Tuesday, April 7, 2020

"No Racing" Doesn't Mean "No Training"

With the COVID-19 pandemic going around the world, all races have been canceled. No racing. I had two big races planned for April, including a Boston qualifier attempt. Oh well. Not anymore.

With no races, my motivation to train disappeared. For a bit. I ran every day. Short and easy. Just to stay active and minimize stress. But that got boring quickly. So, why not train? No racing doesn't mean no training. Right? In fact, this is a great time to test out new training methods. You have nothing to lose! In that spirit, I signed up for the McMillan half-marathon training plan via Garmin Connect (there are three coaches to select from). It's free. Only certain Garmin watches allow you to sign up and sync the workouts. My Garmin 645 watch is among them. So, I set a goal of 1:38 for a half-marathon "race" on June 20. I did a short benchmark workout, asked for 5 runs/week, and the 13-week plan was generated and synced to my watch. Easy. There are short videos and descriptions of the workouts to guide your training. My general training week looks like this:

Monday: off
Tuesday: Easy
Wednesday: Speed (intervals, strides, tempo, race pace, progression, etc)
Thursday: Easy
Friday: off
Saturday: Speed
Sunday: Long run

All of the workouts are based on time and pace. The paces are connected to my goal race time and the benchmark workout. Nice structure with lots of variability in the speed sessions. The watch tells me when I need to shift from one phase to another (warm-up to easy run to intervals to rest to cool down). Watch also monitors my pace and warns me when I'm too fast/slow. One thing that I do not like with these pace-based runs--they are not accurate on trails with hills and technical terrain. I'd prefer a power or heart rate based plan, but this is what I got! Good for now. Nice change for me. I already feel faster. Is that possible after just 2 weeks?


Democratic Tom said...

Keep on keepin on!

Chris Ⓥ said...

You got it Tom! Stay safe, stay healthy, keep running.