BIG Training Progress Update!

Hey there! Today I thought I would give you a big run down on how my training for the Miami Half is going. This post is really for my own records, but I hope that you find something interesting in it too!

Race: 

Miami Half Marathon 2017

Race Goals:

This won’t be a PR race for me, but I still want to try to meet some reasonable goals:

A. 3:05 (14:06/mi)

B. 3:10 (14:29/mi)

C. Enjoy it

Training Progress: 

Weather:

Aside from yesterday when it was 80*F during my run, the weather over the last couple of months has been great.

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It’s almost always between 72*F and 78*F which is very comfortable for me, especially coming off of a super hot summer when the temps were in the low to mid 90s every single day.

During the summer I always forget how big of an impact the heat has on my overall pace, but like magic each winter it gets a easier. Most days I’m able to run/walk a 14:30 minute pace quite easily so I feel like my B goal is in the bag.

Days Per Week Running:

I started out this training cycle planning to run six days per week (about 35 miles per week on average), which is what I’ve done since I started training for my first half marathon back in 2013. When my calves started bothering me so much that I was in near tears every night I backed off to five days a week hoping that would help.

My calves are feeling better many nights but I don’t think that has anything to do with backing down to five days a week (about 30 miles per week on average). I think I’m just learning what causes my calves to feel extra tight.

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I am enjoying this reduction in the number of days I run though. Between the new house and being super busy at work, not having the pressure of running ALL the time is nice.

I’m honestly not sure I would be handling life well if I was running six days a week. I noticed yesterday that I have dark circles under my eyes for the first time ever. omg.

Strength Training:

I’ve moved down to just one day a week of strength training and I do a full body lifting routine.

Usually during a training cycle I don’t try to make any gains when it comes to legs because I don’t want to tire them out too much. This training cycle I haven’t been focused on improving my squats but I have consistently added weight to my leg presses.

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I’m up to 10 reps at 315lbs which means I’m sure I could do 1 rep at about 350lbs. Basically just to amuse myself I want to lift the whole stack at my gym, so I’m working towards that. I actually think I may get there before the end of the year.

I know a lot of people consider the leg press to be worthless in comparison to the squat, but I have read that both have different benefits for runners.

Jillian Michaels says that leg presses really help to develop your quads which is helpful for overall running. Squats and lunges are what will help specifically with speed.

I have definitely noticed that I’ve been able to easily kick up the pace during the final mile of 90% of my runs, even my long runs, which is really unusual for me! 😀 I am going to chalk that up to squats and leg press. I do lunges too but I’m terrible at them so I don’t know if they are really benefiting me. I have horrible balance!

Overall Thoughts:

I really think this training cycle is going well. I put no pressure on myself to PR which is just totally freeing.

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That being said, the other day I looked through my training log from the cycle in which I earned my current half marathon PR (2:57). I saw that my coach at the time was regularly having me run five milers on week nights and there were even a few six milers thrown in there. As of recent the longest week night run that I’ve done is a four miler.

Seeing that I used to regularly run 5 (and sometimes 6) milers on week nights lit a fire in me. I decided I WANT to do that again because I miss the challenge. That’s a total mindset shift from where I’ve been at the last few months. Instead of just going through the motions of training I feel like a real passion for training is coming back to me.

Last night I went for it and did a six miler. I’m not going to lie – it was HARD. I forgot that I used to actually eat a snack before going out for those 5 and 6 milers! I was definitely running on fumes by the end, but I felt elated too :).

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I’m not sure I could have re-kindled my passion for running this year if I didn’t make the choice to just run a couple of half marathons for the experience of it. Not having any pressure to run 16 milers or hit specific paces or go for super high mileage really gave me the mental and physical break I needed, especially with all the house stuff going on.

Now we’re moving into the house this weekend and my passion for training is coming back to me. Merry early Christmas to me!

Have you ever gone through a long running slump that you didn’t even realize was a slump until you started coming out of it?
Do you have any big races you’re excited for over the next couple of months? 

8 comments

  1. Ali @ Hit the Ground Running

    I think your training has been very solid, too. It’s great that you’re upping your weekday mileage. I’ve been playing with the idea of adding some 5-milers to our weekdays but I just love how easy and mindless the 4-milers are. We just go up and over the bridge, turn around and come back! We’re done in 40 minutes and it’s not too stressful even though it’s a weekday. But like I said…playing with the idea of throwing in some higher mileage.

    I’m glad you’re figuring out what’s causing the calf pain. Let me know when you do! I’m paranoid mind is going to come back since I don’t know what caused it.

    We’ve had beautiful weather but it was HOT and humid Tuesday morning. But it’s supposed to get cold this weekend. Fingers crossed!
    Ali @ Hit the Ground Running recently posted…Weekly Workouts 11/28-12/4My Profile

  2. Lisa @ Mile by Mile

    Glad to hear training is going well and you are enjoying it! It was so hot in Florida yesterday. Usually its cooler when Im there in the winter months!
    Lisa @ Mile by Mile recently posted…Another Shoe Fail and Off to FloridaMy Profile

  3. Megan @ Meg Go Run

    Yes! I am glad you made your decision to do halves this winter instead of a full. You have so much going on and while buying and moving into a house is a stressful event, it should still be ENJOYABLE as well! Just think, so your weekends will be spent cuddling on the couch in your new place while softly petting Cecil and staring at your huge fridge!! 🙂
    Megan @ Meg Go Run recently posted…VLOG: Christmas exploded and my house!My Profile

  4. Schlub

    Totally awesome, so glad to see this passion firing up. I don’t think I’ve been in a slump and not know it, most of the time I’m well aware of the slump lol.

    I’m done racing for the year, trying to decide what’s up next.
    Schlub recently posted…Thank YouMy Profile

  5. Megan @ Lazy Runner Girl

    I’m so glad that you’ve been able to make your running fit your crazy busy schedule and be excited about it to boot. Truly impressive.
    Megan @ Lazy Runner Girl recently posted…ONE MILE!!!My Profile

  6. Hanna @ minimal marathoner

    “Being in a running slump and not knowing it” – welcome to the life of Hanna for 6 months of each of the past two years. Ugh.

    Anyway, while I’m a little behind you in terms of mileage, it sounds like we are really on the same journey. I too am so glad I signed up for a March half marathon just for the experience. Training just to be in shape for 13.1 miles is just starting for me, but already I am feeling so invigorated about my running now that I’ve discovered this happy medium between listless off season and intense consuming time goal training. I also have just made the leap to upping my weekday mileage. I’m only “upping” to 4 milers for now, but so far so good, and the other day I wrote up a plan for myself to gradually increase my weekday runs and add in long runs leading up to March. Soon it will be 5 and 6 milers for me too!
    Hanna @ minimal marathoner recently posted…While You Were OutMy Profile

  7. Karen

    When you lift the whole stack you must document that epic event!
    I am glad you are feeling good and enjoying the cooler temps. Sometimes when you are like just going to go with the flow great things happen 🙂
    I do feel running a 10K or 6 miles during the week is very important, it builds a strong base for sure.
    I feel like I have been in slump forever…but it goes in cycles, hoping I can stay healthy for now.
    Karen recently posted…Still HERE!My Profile

  8. Patricia M. Leib

    Thank you for sharing your routine! 🙂
    Running for 6 days per week is too much for me. Do you feel good after that? I better do some workout with my dumbbells.
    I absolutely agree. I also miss challenges that’s why I’m creating them all the time. But why not if it works? It’s much better to overcome something that get stuck in the routine.

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