Training Log Week 1: Garmin Half Marathon Training

In order to help meet my goal of writing in my blog more this year, I've decided to start writing a weekly wrap up.  This week was my first week of official training for the Garmin Half Marathon, so I thought this would be a great time to start.  I will use these wrap ups to tell you about what I did that week and how I'm feeling about my training, along with any other details I feel are relevant.  Hopefully you all will find these worth reading and even maybe keep me accountable if you see me slipping on my goals; especially my goad to do a balanced variety of workouts.

Here's the day-by-day run down of my workouts:
  • Monday (12/31)- 2,200 yard swim (including a 2,000 yard long swim); easy treadmill run of 3.1 miles in 30:57 (9:59 avg pace)
  • Tuesday (1/1)- 2,100 yard Endurance Drills swim, easy treadmill run of 3.1 miles in 30:59 (10:00 avg pace); hard 10.01 mile ride on bike trainer in 34:03 (17.6 mph avg)
  • Wednesday (1/2)- Two separate 1 mile walk breaks of approx 15 min each during work
  • Thursday (1/3)- Two separate 1 mile walk breaks of approx 15 min each during work
  • Friday (1/4)- Javorek's General Fitness Weight Training for 46:44; easy treadmill run of 2 miles in 19:51 (9:56 avg pace); 2,650 yard swim (including 2,500 yard long swim)
  • Saturday (1/5)- Hard spin class for 59:40; Core Training class for 31:46; 2,100 yard Endurance Drills swim; Coleen's Frozen Ass Trail Run totaling 9.3 miles in 1:47:43 (11:35 avg pace)
  • Sunday (1/6)- Slow, easy, low resistance 10.09 miles spin on the bike trainer in 45:28 (13.3 mph avg)
That's a total of 16 activities covering 69.74 miles and 11:15:55, burning 7,200 calories.  I ran 17.5 miles in 3:09:30 (10:50 avg pace), cycled 43.1 miles in 2:19:11 (18.6 mph avg), swam 9,050 yards in 3:28:44 (2:18 /100 yards avg), walked 4 miles in 1:00:00 (15:00 avg pace) and did 1:18:30 worth of strength & core training.  That's a very solid & diverse first week of training!  Also, I'm now 6 days through the 100 Days Challenge; 30 min of activity every day for the first 100 days of the year.

Running:  Obviously, running is the primary focus here since I am training for a half marathon right now rather than specifically for a triathlon, so I'll start with running in my overview.  It was a solid week other than having all but my long run on the treadmill.  It's been cold, snowy & icy, so I just haven't been able to get myself outdoors to run much.  Then there was Coleen's Frozen Ass Trail Run!  It is a semi-annual (she has a Sweaty Ass Trail Run in the summer) fat ass style run at 3.1 mile trail at Prairie Center in Olathe.  No chip timing, no fee, pot-luck aid station, tons of great people!  My first loop was with Sherrie, Chris W, Shelley, Wael & a few others in 32:39 (10:32 avg), second loop with Megan & Jen in 41:42 (13:27 avg), third loop with Danny M, Shelley & Wael in 33:23 (10:46 avg).  The trail was very snowy & pretty icy in spots, so the 1st & 3rd loops are a very good pace for the conditions.  The second loop I was more than happy to take a little slower to get some time to catch up with Megan since I hadn't run with her in a while.  Really, everyone I ran with tonight I hadn't run with in quite a while, so this one was really great.  Also, got to spend lots of time chatting with too many other friends I hadn't seen in a while to even try to list.  Big thanks to Coleen for another wonderful event!  Overall, it was a great week of running.  I've been able to keep the paces called for in my training plan other than at the trail run, which is fine because trails are generally slower and there was ice/snow on the ground.  Last year I was going with quantity of miles & this year I'm shooting for quality, so these runs are much shorter than what I did last year.  I need to make sure I keep the word "only" out of my vocabulary this year.  Just because the miles are shorter doesn't mean I'm not gaining a lot from them!

