Goal – spring marathon – weeks 7-8

I am back on track! No more coughing or runny nose – I finally felt good and I was gradually increasing mileage during those two weeks. I was afraid to execute general strength workouts as this could increase my chances of overtraining. I will do this work during the next training phase. Along with December, winter has arrived at Warsaw so the last week was done on snow and ice. It will make the running a bit slower, but I hope that this will also decrease the number of germs and viruses in the air.

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Ok, let’s sum this up!

Monday 21.11.2016

No workout this day. I was on a business trip to Białowieża Forest – one of the nicest places in Poland. Unfortunately, I spent most of my day inside in the Białowieża National Park Administration Office, and not in the National Park itself.

Tuesday 22.11.2016

Plan: Easy run

I came back to Warsaw around 5pm from my business trip. I was tired after five hours on the bus, but I felt good. My cough was diminishing and I felt ready for some running. As I wanted to go easy on myself for a while, I decided to cut down my run to 7 kilometers of easy pace, and so I did. I was worried a little bit about my right knee, but I had no unpleasant reactions from its part. The weather for this time of year was really good – around 8 degrees Celsius and dry. I did some stretching and icing afterwards and already started thinking about the next run.

Execution: 6,88km, 0:37:36, av. pace 5:28/km, av.hr: 148 (74%hrmax)

Wednesday 23.11.2016

Plan: Easy run

Still feeling all right. On Wednesday I planned to increase the distance just a bit. This day was also my daughter’s fourth birthday, so I was somewhat distracted, but the run went smoothly. Although my legs were slightly tense after the first run in a while, I had no other issues.

Execution: 8,80km, 0:47:42, av.pace: 5:25/km, av.hr: 150 (75%hrmax)

Thursday 24.11.2016

Plan: Easy run

As I felt good after the two initial runs I decided that it was time to go back to my regular distance of easy runs. My physical condition was good, without any pains or aches. My leg muscles felt tired after two consecutive days of running but still in a shape for a run. I was getting some cramps in my feet and calves but they were slowly diminishing with each run.

The weather was ok: cold, dry with mild fog. The run itself went without any surprises. The level of fatigue was slowly rising during the run, but I was in the range of easy running throughout the whole run. I noticed slightly raised heart rate comparing to the runs before the infection, but this should get lower in a matter of text few runs.

Execution: 12,10km, 1:05:44, av.pace: 5:26/km, av.hr: 147 (74%hrmax)

Friday 25.11.2016

Rest.

Saturday 26.11.2016

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Plan: Easy run

I must admit that those rare occasions to run during daylight in the winter season are the nicest moments for me. The weather was nice: 4 degrees, sunny and dry with some wind. I felt pumped with energy and I was holding even pace around 5:10/km throughout the run. The pace was good and it was easy to hold, so I was optimistic as to myself getting back into shape.

Execution: 12,16km, 1:02:19, av.pace: 5:08/km, av.hr: 148 (74%hrmax)

Sunday 27.11.2016

No running – My daughter’s birthday party. Actually, this was one of the heaviest workouts this year. An hour of preparations, three and a half hours of managing a bunch of kids and then an hour and a half of bringing the whole place back to order… I was dead tired afterwards.

Monday 28.11.2016

Plan: Core stability

Execution: I did 30 min of riding on my stationary bike and then 30 minutes of core exercises on a stability ball. Additionally I did some exercises in side plank position. I felt some slight pain in the outside part of my left thigh, but I thought that it was due to some strange things I did the day before…

Tuesday 29.11.2016

Plan: Easy run

Winter came… Only few days ago I noticed some trees on my terrace started developing leaves and now it is snowing… This was my first run in winter conditions this season, so I had to adjust my running to new conditions. By that I mean that I had to shorten my strides when on snow or ice, adjust breathing and wear some additional clothes like a buff (tubular) and gloves. Having done those things, winter becomes a great time to run 🙂 The workout went as desired. I felt strong and eager to run. As this was my first regular week after recovering from illness, I was not forcing myself too much, but I was running according to my current feel.

Execution: 12,12km, 1:04:58, av.pace:5:22/km, av.hr: 150 (75%hrmax)

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Wednesday 30.11.2016

Plan: Easy run

I felt slightly stiff after the previous run, but generally I felt good – no pain or anything like that. As I walked out the door it started snowing… again. This time it was windy too, so the snow was falling almost horizontally and into my eyes. This is one of very few weather conditions that I hate. Anyway I started running – it was very slippery as the temperature was dropping from around 1-2 degrees to minus. The worst was a little bridge that is in the middle of the park I run in. I had to look like a huge clumsy ballerina as I was trying to reach its highest point and even worse as I was “running” down to the other side. As the weather was getting worse I went back home after 7 kilometers. I thought that as this was the first normal mileage week after recovering form illness, I could go a little bit easier on myself.

Execution: 6:86km, 0:38:24, av.pace: 5:36/km, av.hr: 141 (70%hrmax)

Thursday 1.12.2016

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Plan: Easy run

This time I was prepared for snow and wind. My trick is to use my regular summer hat under my winter beanie. This way the snow does not get into my eyes, even when it is very windy. I had a good pace and I was slightly speeding up during the run. I was tired, but in the acceptable range.

Execution: 12,16km, 1:05:42, av.pace: 5:24/km, av.hr: 147 (73%hrmax)

Friday 2.12.2016

Rest day

Saturday 3.12.2016

Plan: Easy run

I have to underline this once again – during winter I appreciate every possibility of running in daylight. The temperature was slightly below O degrees, so the snow residues were actually ice. In such conditions it is hard to upkeep the regular pace, so I had to slow down a little bit – I just focused on maintaining a normal level of effort.

Execution: 12km, 1:05:30, av.pace: 5:28/km, av.hr: 146 (73%hrmax)

Sunday 4.12.2016

Plan: Easy run

This was a really nice day. It was sunny and just above 0 degrees, so the snow residues were partly soft and partly iced. I felt like running a bit faster and after the first kilometer I increased my pace. After eight kilometers I moved towards my marathon pace for the last four kilometers, and so I ended up with an average of 4:52/km.

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It was a really good run. I also passed by a local race along the Vistula River that I was considering to take part in, but I resigned from racing this week as it wouldn’t make much sense just two weeks from a serious infection.

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Execution:E-M 12,08km, 0:58:47, av.pace: 4:52/km, av.hr: 159 (80%hrmax)

I have not run a test run by the end of week eight though, because it would have not given  a reliable information on my fitness level. Instead I will do the test during one of Parkrun runs on weeks 9-10. Those two weeks mark the end of the first phase of my training. I can’t say that I am pleased with where I am right now. One infection held me back for a month, so in fact I did only half of the work I planned, and I had to skip some training units in order not to overtrain myself during the recovery. Anyway, I still have enough time to prepare myself for the April marathon so I will just continue and see what will happen during next several weeks as they will be decisive for me and my plans.

During the next two weeks I will introduce tempo runs and finally running strength workouts. I will also elongate the Sunday runs. I hope that this will not be too much after a weaker first phase of training.

Bigrunner sunday run 4.12.2016

See you on running paths!

 

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