This third week of training marked the end of the base-building phase in my plan. In the traditional Hansons’ beginner marathon plan, base building goes for five weeks. I’m comfortable starting workouts earlier in this cycle because I’d been base building for months before training started. Also, the first two workouts are really a transition into the harder workouts. The first workouts are repeats at marathon pace, which I’m thrilled about! It’s always interesting to me how race pace feels at the beginning of training and seeing how that progresses. It’s also nice to get my feet wet with slower paces before I get into speedwork.
I got an answer to my dilemma over running my long runs with a group since one pace group is a little too slow and the other is a little too fast. The answer is to go with the slower group. In this video, Coach Luke explains the different pace ranges for easy runs and long runs. I never knew this, but the long run pace in the plan is actually only for very fit and advanced runners, and only for some of the long runs. Beginners should go with an easy pace; intermediate runners should use a moderate pace. (The easy paces in Hansons’ plans have an easy-moderate range.) Never knew that! I posted the question on the Hansons’ online coaching site, and there were a number of other runners in the same situation. A lot of them run with the slower group for the first half of their long runs and then run solo and pick up the pace a bit. I remembered that Coach Melissa had me run the second half of every single long run faster than the first. So running with the slower group for the first half of my run would work for me; running with the faster group for the second half might also work. In the video, Coach Luke said if you’re struggling to recover from workouts, run easy for the long runs, so on some runs I’ll just run with the slower group. When I feel ready for a bit more and want to run part of my runs a little faster, I’ll be running at least part of these runs solo, which I’m trying to think of as good mental training.
Overall, training is going great, though has been fairly uneventful. I keep seeing signs that I’m starting training with a pretty strong level of fitness. I mentioned last week how I’m seeing easy paces improve at the same low heart rate, even in high humidity. This week I was able to keep my heart rate in my easy zones during two long climbs, which I’ve never been able to do to before. My longest run of the week on rolling hills felt effortless. I’m able to increase my mileage easily. Nothing is a struggle.
The only thing that’s challenging is my hunger. I didn’t expect it to hit this early, though I guess it makes sense since I’m still restricting what I eat. The challenge is that I’m not running enough miles that I can eat a lot more and not gain weight, but I’m running enough that my hunger is increasing. So, this remains a work in progress.
Oh! I have been forgetting to mention that I’ve been much more active on Instagram. I used to only post once a week (or month) when my dog or cats did something cute. Now I’m trying to use it more to help document training. If you’re not following me, I’d love to connect with you! (Also, a sidenote that as I get more active on Instagram and see more people, I am shocked by what people will post on Instagram! I’m not talking about running posts but “fitness” posts, which seem to be an excuse to post pictures that border on soft-core porn. Maybe I’m old school (or just old!) but I think there’s a way to be proud of your body while still being classy.)
Here’s the lowdown on week 3 training.
Week at a Glance
- Training mode: Training for the NCR Marathon November 25, 2017 using the Hansons Marathon Method
- Days running: 5
- Miles this week: 25
- Time running: 5:32
- Miles this training cycle: 68.6
- Miles this month: 44.1
- Miles this year: 583.04
- Strength training: 3 sessions
Easy run: 4 miles
The cool-down we got last weekend stayed with us for almost every morning in the week, with temps in the low 60s or even cooler. It’s pretty dark in the mornings, so I have to use the flash, which makes my pics a bit wonky.
Easy run: 4 miles + 25 minutes strength training
I ran with Joanna for part of this run. Four miles is short to begin with, but running with a friend made it seem like I blinked and the run was over.
Easy run: 6 miles
Wednesdays will be my longest mid-week run day. I typically eat a banana before my weekday runs. I’ve always needed to eat a little something before I run for both energy and hunger, and a banana doesn’t give me any GI distress. When these runs get really long, I’ll have to eat more prior to running, but that also means getting up even earlier to eat and digest before heading out. I don’t need anything substantial for an easy 6 miles but did drink 8 ounces of Gatorade before my run. I was hungry at the end of the run, but my energy levels were okay, so the Gatorade seemed to do the trick. I’ve also started working from home on Wednesdays. While I love going into the office, not having to get work-ready and commute in is a really nice benefit and saves me a lot of time. Also, on this morning it was only 57 degrees!
Rest day + 30 minutes strength training
Easy run: 3 miles
While this was the warmest temperature all week at 67 degrees, it still wasn’t too humid and didn’t feel bad.
Easy run: 8 miles
I knew that most of the ladies in my run group were away at a race, so I ran solo at North Park. My plan was to do 5 miles around the lake and then 3 on trails. But it had rained a lot the night before and I figured the trails would be really muddy. Plus, it was very cloudy and I was in a groove, so I just did all 8 miles around the lake. This was one of those runs where everything clicked. Even though I was by myself, the miles flew by, maybe because I haven’t run at North Park in a while. I never got even a tad fatigued and felt like I could have run all day, despite the rolling hills of the route.
Rest day + 26 minutes strength training + 4.3 miles hiking
After I did my strength training, Dave, Django, and I headed out to the Laurel Highlands, about an hour east, to hike the Wolf Rocks Trail in Linn Run State Park/Laurel Ridge State Park. We’ve hiked this trail many times before. It’s a loop that meanders through fern-filled forests and comes to an rocky overlook. I love this trail but always forget how rocky it is. My ankles are a little sore from all the twisting on the rocky terrain, but of course I loved being out in the woods for the day.
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!