Week 5 marked the end of the first phase of training, where the focus was on base building. The next phase introduces speedwork and long tempo runs at marathon pace. The past two weeks I did repeats at marathon pace to get ready for these tempo runs.
After evaluating how my training is going so far, I’ve decided to make some changes. Like I said in that evaluation post, I feel like the 80/20 running I did for the past few months helped me to get to a really good level of fitness I’m seeing in training. In 80/20 running, 80% of training is easy runs measured by a combination of heart rate and perceived effort. Only 20% is hard or moderate effort.
One of the reasons I chose my Hansons’ plan of doing 2 hard workouts a week instead of the 3 that are in the classic plans is to do more easy running. As I get older, my body seems to like more easy running and less hard running. In a recent group run, I told one of the women that I feel like all that hard workouts get me is fatigue instead of making me faster. So if my body feels good doing easy running AND I see fitness gains like I’ve been seeing lately, I see no reason not to switch to 80/20 running.
This past week I started to apply the 80/20 method to the Hansons’ plan by substituting some of the hard effort with easy effort to hit the ratio. Is it a Hansons’ plan then? I guess I need to start calling it a hybrid Hansons-80/20 plan.
My biggest concern with making this change is that I won’t get the mental training that I would on the Hansons’ plans. While I said I don’t think hard workouts make me faster, they have another huge benefit–they build my mental grit. Because of that, I might switch back to pure Hansons in the peak weeks of training. But for now I’m confident that doing more easy running is the right choice for me.
Week at a Glance
- Training mode: Training for the NCR Marathon November 25, 2017 using a Hansons Marathon Method plan with the 80/20 method applied to it
- Days running: 5
- Miles this week: 30
- Time running: 6:42
- Miles this training cycle: 127.1
- Miles this month: 102.6
- Miles this year: 641.54
- Strength training: 1 sessions
Easy run: 4 miles
I was still really tired from Saturday’s 9-mile run, when some too-fast miles in major humidity really zapped me. This was a very slow recovery run, but by halfway through, I started feeling refreshed in energy–the magic of recovery runs!
Easy run: 4 miles
Rest day + 22 minutes strength training
I needed to switch my long workout day to Thursday because of my work schedule. The rest felt great! I did strength training in the evening.
Mile Repeats: 8 miles
I did 4 mile-repeats at marathon pace plus 3 miles of warm-up and cool-down. Even though it was cooler in the low 60s, my body felt warm this whole run. These repeats weren’t as effortless as last week’s. I had to put some effort into holding pace, and the last one was tough. But I was able to hold my goal pace or just under for all the repeats without much problem and felt really strong during the workout, though I started to feel tired in the last half-mile of the cool-down. Overall, though, this was a great workout!
Easy run: 4 miles
It was just 55 degrees and felt absolutely amazing.
Long run: 10 miles
I decided to run alone instead of with the group for a few reasons. First, I want to do some of my long runs alone since I’ll be doing the race alone and need practice. Running long runs alone is great mental training! Second, when I calculated the 80/20 ratio for the week, I could run only 2 of the 10 miles harder than an easy run. Because I’ve run faster the last two weeks with the group run, I knew I wouldn’t run easy if I was with the group. Third, I had some errands to do near North Park, so it just worked out better for me to do my run there.
It was 55 degrees when I got to North Park but felt even chillier. My hands were freezing, and I actually wore a long sleeve for the first few miles! My plan was to stay in my easy heart rate zones the first 8 miles and then speed up the last two. I did two loops of the 5-mile, rolling-hills loop around the lake. In the first loop I ran without music and just enjoyed the cool morning. After the first loop I stopped at my car to refill my water bottle, re-apply sunscreen (it was cool but sunny), and get my music. This is the first time I’ve run with music this entire training cycle, so it was a real treat! At mile 8, I had no problem picking up the pace, and my last mile was my fastest. I felt awesome!
While I love running with friends because it makes the time go faster and the runs easier, I also do like running by myself so I can be in control of the pace. Because I’d run so easy, I didn’t feel any of the fatigue that I had in the last few long runs when I’d run a little too fast. Plus, I like running long runs by myself, which is so important since I’ll be running the race alone. While I’ll run with the group occasionally, it’s good that I’m not relying on them to get through long runs.
Next week I’ll add a 6th day of running on Sundays, so I wanted to take advantage of this last Sunday off. Unfortunately, my husband had to go into work because of a big project. So after taking the dog on a long walk, I spent the day house cleaning. I wanted to get that done so that I didn’t have to spend the upcoming holiday weekend (and my birthday) cleaning. I was so busy that I let strength training slip away from me, so I only got in one session for this week.
I’m ready for week 6!