Sunday, July 12, 2015

The 6th of 18 Weeks

The sixth week of the marathon training plan went like this:

Monday7-10k E. Had a good start to the week running 10k E at 5:33/km with a friend as the sun rose in the East, red and round and beautiful. Nothing more to say other than it was executed perfectly.

Tuesday12x400m or 4x1200m. Another speed session meant a bit of anxiety on my part wondering how I would fare on these increasingly tired legs. As I jogged over to the track I was really not anticipating much in the way of success. The weather was perfect for anything but fast running as by 6am it was already very muggy and humid, but I didn't mind so much as I figured this would just make for better preparation for a Fall race. In any event, I managed the 4x1200m workout quite nicely in the end, tough as it was. My 400m rest intervals are now definitely starting with a bit of a walk, but I think that's ok. The splits for each repeat were fairly consistent and worked out to paces of 4:08.83/km, 4:07.58/km, 4:06.5/km, and 4:05.25/km. That averaged out to a nice 4:07.04/km, which was under my goal of 4:10/km, but not by too much. In the end the whole workout added up to 11k SP at 5:14/km.

Wednesday: OFF. A rather full day at work meant that my ability to do more than passive recovery was severely limited. I had a massage appointment that I've kept going once every couple of weeks which I was able to keep since I find these sessions focusing on my legs have helped me to maintain a healthy running schedule. As the mileage and intensity of the running workouts goes up I figure I shouldn't be beating myself up too much about taking the one "off" day on the weekly schedule as an actual day OFF...

Thursday8k E or 12k T. As I lay on the massage table getting treatment yesterday I talked with the therapist about how this plan seems to make your legs feel dead and give you a decent amount of skepticism in your abilities to complete the workouts at the prescribed paces. He mentioned that this is not unusual and we both agreed that this aspect of training is one of the most rewarding. So, as I ventured out in the morning for the first of three successive 12 kilometre tempo runs I had the same apprehension that is present before every workout of substance. While the two kilometre warm up was happening I certainly questioned my legs' ability to run at planned marathon pace (4:45/km) for twelve K when I thought back to the difficulty I had in completing ten K at that same pace last week. However, I decided to just let those negative thoughts go and started in on my tempo portion trying not to think too far about the task at hand. Long story short, I not only managed the run, but my pace was a bit over 10s/km faster than goal pace! The average ended up at 4:34.44/km and only one of my splits was in the 4:40's (4:40.0/km). My fastest split was the last one and I managed a very impressive (for me) 4:27.5/km! The total for the workout was 15k T at 4:46/km, which is only 1s/km slower than goal marathon pace and included two K warm up and 1k cool down. Legs are tired to be sure, but clearly the body was able. At lunchtime I made it to the gym for a good session of rolling and stretching.

Friday7-10k E. Tired legs, as is the norm, but so nice to be able to go out for an easy run and feel no guilt about running slowly and totally aerobically! A lovely morning for a 7k E at 5:19/km run. A trip to the gym in the afternoon for a running specific strength workout and some rolling and stretching completed the work week portion of week 6.

Saturday13-16k E. After arriving late at the cottage the night before I had real trouble washing up and felt very lethargic as I ventured out at almost 9am. It was a beautiful Summer day and already quite warm with little breeze to speak of. I ran a familiar loop of 13k E at 5:21/km all the while dreading the two kilometre climb back up to the top of the hill upon which our lake is perched. That was by far the toughest section, but I was happy to find that I maintained a slightly faster pace than I had recently on the same stretch of road. This was a good run even if it was made tougher by the weather and short night of rest.

Sunday13k E. Got up early enough to avoid too much of the hotter weather and had a better sleep so this 13k E at 5:16/km felt a hell of a lot better than the one the day before. Only challenge was the climb back up the big hill as I ran the back portion on the out and back route from the cottage. Definitely feeling fatigue in my legs. The Hanson's Marathon Training Plan is designed to get you to run on tired legs and I am definitely experiencing that aspect a third of the way through the program.

Total for the week: 69 km at 5:13/km average pace.

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