Monday, August 10, 2015

CIM Training Log: Week 1

Guys, it's time to recap WEEK ONE OF MARATHON TRAINING. Hopefully the caps lock conveys my excitement.

The week was actually pretty minimal because I was on vacation and Coach Jess (wisely) anticipated that I might be sore/tired from hiking and biking during the first part of the week, and we didn't want to do anything too draining before Sunday's 5K.

A few training notes:

  • Running for time. As you'll notice, Jess has me running for time instead of mileage on most workouts. For easy runs, I really like this. I feel like it makes me focus more on just getting in the time rather than finishing miles quickly, so it's easier to truly run by effort. I can run without a Garmin, and as Jess noted, what matters most at this stage of training is time on my feet. It's also helpful with my schedule -- I know exactly how much time to block out for a workout.
  • Cross-training. Moving forward, we're going to incorporate a cross-training day each week (meaning five total days of cardio), in order to boost my cardio fitness with minimal added strain to my body. It'll likely be spin (either a class or me on a bike) since I can't stand the elliptical (and neither can Jess), I can't swim long enough for it to be a legit workout, the stair master isn't ideal as a counterpoint to running (still has impact), and oh right, I like cycling!
  • Nutrition. We discussed this on today's check-in call. Nutrition is such a tough thing to get exactly right, but I want to focus on it during this marathon training cycle. I've noticed that food prep is really helpful for me in ensuring I eat well, so I'm going to be making that a priority on Sundays. I'm going to be keeping a log of what I eat each day, just jotting down meals, which I hope will help me keep tabs on how my nutrition affects my running. Jess has also said she'll make some comments here and there on ways to improve nutrition for marathon training, since it's been a long time since I've run higher mileage.
  • Heart rate stats. Thanks to my lovely sister and brother-in-law, I am the proud owner of a Mio wristband heart rate monitor. It was an early birthday present (my birthday is this week), and it's already been really useful. I'm not going to be doing heart rate training, but rather using it as an informational tool. More data is helpful, so long as it doesn't suck the fun out of running.
  • Warm-ups. I won't be detailing my warm-up and cool-down every single time, but Jess assigns them for every single run, and I'm being diligent about them. I've seen how valuable they are in terms of healthy running and also making the run itself feel easier.

CIM Training Log: Week 1

Monday/Tuesday: Off (vacationing at Tahoe).

As I mentioned in my vacation recap, I felt fairly run-down, despite having an amazing trip, due to the long hours in the car and intense hiking (ok, and probably my poor/excellent eating choices on the trip). I was glad Coach Jess had scheduled two rest days for me. (And yes, I know, complaining about being tired after a vacation is the height of champagne problems. Sorry!)

Wednesday: 40 minutes easy + 4x20 seconds strides @ Back Bay.

Wednesday night's GORGEOUS sunset.
I forgot to charge my Garmin after Sunday's 6 hour hike, so it conked out, but I was running the mostly flat and paved side of Back Bay where I know the mileage (and I confirmed on Google Maps after). 40 minutes easy for 4.1 miles (9:45 avg pace, 143 avg HR). 

Also got some awesome cloud action pre-run.
It was 76 degrees when I started at 7:30 p.m. and 66% humidity (humid for SoCal), but I felt really good -- definitely an easy effort. It was actually difficult to keep myself from running really fast, just because it was one of those "yippeee running is effortless and Wednesday is an awesome day and I'm so happy" runs.

For once the TV show Girls captures my experience! (Only if I remember correctly, she said this after taking drugs and dancing at a club, not running along a nature reserve, so never mind...)

Finished with 4x20 second strides.

Thursday: Strength.

Jess normally gives her clients strength workouts, but since I've been enjoying the weightlifting I've been doing, we agreed I'd keep up with those (but potentially scale back to more body weight exercises closer to the marathon if necessary). 

Decided to do two sets instead of my typical three to avoid being too sore prior to the race since I hadn't done weights in over a week.

(1) deadlifts
(2) chest press
(3) lat pulldown
(4) squats

15x decline sit-ups
2x1 min plank

Friday: 60 minutes easy on San Diego Creek Trail + core workout.

Didn't feel anywhere as good as I did Wednesday evening. Not sure whether to blame the humidity, which was close to 80% (so gross, so unusual for SoCal) or just not being used to running in the mornings. 

Ran on the San Diego Creek Trail for 60 minutes easy. Ended up running 5.8 miles (10:21 avg pace, 142 avg HR). 

 This is where the heart rate data is so cool. I could look at my heart rate stats at the end and know that since this pace was what felt easy, and yet my HR was the same as running 9:45's on Wednesday, I must have been tired/creaky or something. 

Completed an assigned core workout in the evening then foam rolled.

Mason demands pets the minute I get on the floor. He really gets in the way of my foam rolling and core working.

Saturday: 20 minutes shakeout + 4x20 seconds strides @ Back Bay.

Gorgeous day, so I took Mason on a walk around North Lake (Sourabh was in NJ visiting family before he started work this week).

Did a very easy 20 minute shakeout run then 4x20 seconds of strides to loosen up the legs. Foam rolled after I picked up a delicious Mendocino Farms sandwich for dinner. (they just opened one very close to the place we're moving, and relatively close to my current apartment, and I am oh-so-excited. They make the BEST sandwiches.)

Sunday: 5K race + core workout.

I'll recap the race at some point this week. The course was about 0.1 miles short, so I can't say for sure if I would have PR'd or not, but I think I would have been somewhere in the vicinity of 5-10 seconds off. I was racing basically by myself for most of it since it was so small (based on final results, looks like 50ish people raced?), and it was just hard to keep my mental game strong given that I was "racing" alone. Still, good faster-than-tempo effort.

Oh, and I was 3rd place woman overall! So that was cool. But I was beaten by what turned out to be a thirteen and seven year-old. Less cool. Damn those speedy youngsters.

With warm-up and cool-down time (I didn't bother tracking warm-up/cool-down mileage with my Garmin), mileage for the day was probably 5.5-6 miles.

Splits for the 5K were: (1) 7:33, (2) 7:55, (3) 7:45, (.01) 6:30

Completed core workout that evening while watching Bachelor in Paradise (don't judge me; or do, whatever, I don't care, it's damn entertaining) and foam rolled.

Total Mileage = ~18 miles


  1. Marathon training, here we go! You know I'm all about biking, but it really does help your running cadence/turnover; that was one of the first benefits I noticed when I started triathlon training.

    My coach has me run a mix of distance and time. For speedwork and easy run, we use distance, but for steady/tempo workouts, we'll do 40-60 minutes. Running for time removes the pressure of getting a specific mileage done at a certain pace, but those runs are still tough!

    1. I'm glad you've really seen the benefits of biking in your own running. Some tempo workouts will be for time and some for distance. Not feeling pace pressure is really nice (although it's so hard for me not to hit round mileage like 3.5 or 4 miles or something!).

  2. Good job on week 1, Jen! I'm excited to see how your training goes and I'm insanely jealous of those views!!

    1. Thanks, Kim! I'm excited, too :) And I know -- the views really make training more fun!

  3. And week 1 is DONE! Excited to read along on your marathon training adventures! Happy birthday as well :)

  4. Confession: I also watch Bachelor in Paradise. It's trashy but so addictive!