CIM Training Week 1

CIM Training Week 1

The first week of training for the California International is complete! Overall, the first week of training was good, although there’s always an odd feeling during the first week – it does not quite feel like marathon training yet. 

The heat wave ended and by Monday, temperatures were crisp and in the low to mid 50s during the mornings, which made for ideal running weather.  I am in denial about the shortening daylight, however. We enjoy long daylight hours in summer, with sunrise before 5 AM and sunset well after 9 PM, both further drawn out by long dawns and twilights. When fall comes, the daylight rapidly decreases. At the start of August, sunrise was at 5:45 AM; by the end of August, the sun will not rise until 6:30 AM. By the end of September, we only have daylight from 7 AM to 7 PM. I’ve become quite fond of doing most of my runs before 6:30 AM, but I just don’t know how long that can continue (in Seattle, you take all the vitamin D you can get). For now, I’m savoring those early morning runs! 

CIM Training Week 1

Monday: 7 mile progression run

Ollie and I started our run shortly before dawn. Before adopting Ollie, I was so hesitant to run alone in the dark, but Ollie’s company and his minorly intimidating presence made me feel comfortable with an early run. We ran 4 miles at an easy effort, up and down 250 feet of elevation gain, and then did a progression run on flat and slightly downhill for the last 3 miles. Our splits were 8:11, 7:39, and 7:21 for those 3 miles. 

CIM Training Week 1

Tuesday: 6 mile easy run

I savor those easy runs that fly by because of company and conversation. Ryan and I chatted away during the entire run while Ollie attempted to indulge his hunting dog fantasies. He has not caught anything yet (thank goodness!), but his eyes twinkle whenever a rabbit crosses our path.

CIM Training Week 1

After the run, I did a quick core workout: planks with leg lifts, side planks, banded clamshells, single leg bridges, and dead bugs. 

Wednesday: 7 mile fartlek

The first speed workout back is one of the hardest parts of marathon training, even with some workouts during the base building period. It feels like pulling off a band-aid – uncomfortable and you just want to get it over with. During the run, the hard intervals felt simultaneously so hard, as if I didn’t have another gear, and not hard enough, as if I knew I could push harder but something was blocking me. 

The workout:
15 minutes easy running
5 x 3 minutes hard, 2 minutes easy
4 x 1 minute very hard, 1 minute easy
Easy running until 7 miles

CIM Training Week 1

I could not reach my goal paces, which I had hit in a similar workout back in April. My paces were probably only 10 or 15 seconds per mile off, but we know how big a gap those few seconds can be. These workouts happen – if they happen consistently, it indicates a loss of fitness, but for my first time hard interval workout in months, I’ll take it. 

Thursday: 35 minutes strength training

Ryan and I dragged our groggy selves to the gym at 5:30 AM. Usually, I am wide awake and chipper by 5:30 AM, but Ollie vomited in the middle of the night and it took me a while to fall back asleep. I warmed up with 5 minutes of walking on the treadmill and a quick series of mobility drills (clamshells, side lying leg lifts, fire hydrants, donkey kicks), before completing the following workout:

3 sets:
8 per leg offset kettlebell reverse lunges
35 m bear crawl
8 per leg kettlebell single leg deadlifts
8 triceps pulldowns
8 stability ball ab tucks
8 stability ball hamstring curls
2 sets:
5 assisted pull-ups
10 lateral band walks

CIM Training Week 1


Friday: 6 mile easy run

Ryan and I took both pups out on an easy 6 mile run. Runs with both dogs have to be easy runs, since we stop at least once per mile for a puppy potty break. 

Saturday: 13 mile long run

Ryan and I tackled a hilly route for his first 13 mile long run. He ran strong throughout the entire run and finished under two hours – a 9:00/mile flat pace! We both had to hold back on the pace throughout the middle of the run, when we kept settling into an 8:30/mile and then having to rein it back in. 

