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A faster half marathon – Time trials and low heart rate running A faster half marathon – Time trials and low heart rate running
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10K race – Epic Virtual Run 10K race – Epic Virtual Run
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Training for a faster 10K – A lactate threshold test, speed work and more Training for a faster 10K – A lactate threshold test, speed work and more
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My first virtual race – 5K Vestingloop My first virtual race – 5K Vestingloop
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My first virtual race – 5K Vestingloop

Training for a faster 10K – Lots of speedwork and running with new gear

The sixth week of my training for a faster 10K with Garmin Coach and the first week with my new running gear. As I mentioned during last week’s update, I got a few new toys to play around with and I’ll be taking them for their first run this week.

The first of the new toys to arrive: Aftershokz Aeropex, bone-conducting headphones that will play music through vibrations on your cheekbones instead of small speakers in your ears. This way your ears won’t be covered and you’ll still be able to hear everything around you, like cars or cyclists. Very safe for runners. I’ve heard a lot of good things about these and since my old headphones were slowly dying on me, this seemed like a good time to invest in something new. The first impressions are great, the sound quality surprised me and I like being able to still hear what’s going on around me.

The second package included my new Garmin Fenix 6S Pro and HRM Run. My Garmin Forerunner 645 Music needed to be send back to Garmin due to an issue with the screen. I didn’t want to wait around ‘watchless’ and I had been looking around for a Garmin with more features for a while now. Since Garmin would most likely be sending me a refurbished watch, I figured this would be a good time to upgrade. The Fenix 6S Pro pretty much has everything available to Garmin watches at this time and I love it. It has music, maps with navigation, improved training status and so much more I don’t need, but surely wanted.

The Garmin HRM Run is also something I had been looking at for a while. Wrist-based heart rate readings can be unreliable and I want to start training focusing more on my heart rate. This should help me do that. I haven’t been able to do the lactate threshold test yet, but the heart rate readings do already seem more reliable, especially during speed intervals.

I thought I was done then, but by the end of the week I had also purchased my first Goodr sunglasses. I heard many good things about them and the sunny weather of the last week’s had me looking for sunglasses suitable for running. I haven’t tested them yet, but they look awesome!

Goal pace repeats

A different type of goal pace repeats today. After a 15 minute warming up, I’m running 10 minutes at goal pace followed by a 5 minute recovery jog. Next up, three repeats of 5 minutes at goal pace with 3 minute recoveries. After that, back home. 

1. 15 minute warming up

2. 10 minutes at 6:47 min/km
3. 5 minute recovery, walk + jog
4. 5 minutes at 6:53 min/km
5. 3 minute recovery, walk + jog
6. 5 minutes at 6:51 min/km
7. 3 minute recovery, walk + jog
8. 5 minutes at 6:46 min/km
9. 3 minute recovery, walk + jog

I’m pretty satisfied with these numbers. The first and longest interval was almost the fastest one. After that I told myself to slow down a little. My goal pace is actually 7:00 – 7:15 min/km, so I might be pushing myself a bit too much here. Nevertheless, the last intervals were all faster as the one before.

Easy run

A very slow run today, just exploring the trails I actually know so well. I still keep finding new spots though that I either haven’t seen before or that just look differently to me. I run 5,2K at 8:52 min/km.

Progression run

Another short progression run. It seems like Coach Greg is handing these out every week now. A 5 minute warming up, 30 minutes easy pace, 10 minutes goal pace and a 5 minute cooling down. 

It hasn’t rained in a while and the air feels really dry. As I’m running the easy part on trails, which are basically a soft, sandy mess right now, the air is a bit dusty. Some rain would be good and would probably make it a little easier to breathe. 

I run the easy part at an average pace of 8:20 min/km and the goal pace part at 7:04 min/km.

Speed repeats

Friday morning speed repeats! After a 15 minute warming up I’m doing 7 intervals at 6:25 – 6:38 min/km (30 seconds below goal pace), followed by 5 intervals at 5:57 – 6:10 min/km. All intervals are 1 minute and have a 1 minute recovery. This should be fun.

First set, 7 intervals

1. 6:20 min/km
2. 5:33 min/km
3. 6:09 min/km
4. 6:03 min/km
5. 5:31 min/km
6. 5:38 min/km
7. 5:51 min/km

Second set, 5 intervals

8. 5:37 min/km
9. 5:43 min/km
10. 5:31 min/km
11. 5:56 min/km
12. 5:43 min/km

Well, that didn’t go entirely to plan. None of the intervals were done at the suggested pace, but at least I kind of managed to run the second set of intervals faster as the first set. Kind of. It was fun though and definitely a good training.

Long easy run

It’s another sunny day and I don’t leave for my run until about 11:00. I decide before I’m even out the door that I’ll be ignoring Coach Greg and his pace alerts today. This run will be slow. I’ll be keeping an eye on my heart rate and will try to stay in zone 2. Running slowly and enjoying being outside.

I have a bit of a strange feeling about today. Today is King’s Day in the Netherlands. A national holiday that usually means many festivities with flea markets, old Dutch games and festival like parties. It’s a party that takes place outside and you’ll see almost everyone dressed in orange. But not today. Today the festivities are online, because we’re staying inside.

Garmin Courses and me planned a bit of different route today, by the canal and in the shades, hopefully this will provide me a bit of protection from the sun. There are a lot of people out today, walking, running, skating, cycling, fishing, but everyone is keeping their distances, so I just enjoy their ‘company’.

The route I had set out to do was somewhere between 10 and 12K, but I’ve been off course since the second kilometer. I felt like going in a different direction. I’m still running by the canal, but instead of going right, I went left. Oh well. I kept going, explored some routes I hadn’t run before and headed home a little earlier as planned.

I run 8,5K at 8:35 min/km.

Summary

As I’m finishing up this article I’m actually already almost done with the seventh week of my plan, but not much running has happened this week. My plan was to do a run outside the plan on Tuesday morning. Since my Garmin HRM Run arrived last week I wanted to do a lactate threshold test and set up my heart rate zones accordingly. It’s a 20ish workout that increases the intensity of your run with each interval. Sounded like fun and it would give me even more data as my new watch was already giving me.

I got out of bed that morning with a tight feeling in my neck which I was still trying to massage out during my warming up. It wasn’t really working, but I remained hopeful, started the workout on my watch and off I went. Two steps later the muscles kind of snapped and I came to an abrupt stop. Every movement now hurts, including breathing. No run for me today. Instead I get a ‘walk of shame’, stumbling home while I turn my watch off again.

It’s been a few days, there were moments it felt impossible to lift my head up from a pillow, but it’s slowly getting better. I should be back to running soon!

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