Half-Marathon Training: Week of October 1st

Half-marathon training. I’ve been running for about 40 years now.  Long-term wear and tear led me to an altered gait. Which in turn led to lots of pain when running.  Our PFP running coach, Jake Boyer, managed to correct my gait. My personal trainer and gym co-owner, Tom Duer, gave me exercises to strengthen my weak hip flexors.  Suddenly, running seemed possible again.  It was time to try training for a race!  I had run the Philly Marathon twice before and decided to give the Half Marathon a go.

I want to share this PFP running training experience with you all. And I have asked Jake to create a half-marathon training program for me based on my goals (1:45 half, 8:39 min miles) and my estimated fitness level.  After using some fancy formula which I don’t understand, he created a schedule for me. For that schedule and the first few weeks of my training experience, click here.

Week of Oct 1st: Plateau Week Two – Last Week of “I” Pace Before Half-Specific Work Begins   

Monday: 7 miles @ E + 4x strides

Tuesday: 0ff running

Wednesday: I paced workout 2:

  • 2 mile warm up
  • 1600 @ T (drop this down to the perceived 10k effort for the time being) with 1:30 rest
  • 4×800 @ I with 3 minutes rest
  • 10+ minutes jog cool-down

Thursday: XT (endurance power hour)

Friday: 7 miles recovery

Saturday: (off or long run)

Sunday: 10 miles @ E, long run – last 10 minutes as gradual progression to I pace or faster the final 2 minutes.

I’m 52, and This Week I Felt It

I had been noticing a few knots in my legs over the last few weeks.  Daily foam rolling helped, and I felt fine.  Years of running have left me more prone to muscle tightness after working out so a bit of extra recovery would do the trick, I thought. My Monday run was fine.  A day of rest after the weekend long run helped my body recover.  A massage session Tuesday night helped get out those knots in my legs.  I was ready for my Wednesday interval/speed run!  I like doing the fast stuff so I was anxious to see what my old legs could do.

Unfortunately, I woke up at 2 AM Wednesday morning with my leg throbbing where one of my knots had been, and my lateral thigh felt numb.   A double dose of Alleve provided some relief from what I assumed was an inflammatory response, but I couldn’t sleep well.

I Had a 12 Hour Work Day Ahead

Just walking around during the day got things moving and the numbness resolved.  By day’s end, though, my glutes and hip flexors were getting sharp, stabbing pains.  Running was out.  More Alleve and rest seemed to help by Thursday morning with just some residual hip flexor soreness which I assumed was from compensating movements to avoid the leg pain.

Thursday was a cross training day so 45 minutes on an exercise bike just to get my heart rate up and work some blood to my legs seemed reasonable. By Friday, everything seemed back to normal, thankfully.  I could do my Friday run without pain and actually felt stronger as the run progressed. My long weekend run was a hot, humid one so I took it easy but was able to do the fast stuff that Jake had prescribed for the end of the run, and I felt strong.

Setbacks and Confidence

Even though the week was a bit of a setback, in a way it was also a confidence booster. I listened to my body and adjusted.  Jake’s training has made me progressively stronger, and I was able to bounce back. I experience less fatigue after long runs and less residual soreness.  I still need to foam roll, do active and passive stretching, get a massage, do Recovery Yoga on Sunday, hydrate well and get plenty of sleep but Jake’s schedule has provided a strong framework for progressive improvement.

Next week starts half marathon specific work.  I’ll look forward to it!

Interested in Running or Have Running Concerns?

If you would like to have a PFP running assessment to check your gait or just want to do strength training with a run coach/personal trainer, contact Jake Boyer at  jake@pittsburghfitnessproject.com.  It doesn’t matter your level of running either! Sure Jake can help you with half-marathon training. But he can also help you if you just want to learn to like running! Jake can provide a customized training schedule to help you meet your goals!

BRIAN CLISTA: Co-Owner, MD

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