Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Looks Better on Paper

While contending with the rising temps and lingering pollen last week, I told myself a few short, slow miles was better than nothing. After being parked in an office chair all day, I just needed some time on my feet. I felt like a total sandbagger with my longest run being 6 miles.

In sticking with my New Year’s Resolution, I’ve been good about logging my workouts. When I went back to tally up my miles for the week, I realized things weren’t so bad.

Sunday: 6.32 mi run (50:00, 7:55/mi), 10mins elliptical
Monday: off
Tuesday: 4.61 mi run (35:37, 7:56/mi)
Wednesday: 4.5 mi run (36:30, 8:06/mi)
Thursday: 5.0 mi run (40:46, 8:09/mi)
Friday: 5.11 mi run (40:00, 7:50/mi)
Saturday: Gym treamill workout: 5.2 mi total (30 mins @ 7.0, 1% incline, then 10 mins alternating 30 secs @9.0 and 30 secs @6.7, 5 min cd @ 4.0), 20 mins elliptical

Weekly Total: 30.74 miles run, 30 min elliptical

While 30 miles/week is a pittance for some, that’s actually quite good for me!

I started each run at what felt like a slow and relaxed pace, which led me to naturally pick up speed as the runs progressed. Overall, my average paces ended up being pretty decent, even though I felt like I was taking it easy.

Thanks to the shorter runs, my legs remained fresh. Only one rest day for the week was sufficient.

More importantly, since my week day runs only lasted between 35-45 minutes, it left me with an extra 20-30 minutes to squeeze in extra chores. Folding a few loads of laundry or wiping down the bathrooms doesn’t sound like a lot, but when I let those chores pile up as the week goes on, it ends up being an entire night’s worth of work.

Usually, that’s why I take a second rest day each week. Just to stay on top of housework. It felt so good not having a mound of housework to deal with at the end of the week.

I'll enjoy these short runs while they last. Marathon training official starts in June. I was leaning towards the Hanson Plan, but I’m still surveying my options before I commit to a training program. Since I won’t be able to haphazardly load up on quantity this time around, I want to get the most quality out of my planned miles.

A little light reading arrived this week.

Yes, I still read books printed on paper.

If you've follwed a training plan and really liked it (or not), please tell me about it :)

Do you have any tricks for finding more time in your day? What would you do with an extra 20-30 minutes?


  1. I really loved his book! I just read it bec I'm a crazy woman who loves soaking up the reasoning behind fitness stuff even if I know I don't plan to use it for a long while as a beginner marathoner.

    And more time in the day? Oh I wish! Share any secrets you find out. ;)

  2. Great job on keeping up with logging your runs. I always make that a priority when I start training cycles, usually create a google spreadsheet, and then lose my conviction a few weeks later. I actually have a bunch of paper towels with treadmill runs recorded on them from the Y...

    I probably should just keep it simple and use a paper calendar like you.

    For training plans, I tend to use HH's programs, but have dabbled with the Pfitz plan as well.

  3. I can't get into any formal training. I just run as long as I can then walk until I am ready to run again. (Obviously I am a serious novice.) I like your planner. I have a calender on my fridge & put motivational stickers on it every time I complete a workout.

  4. I like that idea Shala! Keeps it up front and in your face.

    I agree, just getting it done is victory enough. A formal training plan isn't a requirement for being fit. What's that Nike slogan? :)

    I figure this will be my last marathon attempt for the next few years, so I'm attmepting to do it as "correctly" as possible this time around. If for no other reason than to see if I have the willpower to stick with someone else's directions.

  5. I almost spit out my coffee reading about the paper towels. I don't feel so bad about the paper planner now. That's too funny.

    I"m with you Kier. I keep the planner on top of the fridge. After a workout I scribble down my stats while I'm chugging my water. If I have to sit down at a computer or access a website, it's all over.

  6. Hal Higdon has a huge fan base. I guess I'm resistant because he's so mainstream? I feel like I need to be different? Don't ask me why, but I haven't been interested in his stuff. Maybe I need to revist it.

  7. I have Advanced Marathoning on my wish list for when it's time to train for my next marathon!

  8. I never realized how hard it was to get to 30 miles/week!! I used to run that much pre-kids but now 20 is plenty if I can get there. Great job!

  9. That's some great mileage! When I can finally run again, I'm going to be looking for a training plan. I want to run a couple of halfs still this year.

    Finding time in my day is hard - I can't imagine doing it with kids! I try to prep food (grains, lentils, chopped veggies, etc.) and get as many cores done as possible on Sundays so I don't have to worry about it after work.

  10. I like how you record your mileage. Does your watch do that or do you have one of those fancy smart phones everybody has but me? :)

    I am trying to be better with time management. I am using the flylady program to get my house in order. It works as long as I stay diligent on the program. The last couple of weeks I've faltered a bit and I pay for it on the weekends doing endless loads of laundry.

    It's always a work in progress.

  11. 30 miles is a solid week! And I think you're brilliant to squeeze in a few extra chores when you can. I try to do at least one "extra" household task each night, but it seems like things still pile up. Hope you find a great training plan!

  12. I record mine in a handwritten journal, too! I still find it easier than logging online to get it into Daily Mile, etc. I'll be curious to see what marathon plan you go with-- I only ran one, and combined a number to fit what I wanted- 4 days running with one long, 2 cross training days, not super high mileage (highest week was in the 40's) and it got me there feeling pretty strong.

  13. If I had 20-30 more minutes in a day I would definitely try to run more, although more sleep would be tempting also. :-)

  14. I just started reading Run Less Run Faster. As a mom of 3 year old twin boys, I like the idea of maximizing my workout time and eliminating the "junk miles".
    I just discovered your blog today :)