run pretty run fast

a blog about running fast with style

Week in Review: Week ?? of marathon training (I should probably figure this out…)

January 7th-13th

Yep.  I’m officially training for a marathon (not shocking since I talked all about it here).  I really have no idea how many weeks away this thing is but what I do know is that it’s still al loooooong ways away.

Still I should at least figure out how long a loooooong ways away is and I don’t know maybe set some smaller goals along the way?  (That is what people do right??)

Monday kicked the week off with an easy 6 miles followed by some short hill sprints.

Here’s the 6 stats:

Avg Pace
Summary 50:38.0 5.99 8:27
1 8:59.4 1.00 8:59
2 8:33.2 1.00 8:33
3 8:20.9 1.00 8:21
4 8:13.8 1.00 8:14
5 8:23.4 1.00 8:23
6 8:07.4 0.99 8:13

You’re probably wondering why I included this fascinating bit of data since I normally don’t include my easy run stats.  Well, as you might remember I’ve been running with a heart rate monitor trying to help myself with pacing and it’s been very helpful.

Normally I would have been content to stay right around my 8:59 pace and my heart rate was fine for the first mile (low 160s) but then for the second mile it dropped to the low 140s.  I didn’t feel any different and my legs were tired so it wasn’t like I wanted to speed up but I did want to keep my heart rate closer to this 70% range and I’d figured that was in the mid to upper 150s or low 160s.  So I sped up. Nothing crazy but more at the pace I should be running (and guilty confession I still only managed to get my heart rate to the low 150s… clearly I’m still a work in progress).

Okay, blah, blah, blah enough science.

Tuesday I hit the track early with my speedy friend.  The plan was a fartlek run: 1,2,3,2,1,2,3,2,1 with equal recovery for a total of 34 minutes.  The fast reps were supposed to be at 10k pace and the rest was supposed to be faster than a normal jog (whatever that means).

So the question of the day is what is my 10k pace?  I’ve wanted to run a sub 40 for a while but just haven’t found a race to jump into.  If that’s the case my 10k pace would be 6:26 however based on my marathon goal pace my 10k time should be 6:06-6:09 pace.  If you want to run fast you have to run fast.  And honestly I believe I can run this marathon pace so I opted for the faster 10k pace.

And it was the right choice.

I figured the first minute would be fast but that I’d eventually settle down.  Here’s what it looked like:

Avg Pace
Summary 33:54.7 5.09 6:40
1 1:01.3 0.18 5:47
2 1:00.7 0.13 7:41
3 1:59.3 0.33 6:00
4 2:01.6 0.26 7:39
5 3:04.0 0.52 5:56
6 2:58.5 0.39 7:36
7 1:57.8 0.33 5:56
8 2:04.6 0.27 7:47
9 1:02.5 0.17 6:00
10 :59.9 0.12 8:06
11 2:00.1 0.33 6:02
12 2:01.7 0.27 7:23
13 3:02.1 0.51 5:58
14 3:30.3 0.47 7:30
15 1:59.8 0.34 5:52
16 2:00.9 0.26 7:42
17 1:01.1 0.18 5:37
18 :08.8 0.02 9:30

Now before you judge/laugh/rollyoureyes at me for running faster than 6:06-6:08 please note this was on the track and Garmin likes to be extra generous with track pace.

By the end of this workout I was absolutely frozen but completely excited.  The workout felt great and I really liked running the recovery runs faster than I normally would.  You’ll note some of the recovery reps were a bit slower but I think I was just spacing out and forgetting to keep my tempo up.

Later on that night the hubs texted me to tell me I’d received two packages.  Two!  I was expecting one (since I love me some online shopping) but the second one was a mystery.  Did I forget that I ordered something?  The hubs offered to open them for me (I know right?) and I of course told him no way and instead inquired about the return label.  Turns out this gal (from NWM):

Smiles and PRs from Emily and Robyn

Smiles and PRs from Emily and Robyn

Sent me some sweet goodies:


A WATCH!!!!  And some other sweet NWM swag.

I was pretty amped to get this thing up and running.

Hello Wednesday morning!  It was a cold and wet one (I mean CIM wet) VERY wet.  Some how I managed an easy 8 and it was a nice test run for the new watch but no heart rate monitor.  I hear Nike has one or connects to one so I should probably read the directions more carefully and figure it out.  I was sort of sore from Tuesday so I don’t think I need to see my heart rate.

Thursday was another easy day and I ran 5 with a friend with my heart rate monitor.  It was way faster than I normally run but we hadn’t seen each other for a while and got to talking which means we got to running fast.

Avg Pace
Summary 39:08.4 5.08 7:42
1 7:55.0 1.00 7:55
2 7:46.5 1.00 7:47
3 7:42.5 1.00 7:42
4 7:35.5 1.00 7:35
5 7:34.1 1.00 7:34
6 :34.8 0.08 7:18

I was afraid to look at my heart rate stats to see what my average heart rate was but was surprised to see 152.  So maybe I have been under running these easy days.

