Sunday, August 05, 2012

BHM Training: Week 1

I started training for the Battleship Half Marathon this past week. Sometimes, when I train for things, I post a weekly recap of my workouts, my progress, and my thoughts about how the week went. It's mostly for me, because I like to have a record of these things, but through the blogosphere I've discovered two things. The first is that I really like reading the weekly workout recaps of other people - I find them inspiring and informative, and a great source of motivation. The second thing is that a small group of my regular readers seem to think the same thing about my recaps. So I'm going to post them on Sunday nights, as that is what I consider to the be the end of the week, traditional calendars be damned. If you don't care about running, feel free to skip this post - I'll be back tomorrow with usual mix of posts. For now, let's talk fitness!

Anytime I start a new training cycle, the first week is always pretty good - I'm fresh, I'm ambitious, and the drudgery/soreness/exhaustion hasn't caught up with me yet. This round of training was no exception - a good string of workouts that left me feeling energized and excited for November's race.

Monday: Rest day, since it was my sister's last day in town and we had to make the most of our time together. 

Tuesday: Speedwork, for the first time in far too long. I ran a one mile warm up, then did 5 sets of 400m sprints with 400m recovery jogs in between. I didn't really have a goal pace - I just tried to go as fast as I could. My fast splits were at the following paces: 7:04, 7:08, 6:56, 7:51, 8:01. (I held those paces for just 400m - no way I could run that fast for a full mile!) The recovery jogs were all at around a 11:00 minute pace. Total miles with warm up and cool down: 4.5

Wednesday: We had an awesome thunderstorm all morning. Great for the garden, not so great for running. I ended up going to my favorite class at the YMCA, Get Fit Now. It's a solid mix of crossfit-style circuits, kettlebells, and weight lifting.

Thursday: Took it easy with an hour long vinyasa flow class at the YMCA.

Friday: Long run! I covered six miles in 1:01:46, which is an average pace of 10:18. While my legs felt okay and my endurance was decent, it was so hot and humid that I thought I might melt into the pavement. Is it October yet?

Saturday: 30 minute kettlebell class at the YMCA.We mostly focused on shoulders, with a zillion squats, as usual. I love kettlebells - after a nearly ten months of swinging them, I still think they're one of the best strength training methods out there.

Sunday: 4 mile tempo run with Nathan. Average pace: 9:39. This is pretty slow for a tempo run for me (tempo run = comfortably hard pace) but because of the oppressive heat and crushing humidity, this was as fast as I could go without passing out. I suppose "comfortably hard" is a relative term.

Weekly mileage: 14.5 miles
Yoga: 1 class (should have been at least two - maybe next week)
Strength: 2 sessions

And now a question for you! For those of you who run and race, how many days a week and/or miles per week do you run? I usually run between three and four times a week, mostly because I do a lot of cross training in between. I feel like cross training makes me healthier and stronger overall, even if it means I'm not quite as fast as I could be if I were running five or six times a week.


  1. I love when other people post their weekly workout recap. I usually get some great ideas, especially for speed workouts. So please keep posting these!

    And for your question, I normally run 4 days a week. The marathon cycle I am about to start is 5 days a week, but there is an option to drop a day each week if I need to.

    1. Yay! I'm glad you like these recaps. I like yours, too - they inspired me to start posting mine again. :)

      I think I will probably try to run 4x a week when I'm marathon training again - 3x a week seems okay for a half, but not enough for a full.

  2. I really do like the recaps of others so I'm glad you are posting them. Here's my latest week recap:

    You ran .25 more than me (maybe more because I didn't round so all my 5.05 etc add up) we both had 2 weight sessions. I did not have yoga but really wanted to do it and never got around to it :(

    Everyone tells me I'm the worst at getting mileage in. I run 3-4 days a week when I train (even for a full marathon). I also firmly believe in strength sessions as you train.

    When you post your speed workouts I'm not used to seeing the mile pace. for 400 repeats I'm used to the 400 time (like 1:45 for a 7:00 pace) so I had to do some thinking. You are keeping me on my toes. Your total miles were 4.5 miles. What was your total time counting the slow recovery? I'm curious not because I'm not nosey but because I'm always trying to figure out if I do it right and I want at least someone else to compare it to.

    1. I thought about listing the times for the 400m, but my Garmin gives me the pace and that's just how my mind works! Glad I'm keeping someone on their toes. :)

      For the speed workout, I finished the 4.5 miles in 45:23 total, which includes the 1 mile warm up and 1 mile cool down. I'll start posting total times next week - I agree that it helps keep my runs in perspective.

      And three cheers for strength training! I love it so much, and I feel like it's done wonders for my running and overall health.

    2. Since I'm trying to get back into it I might think 3 is OK. But since I have no job I think I better do 4.

      So I should add this to my post but I have noticed my slowest splits end up when I start day dreaming about food at Google. It has happened multiple times. The food at google is good!

      I've been a slacker at the weight training so I got sore in the shoulders from mine. But if I keep it up I won't be sore this week.

      I had a friend disappointed she had to wait until today (or last night if I would have done it then) to read about my runs from earlier in the week. She wanted to read it about then. I think them all together makes it easier to compare see how I did. 1 lone run you don't know if that was the fast one or slow run or long run. I'm not sure. Oi I'm rambling.

      I'm glad I motivated you to write them again. My commenting on your old ones probably helped too!

      I did my first tempo run ever this week. Last week my first mile repeat (only 2 miles so I can't use plural for repeats).

    3. Eek it wasn't mine that motivated you to write yours it was the other commenter. Oops. The rest of my comment is valid.

      I have friends that tell me when I talk 2:00 or 2:15 or 2:30 they get all confused. They have to translate that to 8:00 pace, 9:00 pace, and 10:00 pace in their heads. I guess I do it the weird way.

    4. No, your recaps are one of the ones that motivated me, too! Plus the fact that you commented on my old recaps reminded me that some people actually enjoy reading those kinds of posts. So thanks for motivating me to post them again!

    5. I really do enjoy other people's recaps and wish I had more to read to motivate me. Yet at the same time I figure nobody reads mine. Funny how we think that way. I actually had a friend on about Wednesday want to know about my runs and I told her I wouldn't be posting it until the end of the week; she was disappointed.