Goal – Spring marathon – weeks 17-18

During my weeks 17-18 of the preparation for Orlen Warsaw Marathon I run almost 140 kilometers. The plan was to have VO2max intervals, Tempo and long run sessions mixed with easy days. Polish winter has made me skip one interval session and slow down on the other one, but apart from that, everything went well. I felt strong and I executed two long run sessions on which I felt surprisingly good considering the weather conditions. I had a viral infection at the end of the first week, but it lasted only two days and the only thing that is left of it is a dry cough – I hope that it will end soon and I will be OK for the next weeks.

Here how it looked in details:

Monday, 30.01.2017

Plan: core stability

I did three series of planks (front side and back) and few general exercises (pushups, pullups, squats and crunches).

Tuesday, 31.01.2017

Plan: easy run

I was home late that evening, after a quick beer with friends from work so I was not in a real mood for working-out. I went out with a moderate motivation and so it was with my running too. Good thing was that it was only an easy run, that didn’t demand much effort from me.

Execution: 12,91km, 1:12:57, av.pace: 5:39/km, av.hr: 146 (73%hrmax)

Wednesday, 1.02.2017

Plan: tempo run 4x1km + VO2max Intervals 2x1km

Such workouts are always risky at that time of year, but I managed to find a single 1km of clear pavement to do the drill. This was my first such workout during this training cycle that combined tempo intervals and VO2max intervals in a single session. I usually have problems with the latter component and so it was this time. Of course some of these problems were connected with the weather conditions and some with the route itself as it was too hilly for the purpose of intervals. Anyway running at I pace after 4km of T pace is a struggle for me. This time I managed to run just one I pace interval and I didn’t have any energy left for keepeing my I pace during the second one.

Execution: 11,85km, 1:03:45, av.pace: 5:23/km, av.hr: 148 (74%hrmax)

Tempo intervals (1km):  4:13, 4:19, 4:13, 4:15

VO2max intervals (1km): 3:59, 4:12

Thursday, 2.02.2017

No running due to pollution. I moved my easy run on Friday and I did an hour of biking instead.

Friday, 3.02.2017

Plan: easy run

I felt a slight amount of fatigue in my legs after previous workouts so my intention was for this easy run to be easy. Nonetheless I felt tired by the end of the run and I was happy to be back home.

Execution: 12,92km, 1:12:30, av.pace: 5:37, av.hr: 146 (73%hrmax)

Saturday, 4.02.2017

Plan: parkrun race

This Saturday I wanted to really race, but the weather conditions made any attempts of really fast running impossible. I tried to do my best but I ended up with the result of 21:32 which was my second worst Parkrun ever, but in the same time I finished on the third place (out of 32 runners) so it was also my best run in this aspect, and this showed how difficult the conditions were – all ice with some snow on top.


warmup: 2,38km, 0:12:54, av.pace: 5:26/km, av.hr: 144 (72%hrmax)

the race: 5km, 0:21:32, av.pace: 4:18/km, av.hr: 170 (85%hrmax)

cooldown: 1,68km, 0:08:53, av.pace: 5:18/km, av.hr: 152 (76%hrmax)

Sunday, 5.02.2017

Plan: long run

On this day I planned my first longest (2,5h) long run. That is why I wanted to go really easy and just shuffle for 2,5h. In addition, most pavements and roads were covered with snow and ice so this has also slowed me down. The run went pretty smoothly with one reservation – I was getting a painful tension in my left leg in the front of my hip. I stopped several times and after few seconds of stretching I could run without any pain for additional few kilometers. Apart from this everything was in place. I will look into this issue during my strength and stretching sessions.

Execution: 25,22km, 2:30:15, av.pace: 5:57/km, av.hr: 138 (69%hrmax)

Monday, 6.02.2017

Plan: strength workout

I was of course tired after my 2,5h run the day before, so I decided to do a general strength workout consisting of basic exercises only, and so I did three series of squats, pushups, pull-ups, handstand pushups, bridges and sit-ups.

Tuesday, 7.02.2017

Plan: easy run

The weather got worse in the beginning of this week and the pavements are covered with snow again. In addition I was sore after my strength workout so I was going really slow.

Execution: 12,16km, 1:15:14, av.pace: 6:11, av.hr: 142 (71%hrmax)

Wednesday, 8.02.2017

Plan: easy run

Initially I was supposed to run an interval session, but it was impossible in those weather conditions. The run was slightly faster than the Tuesday run, but still it was very slow.

Execution: 12,13km, 1:12:34, av.pace: 5:59/km, av.hr: 140 (70%hrmax)

Thursday, 9.02.2017

Plan: easy run

Same as the days before, it was very slippery and hard to run, but it was getting slowly better.

Execution: 12,90km, 1:14:46, av.pace: 5:48/km, av.hr: 145 (72%hrmax)

Friday, 10.02.2017

Generally I don’t do anything on Fridays but this day I did a 30min of stationary biking.

Saturday, 11.02.2017

Plan: tempo run during Parkrun race

I knew that this would be a difficult run, but I didn’t expect it to be that difficult. One of my colleagues actually run in spikes. I managed to run first three kilometers in a decent pace, but this effort has slowed me down during the last two kilometers and so I ended up in just below 22 minutes – my slowest Parkrun ever.


Warmup: 1:68km, 0:09:12, av.pace: 5:28/km, av.hr: 144 (72%hrmax)

Parkrun tempo run: 5,01km, 0:21:59, av.pace: 4:23/km, av.hr: 168 (84%hrmax)

Cooldown: 1:68km, 0:09:33, av.pace: 5:33/km, av.hr: 145 (73%hrmax)

Sunday, 12.02.2017

Plan: long run (increasing pace)

This type of long run is specific to polish school of running and it is considered to be one of the best training sessions preparing for a marathon. It is similar to E-M long runs or long runs with fast finish. My idea is to start slow and increase the pace during the run according to the disposition of a given day. It is best to start in slow end of the easy pace and finish your marathon or even half-marathon pace.

I started slowly around 5:45/km and started to increase the pace after eight kilometers. By the end of the run I was running just below 5:00/km. I felt strong during the whole run. I actually felt better by the end than after the first hour. Considering the slippery surface the run was in pretty good pace. If the weather had been better, the run would have been at leas 30 seconds per minute faster.

Execution: 21,88km, 2:00:02, av.pace: 5:29/km, av.hr: 146 (73%hrmax)

During the next two weeks I intend to repeat the same structure of training with the increased intensity of interval and tempo sessions. I will also continue the long runs with the same length as on these two weeks. That will end my transition quality training phase and I will hopefully enter the last eight weeks of training in good health and well prepared for the hardest long sessions.

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