Goal – spring marathon – weeks 11-12

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Weeks 11-12 were the last two weeks of the year – by that I mean Christmas and the New Year’s Day. This is generally a good time for eating, drinking and celebrating and not for running, but somehow I managed to do all of it :)))

In week 11 I missed my long run which was postponed till Monday, so the overall distance was shorter than expected – just over 45km, but the last week of the year had two long runs and I totaled 90km – which was my best week in terms of distance ever. Now let’s get to details:

Monday, 19.12.2016

Plan: core stability

This day, once again, I was short on time. I did a short warmup and then – three series of front and back planks with leg bends on stability ball. Next I did two series of side planks to sixty count and two series of leg raises in the same position. I finished with a front plank and called it a day.

Tuesday, 20.12.2016

Plan: Easy run

I went out from home slightly tired and I didn’t want to push myself at all that day. I started slowly and I kept a fairly steady pace throughout the whole run. I was happy not to feel any pains or strains. I ended up with a fairly good average pace and with a feeling that the next day I would be able to do a serious training. It was a good easy run despite the wet and cold weather on that day.

Execution: 12,94km, 1:11:52, av.pace: 5:33/km, av.hr: 144 (72%hrmax)

Wednesday, 21.12.2016

Plan: Easy run + running strength

This evening the temperature in Warsaw dropped below zero. I felt tired because the last two nights I slept only for about five hours. The initial easy run – a preparation for the running strength set was slow (just above 5:45/km). I run 8 kilometers, then I did some dynamic stretching and started my fast uphill runs. This time I did seven longer (130-150m) runs. The workout went quite good, I noticed that despite the longer distance, the average pace was better than the week before. Of course it is not about speed during this exercise, but it is , to some extent, a sign of improvement, providing that other important elements stayed on the same level. After having finished my set, I jogged home to do some stretching.

Execution:

E: 8km, av.pace: 5:47/km, av.hr: 139 (69,5%hrmax)

Running Strength: 7×130-150m fast uphill runs (av.pace:3:35/km) with recovery jogs on the same distance

Thursday, 22.12.2016

Plan: Easy run

The weather was cold (just below 0) but dry and calm. I felt very tired after the running strength workout. My legs were heavy and I felt like I had a bag of stones on my back. The run was a real struggle: slow pace, low cadence, poor form – I was trying to put everything back together, but I was only partly successful in it. Every training cycle is a mixture of good and bad days – and this was the latter one, but the point is to go though every one of them and achieve own goals at the end.

Execution: 12,95km, 1:14:53, av.pace: 5:47/km, av.hr: 138 (69%hrmax)

Friday, 23.12.2016

Day off – initially I was going to do some core stability exercises, but I desperately needed a day off, and my motivation for exercise was really low, so I failed to do anything productive…

Saturday, 24.12.2016 – Finally it’s Christmas Eve!

Plan: a tempo run on a Parkrun race.

As the weather forecasts announced rain for most of the day, I thought that I have a better chance to do a good workout in a group run, and so I forced myself to get out of bed around eight and a quarter to nine I was out. I run towards a starting point for about 2 kilometers and I saw some thirty runners that, like myself, didn’t know what to do with themselves on Christmas Eve morning… that is what running does to once normal men…

I started the run with a good motivation, but after the first comfortable kilometer my brain realized that this was just a training, and not a real race. As I relaxed and my adrenaline level dropped down, the run became not as easy as in the beginning. Anyway, I managed to upkeep the pace and finished just six second slower than my planned time was. I run back home without looking at my watch, and only at the end I noticed that my pace was way to fast as for the cool down.

Execution:

E: 2,53km, 14:26, av.pace: 5:42/km, av.hr: 142(71%hrmax)

T: 5km, 21:36, av.pace: 4:20/km, av.hr: 165(82%hrmax)

E: 1,68km, 7:55, av.pace: 4:43/km, av.hr: 153 (77%hrmax)

Sunday, 25.12.2016

I was supposed to run a long steady run on that day, but after the whole day of sitting at the table and overeating, I just gave up and I moved the workout to the next morning…

Monday, 26.12.2016

Plan: Long run

The weather was pretty stable – it was raining… The run felt easy and I didn’t have any problems with keeping the pace from the very beginning till the very end. I am increasing the distance during my long runs in this training phase, so I do not push myself hard on those days – I just run as I feel, and I notice that the long runs are becoming easier for me than they used to be in the past.

