A couple of weeks ago I began training again as I started to settle into life’s new schedule. I took some time off after my summer training, completed a marathon, and now I am ready to begin another round of a Smart Coach Training Plan in an effort to run an even faster 5k.
The Smart Coach Training Plan, which is provided by Runner’s World and is modeled off of a Run Less Run Faster approach seems to be the perfect fit for me right now. It holds me accountable to certain paces, includes one solid workout a week and a quality long run at a decent pace. But the best part is that it is low mileage and includes 1-2 days off per week. As I continue to adjust to integrating competitive running back into my life, I find that this program provides a perfect balance. I think that it could get me faster times all around but there will come a time when I must move up to heavier training loads if I want to get really fast. I believe this style of training can get me to break 20 in the 5k and also qualify for the Boston Marathon. Once those milestones happen, I will then reassess where I’d like to take my training next.
Last week, I did a trial run of the program and it went well, setting me up for a solid first week of training this past week. I did a few of my runs on the treadmill, including my workout. The treadmill wasn’t always my favorite but throw on the headphones and start at a quick pace and eventually adaptation occurs. There is a chance I won’t be able to make an indoor track workout before my goal race on December 6th, which might also be on the track at a collegiate indoor meet. However, the treadmill seems to be a good alternative.
I don’t feel too far off from my summer fitness, where I was definitely in the best shape of my life running mile repeats progressively faster and under 7 minute pace. I think doing the marathon in September was a nice boost of strength and a good set up for re-entry into competitive racing, especially on the mental side of things.
Monday: 3 miles at 8:50 pace on the treadmill. I also did leg weight training and core work.
Tuesday: 2 miles at 8:57 pace outdoors with James.
Wednesday: Off day.
Thursday: 6 miles total with 3 x mile workout. Plan called for 7:00s. I didn’t think I was quite there yet so I worked down to that pace (7:25, 7:15, 7:08). I also included a 7:50 mile on my warm up. The entire workout felt in control and was good for practicing staying mentally strong in a boring environment. I also did upper body weight training and core work.
Friday: Off day.
Saturday: 13 mile long run at 8:44 pace. There were some little snow flakes on this one. I tried to think positively about the colder weather. It helped that I dug out all of my winter hats and gloves before the run. Preparation is key! I ran this run by feel and that happened to be a couple of seconds faster per mile than what the plan called for (8:53). My biggest struggle was staying entertained. Around mile ten I started to get bored and contemplated calling it at 11 miles. Then 12 miles. And by then, what was one more mile? In a few weeks, this will feel like nothing. I hope!
Sunday: 2 miles at 8:35. Slightly faster than the suggested pace but was feeling good. Thankfully there’s only one week of piddly 2 mile runs in this 6 week program. Who am I kidding? I secretly like these quick runs.
Total: 26.1 miles