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Week 3: BQ Training with Run Less Run Faster

Here is my report for week three of sixteen of my Outer Banks 2013 marathon training. I am following the 3:25:00 Boston Qualifier plan outlined in the book Run Less Run Faster.

To review week two, click here.

To review week one, click here.

Short version: A solid week.  Right on target for the Runs #1 (track/speed) and #3 (long).  Tried a different route on run #2 (5 mile tempo) and encountered some tough hills, coming up a few seconds per mile short of target. No big deal.  Still feel I am on track.  For the long version, keep reading.

Cross Training. Monday and Wednesday

Some scheduling conflicts this week meant swimming on Monday and Wednesday. Successfully completed the two prescribed swim workouts. This week’s swims called for doing the 20 lengths kick board again, as in week one, but this time, the rest interval dropped from 30 seconds to 20 seconds. No big deal, other than this is harder than it sounds to any non-swimmer.  I was glad to complete them.  This drill works on ankle flexibility and hip strength.

The only other cross training for the week was 700 yards of free style swimming before and after these kick board workouts.  I contemplated a long swim or bicycle ride on Friday but decided to rest up for my long Saturday run.

Grade: Pass

Run workout #1. Tuesday

At the high school track once again. This workout called for 1200m (3 laps)  in 4:47, 1000m in 3:56, 800m in 3:08, 600m in 2:20 and 400m in 1:32.  Quite a lot to keep up with. Results:

  • 1200: 4:38 (-.09)
  • 1000: 3:59 (+.03)
  • 800: 3:08 (-)
  • 600: 2:12 (-.08)
  • 400: 1:26 (-.06)

Grade: A. Felt great. Aided by unusually cool weather.

Run workout #2. Thursday

Run #2 again called for a seven mile run: one easy mile warm up, then five miles at a 7:34 pace, then one mile easy cool down. This target pace is 15 seconds faster per mile than last week’s pace.  I was pretty hopeful on this, as I actually did last week’s 5 tough miles at a 7:39 pace, but I was going to use a different route.  I would run near the high school, as my son had cross country practice. As usual, I walked a bit before I started my easy mile one run. Here are the results:

  • Mile 1: 9:28
  • Mile 2: 7:27
  • Mile 3: 7:39
  • Mile 4: 7:24
  • Mile 5: 7:53
  • Mile 6: 7:42
  • Mile 7: 11:25

Grade: B+. The hottest run yet in the three weeks of training at 90 degrees.  I tried a new and different route near the high school during my son’s cross country practice. This turned out to be a mistake.  I am not opposed to hill work at all, but during these timed runs, I tried to limit the hills.  Unfortunately, I underestimated the hills on this route.  From the 2.5 mile mark to the 4 mile mark, the course had 260 feet of climb.  By the time this kicked my tail, I didn’t have anything left to make up the lost time in mile 5.  I ended with a 7:37/mile pace for the five miles.  A great workout, but a tad short of goal.

Here is the elevation graph of the file mile tempo run.  I’ve highlighted the tough climb.

Elevation Map of Five Mile Run.

Run Workout #3. Saturday

The last run for the week called for 17 miles at an 8:34/mile pace.  This was the same pace as last week’s run but two miles farther.  After last week’s miserable finish with stomach issues, I was concerned about adding two more miles.  I hoped the electrolyte tablets I experimented with in my water last week were to blame for the problems, so I scrapped them this week.  In addition to adding a few more ounces of water to my Camelbak hydration pack, I took along  electrolyte pills and three gels.  I also left a bottle of ice water at the entrance of my neighborhood in case of emergency later.  This turned out to be the smart move of the day.

The dumb move of the day turned out to be my start time.  I slept in a bit longer and did not hit the road until almost 7:00am.  Mistake. The weather was typical muggy August morning and there were no clouds in the sky.  Fortunately, there was a good bit a shade on the roads I chose, but  I couldn’t avoid the sun completely.  By mile 11, it was approaching 80 degrees and every bit of my clothing was completely soaked in sweat.

I passed entrance to my neighborhood at this time.  I had plenty of water in my hydration pack, but I still made use of my stashed water bottle by squirting the ice cold water on my head.  This was just the boost I needed.  For the last six miles, I kept my  head cool this way.  With two miles to go, my overall pace was 8:35/mile.  Time to step it up. I managed to push hard and finish the last mile in 8:18,  completing the 17 miles in 2:25:45.  This came out to be an 8:33/mile pace.

Grade: A

Week Three Summary

A good solid week.  As with last week,  I feel like I’m still on track. The body feels pretty good, and I’m not sensing any early signs of trouble.  I’ll be experimenting with nutrition on the long runs (and the days before) to see if I can dial in the proper fuel.

Up Next

Here’s what is in store for week four:

Run #1: Track work. 5 x 1000m in 3:56 with 400m rest intervals.
Run #2: 1 mile easy, 4 miles @ 7:19/mile, 1 mile easy.  Will try to find a flatter layout of this run.
Run #3: 20 miles @ 8:49/mile

Cross Training: Swim and kick for 20 minutes straight.

Runs #1 and 2 worry me this week.

Stay tuned and POFIFOTO!

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