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Garmin Coach Half Marathon – Week 7

Week 7 of my half marathon plan with Garmin Coach, only 13 weeks till my first half marathon! Eindhoven, I’m coming! This week I am back on track, no skipped runs, no extreme disappointment. Just me and Coach Greg, training. 

Training 20 – Progression run

First training of the new week is a short progression run. First 30 minutes at easy pace (8:00 – 8:38 min/km), then 10 minutes at goal pace (7:17 – 7:29 min/km). I ran the first part at an average pace of 8:31 min/km and the second part at 6:47 min/km. The second part was definitely a too fast, but I felt like I could hold the pace, so why not? 

Training 21 – Goal pace run

I mentioned a few times already that I wanted to use one of the goal pace runs to see if I can beat my current 5K PR (34:59 min). Today Coach Greg decided it was time for this attempt. He planned a 30 minute goal pace run with a 15 minute optional goal pace run. My goal pace is between 7:17 and 7:29 min/km, so I would need to go a little faster if I want to beat my time. For this purpose I was going to do my warming up without recording it so this wouldn’t be counted towards my 5K time. 
 
It was 16°C, very cloudy and very humid. Not ideal conditions, but let’s see where were at! The first part felt good, I was going fast, but I felt like I could keep going. The first 2K I ran at an average pace of 6:55 min/km. Then I hit a wall. A big wall. I walked for a few seconds and then decided to finish the run at the intended goal pace. This went without issues and I ran the total 30 minutes at an average pace 7:14 min/km. I skipped the optional part of the run which meant that in total I didn’t even finish the 5K. I was only 300 meters short and if I had finished it I would’ve gotten my second fastest 5K time, but I didn’t see the point. It’s not that I was extremely disappointed that I wouldn’t be getting my goal, I just didn’t have much left to give, I was close to home and also ready to go home. Next time. 

Training 22 – Easy run

Friday fun run! These are usually the runs I enjoy the most. I hit the trails, follow parts of the mountainbike routes and simply enjoy the run and my surroundings. Today I didn’t have much fun. The foot pain I’ve been mentioning the last weeks was significantly worse today and I just couldn’t find a rhythm that wasn’t painful. Coach Greg wanted me to run 30 + 20 minutes at easy pace besides the 5 minute warm-up and cooling down. I decided to cut it short at 45 minutes to spare my foot. 

Training 23 – Long easy run

My revanche on last week’s long run. Coach Greg seemed to agree that my 2 hour run last week was not up to his standards and he simply put it on my schedule again. I was happy to get a new try and was sure I would do better. I tweaked last week’s route a little bit in the hope that there would be less sandy roads. Last week I create my route through Garmin Courses with the setting trail running, today I made a new route but set it to running. 

I had a plan when I started this long run, I would start slowly at a pace of 9:00 min/km and slowly increase the pace, but keep it at an easy, sustainable pace. This was going really well until about 45 minutes into my run and my watch started beeping that I had a left turn coming up. I instantly knew I could throw my plan out the window. This path looked more like a beach then anything else. The sand was horribly soft and the beachy path was way longer as I thought it would be, but I managed. The last 5-6K of my route was exactly the same as it was last week and it was really nice to realize that I wasn’t struggling so hard on these paths as I was last week. I definitely enjoyed this run a lot more! 

In the graph below you can see how my pace and heart rate are slowly increasing up until that left turn after which you still see my heart rate slowly increasing, but my pace is slowly decreasing. 

My foot pain was still lingering, but it wasn’t bothering me too much until I stopped running and walked home. I iced it and it feels fine now. Maybe ice is the magic solution? 

Summary
This week gave me a little more confidence that I might be able to finish my half marathon in just 13 weeks. Coach Greg’s confidence actually went down this week and that doesn’t make too much sense to me. I ran both speed workouts faster as intended and only skipped some of the optional parts of this week’s plan. Oh well, I believe in me, even if Coach Greg doesn’t! 

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