Training weekly no. 19: Strength week 3/6

Have I said that I’m LOVING marathon training at the moment? I’m really enjoying the balance between running and gym work, and with a lack of pressure to run fast, I’m even finding that my old tempo pace is feeling weirdly comfortable. I’m having to work really hard at being patient as I just want to jump straight back into racing. I know in the long run, I’ll benefit from a winter of strength work and base miles though, so here’s how this week shaped up.

Monday

30 mins single leg strength/control session

I started this week like the last few, with a strong coffee and a 6am gym session for some single leg control work. Here’s what I did this week:

3 rounds of: 5x reverse lunge immediately into a single leg hop onto a 19 inch box with single leg landing. 20 single leg calf raises. 10 single leg deadlift through to heel raise with 5KG dumbbell.

3 rounds of: 10x 17.5KG barbell clean to catch with 1 leg on box, immediate step up with barbell in front squat position, each leg (an absolute killer!) 10x 5KG single leg hamstring swings to overhead catch each leg. 10 single leg squat with free leg reaching laterally.

Finisher- 10x each leg box top single leg step up jumps.

I’ve actually written a separate blog post on the types of exercises I’ve been doing in this session as I’ve been asked a few times now.

Tuesday

Easy run- 6.39 miles in 53 mins 57 seconds (average 8.26mm pace)

30 mins pilates

It’s that time of year where you have to abandon all of your usual routes to find ones with better lighting, which is how I ended up running around Christchurch for 10k. I’m still finding 8.30 pace really comfortable, which is just as well as I was cutting this run fine to get home in time for the Great British Bake Off final!

I also did a 30 mins core strengthening session whilst watching the women’s artistic gymnastics World Championships. It made me realise how watered down my strengthening exercises are.

Wednesday

30 mins stretching

Just a quiet mid week stretching session (again whilst catching up on the men’s all around final from the World Champs…. in fact from now on, just assume that most of my week has been taken up with this!)

Thursday

30 mins grit strength

Easy run- 4.18 miles in 35 mins 11 seconds (average 8.24mm pace)

It never ceases to amaze me how I can go from sleeping to squat pressing in about 18 minutes flat (and that includes getting to the gym!) I did this session with 15KG on the bar, but probably need to get brave and up that next week. It’s just hard to persuade your legs that’s a good idea at 6 in the morning.

Thursday’s always used to be my double day, and as I didn’t run on Wednesday I decided to do an easy 4 miles in the evening after work. My legs are still feeling surprisingly good, which is probably another sign that I still need to up the strength work.

Friday

6 miles with 6×2 minute hill repeats in 54 mins 24 seconds (Average 9.04mm pace)

I hadn’t really planned this session, but I was very aware that I’m almost 3 weeks into the strength training phase of my plan, and hill reps have yet to make an appearance. I didn’t run the repeats flat out, firstly because they were 2 minutes long and secondly because I haven’t ran hills for months so I thought I’d build back steadily.

Other than the people waiting at the bus stop thinking I was every so slightly (okay, a lot) mad, I’m quite happy with this session. I forgot to stop my watch at the end, so my average times were probably a bit faster than they looked. I also ran a sub 8 easy mile home afterwards which was a surprise.

Saturday

30 mins barre class, 30 mins spinning, 30 mins grit cardio

I think this was the hardest session of the week. Barre was mostly just fun. It was a different instructor this week and it was more of an adult ballet class. I missed the performance aspect of the barre release and I have absolutely no idea what ballet terminology means, so I went with my best option and hid at the back!

Spin was fast and furious and all about hill climbs, then grit cardio was an old release, and it was BRUTAL. The intervals are a lot shorter, so you were working flat out with shorter recoveries too. I’d forgotten how much I despise those 180 turning surfer jump things! I genuinely had to sit in my car for 15 minutes before I’d recovered enough to drive home. And all before 9am!

Sunday

Long run: 10.02 miles in 1 hour 26 mins and 22 seconds (Average 8.37mm pace)

It feels like ages since I’ve done a Sunday long run. I won’t lie, it wasn’t the most enjoyable. My legs were tired from Saturday, and it was raining. A lot. That said, coming home to a hot shower and a roast dinner definitely made it worth it. The perks of winter training!

The picture below is an epic fail of me trying to time a jump with the 10 second count down on my phone. I was too cold to try again, so I’m afraid that is as good as it gets! A for effort, D for attainment- at best!

I’ve really enjoyed this week. I finally feel like I’ve settled back into the swing of some proper training. I also watched the NYC marathon on Sunday and it was impossible not to be motivated by the elite race. I’m so inspired at the minute, not to mention desparate give myself every chance of getting to the London start line in April in a position to attack a sub 3.30. That’s what got me out of the door this morning in the torrential rain!

What’s your motivation?

Anyway, it’s Sunday evening (again!!) and I have a date with a lush bath bomb, so I’m going to say goodbye for now. Hope you’ve had a great week, and see you in the next!

Hannah x



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