Mile Markers: Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training Week 8

Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training Week 8

Hi! How was your weekend? After a harder week of Lake Sammamish Half Marathon training and a busy week of work, volunteering, and appointments, Ryan and I both savored the pleasant early spring weather this weekend. 

This week ushered in the sharpening period of my training. Weeks 8, 9, 10, and 11 will be devoted to sharpening through half marathon specific workouts (lots of workouts at 10K, half marathon, and marathon pace) just in time for my half in early March, and week 12 will be a taper week. 

The truly remarkable aspect of this week’s training? Not a single run was done in the rain! Is this really Seattle?

Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training: Week 8

Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training Week 8

New to the blog? You can catch up on Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, and Week 7 of my training!

Monday: AM: 9 miles with 8 x (3 minutes at 10K effort, 2 minutes easy), 7:58/mile average; PM: 15 minutes of Pilates

I accidentally ran the fartlek intervals a bit faster in terms of pace, although my breathing and perceived effort felt appropriate, so I’m not sure if it means I’m actually getting faster or I still need to improve my sense of pacing. I intended to run around a 7:10-7:20/mile pace for the fast intervals, yet my mile splits averaged all around 7:35/mile which meant I had to be running a bit faster than 7:10/mile for the fast parts (since I took the easy intervals slow and easy). 

Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training Week 8

Tuesday: AM: 5 miles easy, 9:06/mile, plus 6 x 100m strides; PM: 20 minutes of strength training

This was just an ordinary easy run, split between paved paths and gravel trails. I added strides afterwards because I have been so neglectful of doing hill sprints that I decided to just do strides instead. A good rule of thumb in training: the best drills are the ones you will consistently do. 

Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training Week 8

After skipping any weight lifting for the past few weeks, I finally reincorporated strength training. I focused on doing total body exercises with 2 sets of 20 reps of: kettlebell swings, bridges, reverse lunges with weights, bicep curls to overhead press, and kettlebell rows. I finished it all up with a few minutes of foam rolling. 

I strength train because I know it has several benefits from preventing injury to building stronger bones, but sometimes it’s like flossing or eating spinach: I do it because I know it’s good for me, not because I always want to. Even though I don’t mind strength training once I actually do it, I often would rather just run and do Pilates rather than pick up a pair of weights. Although a weird part of me loves lunges. But when it comes to achieving goals, we sometimes have to do the things we don’t want to, right?

Wednesday: 11 miles with 4 miles at goal marathon pace and 4 miles at half marathon pace, 8:00/mile average pace

I mentioned this workout in Thursday’s Currently… post. It’s my primary sharpening workout for this training cycle, as I have a couple variations of it over the next few weeks. For the first time in a while, I used my Garmin 10 to gauge my pace for the marathon pace segment, and then switched to running by perceived effort (with my watch set to total time and distance) for the half marathon pace segment.

After a 2 mile warm up, I ran 7:54, 7:56, 7:54, and 7:58 for the marathon pace splits. These were a little too fast, but the effort felt moderate and sustainable at least. I took 1/2 mile to run easy and recover, and then ran 7:30, 7:25, 7:35, and 7:26 for my goal half marathon miles. My splits were a little uneven since I created a route that had me running into the wind (good practice just in case for race day!) but I’m still quite pleased with them.

Thursday: 5 miles easy, 9:50/mile

I began on the treadmill because I wanted a soft surface for a recovery run, but side stitches plagued me from almost the start. Since the treadmill sometimes throws off my form, I ditched it after three miles and opted to finish my run with Charlie. We headed out and ran a mile up a long hill and back down.

Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training Week 8

Friday: AM: 12 mile fartlek run, 8:23/mile; PM: 10 minute Pilates workout + push ups

One of the reasons I thrive on Hudson’s progression of workouts is because of love fartlek runs. A high volume speed work is too hard on my body to use for anything other than sharpening, but fartlek workouts add in just the right amount of speed and the focus on effort rather than split times is beneficial for my mind. 

Friday’s long run divided the run into thirds: 4 miles easy, 4 miles of alternating between 90 seconds at tempo effort and 90 seconds easy, and 4 miles easy. I have no idea what my pace was for the fartlek portions, as I ran them by effort, but my mile splits hovered in the 7:50-8:00 range for those miles. Running as the sun rose just added to the enjoyment of this run.

Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training Week 8

Saturday: 4 mile snowy hike

Ryan and I headed out to Annette Lake to enjoy one of our favorite trails with all the beauty and fun that hiking in the snow brings. Since the Cascades are under a mild avalanche warning, we left Charlie at home and only hiked halfway up the trail (there’s a few chutes in the second half). We couldn’t have made it much further than halfway as it was, since we only have microspikes and snowshoes were definitely necessary after a certain elevation. 

Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training Week 8

Sunday: Rest day

The formula for an ideal rest day: eat homemade coconut oil chocolate chip cookies, drink a beer (Sierra Nevada Hop Hunter IPA, go try it now), and work on exciting new projects for coaching

Run: 42 miles | Hike: 4 miles | 3 supplementary workouts

[Tweet “Half marathon training, the little things in #running, and snowy hikes via @thisrunrecipes #fitfluential #sweatpink #lakesammamishhalf “]

Do you run by pace or perceived effort?
How was your week of running?
What do you include to improve your training or overall health that you would skip otherwise?




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21 Responses

  1. Now that I do my strength training at home I don’t mind it as much. Especially during the winter, some days its easier to convince myself to go downstairs and lift weights than to bundle up to go outside and run. Sometimes it can be tough to get started but I always feel good by the end and usually do more than I planned! Great week of workouts!

    1. Thank you! That’s so awesome that you have a strength training gym in your basement! It is so much easier to get workouts done when they can be done at home – that’s why I love Pilates so much!

  2. I think I run by effort but that gets screwed up on the treadmill since I have to set it to a specific pace. Looks like I will be running indoors for the next several days. Ugh! I don’t mind the treadmill but it does throw off my form after a while and I miss the fresh air!

    1. That’s especially what’s so hard about doing easy runs on the treadmill! My easy run paces can be up to a minute per mile difference depending on the day. Hopefully the snow doesn’t stick too long this time and you can get some fresh air runs soon! 🙂

  3. I don’t even know what i will do when I start to come back. On the one hand, I’m so excited, on the other hand, I am scared. I don’t know what pace I will use, etc. I just need to look at myself as one of my clients!

  4. I do yoga to supplement my training and I don’t always like it. I’ve had some classes I like and others I didn’t like as much, honestly. Just depends on the instructor and style of class. Sometimes I love it but it’s a weird love/hate relationship, I guess. You had a lot of really good quality workouts this week… it definitely looks like a harder week of training but I think you’ll do really great with the half with how far along you already are!

    Hooray for no rain!

    1. Thank you! I totally understand that love/hate relationship with yoga. I go through phases where I do it and enjoy its benefits, but then I’ll avoid it for months because I just can’t. An instructor really does make all of the difference!

  5. I had a great week of running last week, partially I think because I was able to run outside again! For my 10K Saturday, I tried to focus more on effort, although I did pay attention to the pace on my Garmin. I want to start focusing on what my goal pace feels like, so I don’t have to stare at my watch all the time. I would probably skip lower body strength training (not my fave), but I do it because I know it’s super important for runners.

    1. That’s awesome you got to run outside! Those runs really are so much better, especially in winter time. Goal pace workouts are great for getting down that feel – by a few weeks of training, you know exactly how your breathing should sound!

  6. I almost always run by effort. I find it’s a much more constructive way to train. I always struggle the most on runs when I’m trying to hit a certain pace (aka MP practice).

    I too have been neglecting strength and like you, I feel so guilty about that because I know it’s good for me. When I’m consistently doing strength, I noticed that my running feels more efficient and faster paces feel like they take less effort because my legs feel a little stronger. And in addition to that, it just feels good. There’s this feeling I get when my muscles are a little spent from my planks and bridges that is unlike anything, even the feeling i get after a good run.

    Great job this week, as usual! You always seem to nail it in your training!

    1. I soooooo agree on consistent strength training helping with efficiency! I’m hoping this week to get back to two days of strength plus 2-3 days of Pilates. And thank you so much! Let’s hope I can nail the race this time! And good luck on your training this week!

    1. Oh it’s so hard to strength train after a run – food and just relaxing for a bit always seem to be calling! I split my workouts so I run in the morning and strength train in the evening. That way my body is fueled and rested for both workouts. I find that with strength training it’s finding what works best for you with when you do it – there’s no perfect time.

  7. You are getting FASTER Laura!!! Yeeeeeah!!! Okay so when you do 2 sets of 20 bridges, do you do anything fancy like lift a leg up or do you just do the simple bridge? And how long do you hold it for?

    1. Thanks, Suzy! I like to mix up my bridges to really make them effective, so this week I did 10 normal bridges (with about a 2-4 second hold at the top each time) and then 5 single leg bridges on each side to get to 20. If I’m really feeling like getting a burn, I do 2 x 20 single leg bridges (10 per leg). My Pilatesology videos have bridges with single leg kicks that are great for stability and strength also, so sometimes I’ll do 2 x 20 (10 per leg) of those.

  8. It sounds like a really good week for you. I normally run by effort because some days a certain pace can feel better/worse. I think it’s important not to get too focused on a single number.

    1. Thank you! I agree so much with not getting focused on a single number – so many things like wind, rain, and temperature can affect that, and somedays it’s just not what our bodies feel up to.

  9. Aw! Your doggie has a snaggletooth! Or maybe it’s just in that picture? So cute! I’ve been trying to run my HM pace runs based on effort, but it’s still very much a work in progress for me. Running by effort and not being a slave to my Garmin is one of my big running goals.

    1. Thank you! He does have a snaggletooth – it’s so adorable! Running by effort was one of my goals for this training cycle and it definitely becomes easier with time – and it’s more fun and relaxing, I find!

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