Running update: Melbourne Half Marathon training

Now that Melbourne is so close (!) it’s time to look back on my training. It has been 7 weeks since I signed up, so I guess that’s when my training block actually started. My main goals for this training has been to build my endurance with long runs, and to do more comfortable-hard running. My Nike+ Sportwatch has definitely helped me to run at specific paces – not too fast to start out with, and to give me more quantifiable sessions. This post is numbers heavy, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Tempos: I struggle with tempo runs. They are mentally really difficult, because I usually start out way too hard and ended up demoralized. The first tempo run of this training block was on a treadmill in Tasmania, and it was HARD. I aimed for 5min/km, and I think I made it to 6km. McMillan’s calculator suggests 4:25 to 4:36 min/km, but I struggle to push myself that hard when I’m running by myself (I’m a wimp!). Plus I didn’t want to go too fast and turn it into an interval session. (Am I the only person who does this when tempo runs start out too quick?)

I only ran 3 more tempos. Another one was 5km and averaging 4:40 to 5min/km. I was proud of this run – I’d been struggling to get up and run in the morning, and had been feeling exhausted and unmotivated all week. I ended up running this on a Friday night and ended in the darkness, but I’m glad that I zipped up my man suit and got it done. It was a run that gave me my mojo back! I actually followed it up with a long run the next day, and another tempo on the Monday – 10km at 4:50 to 5:00 pace. And finally, 5km last week at 4:40. This was my first run back after a couple days off with food poisoning, and I wasn’t sure if I’d have any energy. Luckily I recovered pretty quickly, and this was the quickest tempo run that I did.

Long runs: in all honesty, I still need a little bit more consistency when it comes to running long. I did 17km, 23km, 24km, 21km, 16km, 16km (shorter long runs averaged 5:30 min/km, longest 2 runs were 6:30 min/km and 21km run was 6:00 min/km). Some of them were separated by just 5 days, but sometimes there would be a 2 week gap between them. The plan for the final long run was 20km, but the food poisoning delayed the run by a few days. I decided to reduce the distance, and run it at a faster pace instead – I haven’t uploaded the data yet but I think most of the middle kilometers were around 5 min/km.

Races: I ran 3 5km races in September. I love racing, especially 5km! I hope that the races make up for my slightly slower tempo pace. I know they’re quicker than what I should be doing tempo runs, but it’s still a period of sustained fast running – if I do tempo runs below the recommended pace, and then races faster hopefully it balances out? The 3 race recaps can be found in the archives for September.

Speed work and hills: I’m not going to go into specifics, but I’ve done 1-2 of these sessions each week. I love these sessions, especially sprints! Running fast just feels good. I’ve been working out of town even more than normal, which in the past has meant that I do less speed work. I’m getting much better at running sessions by myself, and coming up with session ideas.

I haven’t tracked my mileage, but it would be less than 60km/week. I’ve been aiming for quality over quantity, and introducing more yoga and cross training. I’m going into this race a little bit underdone, but I’m going in healthy. There is no doubt that I can finish the race, and any result will be a PB. I may do another post about goals, I’m not sure yet.



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