This week was my last week of summer laziness. After months of miserable runs, mediocre tempo run-races in the hideous heat, and sandbagging a lot of my runs just to get the miles in, I'm ready to kick some ass this fall. So much so that I got myself a running coach. Daily Mile is offering a new virtual coaching program (with a real, qualified person) through their app, so I thought I'd try it out. So far, I like it.
I love my group training sessions at Fleet Feet Mount Pleasant and it's a great place with wonderful people, but at this point I feel like I need a little more intense coaching. I have yet to run a half marathon where I feel like I've properly trained (not the fault of any program I've done, but just that I tend to slack off a bit without a stricter coaching effort), both in distance and in focused speed workouts. And let's not even talk about my lack of crosstraining and core/strength work.
My current PR was set when I was barely 7 months post-baby and I definitely wasn't feeling fully recovered speedwise at that point. It's time to run what I know I'm capable of, but I need help to get it done. Enter: a coach. I'm going to be doing the hardest (and longest) speedwork sessions I've ever done, which I'm hoping will really help. I also plan to run at least once a week on a trail or on the beach just for a change in surface and scenery. Both are right near my house, so really, no excuse for not doing this.
This week I logged two speedwork sessions. One was an unexpected breakthrough at the indoor track where I ran a 6:31 pace for 3 miles (full post here). The other was 5 miles of complete torture at the outdoor track to set the baseline for my training this fall: 1600 warmup, 1600 @7:28 (target: 7:15), 1200 easy, 1200 @7:05 (target: 7:00), 800 easy, 800 @6:48, (target: 6:45), 400 easy, 400 @6:24 (target: 6:30).
That workout was awful. Awful. It was the longest speedwork session I've ever done and it was a bit later in the day than I wanted to be out. I woke up with a headache that morning after several interrupted hours of sleep (teething baby!), so instead of an 8 a.m. start time, I went out at 10. Those "easy" stretches were really, really, really easy - often in the 9:30-10:00 range. I felt like I was dragging and was so glad when I was finished.
Even though it was hot on Saturday, it wasn't as hot as it's been recently and there were hints of fall in the air. It's crazy to think that 80 degrees and 80% humidity feels like fall (oh, Charleston!), but it did! I guess I'm getting used to the heat a little more.
The rest of my runs were short and in the easy range. Nothing exciting, not much to see. Sadly, we had thunderstorms here during my normally scheduled paddleboard sessions, so those were cancelled. Next week, in addition to following my schedule from my coach, I'll be back on the board as my core/strength/crosstraining, too.
- Monday: 3.08 miles easy (8:51 pace)
- Tuesday: 3 miles fast tempo (6:31 pace)
- Wednesday: OFF
- Thursday: 3.08 miles easy (8:45 pace)
- Friday: OFF
- Saturday: 5 miles at the track - baseline workout (8:33 pace)
- Sunday: Easy bike ride - 6.5 miles
Total miles: 14.16 miles / Total runs: 4 / Total core/strength workouts: 0 / Total crosstraining: 1
So, here we go...my toughest, but hopefully most rewarding, training season ever.