I capped the five miles off with and some strides and called it a day.

Friday was workout number two for the week.  It was really, really cold but luckily dry.  I bundled-up and hit the trail.  I was pretty sore this day (I did some light strength training on Wednesday and clearly hadn’t recovered) but tried to ignore the damage lunges had done (these things are supposed to make me faster right?).

My three-mile warm-up was less than impressive I hoped my 2 x 3 miles of progression running would feel better.  I was supposed to start at marathon pace and finish the last mile at half marathon pace so I figured I’d shoot for 6:48, 6:40 and 6:29.

Ready begin.

The first mile or two were slightly up hill so I tried my best to settle into pace: 6:48 #boom and it felt good.  Mile two 6:32… okay a little fast, I have not excuse.  Mile three 6:19… well mile two was fast so what was a girl to do?  Finished in 19:42.

Somewhere during mile three I realized my recover was only one minute and that somehow I was tricked into a 6 mile tempo run… tricky trickster.

One minute down and back towards home on the trail.

The trail has mile markers and unlike my first rep I decided to follow those instead of my Garmin for round two (my 1 min of easy jogging took me to the marker and why I didn’t start at the other marker is beyond me).  I settled into what I thought 6:48 was but my watch and I disagreed, it kept telling me I was running 7:00s.  When I hit the trail marker my Garmin pace said 6:48 and my Garmin split said 6:34.  Oops.  Where’s my new Nike watch?

The last two miles were ever so slightly downhill so I tried my best to settle and not sprint this thing in.  Mile two was a 6:28 and mile three 6:19 and finished in 19:24.

I know I was fast but I felt comfortable so I’m not too worried (and my heart rate info said I was in an okay zone: 174 average for my first and 180 for my second (the second was probably a bit lower since I had a spike in my data).

Zzzz.  Sorry for boring you with my heart rate info.

Bottom line, super happy with the run.

Saturday I celebrated with a big fat rest day (my first – and much need- since January 1).

Sunday I hoped I was rested and ready for 14 miles with the last 3 miles fast (whatever that means).  Our group was a bit speedier than the previous weeks (7:48 pace) and I wasn’t really ready to start my fast miles but I figured I’d give it a go.

I wanted to run under 6:20s but it just wasn’t in the cards.  My first mile was okay with a 6:19 but then it got ugly.  6:29 (with a little stoplight break) and a sad a 6:23 to finish.  My shoe came untied during the second mile and kept trying to decide if I need to stop and tie it.  I was running in my Hokas so have those fancy triathlete laces (I don’t even know what they’re called) but the lock wasn’t working.  Long story long (and unnecessary) I didn’t fix it, finished the rep and quickly found my way to coffee.

I know these times are by no means slow but I was hoping to feel better but seriously… I can’t complain about the week… but should probably figure out what week it is in marathon training.

run pretty run fast

Oh and the cat had a good week of training (and by training I mean sleeping by the fire).



6 comments on “Week in Review: Week ?? of marathon training (I should probably figure this out…)

  1. traceyp.
    January 24, 2013

    Hello! I recently came across your blog and LOVE IT! reading this entry i was wondering what heart rate monitor your using? I don’t have one and any advice would be helpful… I was also wondering if you had any good training book reccomendations? thanks and keep running fast!

    • robyn
      January 24, 2013

      First thing first thank you! As for my heart rate monitor I’ve been running with the Garmin 405 and I didn’t initially purchase it with the heart rate monitor strap back in 2009 swearing I’d never run with one… right. Luckily you can purchase the strap separately. It took a while to get used to but I like it. I hear the Polar ones are more accurate and that I can pair it with my new Nike watch but I need to check with my Nike friend on how to do that.

      The book I’ve been using to help me out with the heart rate info is “Heart Monitor Training for the Compleat Idiot” by John L. Parker, Jr (recommended by fast friend) and I really like it. It helps you figure out what zones to run in without getting too complicated.

      As for training I’ve been using “Run Faster From the 5k to the Marathon How to be Your Own Coach” by Brad Hudson and Matt Fitzgerald. I’m really enjoying the plan. It mixes things us and uses periodization which I think was missing in my past training plans.

      Hope this helps and thanks for stopping by!

  2. 26dot2withToddler
    January 24, 2013

    I have a garmin but haven’t used it to structure my runs around ‘heart rate’, but considering doing it for my Fall marathon this year. My step brother swears by training via heart rate and then I come across your blog. More food for thought as I ponder this change of strategy…

    Thanks for the detailed post and best of luck with your training.

  3. robyn
    January 24, 2013

    I fought the idea of the heart rate monitor for years and wish I’d caved early! Good luck with your fall marathon!

  4. traceyp.
    January 26, 2013

    Thank you Robyn! Very helpful… look forward to following your training for the Marathon!

  5. Pingback: Week in Review: Where’s that brake pedal thing? | run pretty run fast

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