Sunset in Waveny Park on March 6, 2019

Training Recap #8 as of Mar 10, 2019

Training recap #8 covers two weeks from February 25 to March 10, 2019. During the previous training session #7, I ran 33 miles on 10 days (2 days off per week).

New Feature: Starting with this training period, I will share my short-term training goals for the 2-week period, and how I delivered against those goals. I wrote about my long-term goals here. Being transparent, and reconciling my actual performance against my goals, will help me hold myself accountable, and enable me to learn lessons quickly and adapt my training.

Training Period #8 Goals

My goals comprise continuing to build my foundation and increase mileage, number of running days, and distance of the long run, all within the 10% Rule. Target is to run 20 mpw on 6 days running, with a 6 mile long run. That adds up to 40 miles over 2 weeks. I will continue building the foundation with 2 core and strength workouts per week. To improve running form and neuromuscular response, I will add strides once per week. And last, I will continue cross-training after the long-run on my spin bike.

Let’s review how I delivered against those goals. Spoiler alert: Tale of 2 weeks, first one great, second not so much.

Week 1: First 20-Mile Week Since Injuries

  • There we have it. First 20-mile week, first 6 days of running (Monday off), and first 6-mile long run (Sunday). Yay!
  • Couple solid runs: Wednesday 3-mile progression run on snowy trails in 22:59 (splits: 8:08, 7:28, 7:23), and Thursday 2-mile progression run in 15:10 (splits: 8:07, 7:03). Progression runs are excellent to build aerobic strength.
  • Given the ramp-up in volume and quality this week, I sacrificed the strides.
  • I ran my longest long-run on Sunday, and with snow, ice and slush covering the Waveny trails and fields, it was as much an aerobic as it was a mental effort. It was challenging to stay upright and keep moving forward.
  • Too exhausted physically and mentally, I did not cross-train on my spin bike, and pushed my 2nd core and strength session into next week (I did only one on Thursday).

Week 2: Weather Wreaks Havoc – Again!

  • On Tuesday it dumped about a foot of snow, and it was impossible to run either in Waveny Park or on the roads (black ice). Strides would have to wait another week.
  • On Wednesday I ran on the roads at a slow pace given treacherous conditions. The highlight was returning back to my car and watching the sunset over Waveny Park (photo above).
  • I did not run on Thursday as conditions had not improved, and I wasn’t yet prepared to run consecutive days on the roads given past metatarsal stress reaction.
  • Finished the week with 3 miles each on Friday and Saturday, and 6 miles on Sunday, all back on the Waveny trails still covered in snow and ice. That resulted in 15 miles for the week on 4 days of running.
  • After my Sunday long-run, I again did not cross-train on my spin bike due to exhaustion (didn’t want to fall off the bike!), but I did complete my 3rd core and strength workout for the week.

Failure Leads to Improvement

  • Overall I did not reach my goals for the 2-week training session. I ran 35 miles (20 miles and 15 miles) vs. my goal of 40 miles. 10 days of running vs. my goal of 12 days. No cross-training on spin bike, and no strides.
  • I’m a “glass half-full person”, so I look at the positive takeaways. Ramping up from 12 miles to 20 miles in 4 weeks, and from 4-mile long run to 6-mile long run. Although feeling banged up from the challenging weather conditions, overall healthy and feeling good.
  • How can I improve? Change the approach to running on challenging days. Forget about pace, and focus on aerobic effort and just getting out there and completing a workout, no matter the conditions and the outcome.
  • For example, during the 2nd week, after a snowstorm dumped a foot of snow, I ran back on the Waveny trails on Friday to Sunday, and although conditions had improved marginally, my pace was around 10 minutes on Friday and barely below 9 minutes on the weekend. However, my aerobic effort was probably equivalent to running at 7 to 7:30 pace, and mentally the focus and perseverance required to complete the runs was intense.
  • How else can I improve? Continue the non-running part of the program, especially the stretching, core and strength work. The challenging runs validated the importance of strength, stability and mobility to maintain forward momentum and adjust quickly to potential problems. During better running conditions, this foundational work will make me a stronger, faster runner, and reduce injury risk.

Thank you for reading. Would love to hear some feedback. How are you tracking your goals? What are your challenges, and how are you applying lessons learned?

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