Saturday, August 20, 2011

REVIEW - HM Training Phase I: Road Work

# of Runs Scheduled: 40 (8 weeks x 5 runs/week)

Scheduled Mileage (Achieved Mileage):
Week #1 = 47.5 km (50 km)
Week #2 = 50.5 km (45 km)
Week #3 = 55.5 km (50 km)
Week #4 = 58.5 km (47 km)
Week #5 = 58.5 km (46.5 km)
Week #6 = 62 km (62 km)
Week #7 = 65 km (36 km)
Week #8 = 68.5 km (65 km)

TOTAL = 466 km (401.5 km) / 289.6 miles (250 miles)

I ran 33 of those runs and changed 2 of them to races =

  • 17 runs completed exactly as scheduled
  • 11 runs with increased the mileage (!!!), but not enough to make up for my 65 km shortfall :(
  • 5 runs with decreased mileage
5 outright cancelled runs:

1. 1 recovery run (Week #2 - very tired)
2. 1 recovery run (Week #3 because of a wedding)
3. 1 midweek medium run (Week #5 due to a wicked migraine)
4. 1 LSD (Week #7 - self-imposed recovery week and race)
5. 1 recovery run (Week #7 - self-imposed recovery week)

2 runs changed to races: (Week #4 and Week #7)

# striders scheduled/completed = 10/6


1. I increased the mileage on runs twice as much than I decreased. This surprised me! Cool! :)

2. I did more striders than I expected - I thought I skipped more. :( 60% is not great. Isn't that a "C" if I were grading?

3. I was surprised that most of my decreased mileage runs were in one week (crazy heat week). This was a surprise to me because I thought there was more. :)

4. I had valid and good reasons for canceling the five runs.

5. My Thursday midweek medium runs (13K) were almost all negatively affected. :( Not good. :(

6. It was with interest that I see how challenging my Week #4 was (when ideally I should have had a recovery week). Most of my decreased mileage runs occurred during this week. I attribute this to the onslaught of heat and humidity (a.k.a the heat bubble), but I think it still underscores my need to add supplemental recovery weeks to this training program.

7. The point of Phase I: Road Work is just to run slow, easy mileage for eight weeks. In keeping with this philosophy, I stopped uploading my Garmin results to the DailyMile and just manually added the mileage. I also stopped posting my time and mileage in my posts (not sure if this was even noticed or not).

However ... I still kept a record of my pace on the right-hand side of my blog to log any milestones, and I still downloaded my results every day to check.

When my BIL and sister visited the last time, my BIL told me laughingly how my sister had weeks worth of runs on her Garmin that had not been downloaded. She just didn't care. She would use her Garmin for distance, but not pay any attention to any other information upon arriving home. It made a big impression on me. Even though I wasn't posting my pace for all to see, it didn't mean that I was ignoring it. I was still checking it daily, and it was negatively affecting me because I was seeing a decrease in my pace average.

Yet, my sister, who is aiming for a sub-1:45 in the Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon next month, didn't pay one iota of attention to it. She took the training advice to heart ... it's just about the mileage and endurance build-up so it's not necessary to obsess over pace ... yet ...

I am blogging this now because I think this is is one of the best learnings, and I'm challenging myself to follow my sister's lead the next time I use this program for training for a half marathon. Lesson learned. :)


  1. Yes I did notice you stopped posting Garmin data and I knew the reason. That is why I have stopped it as well. Having said that The data is important if you want a specific goal. I like how you said "yet". The time to get serious about the rest of the data is closer to your goal race.

    Nice work over the Road work Phase. It will pay off large later in the year.

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  3. Thanks for the comment, Runnerbill. :) I really, really like my training program. I think it's great to have eight weeks of not thinking about pace, but just concentrating on endurance and mileage build-up. However, I am not at that point of leaving the Garmin at home. If I have a particularly good run, I don't want to miss out on seeing the improved pace/splits! :) I think next time, I will download my watch once per week after the assigned workouts are done.

    For now, I will pay attention to pace once per week during my Tempo Workouts, and then twice per week during my Track Workouts. I like this about my training program and this is good enough for me. :)