Half-marathon training: Hanson’s week 7

There are many articles and books on the effects of practice, or repetitive effort towards the same goal (which marathon and half-marathon training certainly falls into). Malcolm Gladwell, in his book Outliers, says that mastery comes with 10,000 hours of practice. But with my martial arts reading and background, I prefer Bruce Lee’s interpretation, which is his version of an idea passed down for 1,000s of years - “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” 

In other words, if you are going to spend the time to train, to practice, practice correctly, in form and in methodology. Sloppy practice gets nowhere.

I’m writing this AFTER I have completed the week below, and am already seeing the effects of the previous six weeks (and the several weeks of 20+ miles before starting the program). The Tempo run this week, even on hills that I am not used to, was easier, as was the speed work. The ten miler in 70 degree dew point weather was painful, but doable. As long as I can avoid the niggling injuries that have hit me in the past, I will surely hit my goal.

The previous week’s log is here.

This week the speed run  is 8×600 on Tuesday, tempo run on Thursday. It also has an 10 miler on Sunday. Total target mileage 37 miles, same as BridgeChattahoocheein Week 6.

Week 7 schedule:

  • Monday:easy 4 mi - EASY RUN 4.5mi in 44:45, 9:58 pace. In Atlanta for work, running on the Joe Callan trail along the Chattahoochee River in Atlanta. The trail is quite hilly, much more so than flat Houston. But it is a nice trail.
  • Tuesday: speed 8 x 600 with 1.5 mile warm up and cool down - SPEED RUN 4.65 mi in 41:24, 8:54 pace. EASY RUN warm up 1.5 mi in 15:35, 10:05 pace; EASY RUN cool down (or stumble down) 1.5 mi, 15:01, 10:01 pace. Last Speed run, 12×400, I basically did 2 minutes at a 7:30 pace, and it looks like from the charts I should do about the same – 3 minutes at the same pace, with 50-100% duration rest “jogs” in between (and, trust me, they will be 100%!). My current goal pace for the half is right at 8:30. As with last time:
    • The challenge will be not to over-run it, and to get the entire 12 in.
    • The goal is “…these speed sessions should total 3 miles of running at that higher intensity”, and the cool down periods should be the same length of time as the intervals. So we are doing for this first set two minutes on, two minutes off.

Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 7.33.03 AM

  • Running on Joe Callan trail; ran the warm-up and cool down over the REALLY REALLY hilly part, the ran along the Chattahoochee river.
  • Seemed a bit easier than the 12×400 last week; maybe this workout is working? :)
  • The cool-down was a walk back up the hills.
  • Wednesday: off day
  • Thursday: Tempo Run 3 mi (with 1.5 easy warm up and cool down runs) – EASY RUN to warm up 1.75 mi in 17:50, 10:31 pace (who put that hill there?).  TEMPO RUN 3.05 mi in 26:00, 8:36  pace, EASY RUN to cool down, 1.0 mi in 10:14, 10:40 pace. This was a much hilly course than I am used to (last day in Atlanta), and I actually chose not to run on the Joe Callan trail because of its massive hills. Though the pace was slower than last week, I believe that was the hills; felt better and easier pace than the last tempo run. Screenshot below just to show elevation.

Tempo run

  • Friday: easy 4 mi - EASY RUN 4 mi in 38:33, 9:34 pace. Back in Houston in time for flash flooding, but managed to get in 4 between waves of rain showers. The easy runs are definitely getting easier, even on a day after a tempo run.
  • Saturday: easy 6 mi - EASY RUN 6 mi in 59:12, 9:51 pace. Nice and muddy, but decent temps and a dew point close to 70. I continue to be skeptical about the timing on the iPhone5S with the MapMyRun program, as what feels like a similar pace in one area is logged quite differently than another. But I have no other options at this point.
  • Sunday: easy 10 mi – EASY RUN 10 mi in 1:37:01, 9:42 pace. A bit tougher, mainly because of tired legs with the increase in mileage this week. But it will feel better since it will be  followed by Packer’s game.

Plan total: EASY (4+3+3+4+5+9) = 25 miles + TEMPO 3  + 8 x 600 (3 miles+rest intervals) = 37 miles

Actual total: EASY (4.5+3+2.75+4+6+10) = 30.25 miles and TEMPO 3 miles + SPEED 8×600 (4.65 miles) =  37.9 miles

I was entertained by Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History, Blueprint for Armageddon part IV, and started Wrath of the Khans, about Ghengis Khan.

Next week, week eight, is almost exactly the same except the Speed Ladder goes to 6×800 and the Tempo Run goes to 4 miles, target total is 40 miles.

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