Goodbye hills…hello speedwork!

For the past week, I feel like I’ve been chained to my treadmill.  I’m trying my best to embrace the treadmill instead of detesting it.  It’s giving my knee a little bit of a break from the hard surfaces outside and it allows me to focus on my form which is hard to do when I run pushing the stroller.

Last week, I had my last hill run of my marathon training schedule outside.  The first 8 weeks included a mid-week hill run that ranged from 4 to 8 miles.  I never made it to the max of 8 miles like I was supposed to last week because my knee would not tolerate it.  I felt pretty bummed about that.  Through those first 8 weeks, I did the majority of my hill runs with the stroller and the rest on the treadmill or solo.  I’m glad those hill runs are behind me because they were not my favorite!

Now, it’s time to start my speedwork for the next 8 weeks.  Yesterday, I did my first ever tempo run.  I had to run 8 miles total with 3 of those miles at an 8:30 pace.  I knew that would be a challenge with the stroller so I opted for the treadmill once again.  I warmed up for a mile and a half then increased the speed so I was running at an 8:30 pace.  Holding that for 3 miles was so hard for me.  My legs were way out of their comfort zone at that pace! After I finished the 3 tempo miles, I slowed back down and finished up with a total of 5 miles on the treadmill.  I didn’t think I could mentally handle another 3 miles on the ‘mill so I decided to try to finish up my miles with Zain after his nap.

I ended up waiting for my hubby to get home from work so he could run with us.  It was a gorgeous afternoon with temps in the 50s.  It was awesome to run in shorts and short sleeves in January.  The first mile was tough.  My legs were stiff and since the first mile is very hilly, it took me a while to warm up.  Once I got through that mile though, I felt great.  Hubby kept having to tell me to slow down :).  We ended up running 4 miles to make a total of 9 for the day.

For the past week, my treadmill runs have all gone really well, but they don’t give me the same satisfaction that running outside does.  Running outside clears my mind.  I can get off the treadmill and think that I had a good run and feel happy with what I accomplished, but it’s just not the same.  I think my afternoon run outside was also so great because I had hubby and Zain with me.  There is nothing I love more than a family run.  Our afternoon run put me in the best mood.

I felt like I made it over a big hurdle yesterday.  Getting in a mid-week long run is a big challenge for me.  It’s hard to find the time for my run and Zain doesn’t have the patience lately for long stroller runs.  I think a big part of that is the weather – he doesn’t like being all bundled up in the stroller because it’s not as comfy.  I’m hoping he’ll do better in the spring.

This is how I've had to bundle the little man up for some of our coldest runs - in his snowsuit!

After yesterday’s runs went so well, I think I’ll continue to split some of my long weekday runs between the stroller and treadmill.  I have to thank Kara for inspiring me to do that since she does that almost daily.  I probably wouldn’t have even thought to do that if it weren’t for her! I also think mixing in more treadmill miles will be a good way to give my knee a break.

Have you ever split a long run into multiple runs during the day?

Happy running!

Comments

  1. Kara says

    Oh good, I can comment again! In case you were wondering, this why I didn’t comment on the last post either. :)

    When I first started a training program that had 8-9 mile runs on weekdays, I was stumped on how to get it done, but that’s only because I thought splitting up the miles wouldn’t “count”. I’ve PRed at multiple distances since starting that method, so I guess it does count. :)

    • Anonymous says

      Ya know, it’s funny because I was feeling all sad when no one commented on my last post, but now I know it’s because they couldn’t. I’m a loser, I know :).

      I think that method is probably really helpful in staying injury free too since the TM is a little easier on the legs.  I know what you mean about feeling like it wouldn’t count because I would have felt like that before too, until I saw that you did it so successfully of course :)

  2. Anonymous says

    That tempo pace will continue to feel easier as your training goes on.  I do tempo runs at the beginning of my training cycles and they are HARD, but at the end, I miss them because I know they helped me so much.  Good job!

    • says

      I hope it starts to feel easier! It felt good mentally to step out of my comfort zone and hold that pace longer.  It definitely gave me the confidence that I can run faster if I work hard.

    • says

      I hope it starts to feel easier! It felt good mentally to step out of my comfort zone and hold that pace longer.  It definitely gave me the confidence that I can run faster if I work hard.

  3. Christa says

    Wow! I never thought about splitting those runs up and doing part with stroller, part solo. I might have to try that!

  4. says

    Since Ive been streaking Im learning to tolerate the treadmill more. Its still not my fav and I still have to work way harder to maintain any sort of pace, but at least I have that option and im trying to be thankful for it.
    I could not even hold a 8:30 pace for 1/4 mile let alone 3. You rock!
    Your bundled little buddy is adorable.

    • says

      Thank you! I imagine having a treadmill is a big help while streaking.  I haven’t done a run streak yet, but I hope to later this year and I know I’ll find myself on the TM more.

  5. says

    This is going to sound strange but I’ve never broken up a long run into two runs because I didn’t think it was “allowed”. I’m not sure who I thought was making the rules before but I’ll definitely be remember this when I get further into my half-marathon training :)

    • says

      I didn’t think it was allowed either :). I wouldn’t split one of my long weekend runs into 2 runs – except I have done it once where I ran 3 miles on the TM then immediately went outside to complete my 16 mile run.  I think splitting a long run like that is okay.  For weekday runs, I think splitting them into 2 is probably okay because it’s still accomplishing the miles or pace you need.

  6. Anonymous says

    I think the way you broke up your run for the tempo is fine. The point of tempo is do to those 3 at pace. The other miles in there are “extra”. I wouldn’t break up a long run though, because the point is to get used to doing the whole distance at once. Just my personal interpretation though, I’m no expert! 

  7. Suzanne Westenhofer says

    Good for you getting in a mid-week run! I need to focus on hills and speedwork so now I just need to figure out which one to work on first.

    • says

      Suzanne, my training plan had me do a mid-week hill run for the first 8 weeks, then that hill run turned into a speedwork day.  Maybe you could try something like that? Start with hills then transition to speedwork. Good luck!

    • says

      Suzanne, my training plan had me do a mid-week hill run for the first 8 weeks, then that hill run turned into a speedwork day.  Maybe you could try something like that? Start with hills then transition to speedwork. Good luck!

  8. Michele says

    YES!!! I have had to do that multiple times.  My 1 yr old DETESTS the stroller so I don’t really get the chance to take him running.  My hubby is gone a lot with work so there are a lot of days when I have to do 2x runs to get in the miles since I have to run when my son naps!  I’ll try to get as many miles as I can in during his first nap and then do the remainder either during his 2nd or at night after he goes to sleep!
    Congrats on getting a mid-week long run in!  And have fun with the speedwork =) 

    • says

      Thank you, Michele! That stinks that he doesn’t like the stroller! Zain used to love it, then went through a phase of not liking it.  This week he has been liking it again thankfully. 

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