished with 0.5 mile easy. I say goal effort rather than goal pace because I averaged around 8:00 min/mile pace instead of my planned 8.20, but I was going off of effort and the effort felt appropriate – challenging but not too taxing.
Weekly total: 32 miles, with 3 miles at goal HMP, 24 minutes (~3.1 miles) around 5K-10K pace.
What surprised me the most in my second week of training was my speed. I am by no means one of those runners who has some perfectly tuned interval GPS, so I often run based on effort. I was pleasantly surprised then to see faster paces than I anticipated in my speedwork and tempo miles. It helped that we had some relief from the heat and humidity this week. This makes my goal appear more realistic, and if training continues this way I may develop an even more challenging goal. Currently, though, my goal is still to finish in 1:49:xx.
Although no matter how fast I get, Charlie will always be faster.