Training update

A little more than two weeks to go before half-marathon no. 4.

This fourth time around, I decided to try and kick up my training a notch by finding an intermediate-level plan. I found one designed by Jenny Hadfield, a Runner’s World columnist and running coach.

Basically, she advises mixing lots of cross-training with running, working out five-six times a week. The plan includes speed training, easy runs and long runs.

In reality, I have followed the plan 70 per cent of the time. But I have increased the distance on my weekend long runs. I have also incorporated speed work for the first time. “These are the sessions that will improve your performance,” Hadfield says.

Since I have been training for halfs all summer, I know I can run 20 km by now. But I have discovered that I am really dragging for the last few kilometres. I hope the tactic of regular runs approaching 20 km almostΒ  every week will leave me with a little “gas in the tank” by the end.

This past Sunday, as outlined in the plan, I went beyond 21-km for the first time. I ran close to 23 km!

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It was a beautiful, fall day. Crisp and sunny. I met up with friends for part of the run, but was on my own for the bulk of it. For those who know Saint John, I ran up Crown Street, which was a huge challenge. But I kept it going. I enjoyed my Gatorade and trusty dates for snacks. By the time I got back to the west side, I knew I’d have to tack on an extra three kilometres past my house, which was the toughest part.

My feet, in lightweight Lunarglides, were so sore.

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On a flat stretch getting in the final kilometres was tough, but so is any run pushing you past your farthest distance. But once I finished, it was the sweetest feeling. The mums on my doorstep looked brighter.

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I was also happy to be wearing my new Lululemon Swiftly top, but since then, the flimsy fabric has given way to a couple of runs (a sign of my favourite running gear being made more cheaply? hope not).

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I have found it tougher to get in the shorter runs during the week. I end up working late a lot, and I’m hungry and want to go home after work. Also, the shorter days make for a less-inspiring run at night.

Today, I brought my running gear to work so I could sprint out of the office as soon as I was done and try to beat the setting sun. As much as I just wanted to head home when 6:30 p.m. rolled around, I forced myself to change. I was thinking of running a 5-miler but wasn’t feeling the greatest, so cut it shot at 5 km. Better than nothing. I ended the workout with 50 squats, 50 lunges and 30 pushups in the Telegraph parking lot.

Sometimes it’s hard to make yourself run when you’re mentally exhausted, but as I’ve written many times before, I’ve found that running is actually the best fix.

Now for a good night’s sleep.

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Published by

April C

Writer, editor and mom in Saint John, NB.

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