Garmin Coach Half Marathon – Week 2

Week 2 of my half marathon training with Garmin Coach is here and it is going so much better as last week when I was still dealing with a small jetlag. This week brings stride repeats, a new 10K record and… new shoes. 

If you’re looking for more information on the Garmin Coach plans, check out this post concerning the new adaptive 5K, 10K and half marathon plan that Garmin introduced back in April. 

I finally kicked myself towards the running store and got myself some new shoes. My last pair of shoes were the Saucony Omni 16 which I bought somewhere last year. They have taken me just over 700 km, but have been bothering me already for at least 50 km. I feel pain when I run in my feet, my inner ankles and my knees. So, it was definitely time! 

For the past years I have been running with an ankle brace. I have broken, sprained, twisted and bruised my left ankle more times than I can count and the number of times the hospital put my ankle in a casket because they simply can’t tell if it’s broken or not is also a bit too high. My physical therapist recommended an ankle brace and I’ve been running with this for years. A few months ago I decided that I would start trying to run without my ankle brace. This action was inspired by my confused look when I took of my shoes and socks after a run and noticed my brace wasn’t there. Thinking back to the run I couldn’t name any difference to my regular runs. Maybe needing the brace is just in my head? Anyway, after a short consult with my physical therapist I gave it a try and never looked back. 

So, with the above in mind, my increased training and the fact that it has been years since I’ve had one, I wanted a new gait analysis done. Running barefoot on a treadmill feels a bit unnatural, but it’s interesting to be able to see exactly how I run and how I put my feet down, etc. With the small exception of my overpronating ankle everything was good. That did mean I would likely still need stability shoes. I tried on a few Saucony’s, but I was a little disappointed with how fast they wore out so I may not have been completely objective. As soon as the sales guy provided these Brooks Transcend 6 shoes I was done. They felt super comfortable and running on the street outside the store also felt good. Hopefully these shoes will last me a little longer and carry me towards my half marathon. 

My new shoes: Brooks Transcend 6

Training 3 – Easy run

The week starts off slow with a 10 minute easy run and a 10 minute optional run. I ran the first part at an average pace of 7:46 min/km and the second part at 7:38 min/km. Slightly faster as the plan intended for me, but given how short the scheduled run was and how I’m finally feeling like I can run again, I just wanted to give a little more. It felt great to be able run comfortable again! 

Training 4 – Stride repeats

The instructions for this weeks stride repeats are a little vague in my opinion. The plan is 8 stride repeats of 20 seconds, followed by 45 second recovery jogs. It says to run hard, but not sprint and focus on increasing cadence between 150 and 200. My cadence is usually already above 150, so I’m focusing on my cadence and trying to make sure it’s higher as my normal average (155-160). I ran the intervals at 3:21 (ok, probably not, but that’s what Garmin says!), 7:12, 5:18, 6:25, 7:19, 6:10, 6:44 and 5:57 min/km. My cadence was between 165 and 175, so that’s a definitive increase!

Training 5 – Easy run

Friday fun run! A while ago I declared my Friday runs as the runs that should focus mainly on enjoying the run. When I’m training 4 times a week, I think it’s important to remind myself that I love running. So, my plan is to take it easy, go into the woods, find the trails, the views, the deer, the birdies, etc.! Greg’s plan today is a 20 minute easy run and a 10 minute optional run. I chose the trails in the woods behind my house. In the last week there have been several storms with lightning and strong gusts of wind and these woods were unfortunately not spared. I had to climb over or crawl around 5-10 fallen trees and major branches. The first part I ran through the woods at an average pace of 8:42 min/km, the second part I ran back over an asphalt bike lane at 7:41 min/km. 

Training 6 – Long easy run

I have been looking forward to this week’s long run. It has been a few weeks since I’ve been on my feet for longer than an hour and Coach Greg wants me to run 50 minutes easy and 30 minutes optional easy today. The goal pace is between 7:43 and 8:21 min/km as usual for my easy runs, but I decided I would take it easy and I’ll just see whatever pace that meant. Today’s run is also the first run I’m doing on my new shoes, so I didn’t want to do anything too exciting. Good plan, didn’t happen. I ran both parts at an average pace of 8:08 min/km, which is not exactly super easy for me, let’s call it medium. The new shoes may have given me some extra confidence to carry on. I ran 10,5 km in total, but my best 10K time is now updated to 1:21:09. This is 5 minutes and 30 seconds faster as my previous best time, which I ran only 7 weeks ago. Is it the shoes, is it Garmin Coach, is it me? I don’t know and I don’t care, this felt great! I once made some goals for 2019 and this included an ambitious 70 minute 10K. I’m definitely not there yet, but… 2019 isn’t over yet either. 
The funniest part of this run was actually a crossing of two cyclist and a deer. Deer sightings are not super common here, I run into them maybe once a month and they are always so fast that I haven’t even gotten close to capturing a picture of them. I saw two cyclists coming towards me from a small distance at a leisurely pace, chatting with each other. Behind them, it can’t have been more than a few meters, a deer decided to cross the path and disappear just as quickly into the woods again. These two cyclists didn’t even look up, they didn’t notice. They gave me a friendly good morning and that was that. I’m not sure why I found this funny, but it felt like a special occurrence to me. 

When I set up the program I couldn’t select the correct race day yet (Coach Greg doesn’t do 20 week programs), but I am now able to change the race date to the correct date: October 13. This did mean the workouts for the coming week have been messed up a little, Garmin Coach may allow you to change your goals, but it certainly doesn’t handle it very well. Two long runs in a row, followed by two speed workouts in a row. Yeah, let’s not do that. I was able rearrange most of it and hopefully the rest will sort itself out since it is an adaptive program (Edit: it did).

I am not disappointed with this week’s progress and excited to see what’s next. Coach Greg, I think we’ve got this! 

One Response

Leave a Reply