Training but not

After the marathon I had a goal to keep up some sort of endurance. I didn’t want to overdo it but wanted to continue to do long runs. I’ve been holding steady doing long runs of up to 12 miles with step back weeks every few weeks.

In the last few weeks my mileage has crept up. I knew when my mother-in-law came to visit a little over a week we would have a good long run. She’s training for the Fargo Marathon in May so I figured I better try to get my mileage up. I had done a 14.3 mile run a few weeks prior so I told her I could likely go about 16 miles with her.

We lucked out and had good enough weather to hit my favorite local trail at Elm Creek. My running BFF Amy met with us and off we went. Amy did the first 14 with us which was awesome. We saw deer, turkeys, pheasants and a beautiful sunrise. Nancy and I continued running for a few more miles for a total of 16.33 miles. It was the longest run I’ve done since the marathon.

Amy and I ran about 14 miles again this weekend and I think maybe next weekend I’ll do 15. The thing is, the only races I have on my calendar right now are a 10 miler and a half marathon in May. I could probably be ready for an early summer marathon but then that would mean no fall marathon which is what I really want to do. There is no reason I need to run this far, but it just feels so good to get out there and get them done.

I registered for the Chicago lottery. Mid-April seems so far away to hear back. If I don’t get in I’m considering the Omaha Marathon in September or Des Moines in October. Both are just a short drive away and within weeks of Twin Cities which is what a lot of my running friends will be training for.

At some point I’m going to need to start tapering back so that I’m not at nearly 20 miles at the beginning of a marathon training cycle. I think I’ll continue to keep up the mileage for a few more weeks until after Easter when I’m sure there will be another long run with Nancy in Lincoln. Then time to taper down a bit.

Swim, bike, run – Getting my feet wet

About a month ago I got an email from Lifetime Fitness about its Commitment Day Festival. It starts with a New Year’s Day 5k and concludes with an indoor triathlon. Knowing we’d likely already be out of pocket for New Year’s Day I decided to register for the indoor triathlon. I’ve never done one, but decided that the start of the a new year was the perfect time to try it out.

This is a very beginner friendly event. Rather that prescribed distance for each portion of the race, it’s done by time. We start with a 10 minute swim, followed by 30 minutes on a bike and 20 minutes running. Between each portion there are allotted transition times which is nice. No need to feel super rushed.

While I have not been following any sort of official training plan, I’ve been incorporating swimming and biking into my weekly routine in addition to my three runs. Over the past several couple of weeks my weeks have looked something like this:

Monday – Swim/Bike

Tuesday – Run

Wednesday – Group class/Bike

Thursday – Bike/Run

Friday – Group class or off

Saturday – Long Run

Sunday – Swim

Not all weeks go as planned but I’ve been pretty good at swimming and biking at least two days per week.

Here’s what I’ve learned about my fitness level for an event like this.

1. Being in running shape and swimming shape are not the same at all. Getting back into swimming has been challenging. Each week I see improvements in my fitness. For example, two weeks ago in 30 minutes I only swam 900 yards alternating between freestyle and breaststroke. Today I swam 1200 yards in the same amount of time, still alternating strokes.

2. Stationary bikes are way more comfortable than Spin bikes. We will be on spinning bikes for the event so I’ve been going into the cycling room when there is not a class. Those seats hurt after more than 15 minutes. I need some padded shorts.

3. My legs are jello when I start to running after biking. It’s such a different motion, my legs are confused about what is going on.

I did a trial triathlon this morning just to see how my body did. I made it a bit longer than the one I’ll be doing just to see how it went, plus 10 minutes in the pool is hardly worth getting wet.

In 90 minutes I completed a 1200 yd swim, rode 6.9 miles and ran 3.5 miles. It felt really good and surprisingly less difficult than I anticipated. That was a relief. I’m excited for the 4th!

We’ll see, I may just like this triathlon thing and register for the outdoor one this summer at the lake across the street from my house.

Colorado Marathon Training Plan

It’s training time! I’m so excited to have a plan in place. I am much better at holding myself accountable when I have a plan to refer to and you all to keep me to it. Like any training cycle adjustments may be made for travel, illness, etc. but I am going to do my best to adhere to it.

