Last week was the first week of training using the Coach Jenny Advanced 5K Plan. I was excited, motivated, and in my groove, despite having to start training in some of the worst weather all winter. And then I read 80/20 Running by Matt Fitzgerald and said goodbye to Coach Jenny.
Do you know that world-class athletes–those who win races–in all endurance sports, not just running, do approximately 80% of their training at low intensity and just 20% at high intensity? And do you know that the pace most recreational runners fall into as their habitual, usual pace is moderate intensity while incorrectly perceiving that it’s low intensity? Scientists have found that the average recreational runner spends less than 50% of training at low intensity. 80/20 Running presents a lot of research and science that points to runners getting faster and better overall by doing most of their training at low intensity. If you don’t plan to win races, maybe it doesn’t matter. What’s wrong with running at moderate intensity anyway? The answer was interesting! 80/20 Running says you plateau, that you can only improve so much by training at moderate intensity and above, and that the way to improve is to slow down. I’ve been struggling with speed for the past few months, so I know I’m in no danger of doing too much high intensity running. But moderate intensity? Maybe, especially because most runners think their low intensity runs really are moderate intensity. I’m intrigued enough to give this method a try.
I’ll do a separate post this week with details about the book and the 5K training plan I switched to. But basically, the 80/20 plan is more aligned with the type of training I like to do–a lot of low-intensity running and not cross training (though you can cross train with the 80/20 plan). The 80/20 5K plan fits in well with my work schedule (I’m doing a lower volume plan) and should also help with my weight loss goals. So the 80/20 plan meets all the criteria I had for the Coach Jenny plan but is more in line with my desire to run instead of cross train. Plus, the 80/20 plan is 9 weeks, and because I have 9 weeks until my 5K goal race, it’s a perfect fit.
I’m thrilled to start the 80/20 plan this week! Here’s a breakdown of last week.
Week at a Glance
- Training mode: Training for a May 20 5K
- Days running: 4
- Miles this week: 12.8
- Miles this month: 19.92
- Miles this year: 237.1
- Strength training: 67 minutes
Easy Run: 40 minutes
The temp was feels-like 10, so I bundled up. It didn’t feel too bad.
Strength training: 19 minutes legs and arms
Cardio workout on Bosu ball: 25 minutes
The 4-6 inches of predicted snow amounted to absolutely nothing. We really lucked out! I did strength training in the morning and, since I wasn’t sure if it would snow during the day, walked to work instead of biked. It was brutally cold. In the evening I did a short cardio routine using my Bosu ball like a step.
Strength training: 12 minutes core
This was supposed to be a run day, and I knew it was going to feel like single digits. Still, I figured I wasn’t going to be out too long, so I put out all my clothes the night before. But when I woke up, I saw snow! The double whammy of snow and feels-like 4 degrees made me postpone the run. Instead I did 12 minutes of core exercises. I was glad I did because it was a struggle just walking to work and back. The wind was so cold and strong. I think this week has been the worst in terms of dealing with bad weather for my walk/bike commute.
Easy run with pickups: 40 minutes
Strength training: 24 minutes arms and legs
It was 16 degrees for this run, but much better than the day before. This was an easy run with 3 45-second pickups. I really liked this run–the short intervals kept the run interesting without taxing me. In the evening I did 24 minutes of strength, focusing on arms and legs.
Easy run: 30 minutes
It warmed up a bit to 20 degrees, and this short run felt good. But by the end of the work day, I felt like I was getting sick. I was feeling a little light-headed and worried that I would even be able to bike home. It had started to snow, and the big, wet snowflakes were getting into my eyes and soaking me on the ride home. It was rough. When I got home I felt drained and almost immediately went to bed. I read almost the entire 80/20 Running book that I got in the mail and then slept for 12 hours!
I woke up late and still didn’t feel 100%, so the group run was out. I decided to take a complete rest day in case I was getting sick. But as the day wore on, I felt back to normal. I’m not sure if my body successfully fought off a virus that I was getting or if the week of frigid walk and bike commutes drained me, but I was happy I never got sick.
Easy run: 1:03
In the book 80/20 Running, the first thing Matt Fitzgerald asks readers to do on their very next run is slow down, like go ridiculously slow. So on this run I made an effort to go really slow. I also used this run to calculate my lactate threshold heart rate (the level at which talking becomes uncomfortable), which you need to know to determine your heart rate zones and paces for the 80/20 training plans. Unfortunately, I read the instructions wrong and will need to do another calculation this week. But overall, this was a great run! I ended it feeling fresh and peppy, not like I’d just run 4.5 miles. Hmmm…maybe I have been going too fast!
Afterward I did 12 minutes of core exercises.
I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin for their Weekly Wrap, Steff, for the Pittsburgh Run Bloggers Weekly Recap, and Courtney for her Training Recap. Have a great week!