Hi! How was your weekend? After a harder week of Lake Sammamish Half Marathon training and a busy week of work, volunteering, and appointments, Ryan and I both savored the pleasant early spring weather this weekend.
This week ushered in the sharpening period of my training. Weeks 8, 9, 10, and 11 will be devoted to sharpening through half marathon specific workouts (lots of workouts at 10K, half marathon, and marathon pace) just in time for my half in early March, and week 12 will be a taper week.
The truly remarkable aspect of this week’s training? Not a single run was done in the rain! Is this really Seattle?
Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training: Week 8
Monday: AM: 9 miles with 8 x (3 minutes at 10K effort, 2 minutes easy), 7:58/mile average; PM: 15 minutes of Pilates
I accidentally ran the fartlek intervals a bit faster in terms of pace, although my breathing and perceived effort felt appropriate, so I’m not sure if it means I’m actually getting faster or I still need to improve my sense of pacing. I intended to run around a 7:10-7:20/mile pace for the fast intervals, yet my mile splits averaged all around 7:35/mile which meant I had to be running a bit faster than 7:10/mile for the fast parts (since I took the easy intervals slow and easy).
Tuesday: AM: 5 miles easy, 9:06/mile, plus 6 x 100m strides; PM: 20 minutes of strength training
This was just an ordinary easy run, split between paved paths and gravel trails. I added strides afterwards because I have been so neglectful of doing hill sprints that I decided to just do strides instead. A good rule of thumb in training: the best drills are the ones you will consistently do.
After skipping any weight lifting for the past few weeks, I finally reincorporated strength training. I focused on doing total body exercises with 2 sets of 20 reps of: kettlebell swings, bridges, reverse lunges with weights, bicep curls to overhead press, and kettlebell rows. I finished it all up with a few minutes of foam rolling.
I strength train because I know it has several benefits from preventing injury to building stronger bones, but sometimes it’s like flossing or eating spinach: I do it because I know it’s good for me, not because I always want to. Even though I don’t mind strength training once I actually do it, I often would rather just run and do Pilates rather than pick up a pair of weights. Although a weird part of me loves lunges. But when it comes to achieving goals, we sometimes have to do the things we don’t want to, right?
Wednesday: 11 miles with 4 miles at goal marathon pace and 4 miles at half marathon pace, 8:00/mile average pace
I mentioned this workout in Thursday’s Currently… post. It’s my primary sharpening workout for this training cycle, as I have a couple variations of it over the next few weeks. For the first time in a while, I used my Garmin 10 to gauge my pace for the marathon pace segment, and then switched to running by perceived effort (with my watch set to total time and distance) for the half marathon pace segment.
After a 2 mile warm up, I ran 7:54, 7:56, 7:54, and 7:58 for the marathon pace splits. These were a little too fast, but the effort felt moderate and sustainable at least. I took 1/2 mile to run easy and recover, and then ran 7:30, 7:25, 7:35, and 7:26 for my goal half marathon miles. My splits were a little uneven since I created a route that had me running into the wind (good practice just in case for race day!) but I’m still quite pleased with them.
Thursday: 5 miles easy, 9:50/mile
I began on the treadmill because I wanted a soft surface for a recovery run, but side stitches plagued me from almost the start. Since the treadmill sometimes throws off my form, I ditched it after three miles and opted to finish my run with Charlie. We headed out and ran a mile up a long hill and back down.
Friday: AM: 12 mile fartlek run, 8:23/mile; PM: 10 minute Pilates workout + push ups
One of the reasons I thrive on Hudson’s progression of workouts is because of love fartlek runs. A high volume speed work is too hard on my body to use for anything other than sharpening, but fartlek workouts add in just the right amount of speed and the focus on effort rather than split times is beneficial for my mind.
Friday’s long run divided the run into thirds: 4 miles easy, 4 miles of alternating between 90 seconds at tempo effort and 90 seconds easy, and 4 miles easy. I have no idea what my pace was for the fartlek portions, as I ran them by effort, but my mile splits hovered in the 7:50-8:00 range for those miles. Running as the sun rose just added to the enjoyment of this run.
Saturday: 4 mile snowy hike
Ryan and I headed out to Annette Lake to enjoy one of our favorite trails with all the beauty and fun that hiking in the snow brings. Since the Cascades are under a mild avalanche warning, we left Charlie at home and only hiked halfway up the trail (there’s a few chutes in the second half). We couldn’t have made it much further than halfway as it was, since we only have microspikes and snowshoes were definitely necessary after a certain elevation.
Sunday: Rest day
The formula for an ideal rest day: eat homemade coconut oil chocolate chip cookies, drink a beer (Sierra Nevada Hop Hunter IPA, go try it now), and work on exciting new projects for coaching.
Run: 42 miles | Hike: 4 miles | 3 supplementary workouts
Do you run by pace or perceived effort?
How was your week of running?
What do you include to improve your training or overall health that you would skip otherwise?