Valpo Half Marathon Training Weeks 3 & 4

Valpo Half Marathon Training Weeks 3 & 4

August flew by so quick. Suddenly I am about one third of the way through my training, and less than a month from our wedding!

Half marathon training weeks three and four required lots of flexibility in scheduling my runs, especially with the stormy weather we have been experiencing around here and our recent trip to the hot and humid St. Louis. However, I still managed to get in most of my miles, especially in my key workouts.

Weekly Eats Aug 30
After running in the humidity, fresh and cool berries taste so good.


Week three was probably the biggest challenge, since our trip to St. Louis and the heat warning there was not optimal for a Saturday long run. Instead of skipping a run, I chose to run five days in a row.

Monday, August 18:
Speedwork: 6 x 4 minutes hard, averaged about 7.15-7.30 for the repeats. It was super humid out this morning, so my pace slowed a bit as the workout progressed. I warmed up with 2 miles easy plus 4 strides and cooled down for 1 mile, for a total of 7 miles in 59:30.

Tuesday, August 19:
Another stormy day meant running on the treadmill. 4 miles easy in 38 minutes. I also did some stability ball and bodyweight strength work including lunges, bridge, push-ups, and squats.

Wednesday, August 20:
Goal pace tempo: 5 miles in 42 minutes. 1 mile warm-up, 3 miles at a 7.45-7.55, 1 mile cool-down. Tempo runs present a challenge but I always enjoy them, and this one was no exception.

Garmin 10

Thursday, August 21:
More storms, so once again an easy run on the treadmill. Since I was skipping my usual rest day, I decided to run five miles instead of seven. I felt like I could have kept going, but I wanted to save my legs for the next day’s long run. 5 miles with a 1.5% incline in 48 minutes. I also did some Pilates to strengthen and stretch my muscles.

Friday, August 22:
Flooding at the park foiled my plans to do my whole long run outside. 7 miles on the treadmill with a 2% incline, 2 miles outside with Charlie, for a total of 9 miles with an average pace of 9.20. Not the best long run, but I got it done. I marvel during this run how I used to run on the treadmill for 10-12 miles without getting immensely bored.

Weekly total: 30 miles, with 3 miles at goal pace and 24 minutes (~3.25 miles) around 5K pace.

Chicken, cauliflower brown rice, and salad. Proper nutrition is important during training.
Chicken, cauliflower brown rice, and salad. Proper nutrition is important during training.


Week four was a recovery week, which was good considering the high humidity and stormy weather we had this week.

Monday, August 25:
6 mile progression run, 52:51. I started at an easy 9.09 pace, then settled into the 8.40s-8.50s, and cranked up my speed in the final miles to 8.18 min/mile.

Tuesday, August 26:
Treadmill Tuesday is becoming a thing around here. 4 miles easy with 1.5% incline while listening to podcasts. I also did my usual stability ball and bodyweight strength training circuit in the afternoon.

Wednesday, August 27:
7.1 miles, 63 minutes. Also did some walking with the puppy, probably about 2-3 miles total.

Thursday, August 28:
Much needed rest day – Pilates, stability ball and strength training, and about 3.2 miles worth of walking.

Friday, August 29:
4 miles easy, ~ 36 minutes, followed by some much needed foam rolling.

Saturday, August 30:
10 miles, 1:27:08. 4 miles were supposed to be at goal half-marathon pace (8.10-8.20). Despite the harsh humidity, I managed to keep a decent pace, although not as fast as other goal pace runs. I am really ready for fall weather – the humidity caused me to struggle a bit during the later miles. Ryan came to the park for his run during my last three miles, which really cheered me up and kept me motivated during the last hard miles. He’s my favorite running buddy, and even if we weren’t running together, it made me happy to see him each loop around the track! 

Garmin FR 10


Weekly total: 31 miles, with 4 miles at goal half marathon pace.

So far, I have been sticking closely to the plan, despite some alterations due to travel. It felt good to follow the week with five consecutive days of running plus lots of time in a car with a recovery week. Hopefully the weather will cool down soon in the next few weeks and make goal pace and speed work less difficult. I am so done with humidity!

These past few weeks, however, I was not as good about strength and flexibility training, but some is better than nothing. I need to emphasize Pilates and foam rolling to help my body recover, especially as my mileage continues to increase over the next few week. 

Beer, the best recovery drink.
Beer, the best recovery drink.

 Questions of the day:

Have you had any great runs lately? 

What’s your favorite post-run food? 

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2 Responses

  1. Looks like you got in a couple of really solid training weeks in spite of some (wet!) challenging conditions! We are in a major drought here in California, I don’t remember what it’s like to have to alter my plans for rain!

    PS Those strawberries have me craving strawberries now!

    1. Glad to have you reading, and thanks! That’s unfortunate about the drought in CA 🙁 . It’s really all the lightening and risks for flash flooding that make me have to alter my plans – sometimes running in a light rain is nice, especially at the end of summer.

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