Training Log for Week 10 of 2018

Another good week ticked off with 101 km (63 miles) of running done. The big one this week was a marathon pace session. It had only been a week and a half since my last MP session, but yesterday I ended up doing another MP session. This one was originally scheduled next Sunday, but because a friend asked me to join him on a hard run in great conditions (clear road without any snow or ice!) I said yes, and went for it.

The schedule said 29km (18 miles) w/ 16km (10 miles) @ MP for that session I moved up from next Sunday, but I ended up running 21km / 13 miles at a bit faster than MP and 4km / 2.5 miles cool down. Felt good and very much in control throughout, but we turned on the burners and ran the last 5km at close to my 10k PR pace. It took its toll! A very good run all in all, though, and that feeling of being able to run and just focus on my stride and turnover instead of not slipping or falling was much welcome.

Just two days before that MP run, I got in a very decent run commute, despite lots of fresh snow and challenging conditions. Up until that, the week had very much been a struggle. The previous week had been very challenging, with both LT and MP sessions, and this one started with a bad bonk during a medium long run on Tuesday. On Thursday I still didn’t feel like I had recovered from that, and I made an executive call and changed my GA w/ 10 strides to a straight up recovery run. In hindsight, it feels like that was a good decision given the runs I got in on Friday and Sunday.

I was a bit taken aback by how tired I felt during the first half of the week, because I had felt like I’d been absolutely flying the week before, despite it being a hard week. But the combination of getting back to proper workouts, as well as more frequent and faster medium long runs probably taxes the body in a whole new way, which had me feeling like this despite the fact that I did more miles and had more time on my feet per week during base building than I’ve had so far, four weeks into Pfitz. Being able to recover and bounce back is a good feeling though, and I take that as an indication that I’m heading in the right direction.

Other than that, I’m feeling depressed looking out the window. The snow just keeps coming, and all I want is to run on road without snow and ice. It’s a double blow, too, because if it wasn’t for marathon training I would be there cross country skiing and loving every second of it! Oh well, sometimes you just gotta suck it up, and these “problems” are hardly worth mentioning in the scheme of things. It just feels good to let out some steam every now and then, but all in all I’ve grateful to be injury free and able to run just as much as I want, and a non-ideal conditions won’t be stopping me!

Training Log for Week 9 of 2018

A really good week of training, and by far my best micro cycle for at least half a year. More than anything, it feels great to get through a relatively challenging week like this without any niggles or hints of injury scares. Nailing the paces also helps, of course! The total for the week was 103 km (64 miles).

I had my first MP run, 26km total w/ 13km at MP of the cycle this week and decided to do it on an indoor track. Went for the indoor track because the weather and surfaces have been challenging, and I really wanted to hit my paces, and because I wanted to give my new Vaporflys a proper go :)) It went really well. I am targeting sub-3, but because I want a bit of a cushion for my first marathon I’ve made 4:10 min/km my target M-pace. During the MP session, I locked in at what I thought was a comfortable enough pace, held it for the required 24 rounds on the track, and when I came home and did the calculations that was about 4:02 min/km pace. I felt strong throughout, and my HR was right where I wanted it to be, slightly below my threshold.

Nike Vaporfly 4%
I finally got to try out the Nike Vaporfly 4% on my MP run this week. Very nice shoes!

Because I moved the MP run a bit, this week had two pretty hard sessions, the other one being an LT run with 6 km at somewhere between 15k and HM pace. I did that on a treadmill, so it’s difficult to know the accuracy of the pace, which according to the tread was about 3:50 min/km. But my effort levels were right were I wanted them to be, and although it was a hard session, getting through it without breaking anything was a real confidence booster!

We’ve had record cold temperatures for March this past week, which had me really grateful for the opportunity to run inside. But I’m really, really waiting for spring at the moment. I did my first outside track run last year about a week from this date, but given that there’s a meter or so of snow right now (and more coming down at the minute) I’m not hopeful that I’ll be running outside on the track next week.