When developing this plan I knew that I wanted to stick with running just three days each week. I found this very successful when training for the Nike Women’s Marathon and the other races I did in 2012. I looked back at my training plans from the Platte River Half and Nike to see what I was running when.  Both of those plans I based off the Runner’s World Less is More Plan. The unusual thing this time is that I’m already comfortably running 10 miles at the beginning of training.

With a solid base to start with, I decided that I wanted to run further than the half distance, up to 16 miles. This was for a few reasons one of which is that I’m still mildly considering doing a late summer/early fall full. Running up to 16 miles would put me in a great place to continue training if I decided I wanted to do a marathon.

In addition to endurance, I’m going to be working on speed again. In order to run a sub 1:50 half I need to have an average pace of 8:24. Using the McMillan Calculator I figured out what paces I need to run at during speed interval and tempo runs. I’m only slightly intimidated by the following:

400m: 1:44 – 1:50
600m: 2:40 – 2:48
800m: 3:37 – 3:48
1200m: 5:36 – 5:57
1600m: 7:48 – 7:58

Tempo Run: 8:10 – 8:27

I did my first interval workout on Tuesday and tempo run on Thursday. I’m a glutton for punishment I suppose. So, here is my plan. (It’s small but if you click on it, it will enlarge.)

Co Training Plan

Please note that I am not a certified running coach or expert, this is just what has worked for me in the past. As you’ll notice my top mileage is 23 miles. Unless marathon training, I typically don’t run more than 25 miles/week. My body is happier when I stick closer to the 20 mpw mark. I was careful not to increase overall mileage by more than 10% each week and take a number of step back weeks where my long run is shorter, giving my body a break.

I also have a shorter tamper. I’ve found that I feel more ready for race day if it hasn’t been three weeks since my longest run, two weeks works better for me. I may reduce that last run before the race to 7 miles rather than 9, but we’ll see. Some of this is also dependent on whether or not I decide to do a marathon. If I do not, then I’ll likely reduce long run mileage and up my during the week mileage slightly. Cross-training activities will vary week to week, but I’ll let you know what I’ve been up to.

I Would Run 500 Miles

When I started running again after having Anderson, I peaked at my DailyMile account to discover I was had about 350 miles logged. This of course made me wonder just how many miles I’d covered in 2012 while training considering this included three months of no running and zero race training. Now, with just a little over a month remaining in the year, I have 51.2 miles to run to hit 500 miles for the year. I am aiming to get it done!

I figured out that in order to hit 500 miles by New Year’s Eve, I have to run about 12 miles per week. After my cold made a vicious comeback early in the week, I only had 4 of my miles completed. I already planned on doing a longer run of 6-8 miles but this meant, I needed to get in eight rather than six.

Once the kiddos were down for naps I was off to the gym. Unfortunately it was just a few degrees too cold for me to run outside. I don’t know how I used to run in teens and twenties. Brr. I don’t know how I ran 14+ mile runs on treadmills during marathon training last year, because ugh, I struggled with the eight I ran. It was nice having a bathroom right there I suppose. I covered my eight miles in about an hour and fifteen minutes. To keep my boredom somewhat at bay I increased my speed every 10 minutes with the exception of the last 10 minutes.

Longest postpartum run to date! I’m thinking about trying nine miles this weekend, but with family in town and Anderson’s baptism, I don’t think it’s likely to happen. With my mileage building up, I’m starting to get really excited for racing season! I’ve already been looking at local races and one a fun Thelma and Louise Half in Moab. I don’t really have to start training for the Colorado Half Marathon until February, but I’m getting anxious. I might start working on my training plan now. I really want to break 1:50 this year.

I’m also getting more serious about the Portland Marathon, though I need to really talk to Josh about it. It seems like a fun, smaller race. Plus the course is supposed to be flat (no more San Fran hills for me) and beautiful. If I want to break 4 hours, I think that’s just what I need.

Before I get ahead of myself though, I have those 51 miles to take down.