Sunday, January 22, 2012

2012 Goal #2 - Training for a Half Marathon: Week 2

Let's just jump into the week's recap, shall we?

Sunday: Rest
Ahhh, blessed rest. Man I love it. Just not really a good thing to do it two days in a row (I had Sat off too).

Monday: 3 mi run + strength
Didn't exactly feel bad, but I could totally feel those two back to back days I had off.

Cold and snowy. But at least it kept the mud at bay.

Still hovering around a 9:30 pace, which I wish was closer to or under 9 minutes. I blame all the rutted out bike tracks and ice on the path for slowing me down. I can do that, right?

Tuesday: 30 minute tempo run + yoga
Let's just say that the day did not start out great as all I really wanted to do was curl up in a ball on the couch and not step a foot outside all day. I really did. It took a lot of motivation and yelling at myself that I was simply being lazy and there was no reason I couldn't go out and run. I think my main deterrence was I was slightly anxious about doing a tempo run -- something I've never done before. And the thought of doing something new, and hard, in the rain and cold just wasn't appealing.

But I had to. I promised myself I would actually train for a race. I couldn't give up in week 2.

Since this workout involved pushing myself (up to a "comfortably hard" pace) I decided to stay away from slippery trails and rutted out bike tracks so I could actually focus more on my pace rather than where my next step was going to be.

For those of you who aren't sure what a tempo run is exactly, it's basically a workout to help increase your lactate threshold. Say what? In short, it forces you to extend the time/distance you can run at a faster pace without dropping on the pavement thinking your legs just turned to jelly and your lungs are going to explode. (Or, ahem, maybe a better explanation is here.)

I wanted to do a warm up for the first third of the run, build up to my peak pace by the 2/3 mark, then slow back down for the last little bit. Instead of going by pace during this run, which would involve me checking my phone every 5 seconds, then chucking it in the river, I opted to focus on my heart rate instead. Here's the breakdown for my 30 minute run:

0-10 minutes - Warm up @ 9:00-9:30 pace
10-15 minutes - keep HR between 165-175 (65-75% HRR)
15-20 minutes - keep HR above 180 (75-85% HRR)
20-25 minutes - keep HR above 185 (90%+ HRR)
25-30 minutes - Cool down, roughly a 9:00-9:30 pace

Oh, and then I did yoga. And thought my hamstrings were going to peel themselves off my legs and walk away. More on that later.

Wednesday: 2.5 mi easy run
Since my hamstrings were about die a fiery death by yoga, I decided it'd be best to back it off a bit, especially since this wasn't designed to be a run to push myself on anyways.

The first mile is almost all a gentle downhill with the second mile being almost completely flat. That's my kind of cheat easy run.

You can barely see the stairs back up a super not fun hill in the picture. This is where I stop and walk back up to my car. I call it my "cool down".

Thursday: 2 mi run + Strength + Indoor Soccer Game
Thank goodness the hamstrings started to chill back out a bit. I added back in the strength training I cut out from the day before. A necessary evil in my mind. Sigh. Do I have to?

Friday: Yoga
Okay, let's get something out of the way here. When I talk about doing yoga, I am most definitely a beginner. A ridiculously inflexible one. Let me demonstrate. One of the poses is something called the Needle:
I am pretty sure it's named this for feeling you get in this pose. As in, there's about a thousand needles poking you in the hamstring all while laughing at your pathetic attempt to get your back foot higher than your head. Which is pointing at the ground. Epic fail.

So yeah. That's why I do this at home.

Saturday: 6 mile run
Here's the story of my 6 mile run. In 3 inches of powdery snow plus a whole lotta slushy stuff.

The regular powder wasn't actually all that bad, but the slushy, heavy, wet snow dumped on the trail by passing cars and snow plow was a whole different story. Despite working even harder to fight through the stuff, all I did was slow down. There was just no traction whatsoever. Thank goodness I was running with a couple friends or these areas would have been a complete disaster.

It's funny looking at our pace through these areas (which is kind of an awesome feature of the iMapMyRun app), we easily added 1:00-1:30 min/mile to our pace when going through that mess. Overall, though, considering the conditions, I'm pretty happy we finished in under an hour.

Whew. Holy long-windedness.

So. Moving on. Next week.

Very similar to Week 1, with an extra rep added to the interval training.

And I'm out. Off to curl up on the couch and enjoy my day off.


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