Well it’s been a very long time since I have written a post like this! Like most runners at present, I have no immediate races to look forward too. February/March is usually my half marathon months. Brighton Half marathon at the end of February usually kicks off back to back weekends of half marathons. But current times are very different from ‘normal’.
January saw me take part in RED (Run Every Day) January. It was good as I know I could have become very lazy and skipped lots of sessions during the month. My body was tired at the end, but it was nice being part of an event and running each day.
So as we approached February I kept thinking about needing a plan or challenge to help me stay consistent. It has been a very long time since I have completed any structured sessions. Lots of my runs had me plodding along at the same speed. So trying to increase my pace kept appealing to me. I looked at many different plans, considered paying for a coach but then decided to try one of the Garmin Training Plans.
Entering a fairly ambitious 5K time to achieve, I realised it was only slightly faster than my current PB, but the truth is I am probably a fair way off that PB time! Watching Run With interview with Kim, where herself and Kelly talked about setting yourself big goals and work hard, I decided to stick with it. What’s the worst that can happen?
So, now is the time to work hard and I am 1 week in. I thought I would document my training as even if no one else reads about it, I like looking back on my training.
Garmin Training Plans
Firstly, just incase anyone is reading this, I thought I would share where the training plans can be found. I access Garmin Connect through the app.
- When you are in my day screen (Homepage), click on the three dots along the bottom (Bottom left corner)
- Click the section that says training.
- There you should find the section that says training plans.
- Lastly there is a section that says Find A Plan.
- Currently there seems to be plans for 5K up to half marathons.
(Let me know if you would like a video showing the above)
Week 1 of Training.
Monday: I had planned to rest as Monday was the 1st of February and I had run 31 consecutive days prior. But the plan said that I had to do a Benchmark run. As it was only a total of 9 minutes, the run streak continued.
- Warm Up: 2 minutes
- Run: 5 minutes
- Cool Down: 2 minutes
It said to run strong and to be honest I cheated a little. The road behind my house is pretty much down hill, so I opted for that route!
Tuesday: It originally said for this day to be a session, but I moved it to Wednesday. Wednesday is run with Christine day and when I saw that the new plan said rest day my response was NOOOOOOOO! But actually it was really easy to reschedule the session so it fits with my lifestyle. To rescheduled you just click on the session. Three dots appear in the top right corner. Click these and they give you the option to reschedule or remove.
So, no running, but I did do a Peloton Strength Session for Runners. I was SHOCKING! My balance is poor, I am weak but I got through it! I need to make strength training a priority. As I get older this is important, but also if I want to improve this will help. It’s just so hard being so bad at something and I hate that it makes me ache for DAYS after. Surely, this will improve.
Wednesday: Session time. As stated above, it has been a VERY long time since I have attempted a session so I was a little nervous. The plan was WU, 6 x 400m with 200m recovery, CD and I think the plan had set the pace between 8:02 and 8:42. I had no idea if I could hold this pace.
Scrolling back through my Garmin to look at my 400 attempts during Chicago Marathon training, I wanted to check the pace and reps. 12 x 400 at low 7 minute/mile pace 😱😱😱
Christine was on fire and so fast, so I just chased her down for the entire session. The first 3 reps were around 8:30 and then the last 3 were low 8’s. I felt sluggish and unfit. But, as we everything if I keep putting in the work, hopefully these will become easier and feel better.
Thursday: 40 minutes easy. All the podcast I have been listening too, the articles I have read have all been talking about running easy miles EASY. Again, a pace was set and I tried to stick to the slowest pace. Pacing is not my strength and I wasn’t a slow as I wanted to be. When I check my HR at the end of the session, it suggested that the session wasn’t as easy as I would have liked it to be! Mostly in Zone 4. Not ideal, but as MissPondRuns pointed out, HR is linked to many other factors: Hydration, stress etc. So maybe I need to take into account the other factors too.
Friday: Rest day! I did start the day with a 20 minute stretch session with my daughter, just a Peloton one as I thought my body needed it.
Saturday: Long Run. It felt a little weird calling it a long run when I had 105 minutes to run. The pace was again set, but the route we picked meant that this didn’t happen. Undulating, muddy and puddle jumping meant that I hardly looked at my watch. The final average pace was much slower than the plan said. Not ideal. Considering I am trying to get faster, I maybe need to select better routes to ensure the paces are met.
Sunday: Rest day.
One of the things that I found hardest this week is my weekly mileage dropping by SOO much. It is easy to get caught up with the comparison and numbers game, but I am going to try and trust the process.
Week 2 looks to consist of 2 x easy runs, 1 tempo run and 1 long run. I need to concentrate on hitting all the paces this week. It looks like lots of snow maybe falling, so I may be heading back on the treadmill for some of these sessions.
How are you keeping motivated? Are you following a plan?