This was my second week attempting to follow Hal Higdon’s Advanced 5K training program. This time I did get all the workouts in. Trouble was, the hardest runs were all bunched together without a rest day or easy run day to break them up and allow for recovery. So there remains some fine-tuning here in terms of fitting this plan into my schedule.
I should note that this is an “advanced” program but I am not an “advanced” runner, except perhaps in terms of age. My goal is to run a 26:15 5K at the Swiss Days Race in late July, which last year would’ve been enough to win the 50 & over age group I’ve recently graduated to. That’s a pace of 8:27 per mile, and I’m nowhere near that yet.
This particular 8-week session is timed to a trail race that tends to have considerably slower times. My goal for the Waterfall 5K is to run 9-something per mile.
Here’s what this week’s plan called for, followed by what I actually did each day.
Monday: Easy 3-mile run. What I did: Swam 800 meters. Short workout, but I like that I’m zeroing in on a regular swim day.
Tuesday: 8×200 at 800-meter pace. What I did: Wanting to save the speed workout for a day when I could run with my sister, I decided to tackle the 4-mile fast run I failed to get in on week 1. At this early point in the program I was aiming for 10 minutes a mile but knew I’d be limited by toting my “dumb phone” stopwatch and by not having someone to push or help pace me. I really hustled on the first 2 miles and when I checked the dumb phone (DP) at the turnaround, it read 19:45. Yay! But I was beat. So I took a 60-second breather, then ran the 2 miles back home in 20:04.
Counting the breather, that amounted to 40:49 for 4 miles. (If I’d kept walking on the course during my breather, it might’ve been slightly less than that.) At any rate, that’s my baseline for this distance. Hopefully it gets better soon.
Wednesday: Easy run or rest. What I did: Traci and I tackled Tuesday’s speed workout. Last week we made a pretty good guess on the quarter-mile points on the River Greenway and we thought we’d just cut those in half, but in reality that didn’t work very well. We did, however, get in 8 sprints of about 1-minute each, walking a 400 in between and jogging a half mile warmup and cool down for a total of 4 miles.
It felt like a great workout, but I was aggravated in that I wasted so much mental energy wondering which point to run to. Next time we definitely have to find a place where we can mark out 200 meters so we can just focus on going as hard as we can.
Thursday: 30-minute tempo run. What I did: I was supposed to meet my sister for a nearly 6-mile run on our favorite trail, which we decided could qualify as our 60-minute “long run” on this program. Because I had to go pick up and then drop off the car at the high school in order to get there, however, I decided this would be a good way to stretch out my long run.
As it turned out, we had to lop about a mile off our trail run due to time constraints. But adding in 1.5 miles picking up the car and 3.5 running home the long way after dropping it back off, I wound up with a 10-mile total.
Friday: 4-mile fast run. What I did: Amazingly, this was the third day in a row I was able to meet my sister for a run. Since I’d already done the week’s fast run, and since she wasn’t crazy about doing that anyway, we decided to do Thursday’s tempo run. Since we aren’t very good about recognizing a certain pace, we decided to do half a mile easy jog and then begin accelerating every half mile. That worked pretty well, except that by the 2-mile turnaround we were already going about as hard as we thought we could sustain.
And this is the problem on running “blind,” without a watch: We had no idea what pace we were running. But we knew we were working hard, and we maintained the mystery pace on the way back — even though the last half mile was a definite struggle. (There was no puking involved, but the feeling was definitely there for both of us.) Total: 4 miles.
Saturday: Rest. What I did: Three miles easy bike ride.
Sunday: 65-minute long slow run. What I did: Since I did 10 miles on Thursday, settled for a 4 mile easy run.
Mileage total: 26
Cross-training: 800 meters of swimming plus 6 miles of cycling.
This was a disappointing week for cycling in that my bike is in need of repair and the Trek mountain bike several family members share was making some noise as well, which made me leery about riding it on two trips I likely would’ve made otherwise: 15 miles round trip to a substitute teaching job on Friday and 20 miles round trip to the state park for Thursday’s trail run. (I wound up driving to the trail run and not taking the sub job.) Gotta get these bikes fixed ASAP!
In the meantime, I took out our 12-year-old’s vintage “10 speed” for a test ride to see if it felt like something I could rely on for emergency transportation. I don’t like riding it much, but I do think it could get me where I need to go if it’s not more than a few miles away.