Weekly Workout Report: October 22-28

A gorgeous week of running again as I finished off my second week of training for the Reindeer Run 10K. Just one speedwork run this week but I ran a double digit long run for the first time since July. Let’s get into it!

Monday, October 22

I love that my Monday weights session includes a lot of exercises that challenge my balance like single leg deadlifts. It feels so great when I can add on weights like I did today!

Plus spin class didn't feel as bad as I thought it would after the tough runs this weekend. I had the resistance down a little bit more and was able to put on a little bit of speed.

Tuesday, October 23

3.28 miles ~ 30:01 ~ 9:09 min/mile

Gorgeous fall day for a run but I just felt a little bit off on my tempo run. Averaged a 9:09 pace but my form felt off and hips tight. Hopefully some extra mobility work helps out!

Wednesday, October 24

3 miles ~ 29:00 ~ 9:39 min/mile

An easy three miles today, felt so much better than yesterday's tempo run! My hips felt looser than the day before and I could tell my running form was back to normal.

Thursday, October 25

One more sweaty cross training day of weights and treadmill hill intervals. I'm so ready for some food and thankfully Mike was just finishing up dinner as I got done!

Friday, October 26

Rest day and I was so worn out. After doing a quick vinyasa flow that felt great in coordinating my breathe with the movements, I worked on making a cheesecake to bring up to my parents’ the next day and took an epsom salt bath. Just what I needed on a rest day!

Saturday, October 27

5 miles ~ 51:15 ~ 10:14 min/mile

A nice, easy run on a foggy morning. Felt great and I got in some good mobility work in after!

Sunday, October 28

10 miles ~ 1:40:46 ~ 10:04 min/mile

A nice easy long run along the river and through the University of Minnesota campus. I haven't run double digits since July but it felt really good to just keep running!

Followed it up with a 10 minute core session and mobility work at the gym.

Weekly Effort Summary from Strava

My weekly effort was down from last week, not surprising since I only had one speedwork session and even though my long run was longer it didn’t have as much elevation change. After feeling the tightness in my hips Tuesday and being so worn out on Friday, I know I need to keep on focusing on my recovery and mobility work.


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Oatmeal Runner Reviews...Strava Analysis Pack

I’ve been using the Strava Analysis pack for over a month (I’m out of my free trial) and I have some first thoughts on it. Obviously, I’m paying for a year’s subscription for it now but I’m not still convinced it’s a must-have for me at this point. I can see where it would have been super useful during marathon training and I’m always looking at my stats post-run and week over week right. I’m really convinced this is a feature that will be more useful over time, especially when it comes to monitoring my fitness level over time and avoiding over (or under) training.

Weekly effortfor the week of October 15-21

Weekly effortfor the week of October 15-21

The Analysis is one of three different subscription level packs that Strava offers (the other are training and safety) and was the one I thought would be the most useful because I’m not training for any major races in the next year or so and I use the RoadID app for safety while running. Here’s what this pack includes:

  • Relative Effort: Track your efforts across sport types

  • Workout Analysis: Visualize pace zones and lap data

  • Live Segments: Get segment performance in real time

  • Heart Rate Analysis: Train smarter with a heart rate monitor

  • Power Analysis: Collect and analyze power meter data

  • Fitness and Freshness: Monitor your fitness over time

Out of those, I am checking relative ffort, workout analysis and heart rate analysis most often. All three of those are available in the app and I rarely check check Strava on a desktop (which is the only place the fitness and freshness feature is). Plus you get deals from brands and retailers and priority support (neither of which I have used).

One big thing that this pack has done is given me a better understanding of the heart rate data I’m collecting. Garmin doesn’t do a great job of this (for the Forerunner 25 at least, I’m sure you get more data if you are using a watch that is constantly taking your heart rate) so it’s really nice to once again have that data visually interpreted for me. It helps me see at a glance my effort level and if I might need to do some extra mobility and recovery work.

Heart rate zone analysis from my 10K pace run on October 20

Heart rate zone analysis from my 10K pace run on October 20

As you might have noticed earlier in September, seeing my week over week effort level also helped me make the decision to cut out a run in favor of a second cross training day. It’s interesting to see how my cross training workouts have less of an impact on my heart rate and effort level even though I feel like I have some tough parts of these workouts. Overall, my average heart rate is lower than runs and I can tell I recover a bit quicker from my cross training days than a tough speedwork run.

Workout analysis (pace versus elevation) for my trail run on October 21

Workout analysis (pace versus elevation) for my trail run on October 21

This has helped keep my effort level in the steady progress and not run into the “above weekly range” which could lead to overtraining. It’s a nice way to check in and try to stop problems before they happen, especially since at anytime I can check in for how my weekly progress is going.

I think my big takeaway from this pack is that it is going to be more helpful the longer I use it and see how my training progresses through the seasons. I’m a big data person and the visuals on this are great for checking out how I’m doing at a glance. And as I get more used to checking my stats on Strava and understanding what the different charts and graphs mean (I’m still going into some help sections to figure out what I’m looking at), I know this pack is going to get more useful. And I’ve got an entire year to get even more out of the analysis pack!


