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A faster half marathon – Back to training, resuming the Garmin Coach plan

With just over seven weeks to go before my unofficial half marathon race I finally restarted my training plan. After an unfortunate ankle sprain I had to put my Garmin Coach training plan on pause for a little while. I ran my last (and first) half marathon with a still recovering sprain, but since I’m not in a rush to get back to training, I’m taking my time to let it heal properly this time. 

First trial run

My first run since I sprained my ankle. I couldn’t find my ankle brace, so I tried to be extra careful. I choose the cycling lane in the woods as it’s a very even road. The weather is a little too much for me, with 22°C and very high humidity.
I run 2.3K at an average pace of 9:05 min/km. I took a few walk breaks, because I didn’t fully trust my ankle. It’s time to find that ankle brace.

Second trial run

I woke up from my 5:30 alarm and as while I was checking the weather app I already heard the rain dripping on the roof of my house. The app confirmed, this will be a very wet run. I missed running in the rain! It’s still warm out, so a tanktop and short will do, but I’m adding my visor to keep the rain from dripping by my face.

I ran 3.8K at an average pace of 8:33 min/km and my ankle held up pretty good.

After this run I was sure I could resume my training plan, so I unpaused it. Not my smartest move. Today is a training day, so after I unpaused the plan, today’s training popped up. Since I already ran today, I’ll be skipping that run. 

Long easy run

My first long run in weeks and also my first run with my new shoes! Or so I thought. I woke up Sunday morning with a sore throat and a minor cough. My government states these are minor symptoms, but they do require me to get tested before I’m able to go out the door again. Long run cancelled.

I was so excited after finally buying new running shoes yesterday and trying them out today. I’ve been running in stability shoes (Brooks Transcend 6) for a while, but since I got my orthopedic insoles they’ve been wearing down way too fast. After a new analysis at the running store, I’ll be running in neutral shoes for the first time. The New Balance 880v10, but it seems I have to wait a little longer to try them out.

Tired run

My test results came back negative today (yay!), but a little too late for me to still go for my run. Another skipped run and Coach Amy is not being very forgiven. My confidence level is halfway into orange and she’s asking my if I want to pause my plan. Nope, I’m ready to kick it!

The next morning I head out for my recovery run. I’m skipping the woods so I can’t be tempted to head for the trails. My run today leads me through the local park and the city center. I had every intention of taking it slow today, but I didn’t. Let’s just call it a Tuesday morning Friday Fun Run.

I ran 5,5K at an average pace of 7:53 min/km. New shoes, approved!

Lactate threshold test

I’ve decided to ignore the training plan one last time. My Garmin hasn’t been giving me a lactate threshold update in months, so I decide to force it. I’m doing the lactate threshold test with my Garmin HRM Run.

My first test was done in May and I’ve gotten a few updates after that, but then it went silent. I start with a slow warming up, followed by a 4 minute run at a low heart rate. After that it quickly ramps up the pace. The next interval has me at the end of zone 3 and after that I’m pushing it in zone 4. I’m still able to keep up, but I know this interval is ending soon and after that I’ll need to go faster again. The beeping starts to indicate that the next interval is coming up. I’m speeding up, but I’m at the end of my abilities. I manage to hold on a little longer, but then it’s done. Workout over, new lactate threshold recorded! Today’s recording is 184 / 6:49 versus 183 / 7:03 a few months ago. Not bad I’d say.

After the run I checked the settings and discovered why my lactate threshold wasn’t updating anymore. The settings had been changed and my heart rate zones were now calculated based on a percentage of my heart rate reserve instead of my lactate threshold. So, I changed that back and checked the other settings as well. Should be good to go again.

Easy run

Finally, I found my ankle brace, it was hiding in the attic, on my drying rack. Oh well, trail run here I come! I was out early and rewarded with some great views. I love this time of year when the heather is flowering and everything is purple. 

I ran 5K at an average pace of 8:37 min/km.

Long easy run

For today’s long run I downloaded the course of a local trail run. It’s a 10K loop on the nature area I’ve been using for my training for a long time. I’m always taking the same turns though. Today I’m switching it up by letting someone else decide when to go left or right. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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The route starts off a bit boring with unpaved, even trails, but switches it up quickly with sandy, messy paths, some singletracks and one point I was just running in the grass. I did twist my ankle, just a little bit and instantly regretted not wearing my ankle brace. It was a conscious decision though, my ankle needs to get stronger and I really don’t need

Luckily, my ankle seems okay after a little icing. I ran 14,7K at an average pace of 9:00 min/km.

Summary

It finally feels like I’m back on track towards my goal of a faster half marathon. In just six weeks I’ll be running my second half marathon. Not in a race setting as my race has been cancelled, but still a half marathon. Bring it on!

2 thoughts on “A faster half marathon – Back to training, resuming the Garmin Coach plan”

  1. Good to see you are on track again!
    I am in the 2nd week of Amy’s 5K beginner plan, I can still ‘hold on’ but it is challenging.
    The 6th training day already requires me to walk 2 mins and run 7 mins, times 3….
    Note that I am 51 and never ran before, ever, so my heart rate is going through the roof sometimes. I really needed a lifestyle change and your blog and Amy are helping me through, Amy says I am still on track and she has confidence in me succeeding, so I assume we should be fine. 🙂

    Enjoy your weekend and kind regards,
    Daan

    1. Thanks, Daan! Stick with it, you can do it! Everyone started somewhere, I sure started on the couch. It will get easier! Don’t forget to celebrate your progress along the way. 🙂

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