Training Log for Week 42 of 2018

With the season coming to a close with this week’s 10k race on Saturday, this what a bit of a taper week in an attempt to reach race day feeling fit and fresh. I ended up running just 57 kilometres (35 miles) with 567 meters (1860 feet) of elevation gain, which amounted to 4 hours and 33 minutes of running.

I am starting to get a decent idea about what works for me leading into weekend races, so I try to stick with what I know for the most part. An extra rest day, two easy days and one slightly faster, before a short and quicker run where I touch in on marathon pace on the eve of the race has been the formula for me this year. I followed that to a tee this week, resting on Monday, an 11k recovery run on Tuesday into work. Wednesday I also ran to work, a bit faster, which really gets the heart pumping through some of those hills, before I did another easy morning to work on Tuesday.

Man walking in the woods with a stroller
Out for a “recovery walk” with the baby in the stroller

On that Friday run, which was only 6k, I should note that I relax the pace significantly in all hills. The idea is to just loosen your legs by shaking out a bit, but you don’t want to go hard on the hills and possibly lose some freshness for the race the next day. Some people prefer a slower run with added strides, which I’ve not experienced too much with yet.

On Saturday I didn’t do anything apart from a warm-up and a cool down before and after the race. If you keep up with my Instagram, you know that it’s no secret that the race went very well! Stay tuned for all the details in the full race report coming later this week. This upcoming week is also a full rest and recovery week for me, with absolutely no running, and I will be going into detail about why I like to take an extended period totally off from running in next week’s training log.

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 24 of 2018

The final week of training leading up to my goal marathon, which happened on the evening of Saturday this week, contained very little actual training. The goal at this stage is, as I’ve mentioned in several of the past weekly logs, to get to the starting line healthy and feeling fresh. Total running time for the week excluding the marathon was 2 hours 50 minutes, with just 35 kilometres (22 miles) of running and 328 meters (1 076 ft) of climbing.

As has become more or less routine through this training cycle, I started the week with a full rest day on Monday. Tuesday I did 11k at recovery pace, as per my schedule, even if it felt strange to do a recovery session without really having anything to recover from.

Wednesday it was time for the “Dress Rehearsal.” The point of this season is to get a final feel for race pace, with about 3k at marathon pace, and do a final check of the gear you’re planning to wear on race day. As I’d planned my full race attire months in advance, I opted not to wear it during my dress rehearsal. I instantly regretted this when packing to leave the following day, as I couldn’t find the long sleeve I was planning to wear under my singlet. Lesson learned!

Two days out, Tuesday, I ran 8k easy with six strides at the end, and the day before the race I only did 5k at an extra relaxed recovery pace. The race report from my debut marathon will be published sometime later this week, but I felt fit and ready to go after my final run before the race.

Training Log for Week 23 of 2018

This was the penultimate week of the training cycle leading up to my marathon, and the first true week of tapering down the volume. I ended the week with a total of just 5 hours and 30 minutes of running, which amounted to 69 kilometres (43 miles) and 632 meters (2 073 ft) of climbing.

As I’ve often done this training cycle, per Pete Pfitzinger’s plan, I started the week with a full rest day on Monday. That was followed by the only workout of the week, and the final one before my marathon, on Tuesday. The scheduled session comprised 3 x 1600 meter intervals at 5k pace. Given that I ran a race on Saturday, followed by a moderately long run on Sunday, I was pleased enough to get through all three intervals faster than my estimated 5k pace at 3:30 min/km, or about 5:30 for each four-lap interval.

The rest of the week was nothing special to write about, with easy sessions at 6, 11, 10 and 8k from Wednesday to Saturday. I closed the week out with a medium long run, where I for the first time felt the effects of the taper as I was able to cruise very comfortably through 20k at goal marathon pace + 10%. It was a great confidence booster of a run, with the only drawback being that I once more had GI (gastrointestinal) troubles towards the end. I actually had to cut it short with about 1k on account of this.

Going into race week, I will be doing everything I can to get my stomach in order again. Everything that I’m not entirely sure about will be eliminated from my diet, and I will be exclusively drinking water up until race day. All in all, I’m feeling pretty good about my shape, but I do worry a bit that my GI troubles will cause me trouble on race day. Otherwise, the only focus this coming week will be to try and get myself feeling as fresh and well rested without going flat.

Training Log for Week 22 of 2018

According to Pete Pfitzinger, the mastermind behind the marathon training schedule I’m following, this week was supposed to be the first week of a three-week long taper leading into my marathon. Sure, the overall mileage was reduced a bit, but at the end of the week, it sure didn’t feel like I was tapering. My numbers for the week were 91 kilometres (57 miles) of running and 841 meters (2 760 ft) of climbing spread across 7 hours and 16 minutes of running. I also did an hour and fifteen minutes on the bike.

Monday was a total rest day, and Tuesday I decided to bike both to and from work. It went fine, but I definitely noticed it both in my groin as I was biking and in my thighs later. This made me decide to be quite careful about doing any more biking in the final weeks before my marathon. Later that evening, I did 12k easy with six strides at the end.

On Wednesday I was supposed to do a 20k Medium Long Run, but I ended up having to cut it short on account of stomach troubles. Very annoying, but I made up for the lost miles the next day when I felt decent and did 16k with six strides to close off the run. Friday comprised only a short 8k recovery session in the heat of the afternoon, as I was preparing to race on Saturday.

Runners at the start of a race
Oppegårdmila 2018 was a hot experience! This is a photo from the start of the 10k, which I raced.

My training plan calls for a final tune-up race between 8-15k just two weeks out from your goal race. Luckily enough, there was local a 10k trail race (well, 10.3k actually) on this weekend, and I penciled that into my plan. It was a hot and heavy race, with the sun shining from clear skies, and a fair bit of climbing on the trails. Still, I managed to put in a very decent effort, and even if my time was not what I was hoping for, I was pleased to come in at 8th place overall in the race. In the next couple of days, I will publish a full race report, so stay tuned for that.

One of the challenges Pfitzinger’s marathon plans throws at you is a Saturday tune-up race followed by a Sunday long run. This was the second time I did that combination over the past 16 weeks, and it is challenging. My original plan was to get up early and hopefully get a head start on the heat, but alas, sleeping in on a Sunday was just too tempting. As such, I ended up doing the 27k in the middle of the day. My legs actually felt decent, but my body overall was definitely not fresh, so I settled in at a pretty comfortable pace. After the stomach cramps ended my run the Sunday before, I also paid extra attention to getting my hydration and gel strategy right this time around, and I did.

Afterwards, I felt pretty tired and banged up, and more than ready to really start tapering. This coming week my running volume will be further reduced with another 20 kilometres, and I hope that this will have me feeling fresher and lighter on my feet.