Week 1 of Hamilton Marathon training is complete.  I am through 4 of 24 workouts.  This week was a really good. I got in all 4 workouts, my goals may have been a little high, but I feel great getting back into pure running.

Sept 16, 2013 – 15km Tempo

This was my first workout in the plan, and my first run since getting a foam roller.  I had some doubts before the run started, but I knew I needed a good workout to start myself on the right foot.  My goal was to hold 4:15/km, it wasn’t until after that run that I realized what unrealistic expectations I set for myself.  I started out really strong through the first 6km, but then dropped off quickly.  Kilometer 7 had some uphill and I did a 4:35.  From that point I never got under 4:20 again.  Despite not hitting my somewhat unrealistic goal I was really happy with my run.  I had some discomfort in my right knee a couple times, but overall it felt good so the foam roller was working.  I was also able to push myself really hard.  My average HR was 174, which is up in the red zone, but not something that is new to me for a tempo workout.  I completed my 15k tempo in 1:05:53, or 4:23/km.

Sept 17, 2013 – 7km recovery run

I did a 7km recover run Tuesday evening to work out my legs.  It was slow enough that conversation was easy throughout the entire run.  I did have to stop briefly once to massage out some knee pain.  Nothing else of note.

Sept 18, 2013 – 3 x 5km hard, 1km easy

This was my first ‘freestyle’ workout, it entailed 3 5km repeats, with an easy 1km jog in between.  My goal was to keep all my 5km repeats under 21:00.  My first 5km I managed a 20:17 and felt great.  I did a slow jog and rattled off 20:54.  This repeat was much harder.  I had to push really hard in the final kilometer to get in under 21:00.  I was reduced to a walk for most of my kilometer before my final 5km.  My last 5km I struggled to a 22:56, missing my goal, but happy with my overall effort.  This was a hard workout.  I was glad my body responded well after Mondays Tempo.

Sept 19, 2013 – 5 x 1600m track

Thursday was my first time back on the track in a couple months.  I was looking forward to getting back….but that excitement was short lived.  I forgot how hard it was!  My goal was to run the 1600′s sub-6:00, with about 5 min rest in between.  I wasn’t sure if I was going to run 5 or 6 (I ended up doing 5).  My first 3 all came in under 6:00, but I was really gasping for air at the end of them.  My lungs were on fire!  I knew I couldn’t hold this pace so I adjusted my goal to 6:12 for the 4th interval, which I hit bang on.  I decided at that point that I would only be doing 5 of these.  When I started the 5th I had to pull up about 25m into it because my leg was cramping.  I walked it off and managed to get my 5th 1600m in 6:20.  I was happy with the workout, and realized that I need to focus more on getting my leg turnover up.  I have a tendency to let my legs get lazy and take longer, slower strides.  This was really evident at the track.  I need to be taking more steps per minute, and shortening them.

Sept 21, 2013 – 25km long run

Today was my first long run in a while….well besides the marathon at the end of an Ironman.  I had mixed feelings about it.  It was going to be much lower intensity so my lungs and legs wouldn’t be screaming at me, but it can be a little monotonous.  The Oasis Zoo Run was happening about 4km from my house, so I decided I was going to try something new and break up my long run a bit.  I first ran 8km around my neighbourhood.  I finished at home, changed my shirt (cause it was pouring), got some water, then headed the 4km over to the start of the Zoo Run.  I knew a couple people running and got to see them at the start.  I then ran 8.5km, and then went to the finish to see them finish.  From there I ran the 4.5km home.  It was great because it broke up the run into bite sized pieces, and I don’t think it compromised the quality of the workout.  Usually the last few km of a long run really suck for me, but I really enjoyed this.  My iPod was dead for the final 4.5km run home, but I was so pleased with how it went that I barely noticed.