It is that stage of the training cycle with the really long, really hard runs. I am trying to allow enough rest for my legs to keep up, but this week I was too ambitious and had to cut my long run short. Still, I feel it was a productive week overall and I there is enough time left to get my legs ready for Pittsburgh.
- Monday —Morning: 1.9k swimming workout. Afternoon: Les Mills Grit™ HIIT class
- Tuesday — Morning: 8.85 miles recovery run @ 7:49 min/mile. Afternoon: Chest workout
- Wednesday — Morning: 1.7k swimming workout. Afternoon: 21.11 mile bike ride @ 17mph
- Thursday — Les Mills Grit™ HIIT class
- Friday — 5.01 mile run @ 6:53 min/mile
- Saturday — Back workout
- Sunday — 15.85 hilly long run @ 7:23 min/mile
This was a very tough week for 3 reasons:
1. Double grit
Les Mills Grit is always challenging. It is an extremely demanding 30 minutes high intensity interval training class. Doing two Grits per week can be great for your fitness, but this is my first time doing double Grit since August. So, I knew I was going to feel that.
2. Long ride
I am not an experienced cyclist. I grew up in a big and wild city where bikes are too dangerous. So, I didn’t really learn how to ride a bike until four years ago when I moved to State College. I’ve done some really long leisurely group rides before, but the leisurely part is key. The 21 mile bike ride on Wednesday is the longest ride I’ve done trying to keep up a fast (for me) speed. My quads were extremely sore for two days. In fact, the Friday run was supposed to be a hard 8mile interval run, but I had to adjust to give my legs a bit of a break.
3. Long run
The Pittsburgh marathon has a tough hill up Mt Washington around mile 12. So, I mapped a 20 mile long run with a very tough mile-long 7-to-9-percent-incline hill at mile 8.5, and another tough hill at mile 14. Maybe I could have made it, but I made the mistake of starting out to fast. I did miles 3 to 6 at an average pace of 6:45 min/mile. Also, I got 3rd and 4th Strava KoM on the climbs. To make things worse, the route had two water stops planned, but the gas station at mile 6 was closed which meant that I had to go without water until mile 16. At that point my legs informed me that they were not willing to run any more. So, I had to call my wife and ask her to pick me up.
I do feel a bit sad about not completing the first 20 miler I have planned for this training cycle. But just a little bit. Overall, I think it was a good week. And even that long run was a great workout. Climbing those hills with all the accumulated leg fatigue will definitely help me to perform on Pittsburgh!