Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Final Long Run and Training Thoughts

This weekend I completed my final long run of my training cycle, which made me a bit nostalgic and think back on my training for this race.  What better way to look back on training then to give myself grades (yes, I'm still missing college)?  I love to reflect and see what areas I improved from last time, and where I can still make changes.

Long Runs - B+

8 miles x 1 time, 10 miles x 3 times, 11 miles x 1 time
As a whole, I think that the biggest improvement in this training cycle was my long run.  This is definitely the area of training that I struggle with the most, so I forced myself to do as many double digit runs as possible.  The reason for my lower grade was that these runs weren't always pretty- for the most part they were mentally and physically tough for me, and I could have used even more long runs.  I chose to do a lot of races and skip long runs a few weeks, so next time I will plan better, or choose to do my long run as part of the race.

Easy Runs - A+

I was so happy and proud of myself for my easy runs this cycle.  Not only did I really take these runs easy and keep my pace nice and slow, but I also got in higher mileage runs- averaging around 5 miles for my weekday runs.  The majority of these runs were in the morning, which also makes me really proud!  I'll give myself a major pat on the back for crushing the easy runs this cycle, but then again how hard is it to nail an easy run?

Speed Workouts - A

2 mile repeats, mile repeats, fartleks, hill repeats
I really killed it in my speed workouts.  I always love track days, and just going all out.  I did a lot of different speed workouts this time around, including longer intervals than I've ever done before.  I think this really helped my VO2 max and overall fitness.  I also like how much I mixed it up for my speed workouts and rarely did the same workout twice.  

Tempo Runs - F

Simply put, I didn't do any tempo runs this time around.  The plan that I followed didn't include any, and I regret not adding them in.  I definitely think tempo runs help physically and mentally, so I'll be adding these back in next time!

Races - B+

RATS 5k, Steelers 5k, Outdoor Adventure Challenge, Run Shadyside 5k
I'm really proud of myself for setting a PR in the 5k this summer (Steelers 5k), and helping Dan set back-to-back PRs (RATS and Shadyside).  I also won my age group in the Outdoor Adventure Challenge, so overall it was a really great summer of races.  However, I wish that I ran a few races that were longer!  It seems like in the summer, it's really difficult to find 10k or longer races in my area.  I also need to know when to say no to a race and just spend time training!

Cross Training - C

Yoga, Centergy, Power, Swimming, Hiking, Biking
Once again, my cross training was not very consistent.  I did a lot of different activities and had a lot of fun, but I didn't have any type of schedule whatsoever.  I blame part of that on my gym, which closed for all of the Jewish holidays in September on my normal class days, but I really need to focus more on strength training and swimming.  Always something to improve for next time!

What grade would you give yourself for training?
What did you do great in, and where can you improve?
The Blonder Side of Life

40 comments:

  1. I like how you were honest with your grades on yourself, most people wouldn't give their self an F. Overall though it seems like you had a great cycle. I would give myself a C- this cycle. I feel like my long runs could of been better.

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    1. I think it was great overall, but definitely room for improvement. I doubt I'll ever get straight A's! I think you did a bit better than a C-. You're being too harsh!

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  2. It can be very difficult for many runners to run truly easy, so I would count those as a big accomplishment for sure. I don't think it's fair that you gave yourself an F for tempo runs, because they weren't in your plan so you hadn't planned on doing them. I think you've done really great with a tough training plan. You're going to kick butt on race day!

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    1. Thanks Jennifer! I guess I'm being a bit harsh, but tempo runs are so important that I feel like I should have added them in! I hate them so much though so I was kind of happy this plan left them out ;)

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  3. good for you!! i find it interesting to see what others use for training.

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    1. Thanks Elle! I love seeing other training plans as well!

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  4. I love how well you break down your training and organize it not just for yourself but for your posts! I should probably look back on my workouts too and see if I can determine where my strengths and weaknesses were/are to find where I can improve.

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    1. Thanks Meredith! I'm glad you liked my training recaps. It definitely helps me to look back and see how each cycle went!

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  5. Overall you did an awesome job! :)

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  6. Oh the grading system. I don't miss college much, though I work at a university. I didn't keep much track of what I was doing for this race, but I will as I build for the next one.

