Goal – spring marathon – weeks 9-10

Weeks 9-10 were in the same time first weeks of the second phase of my training cycle – the initial quality training phase.

During the ninth week I did three easy runs, one easy run with running strength, one tempo run and one core stability workout. Altogether I run 58 kilometers.

During the tenth week I did two core stability workouts, one easy run, one easy run with running strength, one 5k race and one long steady run. Altogether I run 52 kilometers.

OK, let’s go through all the details:

Monday, 5.12.2016

Plan: core stability

First as usual I started with 30 min. warmup on my stationary bike and then I moved to exercises on stability ball. I was slowly increasing intensity of my supplementary workouts. On this day I did three series of front and back planks on stability ball with leg bends. Then I did three series of side planks – each one I held for thirty seconds. My overall state of health was good, I felt that my level of energy was going up and I didn’t feel tired after the last week runs. That was a good prognostic for the upcoming runs.

Tuesday, 6.12.2016

Plan: Easy run

The word for this day was “ice”. Everything was covered with thin layer of ice. During the day the temperature was slightly above 0 degrees and in the evening the whole moist got frozen. As you can imagine the run was very careful and insecure, but all in all I managed somehow to reach my desired distance. During the run I felt good, I had some tension in my left hip, but it went away as I increased the pace and stayed OK till the end of the run.

Execution: 12,84km, 1:10:49, av.pace: 5:31/km, av.hr: 144 (72%hrmax)

Wednesday, 7.12.2016

Plan: Easy run + running strength

This day was not as slippery as the day before, but still I had to pay attention on Icy areas. Fortunately the temperature was above the freezing point at the ground level, so the major part of my route was safe. I felt strong as it turned out that the previous run was not so demanding. I began with six kilometers of easy run and then, after a short rest and some stretching exercises, I started my running strength set composed of ten uphill runs of about 110-130 meters. On the way down, I partly jogged and walked to bring down my breathing and prepare for the next uphill run. This was my first running strength set in this cycle so I focused on my technique and feedback from my legs and hips. At the beginning I had some issues with hips, but at the point of the fourth run my legs got accustomed to new kind of stress.

Execution: E 5:77km, av.pace: 5:40. Running strength: 10 uphill runs of 110-130m with recovery of the same length.

Thursday, 8.12.2016

Plan: Easy run

The temperature was just above 0 degrees and the pavements were mostly dry. I was a little bit sore after the Wednesday running strength workout, but generally I felt OK and I was wearing my new shoes 🙂 . The pace was relatively good and I was speeding up during the run.

Execution: 12,88km, 1:09:48, av.pace: 5:25/km, av.hr: 147 (73%hrmax)

Friday, 9.12.2016

Day off

Saturday, 10.12.2016

Plan: Tempo run

Initially, I planned to run this tempo run during a Parkrun race, but I had to give this idea up due to family circumstances. Finally I did this workout the normal way in the afternoon. The weather was horrible – it was raining and it was quite windy – just not a good day for a tempo run…

I started with around 4 kilometers of warm up and started the main part – a 20 minutes of tempo run. The workout seemed difficult, after the first kilometer I started running against the wind (and rain). I planned to run in the pace of 4:15/km but the run against the wind has slowed me down a bit. All in all I ended up with a pace of 4:18/km. After I hit 20 minutes I slowed down and went back home. The cooldown was about 2 kilometers long. Taking the circumstances into account, the workout went quite smoothly, especially as it was the first tempo run in this cycle.

Execution:10,41km, 0:50:00, av.pace: 4:48/km, av.hr: 159 (79%hrmax)

  • E 3,58km, 18:32, av.pace: 5:10, av.hr: 145 (72%hrmax)
  • T 4,64km, 20:00, av.pace: 4:18, av.hr: 170 (85%hrmax)
  • E 2,14km, 11:28, av.pace: 5:22, av.hr: 160 (80%hrmax)

Sunday, 11.12.2016

Plan: long run

This was a really difficult day. I was about to do my workout after breakfast, but I had to stay home and do some other things so I had to postpone it until evening. In the afternoon I went with my wife and daughter to a St Nicholas’ Day party for kids. The party was on ice and I spent an hour and a half ice skating with my little pumpkin.

When we got back home I was only thinking about getting some sleep. After a short nap I went out running, but I was so tired that I did just my regular 12kilometares easy run. I would probably run some more, but it was dark, cold and it was raining…

Execution: 12,16km, 1:06:48, av.pace: 5:30/km, av.hr: 145 (72%hrmax)

Monday, 12.12.2016

Plan: core stability

After Sunday skating and running I was so tired that I was falling asleep during exercising… Anyway, I did 30 minutes of core stability exercises on stability ball, some stretching and called it a day. I was in no shape for a serious workout this day.

Tuesday, 13.12.2016

Plan: Easy run

Winter has come again. Frost and ice everywhere. I felt fresh, the run went very smoothly and quite fast.

