Monday, July 20, 2015

Nike+ 1/2 Marathon Coaching: Week Two, Day One

I'll spare you the Week 1, Day 7 rest day details.

Back on the Greenway again today, enjoying the very minute altitude changes. Tried running with just my jogging bra, shorts, hat, shoes, socks and phone. I was definitely cooler, but missed the water and gel. Not to mention being mentally uncomfortable with not being covered up as much as usual. [I kept telling myself if big bellied old men can go around shirtless on the Greenway then I can run with my middle aged woman, had five babies tummy showing.]

As far as the run goes: still not great at managing my pace. I did attempt to go faster for the last mile, but still can't quite get a handle on how to run just a little bit faster. The Nike+ Coaching is a nice motivator but really offers very minimal help beyond just telling you to get out and do something. If I could improve it I would add:

  • fartlek support (audible cues)
  • more details about pace goals (easy, comfortable doesn't say much)
  • feedback during the run (ie: for today, at 2 miles an audible cue to pick up the pace)

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Nike+ 1/2 Marathon Coaching: Week One, Day Six

Last day of the first "easy" week of training. We were signed up for a Dirty Spokes trail run this morning, which was fortuitously a four mile run. It was not a particularly easy run though, two miles up to the top and quite a bit of elevation change.

I ran/walked the first two miles up to the top, but was able to run the last two miles (mostly) down. Since it took me 59 minutes, I suppose the Nike+ Coach would probably categorize that as "taking it slow". (As an aside, I ran this same race last year four minutes faster. It was pouring rain last year and a lot cooler though.)

This morning was also the last in an eight run trail series put on by Dirty Spokes. Because I participated in seven of the eight runs, I came in second in my age group for the series long course. There were only two of us who even qualified, so it isn't any type of proof of my running skills. Mostly it's just a testament to the power of showing up.

I almost had her convinced to open up that bottle on the spot.

(I ran today in a plain black Nuu-MuuCW-X Conditioning Wear Women's Performx Shorts, Injinji toe socks and Altra Superior 1.5 Trail Running Shoes.)

Friday, July 17, 2015

Nike+ 1/2 Marathon Coaching: Week One, Day Five

Not to tempt the fates too much, I am back on schedule today. At the beginning of the third mile, I was feeling tired and walking, thinking to myself that I couldn't run anymore. There was a lady running in front of me and she tripped and fell flat on her face. I decided I'd better adjust my attitude if I was causing others to fail, too. So, I did a bit of positive self talk and finished the last mile running. I may have even managed to go a bit faster as instructed.

After I finished the automated congratulations sports celebrity (whose name I don't remember) suggested I should find a hyperbaric chamber to recoup in since I've run more this week than last. This seemed a bit bizarre to me, but celebrities are a mystery to me anyway.

I ran today in a pair of shorts from REI and a race shirt from one of this years Dirty Spokes races. Plus my usual Altra Intuitions and Injinji toe socks.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Nike+ 1/2 Marathon Coaching: Week One, Day Four Substitution

Thursday is one of my yoga days, so I switched the training days around. Hopefully the world won't explode.

It was the first time in a while I had been to yoga so I didn't do great, but it was nice to be back on the mat.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Nike+ 1/2 Marathon Coaching: Week One, Day Three Substitution

It may not bode well that during the very first week I didn't follow the instructions. Well, not exactly. Just did a bit of rearranging and took my day off on Wednesday instead of Thursday.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Nike+ 1/2 Marathon Coaching: Week One, Day Two

In general, it has not been my habit to run two days in a row, so this was a bit strange. My original plan had been to run in the neighborhood this morning, but the thought of trying to run fast on all the hills here had me heading to the relatively flat Greenway again. The first mile went well, but the whole two miles of fartlek's was a bit of a disaster. First, trying to keep track of the time with just the timer on my phone was problematic. The lap timer was too small for me to see while running, which lead to slowing down and even stopping to be able to see how much time had passed. Plus I had to carry the phone in my hand. Then there was just the running faster then slower that I had a very difficult time with -- I've noticed that when I try to run faster, I get very tense which tires me out quicker. I pretty much had to run faster then walk to recover. It's going to take some practice to figure out how to run at a faster pace without getting so tense.

In terms of running gear, I wore Nike running shorts and top and my zero drop Altra Intuition 1.5 shoes with a pair of Injinji toe socks. I've gained a bit of weight recently and the shorts were not very cooperative. They wanted to wedge up between my legs. Not cool. The rest of the outfit was comfortable for running - though it sure is tough to get a running top off when you're hot and sweaty.

For fuel, water and homemade running gel in my recently acquired running vest.

Still haven't researched heart rate training.

Going to see if there is an app to make timing intervals easier.

Monday, July 13, 2015


Last week, amidst a conversation about running that included looking at what the Nike+ Running app offered in the way of coaching, I clicked *begin* on a 12 week, half marathon training plan, setting it to start today.

To add a bit of context, I've been running fairly regularly since September of 2011. The Nike+ app says I've covered 938.3 miles since then. Since moving to Georgia in 2012, we have added trail running to our repertoire. Every year we run about eight trail races, three or four local 5K's, the Peachtree 10K in Atlanta and last year we added the Atlanta Track Club 10 Miler (October) and Half Marathon (Thanksgiving) to our list of completed competitive runs. In May this year we ran a 13.1 mile trail run.

So, I'm not exactly a neophyte and my running has definitely improved since I first started, but I often have to do more of a combination of fast walking and slow running, especially on longer or very hilly runs. I'd like to be able to be more consistent and a bit faster in my pace. Hence the attempt at following a training program. I'm also hoping to look into heart rate training to see if I can incorporate that into the program as well. (But I need to spend a bit of time researching and figuring out what my target heart rate should be and how to actually maintain a certain heart rate if I'm going to do that.)

Day One:

Hoped to get to the Greenway early to beat the July heat, ha, ha. Got there by 10AM. Fortunately the Greenway is relatively shaded, but it was pretty warm. I was glad to have water. I also took along some homemade running gel to give myself a bit of fuel since I didn't eat much breakfast.

First day was to be an easy three mile run. So, I did a very slow, easy run. I tried to keep my heart rate in the 150 range as an experiment and was not able to do that while running. It stayed in the low to mid 160's fairly easily though. It'll be interesting to see what my optimum heart rate should be. I'm not sure how compatible the Nike+ training will be with the idea of doing heart rate training. In any case, I was able to do the three mile run with no problems.

Big Creek Greenway

Tomorrow I get to do Fartleks. Oh boy!