I’ve been doing four runs a week, broken down as follows:
- One long run. The cornerstone of any distance training plan. I was building on a base from a 10k, so I started with a 7-miler. I’ve basically been increasing the distance by a half mile each week. I had planned to peak at 11, but given that I missed a week with a cold, I stuck to around 10 (10.3). I still feel good going into the race though!
- One mid-week longer run. This started as a 5 miler at the beginning and now I’m doing a 6 miler. These runs, maybe even more than my long runs, really helped me build my confidence for race day. A lot of times I’m feeling tired/not wanting to run for that long on a weeknight, so it is a good mental exercise. And it makes the rest of the weekday runs feel so much shorter!
- One 4-miler: No frills, just running for four miles.
- One shorter, usually treadmill run, with speed intervals: I don’t usually have a rhyme or reason to the speed intervals. Usually something like 4x400, but I’ve been doing 800s or tempo style too. It will typically last between 3 and 4 miles. I like doing this on the treadmill for pacing purposes and so that I can get a strength workout in afterwards.
Honestly, for most of the paces (besides the treadmill run), I just run whatever feels comfortable that day. Sometimes pushing myself feels great; other days I’m slogging through. I’m trying to push myself when I feel up to it.
I’ve taken a “cut back” week every fifth week to try to offset the mileage increases and give my mind and body a break. I think these have been helpful overall--or at least not detrimental.
In addition to the running, I try to get in 2-3 cross-training activities a week. I vary these up a bit, but here’s what I choose from::
- Power vinyasa yoga class. I usually do one of these a week.
- Easier yoga day--either a hatha-style class the studio or a shorter session at home.
- Some time on the elliptical (followed by strength training).
- Strength training. I try to get in at least one full-body session per week, but I really should incorporate two because I’m seeing how beneficial they are. Hard to fit in with everything else! I usually do two “circuits”, with each circuit having one of the following: a leg move (or a compound leg/arm move); an arm move; and a core move. Go through the circuit once, repeat twice. Then do the same for the second circuit. It helps me get it done quickly and not get bored.
- Core work, if I have extra time after a run--just five minutes worth.
On a good week, I'd get 2 yoga classes and a strength session. And some weeks (ahem last week) I totally drop the ball on cross-training and do a big fat goose egg. I know they are important, but mentally having a hierarchy of what were "must-dos" and "nice-to-dos" was really helpful for making me feel not too overwhelmed by everything. Running (particularly the two longer ones) = must dos; cross-training = nice to do.
Below (behind the cut because it is crazy long), I've listed out a ton of backlogged weekly workout summaries (going back to February!). I figured these would be helpful for showing how I usually fit all of the activities in in a given week. I was writing these as I went but had never gotten around to posting them!
Weekly workout summary xgazillion
February 18 - February 24:
Tuesday: 75 minutes power vinyasa class. Studio classes are worth it.
Wednesday: 4 mi @ 11:13. This was in the morning, go me. Then I did some quick core work when I came back.
Friday: 3 mi on the treadmill at varying speeds. My head wasn't totally in the game, so this wasn't any sort of real speedwork.
Saturday: 9.4 mi @ 11:01. Woohoo. I had some minor RunKeeper issues again (tracking me on roads I didn't run on?) that led me to believe this was 10 miles at a hilariously fast pace, so I knew something was up. But then I got back, corrected the route (great RK feature!), and the pace fixed itself. I was still very pleased, though bummed I hadn't actually hit double digits!
Sunday: 30 minutes on the elliptical, then a good long strength session that left me super sore. .
Total mileage: 22.6 mi.
February 25 - March 3:
Monday: 6 mi @ 11:02 pace. I totally spaced before I left the house and forgot my iPod shuffle. It is a testament to how far I’ve come that I didn’t just abandon the run! Old Holly would have seen it as an excuse to bail or stop early, but I pushed through with just the thoughts in my head as company.
Tuesday: REST. Should have been yoga, but I couldn’t make it out of work in time.
Wednesday: 4 mi @ 11:03.
