After completing last weekend’s 8km race, I was excited to jump into a new training block for my first 10km coming up late May (and a 5km right in the middle!). The plan is to loosely follow Hal Higdon’s intermediate 10km plan, after having successfully having completed the beginner plan in advance of the 8km.
Along with this plan, my personal goals include:
- Start drinking more water. Seriously. I can’t believe I got to be 20 years old without developing a habit of drinking water. I didn’t even start drinking it at all until last year (yes- I hated water, and never drank it throughout my teen years). I know you’re supposed to drink around 2L a day, so I’m trying to work my way up to that with AT LEAST 1L a day, with at least 2L on running days.
- Try to replace coffee for smoothies whenever possible. The first step to this is to replace my broken blender.
- More protein in diet.
- Less McDonalds.
- Comfortably lose 5-10 pounds. (Side note: do your race photos make you look as awful as mine did? Geez.)
- Increase upper body strength and figure out if it’s just my horrible posture or awful upper body strength that’s causing my shoulders to hurt while I run long distances.
I will attempt to check in at the end of each week with how I have done both with Hal’s plan and my additional goals, along with anything else that pops up along the way.
So with that, here is week 1! This week is more loosely followed than what I plan for the upcoming weeks, as I did take a few rest days off after the race, and it’s exam season so studying is a priority over running.
This is what Hal has set up for an intended W1:
(Please note: apparently these summary tables don’t show in the mobile reader section on the WordPress app, so if you see nothing, trust me, there’s supposed to be something there!)
|1||3 m run||3 m run||35 min tempo run||3 m run||Rest||60 min cross||4 m run|
I work A LOT for someone who is also taking full-time courses, so I know that it is rare that I will be able to do each workout on an intended day, and there will be many rest days only because of the common 14 hour work day. Because of these restrictions, I have tailored this week to suit my schedule, so it has been modified to:
|1||Rest (I work from 9am-10pm)||3km (first run since race)||30 min tempo run + 60 minute cross||60 minute cross + 2km||4m run||Rest/Exam Day||1m run|
So, how did I fare?
Monday: Successful horrible day of work.
Tuesday: This was my first run since the race, and I felt relatively fine all things considered, especially comparing my body to how I felt after my previous races. The weather was quite unfortunate and there was a lot of wind and snow throughout parts of the run, so it took more effort than it should have. I did run at a 5:53/km pace, which is under my goal training pace of 6:00/km. So while this run made me feel pretty bad, at least I got it done and in decent time. Win!
Wednesday: Ugh, statistics exam the next day. I wasn’t sure when I would be able to fit in a time to go to the gym, but I managed to tear myself away from the urge to study later in the evening. This was also my first official tempo run EVER. I had played around with the increase of speed before but never labeled anything as a tempo run. At my fastest, I was going at my goal pace for my upcoming 5km. This was on a treadmill and at an incline of 1.
Cross training began with 10 minutes of cool-down on a bike with a resistance of 5. This was really just to properly log my run and make sure no new course marks had been released. I then spent 10 minutes on the rowing machine, and the rest of my time working on core exercises and stretching, including some sit-ups with a medicine ball to get the ball rolling (ha… ha… get it?) on that upper body strength improvement.
Thursday: Another successful day. (Also, I wrote my stats exam, so thank God that’s over!) I typically start my cross-training days with one fast kilometer on my gym’s track. This usually ranges between 5:05min/km and 5:40min/km. Today was a comfortable 5:15 minutes, putting me right around my goal race pace for my upcoming 5km.
Following my quick warm up, I did 10 minutes on the rowing machine, and then I LIFTED WEIGHTS. For the first time in years, I actually lifted some weights. Granted, it wasn’t much weight, and wasn’t for long (20 reps on each arm with a 12.5lb weight), but still. I struggle with carpal tunnel syndrome and have difficulty with weights because of my wrists, but I didn’t feel anything bad this time. Hopefully, that doesn’t change, and I can begin to incorporate small amounts of weights to work on my lacking upper body strength.
I did my typical core exercises and also incorporated some wall-sits into my rotation, which sucked, and I underestimated how hard they would be. I sometimes struggle to fit a full hour in at the gym when I’m not running, so I tried to throw in as many exercises as I could think of before running another kilometer as a cool-down. This last kilometer was a lot slower than the first, at 6:23 minutes.
Friday: 4 miles successfully completed, and nothing else. Today was a hard and slow run. The first two miles, my mind just wasn’t in it. My ankles also felt really heavy, like I was running with steel-toed boots on. I ran slow and kept thinking that I could just stop, claim my 1 mile and move my 4 miles to Sunday, but I knew that I probably wouldn’t want to do it on Sunday, either, so it was safer to just stick it through. One of the things that has always kept me going during long runs is telling myself that it’s fine if I stop, but only once I hit a certain point. So if I’m feeling awful right away, I’ll tell myself that it’s okay if I stop, but I have to hit 1 mile first. And then I’ll get to that 1 mile, and just keep going because if I can get through that first hurdle, it’ll only get easier. (I feel like I won’t be saying that once I start committing to longer distances, but for now, it’s true).
- Side Note: I also didn’t drink any coffee today. I’m considering this as a good move towards my not-exactly-running goals, but also considering it to be a cause in my horrible run.
Saturday: Exam/work/rest day complete.
Sunday: Today was a day where I didn’t think I’d get any running in, so I threw that mile up there just in case things worked out and I got to run. Unfortunately, Southern Ontario has been hit with a really bad ice storm, and the weather is impossible to run in. I also worked too late to make it to the gym/track in time. So today: 0 miles.
Week 1 Distance: 15.9 km / 9.9 miles
Progress on other goals: I’ve been drinking a lot of water, didn’t have an absurd amount of coffee, and ate a lot of chicken (protein!). I also completed some upper body workouts. I’d say that I’ve done enough to be satisfied with this week.
Side note: If you run, and want to talk about your running, regardless of how far/fast you go, please check out my “be featured” page. I’d really like to incorporate a sense of community into this blog.
Until next time!