It is that time of year again – when training for fall races goes full swing. I am in the process of training for two runs: Army Run 5K and STWM Half Marathon. I have raced both events before and looking forward to them. The Army Run 5K has been problematic for me the last two times I’ve run the course with one year having the runners coming down a street because of a wrong turn/construction problems and last year the course was long. I’m hoping for little to no problems this year as I’m anticipating it will be a PB-attempt race. STWM is a fun race and I’m looking forward to the flat and fast course. I ran STWM’s half last year and will know the course a bit better. Last year I didn’t run the tangents at all and had that unfortunate washroom break that cost me time.
I took almost the entire month of July off from running. I only ran 25K and barely cross trained. Next week, I will be discussing how cross training is very beneficial when you cannot run because I’m definitely on the struggle-train with my running lately. After coming back from California, I’ve started running regularly again. I’m following my standard half marathon training plan – running 4x a week with long runs going up to 20K. The focus for this training plan is to run faster. My long runs for Ottawa Race Weekend were anywhere from 6:30-7:00/km. Now I’m trying to stay below 6:35 for all of them and taking less walking breaks, going away from 10/1s. Now that I’ve been running regularly for a few weeks, speed work will be introduced this week. Normally I don’t complete speed work for half marathons, but I need to for 5Ks. If I don’t, I will not dip below 26:00. I have four weeks before Army Run, so I’m hoping to run some fast-laps every week from now on. I think the speed work will help my half marathon time too. Other than that – I also run an additional steady run and a progressive run as well.
So far in the past few weeks, I have run:
Two Long Runs – 10K and 12K.
Both were completed on cooler days. The 10K was run in the pouring rain – not as bad as you would think. The 12K was run in 14C weather and it was PERFECT. I’m definitely struggling with my fitness level right now, as I feel my cardio system stressing more than my legs. I’m sure in a couple of weeks those long runs will feel better.
A few 4K Tempo Runs
These have been done in the heat and were awful. I ran one tempo run in non-humid conditions and it was so much better. There is a chance that the Army Run will be a humid-race but I believe we will be fairly safe for STWM. After starting running again in California (with zero humidity) and coming back to Canada, these past couple of weeks have been hard. My tempo runs are run at 5:45ish pace.
Lots of 3-5K runs over the past couple of weeks. I started off slow and short when I started running again. California has VERY hilly, so I stuck to 3-4K runs while I was there. One of my 4K runs had hills that compared to running the bridges during the NYC marathon. Those hills were also very long. But great for training. Luckily there are no giant hills in the Army Run or STWM. Now that I’m back, I’m back to 5K steady runs. Those will be increased to 6-8K starting next week.
It is great to be back running- I’m looking forward to returning to my regular routine once school starts. My schedule is different this year, with my “time off” being more in the morning than the afternoon. We have to talk to Max’s school next week to discuss bus options. Right now, Max will be going to before-care no matter what but we might see if he can take the bus home. His bus drop off time in the afternoon is about 4pm – and most of the time one of us is home by then. Normally I’m an afternoon runner, but I started to switch to mornings last spring. I am currently running all of my runs in the morning and will continue with that trend in September.
What about you – what are you training for? Who is joining me at the Army Run or STWM?