RnR LA Half Marathon Training – Weeks 1 & 2

13 Sep

Reminder – the first drawing for my Team ASPCA raffle is tomorrow!  Please check out the great prizes and consider donating!

I’m actually in the sixth week of training for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon, but I want to go back and recap my training so far.  I’ve changed up a few things since my last training cycle, and it certainly has been interesting!

Since I already know I can complete 13.1 miles, I wanted to amp up my training just a bit, and luckily the intermediate training schedule provided by Team ASPCA fit the bill perfectly.  It’s very similar to the beginner plan I used last time, adding in one speed or hill workout per week, and packing in a little higher mileage overall.  Here’s the basic plan:

Monday – easy run
Tuesday – speed or hill workout
Wednesday – cross train
Thursday – easy run
Friday – rest
Saturday – long run
Sunday – rest

I got in touch with the national coach about tweaking the schedule to my needs, since I was diagnosed with IT Band Syndrome.  My ideas were to work in full body strength training twice per week, use the elliptical machine instead of one easy run for the first four weeks, and avoid hill workouts for a while.  He agreed that these were all fine, so here is what my version looks like:

Monday – easy run, strength training at home
Tuesday – speed workout (possibly add hill workouts later)
Wednesday – cross train
Thursday – elliptical machine, BodyPump (switch to easy run after four weeks)
Friday – rest
Saturday – long run
Sunday – rest
every day after exercise – stretch, ice and foam roll any trouble spots (tennis ball for the glutes), full foam roll once a week

So far this has worked pretty well, and I’ve been managing my IT band issues.  I’m still tweaking the program as I go along, which I’ll write about in my upcoming posts.  For now, here’s a look at the first two weeks.

Week 1

what was supposed to happen                 what actually happened
Mon – 3 miles easy, strength                   3 miles easy, strength
Tues – 8 x 200 w/ 200 recovery,         10 x 160 w/ 160 recovery,
1/2 mile w/u & c/d                                           1/2 mile w/u & c/d
Weds – cross train                                        rest
Thurs – elliptical, BodyPump                  rest
Fri – rest                                                            elliptical
Sat – 7 miles                                                     6.5 miles
Sun – rest                                                          rest

That Monday I ran on the treadmill, which I usually don’t love, but 3 miles was the farthest I’d gone since seeing the doctor about my leg, so I wanted to make sure I could take it easy.  We had plans after work on Tuesday, so I did my first ever speed intervals on the treadmill too.  The ol’ treadmill doesn’t have hundredths of a mile, so instead of doing 200’s, I did 160’s and changed the speed every .1 mile.  I used 5.2 mph for running and 4.8 for recover, so I wasn’t going very fast, but it was a nice way to try out intervals without fear of being totally embarrassed in public!

I missed Wednesday’s and Thursday’s workouts.  Wednesday I wasn’t feeling well after work, and Thursday I had dinner with the Team ASPCA regional manager and two other Team ASPCA members!  Since The ASPCA is headquartered in New York and the race is in LA there are bigger teams in those cities, but the team up here in Northern California is smaller and not as unified, so it was really nice to meet other people who are in the same boat.  I spent an hour on the elliptical Friday to make up for some of the missed time.

On Saturday I ran the Oakland Peak to Bay 10K, which I now realize I still need to write a recap for!  Will do that soon.  Our route ended up taking us about 6.5 very hilly miles, which was perfect.  I had a bit of knee pain on the downhills, but nothing too bad.  One of my running companions had a sore foot, so we were doing a bit of walking by the end.

Week 2

what was supposed to happen                 what actually happened
Mon – 3.5 miles easy, strength               3.5 miles easy, strength
Tues – 10 x 200 w/ 200 recovery,       10 x 200 w/ 200 recovery,
1/2 mile w/u & c/d                                           1/2 mile w/u & c/d
Weds – cross train                                        50 minutes elliptical
Thurs – elliptical, BodyPump                  walked
Fri – rest                                                            rest
Sat – 7 miles                                                     rest
Sun – rest                                                          rest

This wasn’t such a good week for sticking with the training plan.  Since I had some knee pain on the 6.5 mile run Saturday, I wanted to be cautious on Monday, and did my run on the treadmill.  1 mile at 4.8, 1 mile at 4.9, 1 mile at 5.0, and .5 mile at 4.8.  There was some discomfort on the outside of my left thigh in the third mile, but it went away by the end of the run.  I know that running on the treadmill is supposed to be “easier” than outside, and you’re supposed to put the incline up a notch to mimic having to move your body weight, but I find treadmill running much more difficult and have to keep the pace really slow!

Tuesday, I set out to do my first proper intervals.  I had heard there was a track that might be open to the public in the Oakland hills, but when I drove by there was a high school football team practicing on it.  I have yet to find any track in the entire East Bay that is open to the public and ever available, which is really frustrating!  After the track rejection, I headed to Lake Merritt, which is flat and just about three miles around.  My Garmin reads at one hundredths of a mile, so rather than doing straight eights of a mile I ran for .13 then jogged/recovered for.12.  My running interval pace ranged from 10:09 to 11:28, with all but one being under 11:00.  That’s quite good for me!  I think that slower one was going up a hill.  My recovery intervals ranged from 11:22 to 12:45.  I told myself that I could jog as slowly as necessary on the recoveries as long as I pushed myself on every run segment, and I did.  I focused on keeping good form, pumping my arms, and really using my legs.

We had plans for after work on Thursday, so I got my elliptical time in Wednesday and walked during lunch Thursday.  Friday night I noticed that my lower back was hurting around my tailbone.  I was actually really excited for my first real long run of training, but Saturday morning my tailbone was still sore.  It felt a little like a muscle strain, but not quite as bad.  I decided, sadly, to forgo running so that I wouldn’t exacerbate whatever was going on or injure myself.  I actually ended up taking four days off total, to make sure I was at 100% before running again.

We’ll get to weeks 3 and 4 next time!  In the meantime, please check out my Team ASPCA raffle!

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