Tuesday, April 7, 2015

RnR San Diego Half Marathon Training Log: Week 4

This was a major cutback week. I ran 3 miles. While I was active every day, I was in desperate need of a cutback week after last weekend's hill repeats / strength / 1100 ft elevation gain 9 mile trail run (yeah, didn't think that combo through well...). I did not realize how beat up my body would be after trail running. Of course looking back at it, it was clearly a poor idea to run a hilly route the day after hill repeats.

But trails are so pretty! 
My cutback week would not normally consist of 3 running miles, however with work getting busy, the hiking in San Luis Obispo on the weekend, and the clear signs my body was sending me Wednesday and Thursday, I decided to just chalk it up as a lost week. I think you can generally have one or two of those over the course of a training cycle and be okay. That's one reason I like a 12 week training cycle for a half marathon, and a reason I'll be doing a longer training cycle for the California International Marathon. My job is unpredictable and I don't always know how my body will react to things. If it's saying "no, that's too much, stop it," I want to be able to pay attention without ruining my training.

Sourabh and I drove up to San Luis Obispo for the weekend. The trip was a huge reminder of how happy living in California makes me. It's about a 3.5 hour drive, which initially seemed like a bit much for just two days, but the entire ride is so pretty that it didn't feel like too much for a weekend away. I'm going to do a separate post on the hikes we did and food we ate, so this training log will be short and to the point.

RnR San Diego Half Marathon Training Log: Week 4

Monday: Running form drills + 40 minutes stationary cycling + 20 minutes upper body strength.

I have running form drills on my schedule for every week. I do a mix of side and forward low hurdles, high knees through a net, and some low box jumps, focusing on activating different muscles and keeping good form.

I thought my legs could use a break from running so decided to cross-train instead of run on Monday. They probably could have used a straight rest day, which Melanie told me on Wednesday when I wondered why I was so fatigued.

  • 40 minutes on a stationary bike, pace at about 13-14 mph the whole ride.
  • Three rounds of 15 reps of chest presses, high rows, and lat pull-downs. 
  • Two 1 minute planks, 30 seconds side plank on each side, 15x Supermans for core.

Tuesday: Off.

Did 15 minutes of yoga/stretching, focused on quads, hamstrings and hips.

Wednesday: Strength training with Melanie.

Focused on upper body again because my lower body was clearly not having it during our plyometric warm-up.

  • 1/2 mile warm-up and dynamic stretching.
  • Two sets of six reps of plyometric drills (side and forward jogging through low hurdles, high knees through ladder).
  • Three sets of 15 reps of three heavy upper body exercises.
  • One set of 15 reps of two core exercises.
  • Longer stretching session focused on quads, hamstrings and hips.

Thursday: 60 minute yoga class.

The Thursday night therapy yoga class has a new instructor who was focused on more of a slow flow than therapy tools/exercises. I liked the class but am bummed that there isn't that option on my gym's schedule anymore since it was a great class at a good time for me. I'll keep this class on my schedule, though, because I can use all the stretching I can get.

Friday: 3 easy miles around Back Bay on trails.

Gorgeous run on the trail side of Back Bay after work. My legs were finally starting to feel a bit more normal.

Saturday: 5.5 mile hike up Cerro San Luis in San Luis Obispo.

Hiked up Cerro San Luis, an ancient volcanic plug, and got about 1,100 ft. of elevation gain in. Not running, obviously, but at least it was quality time on my feet.

Sunday: 5 mile hike up Reservoir Canyon Trail in San Luis Obispo.

That's Pismo Beach in the distance. No, there was never a disaster there (although I thought it was a real thing the first time I saw Clueless in the 90s...)
Same story as Saturday, but this time with most of the 1,100 ft. of elevation coming in the last mile of the hike. Gorgeous views from the top of Murray Hill!

Total Run Mileage = 3 miles *womp womp*

I'm really jazzed about this week so far, though. Amazingly solid 6 miles with a terrific progression yesterday morning (ran a longer and slightly less easy Monday run than normal to make up for no cutback week long run, but the great thing was the pace never felt like it wasn't easy, just wasn't a recovery pace). I also have fun running plans for this weekend! Now let's see how tomorrow's mile repeats go...


  1. Great job! I'm 100% on track for these 4 weeks of training before my half on May 3rd! Yesterday was a great easy run and tonight is speed work!

    1. Thanks, Ashley! Good luck at the Geneva Half. I'm sure you'll have a great race!!

  2. I am sure all that hiking efforts into training, hiking is no joke! I find taking a mini break from running both clears the legs and mind though and makes you want to dive back in 110%!

    1. Let's hope so! And I agree, this break was great both for my legs and my mental game.

  3. It sounds cliche, but it really is important to listen to your body--when you should back off, you will *know*. And sure, it was a down week in terms of mileage, but you still did a lot of cross training. And totally getting after it this week too. :)

    1. Sometimes cliches are repeated so often because they're true, and that definitely is true. So far so good this week :)