Well, well. 14 weeks have passed and this Friday I will toe the line to test out this Run Less Run Faster Experiment. At the conclusion of the race, I will write my review of the Smart Coach Training Program but for now, I wanted to update the Salty blogosphere with how the final weeks went in my training.
A 14 week training block for a 5k is a long block of training but even longer when there were no tune up races during said training block. Thus, I feel like I am going into my race with a lot of rust and questions marks. This is partially my fault as I selected the plan 14 weeks out. However, it would have been nice to have some time trials or even a race or two in there. As a result, I am treating my upcoming race as not only a rust buster but an indicator to see where my current fitness is. Overall, it feels like this 14 week training block has provided a solid base for my fitness.
The last three weeks of training were tough but not because of effort or pace. No, they were tough because the plan actually had my mileage increasing each week when I thought the plan was supposed to be about running less! As life outside of running began to pick up, it became a challenge for me to hit the 30-34 miles a week suggested by the training plan. In the past, this type of mileage wasn’t too hard for me to hit but these days, my attention span and motivation lie elsewhere. I liked when the program had me running around 25 miles a week. This seemed to fit my busy schedule a lot better. A couple 3-4 mile easy runs, a workout around 5-6 miles and a long run around 10 miles. After my race, I plan to incorporate something similar to those weeks in my schedule and possibly race a few more 5ks.
This being said, I made it 12 weeks having followed the plan pretty much to a “T”. There were some days where I ran too fast, other days, too slow. But for the most part I hit the mileage requests until the very last week. Week 13 was my toughest mentally because I could tell I was getting bored with the same workouts, same long runs, and same paces. I was behind 9 miles during the last week but tried not to let the slipping motivation for this plan get to me. A one week set back is not going to ruin the other 12.
I had two solid workouts in the final weeks that were probably good indicators of my current fitness. During Week 12, I did 3 x a mile averaging 7:03 pace. During Week 13, I did 5 x 800 averaging 3:20 (6:40 pace). These workouts were run on the 5k course and I also had my boyfriend pacing me. As good as the efforts were, they didn’t feel the greatest. I am trying not to read too much into it though for over analyzing will just stress me out even more.
So, the bulk of the work is done and now it’s time to test things out. I likely will jump into the 1 mile fun run prior to the 5k to shake things out and to maybe make 6:57 pace feel easy come race time. Thank you to everyone who has followed along and Happy 4th to you all!