Cycling:  It was a pretty solid week on the bike, other than the general torture of riding on the indoor bike trainer!!  The bike trainer is up there with water boarding on the scale of torture.  It is a very boring mental beating, but I guess it will add mental toughness over time, so while it stays cold out I'll stick with it as best I can.  On Tuesday I did a quick, hard 10 miles on the bike trainer.  I had the resistance pretty high and pushed it pretty hard.  I don't know about other trainers, but I can't seem to get much resistance out of mine, so I compensated by pedaling harder.  On Saturday I went to the spin class at the YMCA & worked pretty hard with lots of sprints & climbs. It was a great workout and I definitely sweat plenty!  On Sunday I finished off week 1 of Garmin Half Marathon training with a short, low resistance spin on the bike trainer while watching the Colts/Ravens playoff game.  My legs were a little tired after everything I did Saturday, so I kept it short and the resistance very light for just a simple recovery activity before starting week 2 Monday.  Overall, pretty good work, but I definitely can't wait to get back outdoors with my bike.

Swimming:  The most times I've ever swam in a week, the most total distance I've ever swam in a week & the longest continuous swim I've ever done were all accomplished this week!!  On Monday I did a 2,000 yard long swim in 44:31 (plus warm up & cool down).  This has been my standard long swim for several weeks now.  On Tuesday & Saturday I did my 2,100 yard Endurance Drills workout.  I like this workout, but I recently went on a hunt for some new ones so I can add variety & start working on my speed.  On Friday I did my longest continuous swim to date with a 2,500 yard (1.42 mile) long swim in 55:02 (plus warm up & cool down).  It was definitely a quality week in the pool for me!  I can't wait to get back into open water, but this time in the pool is definitely helping me feel more comfortable, get more used to the breathing & continue to develop my endurance in the water.

Click for large image
Other Workouts:  It can't all be running, cycling & swimming if I want real balance in my workouts!!  I've learned during my time with marathons & ultras that working on walking & hiking is almost as important as running.  Also, when you're stuck at work it makes for a much better use of breaks for us non-smokers.  To that end, on both Wednesday & Thursday I did two separate 1 mile walks of about 15 minutes each.  Luckily my building has a long hallway in the basement that they keep clear for walkers, so when It's cold out I can just put on my headphones and head down there for a fast walk.  When the weather is warmer there is also an outdoor paved trail around the small lake on the back side of the building.  On Friday I did week 5 day 1 of Javorek's Dumbbell General Fitness weight training plan.  It was a little different than normal due to circumstances.  When I finish the first few sections of the workout and got to the squats both of the squat bar stands at the YMCA were in use so I got on the treadmill and did my run for that day, then did the squats.  It was a good workout for sure; lots of Javorek's Dumbbell Complex II which is VERY challenging!  I planned to get to day 2 on Sunday, but I didn't get much sleep Saturday night after getting home late from the run and my wife having some coughing issues throughout the night, so i just didn't have the energy.  Also, on Saturday I did a Core Training class at the YMCA.  It follows immediately after the spin class and is taught by the same instructor.  We did lots of very tough moves using stability balls including planks, core twists, bridges, etc, etc, etc.  It was hard work, but I enjoyed it and I think I'll start sticking around for this class regularly since I definitely need to improve my core.

Eating/Weight:  It's a processes, but I've started concentrating on getting back to healthier eating.  It's not easy to always make the best choices, so I'm working on it and I'm getting back to the healthier habits I had a year & a half ago.  This along with great training has led to a slight weight loss.  Monday morning I was at 198.0# and Sunday morning I was 195.0#.  I believe some of that is water weight that I lost running late last night, so it is likely to go slightly up from that when I weigh in again tomorrow morning for what would be a true week-over-week, but I'm just happy to have lost some.  I can't believe I've allowed myself to creep back up close to 200 lbs, but I WILL get that back down and get back into the shape I want & need to be in.

Overall, it was a strong week and a fun week.  It was a heck of a great way to start both the new year & this new training plan.  One week down, fifteen to go!!!

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