In case you missed my earlier post, I was asked by Three Rivers Running Company here in Fort Wayne, Indiana if I would be interested in utilizing and blogging about its individual coaching service. Well, you can probably assume I said yes to this offer and I am very excited about it! I am now a little over one full week into my training program and I already know this plan is exactly what I needed. The workouts that my coach, Mike Else, gave me are challenging, but not so much that I can’t complete them. While I haven’t met the goal pace on EVERY run this past week, I was close for most…and I think once I have a week or two of these new (and harder) workouts behind me, I will catch up and improve drastically. I’m sure my body is still adjusting to being pushed past its normal routine. So, anyway, here is my individual coaching week 1 review:
Day 1: Recovery Run, 4 miles
Because I had a 9 mile run the day before, day 1 was supposed to start with a 4 mile run at a 9+ minute pace. However, when I went to step out the door…it was raining. Now…I know I *should* have gone out anyway. I’m fully aware it could rain on race day and I’ll have to suck it up. However, I generally dislike running in the rain and if I can avoid it, I do. So, instead of an easy 4 mile run, I just did 30 minutes easy on the elliptical. Eh…close enough? (I also did P90X’s Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps workout beforehand.)
Day 2: Tempo Run, 5 miles
I started the morning with the P90X3 Triometrics workout. We only did about half of it because I knew I needed to have enough time to run 5 miles before my husband needed to leave for work. I headed out the door with all my night running gear (headlamp, reflective vest, safety strobe) ready to run hard. Today’s workout was a 1 mile warm up followed by a tempo run at 7:20 pace for the next 3-4 miles. What I learned today was that I’ve totally lost the ability to know what pace I’m currently running! (I used to be really good at estimating overall distance and pace.) I also learned that I need a better read out from my RunKeeper app. The first mile came in at 9:16. Typical. My first mile always kind of sucks…it’s like my legs just don’t want to move when I first get started. For mile two, I knew I needed to pick up the pace quite a bit, but when RunKeeper read out my mile two split (at least what I thought it was telling me), I heard the time 6:28. Woah! Of course, I was exhausted, so I was kind of relieved that I was going way too fast. I slowed down. Then at mile 3, I heard 8:03. Ugh. So, I had to speed back up! And then at mile 4, the read out was 6:21!! So, I was just sure when I got back and checked my actual splits that this is what they would be. Well, turns out, I had my RunKeeper readouts set for CURRENT pace. So, at those moments, that was my exact pace. Not the stat I want to hear for pacing myself! Anyway, looking at my splits after my run was over, here were my REAL ones: 9:16, 7:32, 7:48, 7:28, 8:36. So, not too bad. I was supposed to run at 7:20 pace, but for this being my first time really pushing myself to hold a tempo pace for a few miles in I-don’t-even-know-how-many years, I was pleased with these splits. I have some work to do to get down to 7:20 pace, but hopefully in a few weeks I’ll be there. (I’m now using my old running watch to view my actual split times during these faster paced runs.)
Day 3: Rest Day
Well, sort of. I got up with my husband at our usual 5 am wake up time. We did P90X’s ab ripper workout, followed up with P90X3’s dynamix. Normally, I would hop on the elliptical afterwards on a rest day, but decided that was enough for the day since I’m pushing it much harder during my training runs.
Day 4: Steady State, 5 miles
We did P90X’s back and biceps workout first. Then I was to run a 1 mile warm up, followed by 3 miles at 7:50 pace, and then a mile cool down. I was close! My mile splits were 9:15 (slow as always), 8:10, 8:07, 7:43, and 7:26. Oops. As I’m typing this, I realized I was supposed to run the last mile at an easier pace. Oh well, I’m sure it was good for me!
Day 5: Easy, 5 miles
First we did P90X3’s CVX workout (plyometrics with light weights). Then I was to run 5 miles, but this time at an ‘easy’ pace between 8-8:30. This proved to be a little more challenging for me only because my first mile always throws things off a bit. My overall average pace ended up being 8:25, while my splits were 8:59, 8:35, 8:22, 8:09, 7:59. I think the whole week of ‘going hard’ was catching up to me a bit. And I know that doing the P90X workouts before each run is also going to be tiring on my legs, arms, abs, etc. However, I love lifting weights and building muscle, so I don’t want to eliminate those workouts completely. I think they’re great for cross-training, especially for a runner.