Training Log for Week 8 of 2018

This week was mostly an exercise in trying to juggle running with other commitments, and I ended up running 91 km (57 miles) over the week. I was able to get in a very decent commute long run with a friend/neighbour on one weekday, and the work after that. But as the weekend rolled around, I had to jiggle the plan a bit on account of going to a concert on Friday, and consuming a few more beers than I can handle comfortable without my training suffering, which is zero!

On account of that, I skipped my Saturday recovery session, and the planned M-pace run on Sunday was switched out with a comfortable long run instead. I actually felt pretty decent physically, if a little tired, but I had slept little both nights before, and didn’t want to take the risk of botching a workout or something worse. So that 26 km long run with 13 km @ M has been rescheduled for Wednesday. Will be my first M-pace session of the cycle, so I’m actually kinda looking forward to it, not least because I’m planning to run it on an inside track. No snow storms, or inexplicable treadmill pace/effort ratios.

Other than that I’m feeling quite good so far, which I suppose is to be expected since I did no really challenging sessions this past week.

Training Log for Week 7 of 2018

This was the first week of my 18 week marathon training plan leading up to my marathon debut at the Midnight Sun Marathon on June 16th. My total for the week was 92 km (57 miles), and I am now back to doing proper workouts for the first time in months.

My first workout of the cycle was an LT-session with 6km @ threshold pace which is somewhere between 15k and half marathon race pace. I had been dreading this for weeks, since I hadn’t done any tempo work more or less since October. It was pretty darned hard, but my pace was exactly where I wanted calculated from my goal M-pace, even if it was on snow. HR was also around where it should be, but 2 or 3 BPMs too high on average for two of the KM splits. Good session, though!

The first proper workout in months took a lot out of me, and following that with an MLR the next day was pretty challenging! I was definitely a bit extra tired for a day or two after that, but I felt fresh again coming into the weekend. Unfortunately had to split my Sunday long run session in two, which wasn’t optimal, but otherwise everthing was done according to plan.

Feels great to finally be rolling with Pfitz, and I’m “looking forward” to reacquainting myself with the accumulated fatigue that the combination of mileage and harder running brings. I was thinking about throwing in a recovery session today, which is a rest day in the plan, but I guess I should give it a couple of weeks before I start contemplating doing extra work.

Training Log for Week 6 of 2018

An injury scare got the best of me this week, and I only ended up doing two easy treadmill runs for a combined total of 22 km (13 miles) throughout the week. I have been experiencing some pain in my right, lower leg, just where the calf connects to the achilles tendon. The pain has been significant enough both during running, and while still, that I did not want to risk aggravating it by running more this week. My marathon training plan starts next week, and it would be very annoying to have to start skipping sessions in the first week.

I have added eccentric heel drops to my daily routine, and it feels like this is helping. Additionally, I am also stretching and rolling my calves several times per day. The pain has been subsiding over the last couple of days, and I will be starting marathon training as planned this coming week. Fingers crossed that this was just a scare, and not something that will bother me in the weeks to come.

Training Log for Week 5 of 2018

Not much running this week, as I have been battling an injury scare which limited me to 42 km (26 miles) of running. This was spread across three days towards the end of the week. But I was able to supplement with a fair amount of cross country skiing, bringing my total time of training for the week up to 8.5 hours.

The big one was a 40 km (25 miles) long trip from north to south in the nothern parts of the Oslo forests. I hopped on the bus in the early morning hours, which made it possible to do this point to point session. The conditions were fantastic, and I am really starting to feel that the improvement in my aerobic endurance is paying dividends, also while skiing.

It doesn’t get much better than this.

Pfitzinger states in Advanced Marathoning that cross country skiing is pretty much the only activity that is more aerobically demanding than running, and it is therefore the best form of cross training. My experiences this winter attest to that, as well, and I can very much recommend XC skiing as supplemental training to running during winter.

Training Log for Week 4 of 2018

Another week of base building came and went, and with total weekly mileage amounting to 110 km (68 miles). I was aiming to follow up last week’s all time high mileage with another strong week in terms of mileage, with the bar being set at about 70 miles. I figured if I can do two straight weeks of peak week mileage, I’m good and ready for Pfitz 18/70, which I will begin with just two weeks from today. All in all I’m pleased with more or less doing it, even if I came up two miles short on account of slacking when it came to doubles. No doubles this week, I just like sleep to much.

