Training Plans - That did NOT work

It may be a surprise to me and only me that my whole "let's use the 2-per-day Garmin training plan" was a spectacular fail.  If it had been less of a surprise I probably would've stopped after week 1.  But I had high hopes and pressed on into week 2 before acknowledging some serious issues.

Let's start with what went well:
  • I acknowledge that running in Z2 is probably beneficial.  It definitely helps me keep easy days easy.  Even if I feel like I'm so slow I'm going backwards.
  • Using the Elliptical for some 'recovery runs' was also a good idea.  Especially the longer Z2 efforts.  It made me want to punch people less than if I'd been on the track or treadmill. 
  • The tempo/hill runs were surprisingly fun.  I think it was a good idea that those occurred as part of shorter workouts. I found them challenging and I found myself looking forward to them.  Even though I only completed 1.
  • I finally worked out a 3 mile route I can live with.  It's technically 2.96 miles so it's not perfect.  But I can deal.

What did not go well:
  • 2 Per Day workouts - I don't know what I was thinking but this was NOT a good idea.  Some days I can't get up in the morning. 
  • Long runs in Z2 - just, no.  I refer to the 'so slow I feel like I'm going backwards' comment above.
  • Workouts by minutes versus miles - I really thought I was going to be able to cope with this one even more than the 2 per day thing and it turned out to be the biggest sticking point.  Even though I was supposedly working out more, I found myself with fewer miles.  And I found my body feeling like crap.  Not even the good "I've worked out and now I'm sore" feeling.  The "I'm so lazy I can feel the fat cells conquering my underused muscle tissue" crappy feelings.
  • Step back weeks - in all previous training plans I've timed my step back weeks to match with my cycle.  It was surprisingly helpful to do so and I couldn't figure out how to do it with this plan.   Thus, I failed in week 2. 

Plan going forward: 
  • I will make my own training schedule, focusing on long runs like I have in the past, and also adding in at least one tempo workout.
  • I will continue to train for the 10 Mile in March, somewhat ignoring the existence of a 5K on my race schedule in February.
  • I will try to keep the tempo workouts once/week.  It may be the only nod to the 5K that I make.
  • Long runs will be done with a warm up and then in Z3 and then a cool down.  I can't handle this Z2 nonsense.
  • I want to get back to running trails.  Unfortunately, it's harder to do in the winter.  Seems like I'll be spending a lot of Mondays at French Park and Medicine Lake where the trails will hopefully be cleared. 
  • Keep doing the TRX/Kettlebell class because I like it.
  • Maybe start doing Zumba more again?  I've been absent from that class a lot lately.


Half Marathon Training Plan

This is my first date with one of those "let us design your training plan for your next race" things.  It's day 3 of week 1.  Of a 16 week process.

The Plan: Level III Half Marathon Training by Heart Rate. Since my Garmin 225 is my new boyfriend, I used one of the training plans off the Garmin website.  Helfpully they have plans based on both time and heart rate, so I picked the "Level III Heart Rate" plan.  It involves 8 workouts a week.  Not only is this my first date with a training plan, it's my first date with 2-per-day workouts.  Here's a peak at the first week.

Thoughts before trying: 
  • "This is totally reasonable, I can do the 2-per-day workouts when I have TRX or Zumba because I'll be at the gym anyways".  I don't think I was drunk at the time I chose this.  
  • Threshold/Hill/Tempo workouts have to be in the morning and the recovery workouts have to be in the afternoon, opposite how they are listed on this plan. 
  • This will only work in the winter.  Anything that involves working out in the afternoon in the summer will not work because the heat alone jacks up my heart rate too much.  If I like this training plan I will try the "Level 2 heart rate" plan for the summer because it involves only 5 workouts per week and no doubles.

Thoughts so far: 
  •  2-per-days only work if you get up in the morning for the first one.  And if you don't have other stuff going on in the evening.  So far, Monday's second work out got moved to Tuesday (and I actually did it) and Wednesdays second workout got moved to the one blank Thursday.  Rest days are for sissies.  
  • Recovery runs inside: Today I did the 'recovery run' on the elliptical and that worked surprisingly well.  It kept me honest about my pace and effort and was less frustrating than running on a treadmill as fast as some people walk.
  • Recovery runs outside:  I'm still terribly slow running in Zone 2, like "oh look at that snail zooming by my ass".  These runs are tolerable outside with no other runners to watch me. Better than inside with people on the track or treadmills observing my slowness and making me feel grumpy.
  • That whole "90 minutes of Z2 running" coming up this Saturday?  That's going to suck.  So far, I can really only stay in Z2 for 30-40 minutes so they'll be some walking.