Chi Town Half Training Update

I’ve started no less than two training update posts, and just haven’t been able to figure out how I want to do these. I’m now in my fourth week and have yet to update, so I’m crushing the whole “keep up with training updates” goal. The good news is that my completion rates and mileage are both progressive in a positive direction, because when you start from ZERO, there’s nowhere to go but up!



  • WEEK ONE: Literally ran no runs. Weather, work, and unexpected derailments got in the way. Off to a smashing start. I wasn’t terribly worried, and figured that stressing out about it was about 5 seconds too long to waste on something I couldn’t change.
  • WEEK TWO: Completed 3/5 workouts for a total of 12 miles for the week. I was my own worst enemy this week, failing to check my calendar at the beginning of the week to anticipate rest days/conflicts, and I’ll be honest and say the cold, icy weather made one of these workouts too much trouble to deal with.
    • Workout: 3mi Tempo (15WU, 5min @ 7:45, 10min @ 8, 2-3min CD) I have no idea what my tempo pace is these days. My aim has been for a 10k effort (right now I’m probably optimistically guesstimating that to be a 7:45-8:00 pace). These miles were run on a treadmill and were not the easiest thing to do (as evidenced by my slowing down – oops). These super short tempo runs feel hard but also annoying, and ineffective in my mind. I may start substituting progression runs, or… not.
      • Note: Higdon defines tempo runs as a 10-15min warm-up, ramping up to goal pace, holding for 10-15 min, and then using the last 5-10 to cool back down.
    • Long Run: 6 miles outside in cold but sunny weather. Slow and steady miles that felt good. Forgot to turn my Garmin off post-run, which means it also captured the 1.5mi walk to,in, and home from Whole Foods. #pro
  • WEEK THREE: Completed 4/5 workouts for a total of 18 miles for the week. This week felt really solid, and despite missing one of my runs due to dinner plans (oops forgot to look ahead), I was excited to feel like I strung together a solid week of running. I also had some rainbow-filled runs, which left me feeling energized and back on track.
    • Workout #1: 6×400 @ 7:15-:30 pace.

      [Actual: 1 mile warm-up, followed by four intervals @ 7:13; fifth @ 6:58; sixth @ 6:40; and a 1mi cooldown @ 9-9:15).]
      Treadmill track workouts aren’t ideal, but in a Chicago February, they’re pretty much guaranteed. These felt absolutely amazing  – I felt like a strong panther – and I finished feeling like I could easily do another six. I kept checking the time against the speed reading, not believing that I was feeling that good while running that fast.
    • Workout #2: 3 @ goal race pace (currently 8:15 – 8:30)
      [Actual: 1/2mi WU; 1mi @ 8:30-:15; 1mi @ 8:15; 3/4mi CD]
      Another run on the lake, because we were blessed with unseasonably nice weather (like 40s and sunny in January… what?). Ran this one with the guy, who had a similar workout on his schedule. Unfortunately, my watch wasn’t charged, so my data is approximated based on his watch. Felt hard in the last few minutes, but gratifying to feel like I pushed through the doubts.
    • Long Run: 4.5 miles outside in sunny and seasonably “warm” weather. I was supposed to run 4mi, but it was so sunny and nice that I tacked a bit on exploring a pier/breakwater with great views of the skyline. Came home with a huge grin.


The first three weeks were filled with lessons and reminders. I still haven’t quite figured out the best way to log my data (or at least haven’t figured out a good way to be consistent with it across several platforms), but I’m slowly but surely working out the kinks. In past training cycles, I’ve been a slave to the mileage. This time around, I’m feeling more comfortable ballparking the bigger picture of weekly mileage, and focusing more on how I feel during key workouts. Knowing whether I ran 18.47 miles in a week versus 18ish is less important than how I felt at the end of a race pace effort.


Add yours →

  1. Are you a paper and pen person or a digital person? I usually have a printed calendar of my scheduled runs on my fridge, at work, and in my planner, but I record my actual runs with my Garmin. I’ve been toying with the idea of picking up the Oiselle training journal for an all-in-one place to record data too.


    • I’m not so much a paper person these days. My schedule is on a google doc and I’ve imported my daily workouts into my google calendar. I have a training log within google docs that I use to compare what I should be doing and what happened, and have generally used my garmin, but trouble pops up with treadmill runs. Ive been recording in daily mile lately, because it feels easy to input manually my treadmill runs, and upload garmin data, to the same, central location. (That then requires me to log my results in both daily mile and my training log – just feels like a lot, unfortunately!)


      • Haha, a fellow data nerd. My favorite 3 words, “Export to Excel.” My Garmin 220 has an accelerometer (pace determined relative to movement in space not just GPS) so in theory it should work on the treadmill. Similarly, I think the Nike+ app has a treadmill setting, and there’s a hack to download your Nike+ data that you can then upload to either daily mile or your spreadsheet. =)


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