Lake Sammamish Half 2017 Training Week 4

Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training Week 4

As I write this, I feel the effects of a good training week: tired muscles and a satisfied mind. I oscillate in my opinion of whether marathon or half marathon training is my favorite. While I stubbornly refuse to give up hiking during fall marathon training, I do appreciate how winter half marathon training balances so well with my favorite winter sports. 

Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training Week 4

Monday: 7 mile fartlek

I considered resting on Monday after snowboarding, but less falling meant feeling less banged up. I really wanted to get in two hard runs plus a long run this week, and going hard on Monday and Wednesday works best for my long run on Friday. 

Unfortunately, Monday morning was another icy morning. Rather than gamble with whether or not the paved trail would be icy, I opted for the treadmill since I wanted to get in a speed workout. 

Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training Week 4

The workout:
20 minute warm up
Pyramid fartlek: 1-2-3-2-1-2-3 minutes hard with equal time active recovery between each interval
Cool down to 7 miles

I never go as fast on the treadmill as I do outside. Maybe I’m subconsciously limiting myself, maybe I’m afraid of flying off the belt, or maybe it’s just that any given pace always feels harder on the treadmill to me. I ran a 6:40-6:49/mile (8.8-9.0 mph) for the hard intervals.

By the end of the day, the hard long run on Saturday, snowboarding on Sunday, and speed workout on Monday caught up with me. I felt tired and a little achy. 

Tuesday: Rest day

Complete rest. My Garmin angrily buzzed at me all day, urging me to get me my normally high count daily steps. I didn’t even do Pilates or any strength training; I just rested and recovered. That recovery is just as important as hard workouts in training, and I know I see the best results when I rest from running and hiking/winter sports once per week – whether that’s Pilates or complete rest. 

Wednesday: 8 mile tempo run

The rest day did my mind and body good; I was ready to run hard on Wednesday. I have really been enjoying tempo intervals lately and so I opted for a tempo interval workout rather than a continuous tempo run. There’s still a few weeks until my half marathon anyway, so I have plenty of time to do those long continuous race pace runs. 

The workout:
2.25 mile warm up
3 x 10 minutes at tempo effort with 2 minute recovery jog 
1.25 mile cool down 

I gauged this workout by perceived exertion and aimed for a solid tempo run effort: comfortably hard but sustainable. The paces surprised me! I ran 7:11, 7:11, and 7:05/mile paces for the three intervals. This was also the run where a rooster chased me during my cooldown!

Thursday: 3 miles easy + 30 minutes strength training

Ryan and I ran three easy miles early in the morning. I love our recovery runs for both the company and for how relaxing they are. We maintain a light, conversational effort the whole time, which is so much easier and more enjoyable when you actually have someone to talk to and aren’t just slogging out those slow miles by yourself. 

Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training Week 4

My strength training was a bit of a hodgepodge. I did 15 minutes of exercises with the medicine ball and resistance band – lunges, single leg deadlifts, squats, pullovers, push ups, and band walks – and 10 minutes of Pilates with the toning ring. 

Friday: 13 mile long run

I headed out for my long run earlier than normal and enjoyed a beautiful sunrise! I ran along a rolling hills route for this long run, which is both confidence building when I average a good pace, like I did for this run, and humbling because those hills always feel hard at the end of a long run. 

Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training Week 4

This was also my longest long run since the Cal International Marathon, and with each long run, I feel better, stronger, and more refreshed. 

Saturday: 6 mile easy run

Ryan, Ollie, and I explored a new route, which was hilly! I checked my Garmin data after the run, and we climbed 100 feet more than I did on my long run – and covered less than twice the distance. We had so much fun on our run and then we also had a sleepy Labraheeler for the remainder of the day. 6 miles is now Ollie’s personal distance record! Charlie, meanwhile, got some much-needed puggle alone time. 

Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training Week 4

After our run, I did a quick core routine of planks, side planks with knee-ins, single leg birds, bird dogs, and push ups. Ollie tried to snuggle up against me the entire time, which while a little annoying was so adorable. 

Sunday: 2.5 hour snowshoeing

Originally, we had planned to get up early and snowshoe in the backcountry. But as soon as I woke up, I knew I wanted a bit more relaxing time and an easier workout. After a leisurely cup of coffee and breakfast, we headed out to snowshoe at the cross-country ski trails. The Nordic Ski Center includes groomed trails and off-shoot, more rugged trails, so we adventured out a little bit more. 

Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training Week 4

We covered 5 miles of snowshoeing, plus breaks for lunch and enjoying the mountain views. I really, really love snowshoeing and spending time in the mountains.  A good week of running finished up by a long snowshoeing trek was exactly what I needed this week. 

Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training Week 4

How do you know you’ve had a good week of running?
What’s your favorite race distance to train for?
How was your week in running?



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20 Responses

  1. I dont think I have trained specifically for a half marathon since 2012- which is crazy now that I type that out! I love marathon training but I can see how training for a half could be just as good or even better. Great job with your training this week!

  2. Favorite race distance to train for you know is the marathon for me. I just adore it. Those long runs, those long tempos, nothing feels rushed, and it is all about accountability, recovery, and proactiveness. HEART

  3. Congrats on another awesome week of workouts. I enjoy seeing your speed sessions and tempo workouts and how you’re structuring them. Beautiful pic for your long run! Have a great week of training this upcoming week. xo

  4. Awesome work this week, Laura!!! I am not really sure what my favorite distance to train for is. ? Typically, I would say the half has been my favorite distance because I have to train, but it does not consume too much time.

    1. Thank you! I like how the half isn’t time consuming as well. I don’t think I could do more than 1-2 marathons per year because I like time to do other activities as well!

  5. I love that your treadmill has a view of a pool. I think it’s funny that when you’re stuck inside on it, you see a swimming pool and it reminds you of summer (side note: I don’t know how anyone could swim outside in Seattle, it was freezing when I went this summer).

    You had a great week of workouts too. Like others said, I love seeing how you structure it with a nice balance of easy vs. hard and also a mixture of the other activities you enjoy like hiking and snowshoeing and taking your dog on runs!

    1. Thank you! I’m really enjoying making the hard days count and then being more laidback on the easy days and having fun with it. That pool is heated also, so sometimes I’ll see people in it even in winter!

  6. I love training for half marathons because I feel like I can actually get faster. I am training for marathon #2 now and am enjoying it , but I always get so nervous about the possibility of injury. Looks like a nice week of workouts for you!

    1. Half marathons are easier to get faster in and less risk of injury! I agree, the marathon mileage can be intimidating just for how much it can wear and tear. And thank you!

  7. I’ve been all about breaking my tempo into intervals lately too… I need to start doing longer tempos soon but those paces sometimes intimidate me! I love that you got to go snow shoeing… how fun!!

    1. Tempo intervals are such a fun workout! I think they have the same physiological benefit…but it’s the mental benefit of those long tempos that’s important for racing. I have those longer tempos coming up soon! I worry about peaking too early so I try to save those for closer to the race.

  8. Hi neighbor!

    I’m really enjoying your blog. I was like oh cool she’s doing the same half marathon as me (Sammamish), then I realized from the picture above that we live in the same apartment complex! Small world 😀

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Hi neighbor! I’m so happy to meet someone at the apartment who is a reader! It is a small world indeed. I hope your training goes well and please ask me if you have any questions!

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