Road to my first half marathon – Week 5

Week 5 of my road to my first half marathon includes me skipping runs, deviating from my Garmin Coach plan and Coach Greg’s favorite speed repeats! I also changed my goal and as I’m finishing up this post my first 15K race is less than a week away!

Easy run

During this second try of the half marathon training plan I’m trying to listen a little more to my body and a little less to the plan if they contradict each other. After yesterday’s trial bridge run I was feeling tired so I had decided not to set my alarm for my Monday morning run. One more skipped run. I don’t feel bad about it though, there is no point in exhausting myself and three workouts in just two days (long run, easy run, aquapower) is a little much. If it works, it works. If not, too bad. 

Speed repeats

Today it’s speed repeats and I love these. Coach Greg planned three times 5 minutes at fast pace (6:57 – 7:10 min/km), followed by 3 minute recoveries. Next six: 30 minute repeats at 6:51 – 7:03 min/km with 1 minute recovery. 

5 minute repeats
1. 6:54 min/km
2. 6:56 min/km
3. 6:50 min/km

30 second repeats
1. 5:53 min/km
2. 6:11 min/km
3. 5:59 min/km
4. 5:44 min/km
5. 5:53 min/km
6. 5:08 min/km

I was aiming for negative splits on all intervals. Not quite. I started the first 5 minute interval way too fast so I had to slow down towards the end to not mess up the rest of the training. These three intervals were fun, I walked the first half of the recovery and jogged the second half. I love that my watch counts down towards the next interval with small beeps, giving me time to get ready. This is especially useful for the shorter intervals so you don’t lose time gaining speed. 

If I ignore the first 30 second interval I almost (!) made the negative splits here. The fifth interval got complicated as I was crossing a street and had to make sure there were no cars ready to drive into me. The last interval I gave everything I had left to give. That felt really good, but looking at the numbers I’m not sure what the goal of this workout is, but me running almost 2 min/km faster as intended probably isn’t it. I think going slower wouldn’t have been better, this is supposed to be hard right? I’m supposed to be pushing my limits? I’m not sure.

However, since I’ve been running my easy runs a little too fast as well since winter brought cooler temperatures, I’ve changed my time goal within the plan. New goal HM goal: 2:30. That feels a little crazy and maybe it is. Or maybe I’m just a winter runner and I’ll be capable of more than I think. I guess we’ll find out! 

Hill repeats

Well, Coach Greg wanted another easy run, but I’m trying to prepare for a 15K bridge run on December 8 and I wanted to get a little more hill stuff in. I skipped the Garmin Coach run and create my own workout. Warm-up until lap-press (until I reach the bottom of the hill), run until lap-press (until I reach the top of the hill), walk/jog until lap-press (until I reach the bottom of the hill), repeat 8 times and cool down until lap-press (home). To clarify, my hill is not really a hill, but a bridge to cross over a highway. Not great air, but the only option I know in the area where I’m willing to go in the dark. 

It was a clear sky today and as I was reaching my ‘hill’ for the first repeat I saw a really bright shooting star. I haven’t seen many and I certainly wouldn’t have seen it if I had listened to Coach Greg today. 

Hill repeats
1. 0,15 km, 5:38 min/km
2. 0,16 km, 4:50 min/km
3. 0,17 km, 5:28 min/km
4. 0,17 km, 5:17 min/km
5. 0,15 km, 5:37 min/km
6. 0,16 km, 5:30 min/km
7. 0,17 km, 5:14 min/km
8. 0,16 km, 5:24 min/km

My paces were not very consistent, but it was fun. Google says that for effective hill repeats I should find a hill between 100 and 200 meters (check!), recoveries of 2 to 3 minutes (check!), run up at 5K pace (oh…). I’m going to take away from this that I should be able to run a 5K at 5:30 min/km. That would be a PB by 7,5 minutes. Got to have goals, right? I’m joking of course, other articles mention different types of hill repeats and even hill sprints. I guess this was somewhere in the between. 

Long easy run

Only one week to go until my race and it’s time to taper. The plan said a 40 minute progression run with 20 minutes at easy pace and 10 minutes at a fast pace. I wanted to do an easy 8K run to try a bit of a longer distance with my insoles that I’m still not really happy with. I didn’t do any run. There is a longer story behind this, but since this is a running blog I’m just going to give a few keywords: party, alcohol, late night, icy/slippery road, bike crash, bruised knee. You get the picture. Luckily my knee didn’t get hurt too bad, but going for an 8K run didn’t seem like the brightest idea. 

That’s two skipped runs in one week, now I do feel bad. 

That’s five weeks into my half marathon training. Even though I skipped two runs these week, I’m not too disappointed with myself. Overall it could’ve been better, but circumstances made it better to skip these runs. Coach Greg is definitely losing confidence though, he thinks I even skipped three runs this week as the hill repeats were done outside the plan. Only one week until race day!

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