Truth be told, I haven’t been “in training” for quite some time. I’ve been out there running, even done a few races, but training for me has really consisted of piling on the miles to reach the desired distance then slacking back to comfortable. There have been no tempo runs, no hills, no mile repeats… until now. In January I started following a half-marathon training program in preparation for the Ragnar Del Sol. My total mileage for the race is 22 miles, and my longest leg is 11, so it didn’t really seem like I could just wing it. Luckily, I always hated to throw away all the things that I found interesting back when I subscribed to Runner’s World, so I have kept a few files on running, including one for training- where I found a very nice training plan. So, I’m giving it a go. I sat down in December with a calendar and planned when I would have to stat in order to be race ready… and now I’m back “in training.”
Since I started this training program I have realized a few things:
- Training is a lot harder than just running how I feel.
- It’s good to push yourself-training already has me in much better shape.
- Miler repeats are hard.
- I can’t hold a consistent goal pace- I’m like a roller coaster with the ups and downs.
The good news is, my running watch, the Garmin Fenix3, helps a lot with training. I can track my inconsistent pace to see where I’m rocketing and when I slow, I get real time info on my running efficiency, and I haven’t tried it yet, but I can even enter a work out to follow. Plus, after the run I can pour over the data to try and find a glimmer of insight while I leave notes about goals vs reality.
Take for example, this run. The goal of this tempo run was a warm-up at 9:25, 3 steady miles at 8:40-8:45, and a 9:25 cool down mile. So far, I’ve only nailed the warm-up!
Of course, I get cool graphs like this too. This is a section from mile repeat day- the blue mountains are where I picked up the pace and I was able to overlay cadence data- the dots. (Blue is better than green.) It’s all very fun to look at and makes me feel as though I’m doing some real analyzing here.
So all in all, this training thing is kinda fun! And the Garmin Connect app gets two thumbs-up from me- it is most certainly giving me more information than I know what to do with. But trying to get blue dots instead of green is motivating in its own way… and as long as I’m having fun- well, that’s the point, right?