Training Log for Week 29 of 2018

Five weeks have now passed since I ran my debut marathon, and as my recovery continues, this week saw me adding some work at higher intensities back into my training. The weekly total was seven hours of running, resulting in 86 km (53 miles) run with 1124 meters (3688 ft) of climbing. The only cross training I got in this week was about 20 minutes of core strengthening exercises.

The summer in the southern parts of Norway continues to defy all rhyme and reason, and this was yet another week with midday temperatures in the low thirties for Celsius, which is close to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. This gave me a rough start to the week as I ran home after work on Monday, but I took the short route and got through the 11k without collapsing!

Trail running in Hebekkskogen, Nøstvedtmarka, Ski
Easy days on the trails are really easy on days like these!

Tuesday I just went out for a short and easy 8k trail run in the afternoon, while I added some speed and intensity on Wednesday morning. I took the scenic route (trails) on my commute to work, which is about 15k all told, and pushed pretty hard on the hills. On Thursday morning I had planned to run the short route to work, but I ended up having to double back after a couple of kilometres because I forgot both my wallet and my keycard, which made the run 14k long.

I kicked off the weekend on Friday morning by doing some more work on the hills, starting out with 6 times 15-second repetitions, before ending the session with a hard two-minute climb. Saturday was a full rest day, and Sunday saw me doing a short long run at 21k, with about 300 meters of climbing, most of it being in the final five kilometres.

All told it felt good to be working hard again, but I definitely notice that I have a ways to go before I am back to pre-marathon shape again. Because of that, I will prioritise this coming week’s more intensive stuff in the hills again. This is because I am far less likely to be caught up (and demotivated) with paces when working hills, and I also find it is easier to really get working in the hills, even if you don’t have too much pop in your legs.

Training Log for Week 28 of 2018

This was the fourth week after my marathon back on June 16th, and it’s good to finally be able to say that my body is beginning to feel normal again. Six and a half hours of running this week resulted in 79 km (49 miles) of running with 884 meters (2867 ft) of climbing. In terms of cross-training, I only managed to get in about half an hour on the bike.

The week started off in a good fashion, as the weather was perfect for running home after work, with clouds and a bit of rain to keep me nice and cool in around 20 degrees Celsius. The next couple of days the heat returned, and I tried to get all of my running done in the morning, going into work.

A dewy field early in the morning
Early morning runs can make for some scenic views, such as this dewy morning field.

As the week progressed, I felt that I recovered well and felt noticeably better after each run compared to what the past few weeks have been like. This spurred me on, and I got a real mental boost from feeling decent again, and I even signed up for a race. Come August 11, I will be running for a new 5k PR, which will hopefully be in the 17:30 range if I can get going again now.

That will in fact not be my first race after my goal marathon, as I did indeed participate in a marathon race this past Saturday. A couple of local guys had put on a race in the town where I live to celebrate finishing their 100th and 50th marathon respectively. Wow, well done! As I believe it is important to support local initiatives such as this, I decided to sign up for the marathon even if I knew I wouldn’t finish it. I jogged through 18k at a reasonably comfortable trot before calling it a day, but the hot conditions with a scorching sun and close to 30 Celsius in the shade made it a harder effort than I had hoped for.

Runner at Kråkstad Athletics Track
The 4k laps of Saturday’s race included a lap around one of the local tracks. This is me during the third of the five laps I ran.

Thankfully I pulled up alright on Sunday, and got through 8k at a decent recovery pace without feeling much of what I did the day before in my legs and body otherwise. I take this as a clear sign that I should be ready to add in some higher intensity work this coming week. The plan is to start with adding some short and hard hill repeats to a couple of my runs, and if I don’t notice any adverse effects from those I can start planning some proper sessions in the following weeks to try to get ready for a go at sub 17:30 in the 5k.

Training Log for Week 27 of 2018

This past week was the third week after my marathon, and the goal for the week was to keep increasing mileage after just getting back to running again with a couple of slow runs the week before. I didn’t quite get in the mileage I wanted, and I ended up with 42.2 km (26.2 miles, totally a coincident!) and 469 meters (1538 feet) of climbing across 3 hours and 38 minutes of running.

Road going through trees
From a morning run into work this week

With an hour and a half on the bike for cross training (and commuting) it was an OK week in terms of scaling my overall activity level back up towards pre-marathon levels. There’s very little to report from the four runs and three bike rides, as all of it was done at a low intensity and won’t catch anyone’s eye while the scroll past it in their Strava feeds.

Towards the end of the week, I started feeling noticeably better, and I think that is a good indicator that the cautious approach to recovery is working, and hopefully, I’ll reap the rewards by getting back to full training within a couple of more weeks. The plan for the upcoming week is simply to keep adding mileage at a slow and comfortable trot. If my overall condition keeps improving, I am looking to add in some more up-tempo work the week after.

Training Log for Week 26 of 2018

The second week after my marathon was all about trying to recover. With a full week of rest behind me, I tried to get moving a bit this week. I did not get too much done in the way of running, with a total of 2 hours and 25 minutes that amounted to 28 km (17 miles) and 312 meters (1023 ft) of climbing.

All my running was easy running, although it felt anything but easy. All of the three runs were done at recovery pace, but all of them were challenging and had me pulling up in a rough condition afterwards. Recovering from a marathon is no joke! In addition to the running, I also spent two hours biking, which I hope will aid my recovery.

This coming week will be all about increasing mileage, gradually, as dictated by my body. The aim is to get in around five runs and 50-60 km, but I will let my body and how it feels guide me in terms of how much running I ultimately get in.

Training Log for Week 25 of 2018

Unless eating counts, this week was a total week off from all types of training for me. While you can probably benefit from cross training such as biking during the first week after a goal marathon, I have a personal “policy” of dropping any and all training obligations for at least a full week after a goal race. This gives me at least two weeks every year where I don’t think about training at all, and I have found it to be very important for my motivation and mental strength.

I will start easing back into training the coming week, with a combination of running and biking. Returning to training after a marathon is quite risky in terms of injuries, so I will let caution guide me as I get back into the swing of things.