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Coach Greg, half marathon – The first two weeks

These are the first two weeks of my newest Garmin Coach training plan. I’m training with Coach Greg and aiming to complete the half marathon distance. The plan doesn’t start off great for me, I had to skip a few runs and I clearly disappointed my virtual coach. 

Stride repeats

8 repeats, 20 seconds

My first planned run after last week’s benchmark run, eight stride repeats of 20 seconds. The goal is to increase my cadence, but as it’s the first time in the plan my cadence goal is 150-200 spm. After I finish it the next stride repeats will be more specific.

Unfortunately, my training plan doesn’t start out too great. As I head out to do my stride repeats, I trip and twist my ankle. Ouch. I hadn’t even started the workout on my watch yet. As I’m sitting on the sidewalk, I can almost see my house. I slowly walk back, no run today.

I unfortunately have a lot of experience with sprained ankles and this is a very minor one. I will be taking a bit of rest though.

Easy run

50 minutes

It’s Sunday and that means it’s long run day. Coach Greg is calling it a regular ‘Easy run’ and it’s planned for 50 minutes, we’re starting off easy. I wanted to extend it a bit, but that was before I hurt my ankle. Today I’m trying to be smart and decide to skip the run. 

It appears Coach Greg is not impressed with me skipping the first two runs of the training plan, all the next runs are easy runs of just 30 minutes. No new stride repeats either. Allright, I’ll show you, Greg. Soon. 

Easy run

30 minutes

Today is the first run of the training plan. Greg planned a 30 minute easy run: 5 minute warming up, 10 minutes at easy pace, 10 additional optional minutes at easy pace and a 5 minute cooling down.

Temperatures in my area have suddenly increased. Just 1,5 weeks earlier I was running around in the snow, and now it’s 12°C at 7:30 in the morning. I was not prepared. At the last minute I decided to swap my long tights for capris, but I still had my longsleeved wintershirt on. I headed out the door and knew I overdressed within five minutes. It was a hot, messy, slow run. I ran 3,14K at an average pace of 9:34 min/km. My ankle felt good though!

Easy run

30 minutes


My plan tells me to run 30 minutes at easy pace: a 
5 minute warming up, 10 minutes at easy pace, 10 additional optional minutes at easy pace and a 5 minute cooling down. 

I’m better prepared as two days ago: shorts and a thin longsleeved shirt with easily rollable sleeves. Temperature wise I feel a lot better, but I’m still a lot slower as I’m used to. I am out early though and rewarded with nice sunrise, that always helps me feel better about a run. 

I ran 3,2K at an average pace of 9:22 min/km and I’m not very happy with that pace. Apparantly Coach Greg is also not impressed with me at the moment, both my last easy runs were given the feedback “Room to grow”. Why? I know I’m slow, but my goal is not about pace, it’s about distance. I did what you wanted me to do AND I did the extra optional runs. The only thing I can think of is that Garmin Coach is pace-bullying me and thinks I was walking.

Easy run

30 minutes

Another 30 minute easy run planned for me, but I have a different plan. I want to do a longer run, maybe 7-8K. Unfortunately I wake up with back pain. I’m able to stretch it and relieve some of the pressure, but an 8K run is probably not the best idea. I decide to shorten it a bit and just run around my little forest for a bit.

Winter came back for today’s run, it’s suddenly around freezing temperatures again. No shorts today. I’m feeling a little happier about today’s pace and so is Coach Greg. I ran 4,76K at an average pace of 9:01 min/km and finally got a “Good job”!

Summary

The first two weeks are done! Even though I thought Coach Greg was taking it easy on me for skipping a few runs, that’s all over now. Next week we’ve got stride repeats (10!), a progression run and a 60 minute long run. It seems to have completely forgotten about my missed runs and is continuing as if everything is normal. I’m ready, Coach Greg!

4 thoughts on “Coach Greg, half marathon – The first two weeks”

  1. Hello! Nice to see you following a training plan again 🙂
    I was wondering – have you tried any of Garmin’s self-guided training plans?

  2. I’ve just started using garmin coach for a half marathon as well, I started with Coach Jeff but he seemed to think I was able to run 9 miles at my goal pace and it’s only my second week on the plan so I’ve switched to Coach Greg who seems to be a bit more realistic. Have you had anything like this, where the coach thinks you are way ahead of you’re training even though you’ve only just started it? I love the garmin coach so far but wish there was an option for me to say how many miles I can run at the moment!

    1. Hi Emily, it sounds like you’ve selected a plan with a time goal while you might not be ready for that. If you select a time goal, the algorithm assumes you are already familiar with the distance and looking to improve your time. Especially Jeff’s plan will increase fast and far. I’ve seen runs upto 30K for the HM distance.

      Selecting a completion goal, without a target time, will give you a much slower build-up. That’s why I’m only upto a 60 minute long run in week 3.

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