Week #2: “I’m All Over the Place”

DAY | PLAN | ACTUAL
MON | REST | REST
TUE | 3M/STRENGTH | 3M (9:52/MI)/STRENGTH
WED | 3M/YOGA | 3.2M (9:46/MI)/BIKRAM90
THU | 3M/STRENGTH | 3.2M HILL INT (9:24/MI)/STRENGTH
FRI | REST | REST
SAT | YOGA | BIKRAM90
SUN | 7M | 7.3 (10.08/MI)
TOTAL |16 MILES | 16.7 MILES

I’m enjoying these first few weeks of marathon training because I’m looking at them as a lot of trial and error and getting to know myself as a runner. From what I am told, as the weeks progress and I’m pushed more to my limit, I will be getting to know myself much more as a person. I’m taking each stage as it comes and appreciating it for what it is.

Week 2’s short runs during the week went just fine. I especially enjoyed my hill interval workout on Thursday after my strength training session. My energy was good and I felt really strong, even as I raised the incline on each interval. It was encouraging to finally see a bit of progress on my hill work. You guys all told me I would, and you were right! Being told that the hills would still benefit my training even if I walked them has set me free somehow. I have still yet to walk any of them, but for some reason knowing I can has made all the difference.

My run on Wednesday was a bit tough and is something I may need to look at in the future. Well, to be honest, the run wasn’t too tough, but after getting it in at 530am in 83 degree weather and then trotting off to a 90 minute yoga class in a hot room, I was wiped. I’ve done this combo often for quite some time–a short run, and then yoga. I think one difference is that I usually run inside on the treadmill and out of the sun. I didn’t think the heat would affect me too much, but it definitely did. When I arrived at my studio right before class my teacher joked, “Is it raining outside?” It was clear and sunny but I was drenched. I had had my normal AM drinks, as well as a coconut water and bone broth, but it was not enough. This week I am going to adjust my hydration and take some salt tablets both before the run and before class. If I can maintain energy throughout and not leave feeling like I got hit by a truck, then I will continue the combo. If not, I may have to go down to just one yoga class a week, or perhaps some weeks I’ll slide a class in on my rest day. We will see. Like I said, I’m gonna take it week by week and see how I feel.

My real education this week came on my 7 mile run today. My blogger friend Hanna had suggested to me that I make my longer runs progression runs where I’m really trying to push myself at the end. She mentioned it was one of the best ways to simulate the marathon, where I’ll reach a point where I’ll have to seriously push through on tired and angry legs. I thought this was great advice, and set out to start to incorporate it into my training today. Earlier in the week I read about how there are different types of progression runs, and I realized that one of the general methods is how I typically run. I am pretty good at starting slow and increasing my pace. In other words, I’ve got a pretty good negative split game. I realized though that this was not necessarily the progression run I am going for in my training. Instead I want to be able to hold a consistent and manageable pace for several miles before starting to push for the last few. If you look below at my stats for the day you might think I didn’t do too bad, but really, I was all over the place. I’ve only had my Garmin for about a month but I’ve already learned a great deal from it. This morning I would be jogging along at an easy 10:45 or so pace, breathing easy and getting into my podcast. A few minutes later I would think, “Man, what’s wrong with me, why is my breathing getting heavier at this slow pace?” That is the point where I would look down at my watch and notice I had quickened to 9:05. This happened all throughout my run. While the numbers balanced out fine for each lap, I didn’t like how imbalanced my sporadic pacing made me feel. Before my watch, I never realized how easily my pace can get away from me if I’m not paying attention to it.

IMG_0352.jpg

I’ve run a half in under 2 hours. When I train for the half I’m pretty comfortable averaging the 9:00/mile pace. But the truth is, that comfort level is only there because I know I only have to maintain it for 13.1 miles. I’ve been so worried about going out too fast for the marathon that in my head, I’ve pictured myself training very slowly for it to make sure I can finish. All in all, you might say I’m a little lost as to what my pace should be–I’m really not sure what I am capable of. I guess that is why I am so grateful for these first few weeks of training–I am using them to try and find my true pace, or at least a range I can steady myself at. I like the idea of challenging myself to running more evenly on my long runs. I’m thinking it will help me incorporate my breath-work as well and these two things can start to work in tandem, instead of against each other.

Final Thought

I’ve been so rejuvenated by my two rest days–it’s something I think I want to try to maintain throughout training, and also perhaps in the off season. I’ve been going six days for years–often with one or two days that I’m really dragging myself along. I really feel like I am seeing more strength and energy and focus in each workout with two days rest. My sister, a collegiate athlete herself, was telling me about a conversation she had with a friend, who happens to train several professional athletes. He told her, “Real athletes approach rest with as much vigor as days they train. If an athlete doesn’t rest well, they won’t perform well, period.” Hearing this from a guy I really respect has really shifted my perspective. It made me realize that I have been run ragged by my ego for a long time. I’m very type A and intense; I like the idea of being seen as someone who’s always pushing. Working out six days a week fed my desire to maintain that persona. Things look different to me now though, This training has me thinking more about the type of runner and athlete I want to be, and the success and longevity I hope to have. If adding an extra rest day keeps giving me that pop in my workouts, then I think I’ll be sold. BONUS: I LOVE that my rest days are Monday and Friday–I’m really digging the way that it structures my week–everything feels so achievable!

Have a great week everyone–let me know how you are all doing out there! How did you find your “marathon” pace? How many days are you resting, and does it differ when you are training for something? 