Thursday: 3 mi on the treadmill + strength. I changed the treadmill pace up a lot--the average pace came out to 10:38. I was trying to hustle toward the end to get off for someone! Then I did a slightly abbreviated strength routine..
Friday: 75 min power vinyasa yoga class.
Saturday: 10 miles @ 10:44 average pace. This run was so perfect that I wish it could have been my race, hah! But minimal stop lights, great pacing, nice weather. Just overall was a really good day to run.
Sunday: 90 min hatha yoga class. This class...did not quite do it for me. A little too much emphasis on the spiritual side of yoga for my liking. Will probably not go back.
Total weekly mileage: 23 miles
Total February mileage: 86.1 miles. Highest ever! Last February was my highest ever at the time as well--which was 37.75 miles. And that held as my longest month until September 2012. Crazy how far you can come in a year!
March 4 - March 10: Cutback week!
Monday: 5.1 mi @ 10:32. No idea where that speed came from.
Tuesday: Rest. Again, should have been yoga, but I was an idiot and left my clothes at home. Decided not to sweat it (literally) and take the day off, in the spirit of cutback week.
Wednesday: 3.5 mi on the treadmill + strength. The gym was packed (due to “snowquester”, aka the snow storm that never actually happened). I did 3x800 on the treadmill at 6.0-6.1 mph. Then some strength training.
Thursday: Rest. Dan and I decided to go out for dinner. :)
Friday: 5 miles @ 10:17 before my family arrived! They were coming for the weekend (I time my cutback weeks intentionally!), so I wanted to get this done before they came.
Saturday: Rest. Watching Syracuse lose miserably to G-town with the fam.[Edit: this is REALLY old--man now we are in the Final Four!]
Sunday: 3.3 miles @ 10:09. Truly gorgeous spring day! Then I headed to the gym for a strength workout.
Weekly mileage: 16.9
March 11 - March 17:
Monday: 6 mi @ 10:47.
Tuesday: 75 min power vinyasa yoga class.
Wednesday: REST. Dan and I went out to dinner!
Thursday: 4 mi @ 10:23.
Friday: 75 min power vinyasa yoga class.
Saturday: 10.1 mi @ 10:50. Man, the pace is pretty comparable to the 10-miler I did before my cutback week, but this run felt so much worse. Kind of discouraging. I think a major factor was dressing poorly--I was overheated within the first mile and should have gone back and changed at that point. Fail. But I got it done and never let myself walk (and tried to stay jumping around at the stop lights). They can’t all be fantastic.
Sunday: 3 miles on the treadmill. My legs were feeling tired. Overall pace 11:01.
Weekly mileage: 23.1 miles.
March 18 - March 24:
Monday: 40 min yoga at home.
Tuesday: 6 mi @ 10:37. Definitely starting to feel faster.
Wednesday: 90 min HOT power vinyasa yoga class. This was my first time at this studio (I had bought a Groupon). I was a fan, but man, that heat was challenging. I've done gently heated yoga before (with space heaters, etc.), but this 94* room was a different beast. The pace of the class was good--though I missed the music that my normal studio has!
Thursday: 4 mi on the treadmill. I did a "speed ladder" like you might do on a track: 1600 m (1 mile), 1200, 800, 400 all at 6.0 mph, with a 400 m rest lap in between each one.
Saturday: 3 mi @ 11:09 - the long run that wasn't (due to a cold!).
Sunday: Rest - trying to get better!
Weekly mileage: 13 miles.
March 25 - March 31:
Monday: 4 mi @ 11:09. Still not feeling 100%.
Wednesday: 5.8 mi @ 10:30. Feeling pretty much healed at this point!
Thursday: 3.5 mi on the treadmill - 3x800 @6.0->6.2 mph. I bailed on my planned strength training.
Saturday: 10.3 mi @ 10:38. Really good long run to end on! Gave me a lot of confidence for next weekend and overall just felt READY to run the race. Let's do this!
Sunday: Rest - up in Baltimore for Easter!
Weekly mileage: 23.6 miles.
Total March mileage: 86.6 miles. Just beat out February!