Richmond Marathon Training: Week 2 – Learning Experience + SocialPace

I’m loving training, but I realize that is largely because my mileage is still low and my runs are still easy. My interval sessions — by far the toughest part — are never very long, though I expect that to change very soon. I have a video chat scheduled for tonight with my coach Steph Rothstein Bruce, and since I’ve been adapting to my plan well I expect that things will start to become a lot more challenging.

Here’s what I did during Week 2 of training:

  • Tuesday –  44 minutes (4.3 mi) including a Party With a Purpose 5k race with Ashley Runningbun and Laura WerkIt
  • Wednesday – 50 minutes (4.99 mi)
  • Thursday – Refine Method
  • Friday – 33 min with 4 x 100 meter strides (3.4 mi)
  • Saturday – 8.03 mi with Ashley Runningbun
  • Sunday – REST
  • Monday – 5 x 3 min at half marathon effort, 2 min off (4.7 mi)

Total miles: 25:42

Party with a Purpose 5K - hoboken waterfront

Ashley, Laura and I on the Hoboken waterfront for the Party With a Purpose 5K

It was another vey humid week, but I’m adapting to it much better. I’ve also never run so many days in a week before this training season, and I am really enjoying it. It does mean less Refine Method (my favorite workout of all time, and the most effective). I don’t want to ever get burnt out on my favorite thing ever, so it’s good to mix things up so I can go back to Refine after a (hopefully) strong marathon, and spend the winter doing indoor activities only.

Anyway, I have two runs to discuss today.

(1) Wednesday’s run – 50-60 min with last 10 min a little faster. 
My plan called for 50-60 min with last 10 min a little fasterWhen I run for minutes and not for miles, I don’t display my pace on my watch. I don’t want to get discouraged or concern myself with my pace when I am running solely for time on my feet. That being said, I probably should have toggled my view from elapsed time to pace because, well, this happened:

1 – 11’12″/mi
2 – 11’26″/mi
3 – 11’05″/mi
4 – 8’52″/mi
5 – 7’33″/mi

A 10-minute mile would have surely sufficed for those last 10 minutes. Clearly I struggle with any sort of intuitive running. That last mile was so painful, as I am sure you can imagine. I stared at my watch and counted down the seconds in each minute until I could reach 50 and be done.

All part of the training process, right? I’m learning.

Another thing I really need to learn is running on perceived effort rather than my watch. This brings me to the second run I want to discuss.

(2) Monday’s run – 5-6 x 3 min on with 2 min rest @ half marathon effort
My plan called for  15 min warm up, then 5-6 x 3 min on with 2 min rest @ half marathon effort, then a 10 min cool down.

Half marathon EFFORT. Effort. Not pace. Not exact pace to the exact second. Not stare at my watch for the entire 3 minutes trying to hit my half marathon pace. No. Effort.

This is especially important to remember when your watch goes crazy and tells you that you’re running much slower than you’d like. Case in point: During that first interval I saw 9:40 (I was aiming for 8:55) and even though I felt like I was in a 3-minute long sprint (as painful as it sounds, yes) I pushed this way for all five intervals.

Then I get home, upload my data, and find out that no, in fact, THESE were my interval splits:

1 – 8’03″/mi
2 – 8’32″/mi
3 – 8’22″/mi
4 – 8’24″/mi
5 – 8’56″/mi

9:40 is just a little different than 8:03, no?

So, while I certainly had a successful interval session, it was also a wake-up call that I need to pay attention to perceived effort and stop relying so heavily on my watch.

Training with a coach and a real plan that varies from week to week is exciting so far. I’m constantly learning and I’m never bored. I’m falling in love with running all over again.

One last thing I wanted to mention today is SocialPace. I plan to spend more time playing around in it, but I love the concept – building a community surrounded by fitness. My runs with friends — Ashley & Laura on Tuesday, Ashley again on Saturday, a new friend Miranda this morning and Ashley again tomorrow — make the runs go by so much faster. I love having plans with friends where I’m doing what I would do anyway, just better and with more fun.

With SocialPace, you can discover fitness-related events in your area (races, fitness classes, outdoor activities) and connect with other people interested in the same events. It can be really hard to make friends with similar interests or find running buddies (I finally found Miranda after searching for over a year, and actually, SHE found ME). Definitely check SocialPace out!

What lessons have you learned from training? 

Do you find it hard finding friends with similar fitness interests or running buddies in your area?

13 comments on Richmond Marathon Training: Week 2 – Learning Experience + SocialPace

  1. Laura
    July 23, 2013 at 1:52 pm (4 years ago)

    Love that you are falling in love with running again! After talking with you and Ashley, I realized I definitely need to run more with friends. I need to do 7 miles this weekend so let me know if you are interested in meeting up (or for another amount). Also, SocialPace looks great. I clicked on the link and saw some 5K dance party. I was like, um yes please!
    Laura´s last blog post ..Running Vs. Racing and Winning

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  2. Emily
    July 23, 2013 at 2:30 pm (4 years ago)

    I seriously wish I lived closer to friends to run with. My husband will run with me but I feel like I”m just slowing him down. I love the interval workouts Steph has us run. I get to video chat with her tomorrow and cannot wait! I have a hard time with the “effort” too. Although I’m pretty pumped for my track workout of 200s on and 200s off. I love sprints!
    Emily´s last blog post ..MCM Training: Week 5

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    July 29, 2013 at 1:16 pm (4 years ago)

    Your hard work inspires me to work harder too! Running is a great feeling :)

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