Day 6: Rest Day
Saturday is usually the one morning a week that I ‘allow myself’ to sleep in (you know, until the late time of 7 am when my kids get up). I had planned to do ab ripper after waking up, but I never got around to it…so, it ended up being a day of total rest! Rare, but absolutely okay. 🙂
Day 7: Long Slow Distance, 10 miles
My longer run for the week was to be between 8:30 and 9:00 minute pace. It was extremely foggy out on Sunday when I headed out the door, but I am SO thankful for our great trail system. I felt safe the entire run, which was nice considering I couldn’t see more than 50 meters in front of me at times! So how was my pace? About right where it should be! My overall average pace was 8:33 per mile, with mile splits of 9:25, 8:47, 8:54, 8:19, 8:36, 8:23, 8:40, 8:24, 8:34, and 8:06. This was a rare run for me since I didn’t end up with negative splits. Overall I felt really good about this run and I know that my endurance is definitely ready for the Fort 4 Fitness in a little over a month. I just need to keep working on my speed!
And here is what my very straight hair looked like after 10 miles in the extreme fog…it was great fun to comb through before my shower!
Day 8: Recovery Run, 4 miles
Because I didn’t get out last week due to the rain, I wanted to make sure I got in a real recovery run this week. I was supposed to run all 4 miles over 9 minute pace and even though I had to mentally tell myself to slow down on occasion, I managed to do what I was told…almost. My last mile came in at 8:58. Shh…don’t tell Coach Mike. 😉
Bonus – Day 9: Tempo Run, 5 miles
Since I’m publishing this post a day later than I had planned, you get to hear about my tempo run for the day! 🙂 I was very pleased with my workout this morning. First, my husband and I did about 15 minutes of the P90X plyometrics workout. This is definitely not an ideal workout before a hard run (because it’s so intense), but it’s what was on my ‘pre-coaching’ training plan and my husband already had it ready to go when I got into the basement, so I just went with it. After that, today’s plan was to run a 1 mile warm up, then 3-4 miles at 7:20 pace. Again…I came in close to this. Splits were 9:10…then 7:29, 7:32, 7:04 (woohoo!)…and then a cool down in 8:37. Even though I felt like I was going to pass out near the end of that 4th mile, I’m really proud that I was able to push myself and finish so strong! Eventually, I want to work up to holding that pace through the 5th mile, as well…but it definitely wasn’t going to happen today. 🙂
I can really tell already that this training program is going to be GREAT for me. It was the kick in the rear that I needed to get moving again and pushing myself. I’m feeling more and more confident with every run that I’m going to see the results I want at my next half marathon. I’m pushing harder than I have in a LONG time and I have a feeling it’ll get easier to meet my target paces on my tempo and steady state runs soon enough. I’m loving that I have a coach to guide me and give me advice along the way.
So, how did Coach Mike think I did this past week? He said he thought I did an awesome job, considering I was also doing a P90X workout everyday. He suggested that I run first and THEN lift weights to see better results. I absolutely agree with this idea, but not sure how it would work “in real life.” I love that my husband and I have this little bit of time to workout together every morning and if I went running first, we wouldn’t have that. Of course, this is only for a couple of months, so I may change my mind and try running first and then doing as much of the P90X workouts that I can squeeze in before my kids get up. I agree that it would be helpful, plus lesson how tired my muscles are before going out to run each morning. I’ll keep you posted on what I end up deciding! (My husband is on board with either option.)
Mike also told me to expect some soreness for a little while as I adjust to the faster paced running. He said that we are striving for small, but consistent improvements. And I have to agree. I think we’re right on track!
And I couldn’t resist sharing this photo of my daughter. I bought her some new running clothes (from Target) the other day and she couldn’t wait to try them on. I expected her to come out with the running clothes…but the safety vest, headlamp, and running shoes threw me a bit! Even though she knows she’s not supposed to mess with my running stuff, I thought this was pretty cute. Definitely a mini-me in the making. 😉
If you’re interested in the individual coaching service that Three Rivers Running Company offers, you can find more information here: 3RRC Coaching Services.
If you’re interested in reading more about the P90X workouts we do, I’ve written several posts about them. I lost 10 pounds doing the original P90X and saw a huge change in my overall shape. (90 days of changes (and P90X)…the results are in!) I wasn’t as big of a fan of P90X3, but I have some discs that we still utilize quite frequently as part of our regular fitness routine. (P90X3 Review)
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