CIM Training Week 1

Since doing some low carb training runs (a snack before but nothing except water during the run) worked so well for me when training for last year’s CIM, I opted to not take any type of fuel on this run. I finished feeling really strong, although I will say the bagel was had after the run tasted even better than usual.

Sunday: 30 minutes Pilates 

I spent a few minutes in the morning focusing on recovery, with some foam rolling and a Pilates workout focused on core strength and alignment. 

We took Ollie and Charlie on a play date to Marymoor with some friends and their dog. We spent a few hours chasing around the dogs and walking a couple miles around the park. Per usual, Ollie swam until he was quaking from either endorphins or fatigue. 

How was your week in running?
What’s the hardest part about starting up a new training cycle for you?

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19 Responses

  1. I have to agree that the first speed workout of a new training cycle is hard. I think it can just be intimidating to start paying attention to pace for the first time in awhile, Looks like you had a really solid first week of marathon training!

    1. Thank you! And you are right – it is so intimidating to pay attention to pace like that, especially since my last race time meant new training paces that honestly intimidate me a bit!

  2. Part of the reason I wanted a dog to run with was for the early morning runs before the sun comes up! It’s nice to have a partner on those, right? I’m looking forward to that with Star in the fall!
    I’m glad you were so honest about not hitting your paces. It’s no surprise this is your starting point (happens to me too!) and I think it’s important to share that aspect of training – you don’t start out speedy but you build it over the course of your training.
    Great work on that 13 miler!!! I’m looking forward to going longer myself in preparation for my half in Nov!

    1. It is so nice to have a partner on this runs! Heelers and weims are fiercely loyal, which makes them so protective and comforting on those early mornings. You will love running with her in the fall mornings! And thank you for the encouragement!

  3. Hooray for a great kickoff to training! And boom to nailing that pace overall, even if you were a little over it in spots. The hardest part for me about starting up my training cycle is not doing too much just because I can.

  4. I’m glad you had a good week. I’m extremely jealous of your weather; I honestly don’t remember my last run when it was below 80 or the humidity and dew point weren’t sky high. I’m not sure what people here would do with temperatures in the 50s (besides wear clothes like running tights, that no one in Charleston has any business owning, lol). You had a great week of training with lots of tough runs and some easy ones which is really good! Best wishes with the whole CIM cycle and looking forward to seeing how it goes!

    1. Thank you! Our humidity is high, but I will say that it’s not as awful as the same humidity when it’s hot. If it’s anything, I see people out here running in tights when it’s in the 50s, even though 50s are a three-season temperature out here! Tights are for when it’s below freezing lol.

  5. Congrats on a great first week! I agree that the first few weeks of training feel odd.

    You guys managed to hit exactly 13.00 miles in exactly 1:57:00 for an exact 9:00 pace? That’s….kind of incredible, lol.

    We’re not all lucky enough to have your weather, so I’m cheering the shortening daylight because it means summer is almost over and fall is on the way.

    1. Thank you! I thought it was funny also how even the paces were… it’s as much of a statistical likelihood as hitting any other combination of time and distance, but it just seemed so odd yet satisfying. I think everyone in Seattle is still trying to get over last year’s rainy season (November to June) where we’re all collectively dreading fall a bit, but I do know how it’s welcome in the Midwest!

  6. So for your training this year, are all your workouts faster than last year’s? All your goal paces for tempo, etc? It’s going to be really neat for you to be able to compare the training side by side!

    1. They are faster (I reassess my training paces after each race and my 10K time made everything faster), but I’m also doing different workouts this time around to add a new stimulus in that way as well. Still, some runs are the same and it will be interesting to compare!

  7. Awesome great first week of training! I’m consistently not hitting tempo paces but my track paces are similar or sometimes better than the spring. The 70 degree mornings doesn’t help- plus I know I lost some fitness with my 6 week running break.

    Yay for week one done!

    1. Thank you! I am the opposite – I can nail tempo paces but fall short on intervals. I can imagine those 70 degree mornings don’t make it easier – I hope you get some respite from the heat soon!

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