So I am into week two of my training plan. What training plan am I following you ask? Why the KATAROO BY THE SEAT OF MY PANTS PLAN of course. I have looked up a number of training plans and none of them seem to"FIT" me. I find most of them don't allow for a lot of strength training and I don't want to loose that part of my fitness routine.
So my basic plan is to run 3-4 times a week. A tempo or speed work style of run on Mondays (8-10km), a hill type of run on Wednesdays (8km), and the Long Slow Run (increasing distance slowly) on Saturdays. That leaves Tuesdays and Thursdays for strength training. When I can I will fit a 4th run in, a shorter one, likely a 5km. That leaves a day of rest and hopefully fitting a yoga workout in there somewhere.
Until, the spring hits most of my training will take place on the treadmill. Which is ok, I trained for the half marathon this way too. I make sure to make good use of the incline on the treadmill and do a lot of hills to make sure I am ready to transition to the road. I find the biggest challenge with using the DREADMILL is the mental part, its so BORING!! But I have friends to workout with, and I am downloading an audio book to listen to on the long runs and that makes it much better. I figure mentally it's great training for the big big long runs. I will be used to pushing through the mental blocks. Last week I actually got outside for a quick 5km run and I can't get over how good I felt. It was perfect, just what I needed to remind me why I run....because it feels so good! I felt strong, and powerful...and FREE.
On the treadmill, I have been using a 2% incline as my "flat" which is up from the 1% I used to run at. I can really feel it, especially in my calves. So I think I am going to switch it up and do a manual rolling hill from 1-2% mimicking the road a bit better. My claves were really cramping up at the end of my runs. I've also been focusing on slowing down, and covering the distance. I know the whole point of the long slow run is to run SLOW! but I struggle with it, especially on a treadmill, where you are starring at the display. I feel I put pressure on myself to keep a certain pace, and also the sheer boredom has me wanting to go faster to get through it! But if I push myself, I find I am "feeling" it, pushing physically and mentally when I should be enjoying the run. So I am slowing down.
My favorite run on the treadmill is HILLS, I have two workouts that I like to use. One is hill intervals where I use the hill interval program on the treadmill. I run a hill for a minute, then rest at a 0% incline for a minute, then repeat. The hill intervals vary in grade from 1-5% on a level 6 hill program. I do that for 8km and its quite a workout. I love it though, mentally the time flies by because there is so much change going on. So much more interesting then 15km flat on the dreadmill. Its not a "true" interval workout (HIIT) though as my heart rate (although recovering a bit on the 0% incline) is pretty steady state throughout the run and the length is too long. The other hill workout I like, uses running pyramids. Unlike the interval program my pace is much slower on this workout. I can keep a good clip going on the hill intervals because of that 0% incline of "rest" but the pyramid workout is about endurance on the hills. I usually do two pyramids. Last week I increased the incline 1% every minute until reaching 10% and then "climbed" down 1% every minute. It took me just over 2km to complete each pyramid. I have also done these changing the incline every 30sec and going up to 15%. There are so many options when it comes to the treadmill and keeping yourself "entertained."
I've gotten two long slow runs in now, both 15 km. Last week I ran with my buddy Jenn, who is training for her first half marathon. I even brought treats for the treadmill and munched on a date roll to give me energy. I have discovered the date roll is the perfect snack, and so much healthier then the processed gels. Not to say I won't use those, as I swear that ROCKET stuff made me fly! LOL. But for the most part think I will stick to the whole, REAL, food. Plus, it tastes so sweet and yummy. I love slowing down and snacking on my treat, it's a great mental break on the run.
I'm also happy to say that this week I have recovered well after my runs, unlike the first week where I felt totally wiped after.
This weekend, I am aiming for 16km and have the company of my two best gym buds! Hopefully, we all get treadmills together. The girl talk and chatting should make those minutes fly by.