Also, enjoy GoT tonight if you’re a watcher. If you’re not, get on that shit now! #winterishere

27 thoughts on “Week #2: “I’m All Over the Place”

  1. norcalbarunner

    Totally unrelated, but you see that rad picture of the tunnel you put up at the top of this post? It’s in Glasgow. I’ve run through it a couple times and it’s brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did not know that, thank you! I chose it because it spoke to me right away, I felt like it captured all my craziness from that week. Also, color/style-wise, it bears some similarities to to the Williamsburg Bridge here which I run on all the time. Hopefully I will get a chance to see it when I go to Glasgow. Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: The Best at Rest – cat h. bradley

  3. This post expresses almost perfectly the runner’s stream of consciousness going through training. I know I’m not the first commenter to say this but do hydrate in the heat. Not doing so made me drop out of my first full marathon attempt at the twenty mile mark. And (although I probably shouldn’t be giving advice) carry that positive attitude towards resting into a really good taper!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Progression runs…I may have just blogged about those last week 😉. As far as marathon pace goes, I had to obsessively stare at my watch early on in training, but pacing will come more naturally as you go. Great work this week!

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  5. Great running Cat! Wednesday sounded really challenging. A running coach once told me that rest days are the most important component of any training plan. I tend to agree with him.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Emma!! Yeah I think I agree with your running coach–it’s almost like I can feel the work settling into my muscles on rest days. When I go go go, that settle never happens, and I think that’s where change and improvement and growth happens.

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  6. Yay for week 2!!!
    My training calls for 4 run days, I take Sunday totally off and try to work strength training, yoga, stretching and rolling into the other days. I used to try and work on pace/speed, but every time I would get injured. I’ve had a pinched bursa sac on my right knee, IT issues, other knee issues and hip issues to where I just…run!! If I’m quick that day, I’m quick, if not oh well!!
    You’ll get there and it sounds like you have a few people that are going to get you there the right way!!

    Jodi

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Jodi! Is that bursa sac thing painful?–whenever I hear someone talk about that it sounds so painful!! You are right though, I don’t really need to be worrying about pace either–I annoy myself, I get caught up in the numbers sometimes, just my personality i think!
      Also- you are def a part of my peeps getting me there, so thank you!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Cat, The bursa sac pinch was very painful!! I couldn’t bend my knee for two days. It took about five days for the swelling/knot to completely go down. I hope that never happens again!! Awww, you’re welcome!! I’m glad I found your blog!!

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  7. I like what you wrote about rest! So true. I just finished a week off from running snd although it was difficult to not run it was necessary. Your pace chart looks good. I speed up early and catch myself too. Use your breathing as a guide. The average pace setting on your watch might help for the longer runs!?! Great work! Stay hydrated! The humidity this year is a killer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Amanda! Yes, I saw you were making yourself take a bit of a break–I bet it’s going to help so much, you’ll prob be speeding around everywhere this week!
      And you are so right–my breath is a great indicator on where my pace is at. I would be fine and then all the sudden out of breath–I sped up without even realizing it! Good thing to look out for as I go. Thanks for reading!! x

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hey Cat! I’m not a GoT fan, more of a G&T fan tbh! I used the McMillan Run Calculator to get my marathon, based on my times for 10k & half marathon, plus my ‘goal’ time. It then gave me the different training paces, which I’ve stuck to.

    I tend to have one full rest day per week (Monday), whilst Friday is usually just a core strength session. Wednesday tends to be a short easy run or cycle. Tuesday & Thursday tend to be the main sessions during the week, both followed by strength work. Saturday is an easy run and Form drills, and Sunday is my long run. I like the rhythm that this structure gives my life….

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  9. Love your post! And happy to come across another fellow marathon trainee 😉 Have you heard of Yasso 800’s? They can be a good marathon predictor. On the track-10x800m at marathon goal time in minutes and seconds instead of hours and minutes. So for example: 3:59:00 marathon (sub 4 hour ☺️)-each 800 would be 3 mins 59 secs. It may be best to do them once you’re a little deeper into your training because you will most likely get much faster in the coming months so you wouldn’t want to get discouraged by an early “test”. Best!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ash, thank you so much for reading! I have heard of yasso briefly but I’ve never really looked into it– I will now. I think Ali below is suggesting another marathon predictor as well, I will check the both out. I love crowdsourcing, it has been so incredibly helpful in my training so far.
      I see from your blog that you are running your 5th marathon!? So amazing. Thanks again for stopping by. I welcome your seasoned advice so please feel free to chime in any time! x

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  10. Hanna @ minimal marathoner

    Awww thanks for the shoutout! Glad my advice was helpful!

    Your pacing will get better with practice. As you start to get more in shape, your mile splits will get more consistent. It is hard to know what pace to run for your easy days, but I think it is always better to err on the side of being too slow than being too fast. I once got the advice that “if you have to ask yourself if you’re going too fast, the answer is probably yes.” Save your energy for speed workouts,which is the running that actually makes you faster.

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    1. Ha! I ask myself that often–unfortunately what usually comes after is “well you don’t want to go too fast but you don’t want to go too slow either!” Ah, my mind, it needs to shhhh sometimes! Thanks Hanna! x

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      1. Hanna @ minimal marathoner

        Meh…I’m of the camp that believes there is no such thing as too slow, at least for an easy run. Many elite and sub-elite runners do their easy runs over 2:00 min/mile slower than their marathon pace. I’ve run a marathon at an 8:30 pace and most of my easy runs these days are around a 10:20 pace. It does feel really slow but it leaves me with a lot more energy to crush my workouts that actually do need to be fast. As for marathon pace, I wouldn’t worry about it yet. As you get deeper into training you will get a better idea of what finish time is within your capabilities. I would just focus for now on staying at a relaxed effort and logging the miles.

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