Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Strength Workouts

The advanced Hansons plan includes a lot of workouts. In addition to weekly pace runs, there are interval workouts throughout, starting with shorter intervals (400s) and building to 3-mile intervals. While I followed the half-marathon program, these workouts are exactly the same in the full program. My goal was 5k to 10k pace, which I estimated to be 8:21 to 8:45. This is a broader range than the book states, but it worked for me. As you can see below, the strength/interval workouts align perfectly with the 18-week program:

  1. 400 (12)
  2. 600 (8)
  3. 800 (6)
  4. 1000 (5)
  5. 1200 (4)
  6. 1600 (3)
  7. 1200 (4)
  8. 1000 (5)
  9. 800 (6)
  10. 600 (8)
  11. 400 (12)
  12. 1-mile repeats (6)
  13. 1.5-mile repeats (4)
  14. 2-mile repeats (3)
  15. 3-mile repeats (2)
  16. 2-mile repeats (3)
  17. 1.5-mile repeats (4)
  18. 1-mile repeats (6)
For my program, some of the workouts were scrapped because of races or my most recent breakdown, but I did each workout to spec at least once. The recovery interval is active and ranges from a 400 to a full mile. The goal for the recovery is to jog it, but I will admit to some walking as well -- but no standing rest. 

I also did a 1.5-mile warmup and cooldown for each workout. The intervals themselves are generally about 6 miles so with warmup, cooldown and recovery, the workouts were around 8-10 miles. That's a lot for a Monday or Tuesday night!

The shorter intervals are nice on the track, but the workouts are so long that it's nice to at least be able to do the warmup and cooldown off the track. (I never did that though.) Garmins are not that accurate on tracks; plus 400 doesn't exactly equal a quarter-mile. Even so, I just followed my watch instead of the track when I was there. I did most of my workouts on the Bike & Hike or Towpath. There were a few on the treadmill as well.

And I think there were two on the treadmill that I finished outside because my basement treadmill is possessed and sometimes thinks that I can run 10 mph. (It seems to be okay for steady-pace runs or very few speed changes, but it can no longer handle many speed changes. It's on its way out, and I am sad.)

I found these workouts to be difficult, but the shorter ones (1-mile and under) were easier for me to complete. I struggled mightily with the 2x3-mile workout and failed pretty hard (8:50 and 9:17 for the 3-mile sets). With future training cycles, I will incorporate these as well, but I may change things around. For example, in a week where I run six days, I would have two hard runs (pace and strength OR long) and four easy runs whereas with this program, it was three hard runs (pace, strength and long) and three easy runs. The long runs often were the same length as the workout, and I think it might be nice to do those on a Saturday morning instead of after work.

Overall, I think the workouts were a great addition and helped build my confidence. Even when I failed, I felt generally okay about my effort. I also like that they switch things up. The longer intervals were more difficult, which indicates those are where I have a lot of gains to make. 

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