Week 2 of Avengers Half Marathon Training – Flexibility Wins the Week Again!

I was going to post this yesterday as a “Training Tuesday” post. However, when runDisney put word out that they would be revealing the medals for the Inaugural Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend, I knew a switch was going to happen. Even though I’m now into week 3 of Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon training, let’s look back at how week 2 went.


So, last Tuesday, I set out for the mid-week 4 miles. I was kind of excited about this run because it was my first with my new Garmin Vivoactive HR GPS watch. I’ll write more about this later. However, I’ve decided it was time to bid Nike Plus good-bye. The original plan for this run was to have a 30/90 seconds run/walk intervals in miles 1 and 4. Then, a 30/60 seconds run/walk intervals for miles 2 and 3. The temps were a little on the warm side. So, I wasn’t entirely sure I’d keep to that. However, I made sure to bring some Gator aide along with me to keep hydrated and see what would happen.

Mile 1 went better than the Thursday before. I was pushing throughout the run because I wanted to make progress. So, even though my run/walk intervals were the same as the week before, I was running and walking much stronger! The result? I finished mile 1 in 12:18. It wasn’t as faster as I had hoped for. But, I was excited about being faster. Then, I pulled the switch. I cruised along in miles 2 and 3 with the run 30, walk 60 seconds intervals. As I neared the end of mile 2, I could feel that I was out for a better run. I was at 24:21 at the end of mile 2 and had pulled my average per mile pace to 12:03! As I started mile 3, I started thinking about whether I’d go back to the 90 second walk breaks in mile 4. By the end of mile 3, I decided I had to keep the 60 second walk breaks going as long as I could. After all, by the end of mile 3, I was at 36:27. That was only 27 seconds slower than a 12 minute per mile pace through three miles! Could I keep it up all the way through mile 4?

The 60 second walk breaks were working out pretty well in the first half of mile 4. So, it seemed like a good idea to keep them going. However, the last half mile, I slowed down. I kept the 60 second walk breaks all the way through. I made every 30 second run interval. So, it was a successful day.

071916 Splits

So, this is what the splits looked like. I’m loving Garmin Connect and all the stats available on this web site! As you can see, mile 4 tripped me up. But, it was still an improvement over both runs from week 1 on the same route! Progress Rocks!


Wednesday, I took the day off from work to take Colton on his 4 month check up. He’s up to 26 1/4″ tall and 14.2 lbs! It’s hard to believe how the time is flying by and how big my boy is now! After Colton’s check up, Brooke and I took our nieces and nephew to see the Secret Life of Pets! They were in town from the Houston area. So, it was great to have a day where we could get out with them.


Since we had such a busy week, I was planning on running on both Saturday and Sunday. After all, when the training plan calls for 3, Four mile runs, you can do that. However, on Friday evening, on the way home from work, I noticed a smoke cloud. It turns out that there was a fire burning in Santa Clarita.


It rained down ash on Pasadena. So, I had to change my running plans for the weekend. Instead of outdoor running…


It was off to the treadmill I went. I decided to use the same running intervals as I did on Tuesday. One of the downsides of running on the ‘mill is that I haven’t figured out the perfect run/walk speeds yet. I went with run at 6.0mph and walk 4.0mph.

072316 Splits

Here are the splits. I decided to use the Garmin Vivoactive’s indoor running tracker to keep the stats. I must admit that it was a bit of a learning experience. I started off by walking a quarter-mile at 3.5mph to warm up. During this time, I didn’t have the watch tracking going. Initially, I thought I’d stop the treadmill at the end of the warm up and start over. However, then, I got the “brilliant” idea to just start the watch at 0.25 miles. Then, during my second run interval, I realized that I hadn’t set the treadmill timer for this kind of strategy. So, I stopped the mill at 30 seconds into my second walk break and started over.


Here’s what the watch read at the end. Since they say that running on the treadmill is easier than running outdoors, I was pushing hard to get closer to 48 minutes. Even though this time was more than 30 seconds faster than Tuesday, it’s not a fair comparison. However, I did keep the run/walk intervals to plan. So, I felt amazing at the end of the run. I knew that I pushed myself enough to feel great about the day!


On Sunday, it was back to the gym just to be cautious. The air didn’t seem that bad on Sunday. However, I’d rather play it safe and get my miles in, than to risk running in bad, smokey air and regret it later. Since I was on the mill for the 2nd straight day, I decided to alter my time on the mill Sunday. To get ready for my first track session of this training cycle, I decided to do 4 x 400’s on the treadmill first. Then, I’d go with run 30 seconds, walk 60 seconds the rest of the way to 4 miles.


Okay, here’s the thing about this run. It made me seriously think about how accurate the Garmin is indoors vs. the treadmill. I walked the first quarter-mile to warm up again. This time, I set the timer for an hour (knowing I’d finish sooner). So, once I got to 0.25 miles, I started the Garmin and ran my first 400. So, was the Garmin accurate and I finished 4.00 miles? Or is the treadmill correct, and I finished 3.78 miles? I’m not sure.


Either way, I walked another quarter-mile to finish out the week.

072416 Splits

Here are the splits. As you can see, the first 2 miles were much faster than the last 2 miles. That is the difference between the 4 x 400’s and the run 30, walk 60 seconds. Although, it’s hard to believe that mile 4 took 15:50. That’s a massive difference. So, I am thinking that the Garmin might not be entirely correct for the treadmill runs. Oh well, I tried. I was pleased with my 4 x 400’s. So much that I think I’m going back this Sunday just to do another 4 x 400’s on the treadmill. It’s an extra workout. But, it could be a huge confidence booster as I get ready for that first track run of this cycle.

2016 Avengers Medals

Overall, I’m feeling great heading into week 3 of Avengers training. I can’t wait to earn the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon medal this November!

2 thoughts on “Week 2 of Avengers Half Marathon Training – Flexibility Wins the Week Again!

  1. Hi Geoff – I was wondering how do you track your intervals so that you can switch them up during a run? I have not found a good way to do so.

    Thanks in advance for your response.

    I always enjoy reading your updates and think you are doing a great job balancing fatherhood and training.

    1. Thanks for the question. Since I live in a more urban area, I’m constantly looking at my watch to see when I need to start and stop each interval. After doing this for so many years, I’ve got a decent sense of when I’m getting close to the end of one interval. With traffic lights stopping me, I can’t really use a straight up timer like the Gymboss that Jeff Galloway promotes.

      As to know when to change my intervals…that’s totally planned by the mile. Currently, on my 4 mile mid-week runs, I run 30 seconds, walk 90 seconds for the first mile (or around the first 12 minutes). Then, I switch to a 60 second walk break the rest of the way. If things are not going well, I can always fall back to the 90 second walk breaks. If I need to do that, I wait until I’m starting a run interval on an even numbered minute. It’s easier to keep track of when to run then. I’ve done this a lot when running in theme parks. After all, there is so much going on that it’s easy to loose track of where you are at in the theme parks. By running on every even numbered minute, I’m giving myself one less thing to think about.

      Your training runs will help you figure out what intervals work best for your. Try out some different intervals in training. After all, it’s better to fail in a training run than in a race you want to do well at. I’m learning that, even though the 60 second walk break is shorter than the 90 second walk break, it feels totally doable. Good luck in your training!

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