This week is turning out to be the recap week. First, I recapped week 3 of this training cycle. Then, I recapped week 4. Now, I thought I’d continue that theme by looking back as what I’m calling Phase 1. If you look at the Jeff Galloway Half Marathon training plan for time improvement, you’ll notice that it’s an 18 week program. Essentially, there are 16 weeks of hard work, 1 week taper, and 1 week to recover to make up the 18 weeks. So, I’ve divided it up even further …
- Phase 1 – Weeks 1 – 4 – Laying the Foundation
- Phase 2 – Weeks 5 – 8 – Building on the Foundation
- Phase 3 – Weeks 9 – 12 – Turning Up the Heat
- Phase 4 – Weeks 13 – 15 – Solidifying the Results and Fine Tuning
- Phase 5 – Weeks 16 – 17 – Taper and Mental Prep
- Phase 6 – Week 18 – Basking in the Glory
With that out of the way, let’s look back at Phase 1….
So, here’s how Phase 1 played out for me. As you can see, I missed 4 workouts (2 gym workouts, 1 Mid-Week run, and 1 long run). Making it through 12 of the 16 scheduled workouts in Phase 1 isn’t horrible. However, I still missed the mark. I made 75% of the scheduled workouts. Yep, each workout adds up.
I had some fun with this graphic. I don’t know why but it’s interesting to look at all the data I have available to me. Since this month 8 of the 10 runs I finished were 4 miles in length, it gives me some pretty equal comparisons. Here’s what I saw….
- Mile 3 was my fastest mile (average speed of mile 3 was 12:24)
- Mile 2 was next fastest (average speed of mile 2 was 12:32)
- Mile 1 was next fastest (or seconds slowest at 12:41)
- Mile 4 was the slowest mile (average speed of 13:09)
So, If I really want to improve those mid-week runs, I need to work on mile 4.
Here’s my chart of average paces. When I averaged out my average pace, it came to 12:41 per mile. Of course, you’ll note that in weeks 3 and 4, the pace quickened quite a bit when I switched my run/walk intervals. From the first run of week 1 to the last run of week 4, I improved my pace by nearly 1 minute per mile! So, there’s been some awesome progress!
On top of looking at the average paces, how each mile broke out, and the number of workouts I finished, I thought it would be really interesting to compare my last two half marathon training cycles with the one I’m currently on to see how I do. Above is how I fared in week 1 of each cycle. One main difference between these three cycles is that I made it to the gym in week 1 this time out. The other two training cycles, I did not. My times for the week 1 runs were slower than my previous two cycles. That’s okay. I’ve been intentional about pacing during this first phase. I wanted it to be a little slower to build on. You’ll also notice that I did not make my first run a year ago when I was training for the same race I”m training for now…Rock n Roll San Diego Half Marathon.
Week 2 of this training cycle was 100% better than one year ago. As you can see, I didn’t make any training in week 2 one year ago. Now, I’m still slower than my training for the Avengers Half. One thing I can note as well is that in both my current cycle and in the Avengers Half cycle, my pacing and finish times improved from week 1!
In Week 3, my lack of training a year ago caught up with me as I slowed a little. My run 1 from week 3 this year was even faster than a year ago! What’s encouraging about looking at this comparison is to watch my current cycle start to catch up with my last two half marathon training cycles. Since I eventually want to be faster than I’ve ever been, I hope to keep that improvement coming!
Week 4 shows again how missed runs can hurt you. I missed my long run from week 3 and my first run from week 4 this year. The result? A slower time in my 1 mid-week run. This was my third straight half marathon training cycle to include track work. A year ago, I attempted 4 x 800. So, it’s hard to compare last year with this year when I did 4 x 400. You can compare the 400’s I did this past weekend with what I did on that week 4 of Avengers training. Full disclosure, though, I didn’t run these sets of 400’s the same. For Avengers, on each of the laps, I hit a spot in the final turn where the huffing and puffing felt too much. So, I stopped the clock, caught my breath and finished. So, the numbers are a little misleading. With my 400’s this past weekend, I was proud of myself for finishing the entire first 400 without stopping and most of the second 400. On the final two 400’s, I walked 30 seconds in the final turn before running to finish out the lap.
This is how I would grade myself over Phase 1. I’d give myself a solid “B!” Since I missed 4 workouts out of the 16 that were scheduled, I can’t give myself an “A” grade. However, when I look at how I did vs. my last two half marathon training cycles, I’m doing pretty well. I can’t really compare my average pace with those years because I’m trying something different than I did in those cycles. I like what I’ve done so far and know that I need to continue to build on this Phase.
As far as how I’m doing in to achieve this half marathon time at the Rock n Roll San Diego Half Marathon…it’s still too early. 8 weeks from now, I should have a better idea about whether this goal is something I should even be trying. So, for now, I’m not concerned with it.
It’s time to get after Phase 2!