Monday, August 10, 2015

Mid-Summer Training Update

I've written about my training plans in the past (most recently here and previously here and here). I've had mixed results because I'm just not good at motivating myself to stick to a training plan. If I have a race on the calendar, I'll show up for the race and run it, but show up for a training run? Meh. I'm great at planning, but not always great at execution.

I've been doing a little better this summer. With no marathons from the end of May to the end of September, there was just no way I could go without some longer training runs. The group I run with Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings (Friends & Fitness) is only a half marathon training group. That was fine for the first couple months, but now I've had to make my long runs longer than theirs. Two weeks ago the group ran 10 miles, and I ran 12 (while Scot ran the Endless Summer 6 Hour Run). This past weekend the group ran 11 miles and I did 14. I did my extra 3 miles before the group run, because I knew it would be hard to go back out to the trail after they finished. It will be like this for the rest of the summer. This coming Saturday will be a recovery week, so I'll run the same 6 miles as the group. But the following weekend will mean 16 miles for me, while the group only runs 12.

Washington Sailing Marina - Daingerfield Island, as viewed from the Mt. Vernon Trail on Saturday's long run

I'm doing a little better on my mid-week runs as well. I'm still not as consistent as I want to be, but I'm making an effort to do two mid-week runs. I've been most successful in showing up for the Wednesday night Friends & Fitness runs which always involve speed or hill work. Last Wednesday we ran some killer hills. I had to do a lot of walking up the hills, which were not only steep, but also long. But even walking up them was a workout. I was sore the next day, which isn't usually the case after a normal 4 mile run. If anyone is familiar with the Yorktown neighborhood in Arlington VA, they'll understand these hills.

The hills we ran Wednesday night

I want to feel good and do well at the Berlin Marathon at the end of September. I think I need to kick up the training. Because I know I'm not good at holding myself accountable, I joined my neighborhood gym (the Energy Club) and purchased a package of personal training sessions. I met with the trainer last week to do a baseline assessment and to discuss goals. I told her that I want to become a stronger, faster runner, but most importantly, I want to improve my strength and overall fitness. My first session will be tonight. I'll meet with the trainer every Monday until I leave for Berlin. Even though our sessions will only be once a week, I fully expect her to give me homework, and to inquire about my progress with my running workouts. It will be harder to skip a short run when I know the trainer will be helping to keep me accountable.

I'll report back either just before Berlin or just after. I hope to have good news about my progress. I'm not expecting major changes in my distance running pace, but I'm expecting to feel stronger doing it, and I'm expecting to decrease my reliance on "extra" walk breaks. I'm expecting to improve my muscle tone and to reduce my BMI. If you think of it, please ask me how things are going over the next 6 weeks.

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