The conditions have been pretty horrible for the most part, which saw me migrate inside for two runs, one of which was this week’s medium long run. 20+ km of running on the dread is just not for me, and I was absolutely beat afterwards despite a relatively modest pace. Shorter runs are OK, but the treadmill just seems to take so much out of me, compared to doing the same outside. And naturally, that’s not a feeling I appreciate.

Other than that, I did another (close to) 20 miler (30+ km) on Sunday. This one was harder than the one I did a week back, but the surfaces were generally a bit more demanding (snowy, wet and slushy) so I’ll take it. Plus it was at the end of a second straight week of close to ATH mileage.

I’ve got some small aches here and there, so today is another rest day, before I plan to spend the next two weeks alternating between running and XC skiing. I’m confident that I’m physically ready to handle Pfitz 18/70 now, so the next two weeks are all about getting healthy and mentally ready to get going with some harder sessions again!

Training Log for Week 3 of 2018

I really wanted to spend this weekend XC skiing, too, but as I’m nearing the end of base building I thought it prudent to prioritise showing to myself that I’m capable of the long Sunday long runs, and overall mileage Pfitz 18/70 requires. So all in all, it was a record high week in terms of mileage for me, with 116 km (72 miles) total, even if I’ve spent more time training the last few weeks than I did this week. But a fair bit of it being XC skiing, which I’ve found to be excellent cross training.

My Sunday long run, as I mentioned yesterday, was my all time longest run! I felt surprisingly good for the most part of the run, and considering that it was at the end of an all time high mileage week and on (decent) snow covered roads, I probably ran it a bit too fast. But ho-hey!

Just another three weeks of base building to go, before I start up with Pfitz 18/70. I’m really looking forward to that. It’s getting a bit monotonous to basically stay away from all sorts of workouts. I have (finally) added some strides to a few of my runs over the past two weeks though, and it has made me feel so much lighter and quicker. Has me quite excited for what kind of gains I might get to see once I start pushing myself properly!

Training Log for Week 2 of 2018

The total distance of running done this week only totaled up to 53 km (33 miles), but even so it was a very goo training week. I got in a Tuesday double, with some easy kilometres in the morning, and a slightly longer run with my running group in the evening. Wednesday was just another easy run, followed by a 20k medium long run in the snow on Thursday.

I spent both Saturday and Sunday cross country skiing, and the total time spent training throughout the week was about nine hours. My fitness is improving, and by substituting some running for skiing, I am able to keep my motivation up, which can be hard enough now that winter has properly arrived.

Training Log for Week 1 of 2018

This was Super Week! over at r/artc, and I participated with the aim of logging a new all time high for weekly mileage. To explain the concept of Super Week! I will borrow from the post I linked to above:

The basic idea is that adding a small block (in this case, one week) of either high mileage or high intensity workouts into an already existing consistent training cycle will allow you to push past plateaus and train yourself to withstand the punishing later stages of races, both physically and mentally.

Going into the week, I had planned to log 130 km (81 miles) of running spread across all seven days of the week. It would be preferable to do it all with singles, but a couple of easy doubles would be alright if that’s what it would take to get the mileage in.

Everything went according to plan throughout the week, and I did a couple of medium long runs at just above 20k on Monday and Thursday, while getting in some general aerobic runs in challenging conditions on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Friday I did my first double, mostly in an attempt to get in some extra mileage, because at this point I had seen the weather forecasts and knew I would be prioritising cross country skiing on Sunday. That meant the long run went out the window, and I wouldn’t reach my goal for Super Week.

The conditions for XC skiing were too good to pass up on this week, and I prioritised skiing in these scenic conditions over the traditional Sunday Long Run.

Still, I ended up logging 100 km (62 miles) across six days of running, followed by a 30k cross country skiing session in magnificent conditions on Sunday. All in all one of my best weeks of training ever, and I give myself a passing grade on Super Week! despite missing my goal for running mileage.