Execution: 20,11km, 1:51:12, av.pace: 5:32/km, av.hr: 142 (71%hrmax)

Tuesday, 27.12.2016

Plan: Easy run

Surprisingly, I felt fresh on this day despite the long run on Monday.  I started with a moderately slow pace, but each kilometer was a bit faster than the previous one and I ended up with a rather fast pace for an easy/recover run

Execution: 12,85km, 1:08:35, av.pace: 5:20/km, av.hr: 143 (71%hrmax)

Wednesday, 28.12.2016

Plan: Easy run + running strength

I was quite nervous before this workout as it was the third consecutive day of running and I had over thirty kilometers done during the two previous days.

I started slowly, but I didn’t feel the tiredness and heavy legs as I expected. After few kilometers my pace stabilized and it turned out that I was running quite fast. As I reached my desired 8km of easy run, I did some dynamic stretches and I started my uphill runs set. This day it was 7x150m. The fast runs went very good. Everything was going as it supposed to go: good pace, good form, good feel – just as I like it to be 🙂

After having finished, I jogged home happy for a stretching routine.

E 8km, av.pace: 5:18/km, av.hr: 142 (71%hrmax)

Running Strength: 7x150m fast uphill runs (av.pace:3:26/km) with recovery jogs on the same distance

Thursday, 29.12.2016

Plan: Easy run

I was confused. I was sure, that this was going to be a really hard day, and that I would be dying during this run, due to three previous days of consecutive running and the running strength training the day before… Well, nothing like this happened – I was full of energy and was almost flying. I did over 14 kilometers in a pace about 30 secs per kilometer faster than my usual easy pace, and as you can see on the graph below I was not slowing down either…

This week was supposed to be difficult, and I see only one variable that could have had influence on my regeneration – this week I slept over 7,5 hours a day instead of my usual 5,5 – 6,5 hours.

Execution: 14,27km, 1:11:47, av.pace: 5:02/km, av.hr: 147 (74%hrmax)

Friday, 30.12.2016

Plan: Core stability

I started out with half an hour of indoor biking and then I did my core stability routine with additional three series of pull-ups and pushups. I felt really strong on this day and all the exercises felt quite easy.

Saturday, 31.12.2016

Plan: Tempo run on a Parkrun race

The last day of the year …and still 37 people showed up on our local Parkrun Race…

I almost failed to get up on that morning – my level of laziness was on the high end of the scale 😉

The warmup – jog to the starting line took me 1,5km and some 8,5 minutes.

My plan was to run between 4:12 and 4:18 per kilometer, which I assumed was my tempo run pace, but I lost my head at the beginning and the first kilometer I did in 4:03. I slowed down and kept the pace at 4:16-4:18 till the end, and so I averaged 4:14/km and finished with the time 21:12. The race felt easier than the week before and I hope this trend is going to continue as I need to increase this pace by at least 16 seconds per kilometer before my spring marathon if I am to reach my desired time.

After having finished, I took the longer way home and jogged in easy pace for some 3,3km home.

Execution:

E: 1,54km, 8,35, av.pace: 5:35/km, av.hr: 141(70%hrmax)

T: 5km, 21:12, av.pace: 4:14/km, av.hr: 162(81%hrmax)

E: 3,34km, 18:47, av.pace: 5:37/km, av.hr: 143 (72%hrmax)

Sunday, 1.01.2017

Plan: Long run

I went to bed at three in the morning and had some five hours of sleep, so I was not in the best shape, but I went out running around 10:30 and to my surprise, after few kilometers I started enjoying life again 🙂

I kept my pace between 5:20 and 5:25 per kilometer. My heart rate was stable around 73%hrmax and I continued in this pace for 17kilometers, then I increased the pace by 10 seconds/km for the last 5km. All in all I averaged 5:17/km and felt I like could still go on. This was another good long run for me and I feel that I can  keep increasing the distance of those runs in the next few weeks till I reach 2,5h. After I took a bath and had some food, I went skating with my daughter and wife and I spent an hour on ice, which I thing did good for my legs, although my feet were screaming for a couch 🙂

Execution: 22,28km, 1:57:42, av.pace: 5:17/km, av.hr: 146 (73%hrmax)

That’s it. I felt really good during the last two weeks. I don’t know what happened – either I had better regeneration, or I am just getting accustomed to the mileage and type of workouts I do. Next week I will try to keep up the good pace and distance, and the week 14, which will be the last week of this phase will end on Thursday for my as on Friday I will travel to Austria for a week of skiing. This will be a break from running, but still I will have plenty of physical activity skiing for the whole week.

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