Training Log for Week 39 of 2018

There was not much to report in terms of training from this past week, as I was tapering to get ready for the half-marathon on Saturday. Including race day, total mileage for the week was 56 kilometres (35 miles) with 644 meters (2113 feet) of climbing. This amounted to 4 hours and 19 minutes of running.

I kicked the week off with an easy day home from work in absolutely brilliant fall weather, which made for perfect running conditions. Tuesday I started the day with running into work, and it was a harsh reminder that darker days are upon us. I was not mentally prepared to run in the cold, wet darkness again. A bit of work to do with my psyche, no question, because I was feeling really sorry for myself that morning.

Early morning sunrise
Some fall morning runs are easier than others!

Wednesday and Thursday were both complete rest days, in preparation for the upcoming race on Saturday. This is a bit of an unusual taper strategy, but I have found that my legs tend to respond very well to complete rest, and I wanted to try the strategy again to see if it was a replicable strategy or merely a fluke. I got the answer on Friday afternoon when I went out for a quick shake out run where my legs felt fresh and ready to go.

Saturday was race day, which, as always, will be properly covered in a separate race report coming up later this week. (Now published, and you can read it here.) And on Sunday I rested, absolutely shot after the race. The focus for the upcoming week will, quite naturally, be to recover from the race, and to start preparing for the final race on my schedule this year; a 10k on October 22nd.

Training Log for Week 38 of 2018

After feeling fresh and ready to race last week, this week brought me down to the earth again. I spent 6 hours and 43 minutes running this week, for a total of 83 kilometres (52 miles) and 956 meters (3136 feet) of climbing.

The signs were there when I kicked off the week with a 12k recovery session on Monday, where I felt quite tired. Despite that, I decided to give it a go with the planned workout on Tuesday, which was supposed to be 11k at around half marathon race pace (3:50 min/km). Having gotten through 9k feeling very well last week, I thought this should be doable even on an off day. I was wrong. Already a few kilometres in I was struggling, and after 5k it was all I could do to hang on and squeeze myself through to 7k before calling the session.

Cloudy over a trail perfect for running
I am now back to work, which means most of my runs will be part of my commute.

A real bummer, and not the confidence builder I was looking for leading into my upcoming half marathon on September 29th. Either way, the show must go on, and I progressed through the week with three more easy runs from Wednesday to Friday, before having a full rest day on Saturday.

On my Sunday long, my legs felt a bit more fresh again, and I decided to do a progressive long run on an undulating course to see how the legs would hold up. The composition of the run was the first 7k easy, before slightly increasing the intensity over the next 8k, while doing a natural fartlek-style final third. In this final third, I went more or less all out on the uphills, while maintaining a decent float pace (4:15-4:30 min/km) on the flats and downhills. Through the entire session, I felt quite good and recovered really well at a decent clip between the climbs. All in all, an encouraging end to a week where I struggled overall.

Training Log for Week 37 of 2018

Fall is well and truly upon us, and the fickle weather that accompanies the season has descended upon us here in Norway. During this week I have run in amazing fall weather, with clear blue skies and perfect running temperatures, and in a seemingly neverending rainfall. My weekly totals were 86 kilometres (53 miles) run, 799 meters (2621 feet) climbed, for a weekly total of 6 hours and 56 minutes.

Monday and Tuesday were easy days to get ready for my half marathon specific workout on Wednesday. The conditions were absolutely perfect, and I got through the 9k threshold session at goal half marathon pace without too much trouble. In fact, I felt much better this time around than I did in the equivalent, but shorter, session last week. This was a very nice confidence boost, and I am starting to believe that I can get actually keep my goal pace for a full half marathon. As long as the conditions are favourable, at least.

Beautiful weather for running.
The conditions for my long run were absolutely beautiful.

Thursday was a rest day, while I did a 12k easy run on Friday. My weekly long run, which was 27k this weekend, was done on Saturday. I kept it easy, as I was a bit tired, but I was still struggling a bit muscularly towards the end. A timely reminder that neuromuscular endurance disappears quite quickly, once you cut the distance of your long runs.

On Sunday I only did a short 10k recovery session, after watching the magnificent Eliud Kipchoge absolutely obliterate the Marathon World Record in Berlin in the morning hours. 2:01:39 is the new, superhuman WR, and Kipchoge is now the undisputed greatest marathoner of all time. What a show that was! Hopefully, Eliud comes back to Berlin next year, and I’ll be able to catch a glimpse of the legend himself in person.

Training Log for Week 36 of 2018

Having finally nailed down the races I will be running to end the running season 2018, I feel like there is some purpose to my training once more. In just a couple of weeks, I will be racing a half marathon, while my last race of the year will be a 10k towards the penultimate weekend of October.

As I don’t have much time to do much preparation for the half marathon, my training is now centred around trying to get ready for that. That means focusing on quality over quantity these weeks leading into the race. This week I ran 85 kilometres (53 miles) and climbed 811 meters (2660 feet), and this amounted to 6 hours and 37 minutes of running.

Great weather for running.
Some great autumn weather this week made a few easy runs a breeze!

There is not much I can do in the way of improving my fitness in the span of a few weeks, so the way I am trying to optimise my chances of performing well is by running at goal half marathon pace. This week that meant a Tuesday workout with a continuous 7k threshold session at 3:50 min/km (6:10 min/mile). The next two weeks, I am aiming to repeat that session, but increase the distance. If I can manage 11k at goal pace a week and a half out, I will feel quite confident going into the race.

Apart from that session and easy running on the other days, I did a hard long run with one of my running buddies on Sunday. We went out with the intention of doing a half marathon at faster than 4:00 min/km (6:26 min/mile) pace, and I was able to do just that without going to the bottom of the well. And that was in less than ideal conditions, with constant wind and rain, and on a slightly undulating course. For me, this is more or less a marathon pace session, as this is the pace I will be targeting for my next marathon, and I was pleased to get through it. This tells me that my base fitness is still good at the tail end of the season, as I approach the time to wind down and take some time to make my plans for the coming year.