Archive for June 2012

When to be Flexible with Training Schedules

My first week of Marathon training didn’t really go as planned. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. 

Here is what happened:

Goal: Strength
Actual: Strength
Goal: 3 miles easy (10:17 to 10: 47)
Actual: 3.16 miles at 9:31 pace
Goal: 5 miles pace (8:53-9:16)
Actual: 5 a.m. miles at 9:49 and 3.35 p.m. miles at 11:58
Goal: 3 miles easy (10:17 to 10:47) and Strength
Actual: Rest from running and Strength
Goal: rest
Actual: 3.02 at 9:57
Goal: 8 miles long (10:17 to 11:17) with 10 minute Strong Finish
Actual: 8 miles at 9:55, no strong finish
Goal: 2-3 miles recovery jog (11:17 to 11:47)
Actual: 1.98 miles at 10:07

I switched things around a little to fit in an evening run and my paces were a little faster than planned. On my Easy run days I want to run at a comfortable level and if that means I am going faster/slower than my goal pace that’s o.k. by me. I’m going to keep including them in my weekly plan so that I can reference this if I need it. 

Saturday’s long run was a unique one. A huge thunder storm rolled through our area right when I had planned to wake up and get my run in. Instead I got a little extra rest and enjoyed listening to the storm. So relaxing. After the storm blew through we decided to go to the farmer’s market to get our veggies for the week. I dressed for my run and when we were finished at the market I ran towards the park to get 3 miles in before heading home (which is about 5 miles.) What a fun way to get in my mileage. I haven’t done my weekly speed work at the park and so I’ve missed it. 

My new Nike+ watch was working great, except I had it set up wrong. A negative about the Nike+ watch is that you can’t change the large stat on your watch unless it is hooked into a computer. Usually this isn’t a big deal because I make sure it is all set up for my next run before I finish charging it. Today I didn’t double check it before leaving…not sure why because I’ve never used this watch and of course it wouldn’t be set up the way I like it! Usually I like to have the average pace in the large portion of my screen and then I can flip through all the other settings while running to see where I’m at. Today it was set up with the lap time on the big part of the screen. At first I was really disappointed but then I decided to make a game out of it. Try and finish each lap (or mile) within a certain time. This was a great motivator and really kept me at the pace that I wanted to run. I’m happy that I stumbled upon this on accident and I’m sure I’ll use this technique again on long runs and even maybe during a race. It ended up being much easier to see an average pace for each specific mile and it was fun to speed up at the end of each mile to try and finish within a certain time. 

Distance: 8 miles
Time: 1:19:18
Average Pace: 9:55

Here’s what I have planned for this week:

Week 2: Wichita Prairie Fire Marathon Training

Monday: Strength
Tuesday: 3 miles easy (10:17-10:47) with 3 strides at the end
Wednesday: 5 miles easy (10:17-10:47)
Thursday: 3 miles progression 
Friday: Strength
Saturday: 9 miles long (10:17-11:17) with mid 3 miles at Race Pace (9:47)
Sunday: 3 miles recovery jog (11:17-11:47)

A New Watch and New Shoes!

I was a little frustrated today when the doorbell rang and woke up my daughter. That was, until I realized that my replacement Nike+ Sport Watch had arrived. (And it was just about time for A to wake up anyway.) 

For a little over a week I have been relying on Runkeeper and my GPS on my phone while my watch has been out of commission. (It froze and wouldn’t do anything. Nike+ support is wonderful and offered to send me a new one right away!) The main problem with using Runkeeper is that the GPS on my phone isn’t accurate at all. I track the run with Runkeeper and then end up changing the route on the computer at home to get the right mileage. 

Am I obsessed with numbers if I need to have accurate documented mileage??? (probably) Will I take the time to call Nike+ customer service and have them add the Runkeeper 22+ miles to my Nike account??? (probably…yes)
I’m so glad that I don’t have to waste my time making the Runkeeper program work for me and now I can use my watch again. 

I’m running 8 miles tomorrow morning so it came at the perfect time.

Yesterday was my first double run day! I’ve been wanting to try this for awhile and when I woke up and ran 5 miles I thought I was finished for the day. Later on in the day I was invited to run with my two sister-in-laws in the evening. It was too tempting to turn down. We ran a nice and easy 3+ miles together. It was so nice to run with conversation as a distraction. 

I wore my new Saucony Ride 5′s for the first time last night. They felt light and so comfortable. I am liking the upgrades that they made with the 5′s. I plan on wearing my 4′s for awhile still so I hope it’s not too hard to go back and forth between the two! 


I couldn’t be more excited about my purchase today. My new Saucony Ride 5‘s! Saucony has been my favorite shoe for the past year and I’m looking forward to breaking in my new rides this week. I have just over 400 miles on my current pair of shoes so I’ll slowly work these into the rotation until my other shoes reach 500. 

This week it hit me. If I do want to train for a fall marathon it starts NOW! The fall just seems so far away and it felt like I would have a longer training break in between races. I haven’t made any specific plans to run 26.2 in the fall but I am toying with the idea of starting to train just in case. After my last marathon I thought I would never do one again. I had accomplished my goal distance and I was done. One marathon. Done. Or so I thought. Now I know I can train better and run a better race. Doing another marathon when I can race it instead of just finishing it is an exciting challenge.

So, I made a plan. (You know, just in case…)

I developed my own training plan by combining two different plans. I used Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 Full Marathon plan and added in strides, ‘strong finishes,’ and  ‘mid long run race paces’ from “Train Like a Mother” by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea. For my half this spring I had combined Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 and his Intermediate plan and it provided me with speed work and lengthy runs to get me into shape for the race. I PR’d by 12 minutes only 7 months after my last half. Hal didn’t disappoint me.

This time around when I was looking for added speed work in between his two programs I just didn’t feel like the two plans mixed well together. I liked the overall structure of the Novice 2 (distance of runs, amount of running and the long run on Saturday) but I felt like I wanted a little speed work. I know that marathon training isn’t the best time to work on your speed but I feel like I am improving and I don’t want to lose what I have gained.
The “Train Like a Mother” overall plan looks pretty complicated but I do like how they utilize strides, strong finishes and mid long run race paces. If I am up to it I will add in a couple of those each week to add difficulty to my plan. 

Week 1: Wichita Prairie Fire Marathon Training

Monday: Strength
Tuesday: 3 miles easy (10:17 to 10: 47)
Wednesday: 5 miles pace (8:53-9:16)
Thursday: 3 miles easy (10:17 to 10:47) and Strength
Friday: rest
Saturday: 8 miles long (10:17 to 11:17) with 10 minute Strong Finish
Sunday: 2-3 miles recovery jog (11:17 to 11:47)

I ran my first 3 miles of my training plan this morning. Since it is light outside by 5:45/6:00 when I am running in the morning I have decided to find new routes. The same 3 miles over and over in my neighborhood are getting a little old. I feel more comfortable running on narrower streets to get out of my neighborhood when it is light outside. It made the entire run go by pretty quickly and I enjoyed the nice cool breeze of the early morning. 

Distance: 3.16 miles
Time: 30:02
Average Pace: 9:31

So, even if I don’t end up running in the race it is still great motivation to get me out of bed early 5 times a week!