Monday, October 29, 2012

Reflections on a Training Cycle

To say this fall has been busy is an understatement. Full-time teaching job + part-time bakery business + training 55-60 miles a week + random other activities that life brings... keeps me on my toes! I'm loving every second of it though. :)

To sum up this fall training cycle in a sentence - it rocked. It was the first time I really ever put a plan together myself (I usually just use SmartCoach on, but a girl can only take so many mile repeat workouts. Seriously, I think that's the only type of speed training they've ever assigned me.) 

Start of the Columbus Marathon - I ran the half.

I was nervous that it would be too much/not enough/not the right kind of speedwork/too aggressive/not aggressive enough. Ya know what I mean? Turns out, it worked for me. 

I topped out at about 60 miles a week, and most weeks had two speed workouts and a 12-15 mile long run. I made sure I got one solid speed workout, and if I happened to get the other one, great, if not, no big deal.

The first half of the cycle focused on SPEED. Lots of 400m & 1000m workouts at 5k race pace, alternating with 5-6 mile tempo runs about 15-20 seconds slower than 10k race pace.

The second half still had the tempo runs, but some more funky speed workouts. My favorite was probably the 4x200m, 3x1k, 4x200m. Enough excitement to keep me going! I also had a few GHMP runs, which were good confidence boosters.

About smack-dab in the middle, I raced the Pumpkin Classic 10km, and saw a huge PR. 

The last three weekends were full of races - Hands 4 Haiti Half Marathon, the Cheerfund 15km, and the Columbus Half Marathon. Not sure I will ever try to race a half, then a 15km, then a half, three weekends in a row again! It was a little insane!

At H4H, I really surprised myself with a 1:27:37 half-marathon PR (6:41 avg)... totally wasn't expecting that.

A week later, I ran the Cheerfund 15km in conjunction with my Business Man's annual college Friends' weekend get together. (And he ran his first 5k! Woot woot!) I ran a 1:01:54, a 2-minute PR.

Doesn't he look like such a natural?! Seriously... if I could only convince him to run more than twice a year, haha.

I was nervous for Columbus, because I knew I was going in on tired legs. Even with the taper, and running only easy the week before, I knew my body might rebel. I decided to just go out at a 6:40-pace and see how long I could hold it.

My Business Man caught me in action! So good to see him around mile 8ish.

Well, I ended up with about a 30-second PR, and ran a 1:27:09 (6:39 avg)! So, I was very happy indeed. I averaged 6:36 for the first 10km, and definitely hit a bit of a wall around mile 10, but still was so happy to finish where I did.

Post-race high :)

And then... I RESTED! Last week was full of resting up and sleeping in. Well until 6:45am, somehow I couldn't convince my principal to give me a week off to 'recover' from my fall training cycle... hehe. 

I got back into running this weekend, and had an awesome group run on Sunday morning with my run group. My legs are feeling great. I am very much looking forward to building up my base over the next couple months, and then hitting it strong for Boston at the end of December!


Talen said...

I dunno how you train so hard all the time it seems. You are crazy! Go Sara!!

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