Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Train: Half marathon trng recap-month 2

Second month of half mary training was a lot of fun.

Weeks 5-6, I continued in Base Phase, where the trng objectives are to build capacity and endurance, increase injury resistance, and up muscle activation capacity. Training then moved into the first of two Build Phases where the focus is on continuing to improve aerobic capacity and endurance, and increase fatigue resistance at 3,000m and 10K paces. For these second 4 weeks, I’d give myself an A overall. I missed a handful of the plan's specified resistance workouts (ab training specifically for running); but, supplemented lots of swimming and stuck to my weekly yoga routine...so, feel I'm plugging away pretty well.

Because of the transition from base to build phases, one noticeable difference is the switch from incline/hill repeats to interval/speed work. As much as I miss the hills, I'm *really* enjoying the speed work (something that I'd never really done before because I was confused about how to go about it to best effect). I like the feeling of pushing myself, but also knowing how much to push and what pace I need to gun for. The Brain Training for Runners plan spells all of this out in crystal detail. That specificity probably isn't needed/desired by some runners who've had more experience with speed work and hill repeats and tempo runs and plyo exercises aimed at generating fast bursts of energy a runner needs -- but for this girl, it's the bee's knees.

I'm beginning to see some improvement in my running form and speed.

As far as form is concerned: My proprioceptive cue work nudges me back to thinking about how I engage and move certain body parts as I make my strides out there. Since this is my first real effort at considering form, having those specifically outlined prompts out of the back of my mind as I run forces me to scan my body consciously and make the necessary corrections.

A bonus effect of all of this brain training? The concentration needed for form focus has become a handy tool I go to mute that 'oh, this is hard work!' refrain that can can creep into your noggin when you tire toward run's end.

On the pace matter, I've had two solid races. One 5K, I earned a 2nd place AG finish -- my first time ever. The following week, I came in 4th in my AG in a 4-mile race. Both were small local events, but I averaged sub 9-min paces (easily PRs for me) in each. So, the speed work seems to be paying off, even if the brain training isn't to be lauded for the improvements.

Instead of getting bored with anything here, my Brain Training book is never very far from me + I'm always leafing forward to see what I'll be doing next.

Looking to an even stronger month yet in store.

Week 5 (June 27-July 3)

  • Drills/Hills: YES
  • Run: 19 mi
  • Walk: 2 mi
  • Yoga: 2X
  • Core: NO
  • Swim: 1+ mi
  • Proprioceptive Cue: Scooting, practiced on 4 runs (base; hill repeats; fartleks; long)
Week 6 (July 4-10)
  • Drills/Hills: YES
  • Run: 20 mi
  • Walk: 2 mi
  • Yoga: NO
  • Core: 1X
  • Swim: 1m
  • Proprioceptive Cue: Pounding the Ground, practiced on 4 runs (base; hill repeats; fartleks; long)
Week 7 (July 11-17)
  • Drills/Hills: YES
  • Run: 23 mi
  • Yoga: 2X
  • Core: 1X
  • Proprioceptive Cue: Driving the Thigh, practiced on 4 runs (base; 2X intervals; long)
Week 8-Recovery (July 18-24)
  • Drills/Hills: YES
  • Run: 16 mi
  • Walk: 5 mi
  • Yoga: 1X
  • Core: 1X
  • Swim: 1.5 mi
  • Proprioceptive Cue: Floppy Feet, practiced on 3 runs (base; intervals; long)

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