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    1. That would be nice to not track for a race and just see how you feel. I can't wait to see how you do in your race!!

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  7. I think you did a great job. Good luck at Towpath!!

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    1. Thanks Rachel! I hope I'll see you there :)

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  8. I love the grading system! Hmm... I'd give myself an A for obsessively getting my mileage in and an F for stretching. I really, really need to take the time to stretch. My IT band and hamstrings are soooo tight, and they're giving me little warnings here and there.

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    1. I would give you the highest grade possible..you always kill it with your training! So amazing :) I think we all fail at stretching..something I always say I'll work on but I never do.

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  9. This is a great way to look at your training! I definitely failed with speed work but nailed most of my long runs. I can't wait to see how you do!!!

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    1. I'm the opposite and always fail with long runs. I'm trying to get better by keeping up my fitness in between races, but it's still a struggle! Thank you Sarah!

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  10. i love the grading system :) that really is a great way to look at your training. good luck!

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    1. Thanks Kristen! The idea to do that just popped in my head the other day. I'm glad you like it!

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  11. I like to grade my race training every week overall, but I do like the way you've broken it all down! I think we can all use more cross training in our lives!

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    1. That's a great idea to grade each week! And it's time to upgrade my cross training routine!

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  12. COME TO ORANGE THEORY!!! :)

    are you run-clubbing tomorrow??

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  13. I definitely need to do more stretching! I am aware of it but I just don't do enough of it...lol

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    1. Same here! I know I should change that, but I'm so lazy :/

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  14. I would give myself a decent grade, considering the circumstances, but if I"m really honest, a B. I didn't do my PT after August 1st (when my resistance band broke), I didn't do enough at pace, I didn't do enough legs. Le sigh.

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    1. We can always improve, but I think you did an excellent job! And I'm happy you've been injury free (knock on wood!). Plus being an amazing coach...I give you a big A :)

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  15. I wouldn't worry about not having any tempo runs. You got in a few fast finish long runs, plenty of easy miles, and some solid track workouts. That was a great training season! If you would have tried to add tempo runs something else would have had to been cut.

    I think the fact that you have been so much more consistent with your long runs than you were leading up to the biggest loser half is going to provide the biggest boost to your half marathon performance. I'm so excited to see how you do on Sunday!

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    1. Thank you so much Heather! You always make me feel so much better :) I do think that my long runs will make the biggest difference, especially in my confidence. Thanks for the support!

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  16. I think you did great. A tempo run here & there couldn't hurt, but you certainly got lots of hill work in. It's really hard to squeeze that cross training in there!

    I think I'd give myself a B. This training cycle was much more consistent than the last major one, where I missed a whole week of running due to being sick (but not the long run!), and my weekly mileage was all over the place for the same reason.

    This time I was pretty consistent, but I never got it up as high as I wanted to because I was battling some mild IT problems for several weeks.

    Hoping for a good race, although my runs have been awfully sluggish lately & I can no longer blame the weather!

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    1. Sorry to hear about your IT problems! I hope you're feeling better now, and hope that will go away for your next training. Good luck!!

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  17. As stated above in the previous comments, I'd be okay about doing the tempo runs. Next time ;)
    Your honesty in the grading is appreciated, Gretchen! Let's us see how we do and assess for the future :)

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    1. Thank you Jess! You're exactly right- just assess and move on, and hope to improve for next time!

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  18. Even though I'm still in college, I like the grade idea :) Right now because I'm taking a week or so off from running (and exercise pretty much) it's hard to place a fair grade. So far I think I've done pretty good at getting in speed workouts, especially compared to the big fat ZERO I did in previous training seasons!

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    1. I think you've been doing a great job Emily! I've been so impressed with your training. I remember training for my first half and first full while juggling class, and you're doing a much better job!

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  19. I've been a slacker at racing lately-- I give myself a C! What a fun grade idea!

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  20. I've been a slacker at racing lately-- I give myself a C! What a fun grade idea!

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  21. So, I'm not a runner and a lot of this went over my head, but I really enjoyed reading it nonetheless! I liked how you broke out each section. Good work on all your races! Looks like your training is paying off.

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  22. I've never even thought about grading myself for my workouts and training, what a good idea! Well not right away because mine would be way more Bs and Cs so I'll hold off for a bit haha

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