Road to my first half marathon – Week 8

It’s week 8 of the road to my first half marathon with Garmin Coach. This week I barely managed my speed repeats, but rocked the stride repeats and progression run. I did skip another easy run. When I do my long run on Sunday and do anything else that day or just don’t find my bed in time, I justify skipping my Monday morning run by telling myself I’m tired and it’s good to take rest when it’s really needed. Usually I will go to my aquapower lesson in the evening so that also helps justifying it to my brain. However, I’m basically just running three times a week now instead of the four runs that are in my training plan. Not sure how to solve this, but I might need to rethink my workout plan again. Or be a little harder on myself. 

Speed repeats

Coach Greg has a crazy plan today. Warm-up 15 minutes, 800 meters at a ‘very fast, but controlled pace’, 400 meter recovery, repeat 8 times followed by a 15 minute cooling down. The 800 meter intervals are supposed to be done at a pace between 6:29 – 6:41 min/km. A short calculation makes this an approximately 90 minute workout. Of course I’m just making this calculation as I’m writing this, but there is no way I’m going to finish this on a normal weekday without getting up extra early. 
It’s Wednesday morning 5:45 and I did not sleep well. I kicked myself out of bed around 6:00, but was not feeling like this would be a great run. Who knows, maybe I’ll surprise myself. As I said, I had no idea what Coach Greg had planned for me and how long this run would be. My warming up already told me this was not going to be a great run, I had no energy. I figured I’d just get it over with and shortened the warming-up a little bit. Off we go. 
The first interval was hard, but I still felt okay. From the second interval I just wanted to stop, go home and crawl back into bed. I told myself, one more. Then I told myself, if I manage 4 intervals I’ll be at half of what I’m supposed to do. One more. I was empty, I turned right and went home at the shortest route possible. When I finished the workout I noticed I had actually been running for 52 minutes. That’s actually not bad for a weekday run. 
800 meter intervals
1. 6:40 min/km
2. 6:34 min/km
3. 6:46 min/km
4. 6:37 min/km

Not bad, not good. But, I’m getting a rematch next week as I’ll be doing the same workout again, hopefully I can finish it this time!

Stride repeats

Today the plan is compensating for Wednesday’s crazy long run with a short stride repeat run, this workout is only 32 minutes long. Twelve times 20 second repeats focusing on improving cadence, followed by 45 second recoveries. I have the day off and that means I get to run in daylight and in the woods. Looking back, I should’ve done the stride repeats on Wednesday en the speed repeats on Friday when I had more time. 
I finished the warm-up and started running fast for the first stride repeat. I don’t even know how many times I messed this up already, but it seems I’ll never learn. I forgot to press the lap button to actually start the first stride. I realized when the repeat seemed to go on to long, took a little time to recovery and then pressed the lap button for my actual first stride. 
Below the complete intervals, compared to the last time I did stride repeats in this plan, which was four weeks ago in week 4 of the plan. This week has two more strides though. I should add I was not feeling optimal when I did the stride repeats last time. 


This week
1. 3:45 min/km, 173 spm
2. 4:35 min/km, 172 spm
3. 5:14 min/km, 165 spm 
4. 4:26 min/km, 169 spm
5. 5:02 min/km, 171 spm
6: 4:30 min/km, 172 spm
7. 4:58 min/km, 167 spm
8. 4:50 min/km, 175 spm
9. 4:27 min/km, 172 spm
10. 4:59 min/km, 170 spm
11. 3:46 min/km, 163 spm
12. 4:18 min/km, 179 spm

Week 4
1. 4:53 min/km, 186 spm
2. 4:45 min/km, 183 spm
3. 4:37 min/km, 179 spm
4. 6:34 min/km, 173 spm
5. 5:21 min/km, 174 spm
6. 4:34 min/km, 174 spm
7. 4:30 min/km, 172 spm
8. 5:07 min/km, 172 spm
9. 4:49 min/km, 173 spm
10. 5:03 min/km, 164 spm

Today’s fastest interval was 3:45 min/km versus 4:30 min/km last time. The slowest interval today was 5:14 min/km versus 6:34 min/km. Alright, that’s some good progress, right? My cadence was actually a bit lower today as last time, but stil significantly higher as normal. I’m calling this a succes. 

Progression run

Another progression run, the same as last week: 60 minutes at easy pace, 10 minutes at goal pace and 5 minutes at fast pace. I decided to take the same route as last week, but this time the other way around. This way I wouldn’t have a bridge to cross at the faster parts of this run. My new running shoes had arrived just a day before, the exact same model as my other pair, just clean and fresh. It was pouring outside, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me from putting on my new shoes and going for my run. Take a look a the picture below, the shoes got dirty. 

I ran the first part at an average pace of 8:16 min/km, same as last week, the second part at 7:17 min/km versus 7:12 min/km last week and the last part at 6:42 min/km versus 6:51 min/km last week. It was hard, but I think I managed it pretty good! 
The workouts are definitely getting harder and I’m still a little disappointed that I didn’t figure out sooner that I should’ve swapped the speed and stride repeats. Only 7 weeks to go until my half marathon! And in exactly 2 weeks I’ll be running my second 10K race to challenge the PR I ran 2 weeks ago during the 15K of Bruggenloop Rotterdam. My original goal was to run it below 1:15, but based on the 15K race I think I might smash that goal. We’ll see! 

In the meantime I’m working on a post in which I’ll be looking back at the year 2019, I’m expecting to post it somewhere in the coming week. It was a very interesting year for me, so keep an eye out for that! 

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