Execution: 12,96km, 1:07:55, av.pace: 5:14/km, av.hr: 145 (73%hrmax)

Wednesday, 14.12.2016

Plan: Easy run + running strength

This day the temperature was above zero degrees. It was raining most of the day, so everything was wet and cold. Additionally there was also windy, so all the conditions were quite awful. This day I had just one hour for my workout, so I had to pay attention not to exceed my time frame. I felt tired, maybe the tuesday easy run was a bit too fast… Anyway I did eight slow kilometers and after few seconds break I started my uphill runs. Altogether I did 10 runs of 110-130 meters with rest during the way down in a slow jog. The fast runs went as I wanted, but by the end of the workout the only thing I could think of was getting back home and out of the rain.

Execution: E 8,30km, 0:47:27, av.pace: 5:43/km + 10 uphill runs of 110-130 meters with recovery of the same length.

Thursday, 15.12.2016

No workout today – the level of pollutants in the air reached such levels in Warsaw, that the local government has announced a free public communication day. Additionally, as I planned to run a fast race on Saturday, I thought that one extra day of rest shouldn’t do me much harm.

Friday, 16.12.2016

Plan: core stability

This day the workout was short and relatively easy due to the Saturday’s race. I did my three series of planks on stability ball and called it a day.

Saturday, 17.12.2016

Plan: Parkrun Race (5k)

I started this day at seven thirty. Everything was covered with frost. The temperature was just below 0 degrees, and the whole world was white.

I had my coffee and a toast with cherry jam and started to put on my running clothes. I felt good and energetic. I went out at eight thirty, half an hour before the start. I jogged towards the starting point, which was about three kilometers. I did several strides around the starting speed and felt that I was ready to go. I still had some five minutes, but on Parkruns we have group pictures, so it went very fast. As the atmosphere was hot, I took off my windshield jacket and prepared for the start. As we started the race, I tried to keep a steady pace around 4:00 – 4:06 (my plan was to finish in 20:00 – 20:30).

On this course the first kilometer is slightly downhill, the second is uphill, the third is almost even, the fourth is a bit uphill and the fifth has the biggest rise. Here how it looks on the graph:

I ended the first kilometer in 4:00 – at this point the first group of fastest runners has already been some 100 – 150m away and I have been running at the front of the next group of four runners.

By the end of the second kilometer I was passed by one runner, but I stuck with him and rested a bit. The second kilometer was run in 4:07. During the third kilometer I stayed on my position and started to speed up a little bit. I finished the third kilometer in 4:03. At the beginning of the fourth kilometer I passed the runner ahead of me and increased the pace. The pace of the fourth kilometer was 4:00. I gained some 50 meters of distance from the passed runner and I tried to keep it this way till the end. I slowed down a bit during the uphill part of the last kilometer, but I managed to speed up during the last couple of hundred meters. The last kilometer was 4:06, but I was not pressed by anyone, so I didn’t have enough motivation to go on 100%. I finished at 20:15, and at 8th position among 38 runners, so I was in the middle of my planned range of time.

My biggest problem during this run was breathing. It was below zero, so it was difficult to breath freely, and I felt I was out of breath. During the third kilometer I started to breath in 2:1 rhythm, which is very fast for me. I usually breath in 2:2 rhythm just until the last kilometer, when I speed up the rhythm of breathing to 2:1. My legs felt strong and I could probably do better, but I wanted to run a fairly even race, and I was afraid to overestimate my form just after the end of the first training phase. All in all I am happy with the result and the way I reached it. After the race I stayed with the pack for couple of minutes and I jogged home.

Execution: 9,80km, 0:46:08, av.pace: 4:42/km, av.hr: 157 (78%hrmax)

  • E 3,10km, 17:06, av.pace: 5:31/km, av.hr: 143 (71%hrmax)
  • Race 5,02km, 20:15, av.pace: 4:02/km, av.hr: 172 (86%hrmax)
  • E 1,69km, 8:46, av.pace: 5:12/km, av.hr: 149 (74%hrmax)

Sunday 18.12.2016

Plan: Long run 90-100’

The weather was not so good this day, it was snowing a little bit, but the temperature was just above freezing point, so everything was melting right away.

I felt generally good, but my legs were a bit sore after the Saturday’s race. During such runs I don’t run by the pace – I just run by the feel. This day I started at just above 5:30 and I was speeding up during first six kilometers to 5:16 (av. pace 5:26), then I started slowing down for the next six kilometers to reach 5:36 on the twelfth (av. pace 5:25). The last six kilometers were the fastest (av. pace: 5:11). I felt really good this day during the run. Everything was going smoothly and I could easily continue the run for another few kilometers without much effort. It is a good prognosis as usually the long runs were difficult for me.

Execution: 18,17km, 1:36:53, av. pace: 5:20/km, av.hr: 143 (72%hrmax)

After those two weeks I am in a good shape with no signs of overtraining or any upcoming injuries. I look forward for the next two weeks during which I will increase the mileage and keep the intensity of tempo runs and running strength workouts.

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