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Training Tips Tuesday #37: Pushing the Edges of Comfort

After running my weekday runs last week under a 10 minute pace, and it feeling pretty easy, I’m feeling like I need to start pushing the edges of what’s comfortable with my easy runs. I feel like I have recovered from marathon training and my body is ready to make some more progress even though I’m not training for a race.

And it makes sense that, even though last week I was running in 80 degree weather, sub-10 minute miles felt easy because the entire summer I was basically doing base building without even realizing it. I had consistent workouts for at least 10 weeks before I added in some speedwork and even after I added in speedwork, my easy runs were still very easy feeling. My body felt decreasingly sore after runs during the summer and I can tell my form has improved.

Since I’m not training for a race, it’s a little bit harder to push myself because I don’t have a specific goal in mind for my runs. But now I’m thinking about increasing my weekday non-speedworks to four miles and maybe doing a 10 mile long run every once in a while. I’m hoping to still keep up a faster pace on these runs so I continue to see improvement in my running.

This change also means I need to pay more attention to how I’m recovering and how I’m feeling after runs. It means I might need to take some cutback weeks to keep seeing improvements. And it will mean after 10-12 weeks of working harder, I’ll take a step back and do some base building again (or there might be some life changes that cause this to happen sooner). Either way, I’m excited to start pushing my run for the first time without training for a race. Since I’ve been doing basically back to back race training for so long, I don’t feel like I’ve really seen this much improvement in my pace in such a short amount of time!


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Weekly Running Report: September 10-16

I started off this week really excited to be training and see the heart rate feedback from Strava and start doing some more analysis. But by the time I got to Friday, I was excited just to see how much faster I’m running this week even with the heat. Let’s get into it!

Monday, September 10

I rocked my strength training and spin class tonight! Both were tough (plus I did a new workout on the NTC app) but I felt great afterward. In need of carbs (thankfully Mike had a protein smoothie waiting for me at home), but great.

I was surprised looking at my heart rate data afterwards that my heart rate didn’t get as high as I felt it did but it’s probably really good for me to get in some moderate heart rate cardio in during the week.


Tuesday, September 11

3.1 miles ~ 30:03 ~ 9:42 min/mile

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Even with the temperature being in the low 80s and my legs/glutes being so sore from yesterday's workouts, I feel like this was pretty awesome tempo run. The speed up section could have been a little bit better but again, heat and soreness made it tougher than usual. I need to get in some foam rolling post-strength training and not just rely on stretching.

Wednesday, September 12

3 miles ~ 29:16 ~ 9:44 min/mile

Well, I wasn't expecting a sub-10 minute pace or the fact that it wouldn't feel that hard. But that happened! I was still feeling soreness from Monday’s workouts but I just went by what felt good in my legs.

Thursday, September 13

3 miles ~ 29:54 ~ 9:56 min/mile

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Another speedy run to close out the week! Even though it was 84, this pace didn't feel that hard. However, looking back at my heart rate data, I was pushing harder on this run than on Wednesday’s even though I had a slower average pace.

I can't wait to see how it feels once we get into the 50s!

Friday, September 14

Since I’d been running hard most of the week and did a new strength training workout on Monday, I picked a 20 minute yoga for tight legs video to do after work. Other than that video, I took it easy and just tried to get in my 12,500 steps to make it a nice recovery day.

Saturday, September 15

5 miles ~ 47:22 ~ 9:27 min/mile

I was feeling good Saturday morning and started off the run with a quick first mile (9:00). I decided to pull back a little bit but wanted to find out if I could hold a faster pace for these five miles after running fast all week. My splits were up and down (with my slowest being a 10:02 minute mile) but it averaged out to a 9:27 average pace.

It’s just amazing that even with the heat and humidity, I’m running faster all of a sudden. And I’m thinking part of that is just my mental state around my running now that I’m not racing (more of this to come in this week’s Training Tip Tuesday).

Sunday, September 16

8 miles ~ 1:20:03 ~ 9:59 min/mile

Another run of trying to push my comfort zone and run a little bit faster. This run felt so good, I explored new places and saw lots of dogs! All of my miles were around 9:50-10 minute pace, with the two other ones being around 10:15. And my heart rate data proved that I was working hard, I spent 50 minutes of this run in zone 3 (tempo) and the rest in zone 2 (moderate) but not so hard that I was pushing myself into race pace effort for the distance.

Weekly Effort Summary from Strava

Since is the first week I have heart rate data for my cross-training workouts (weights and spin class), I’m not sure how much it compares to past weeks for weekly effort. But it is showing that I worked harder than past weeks (which my paces show) and I’ve ramped up my effort this week. Even if this isn’t exactly true if I had more heart rate data for past weeks, I will be paying attention to my body this week and doing some extra recovery if needed.

I already did some extra recovery to finish off this week with my monthly massage on Sunday. My right side was feeling a bit off, especially my trapezius muscle on that side, so it felt good to get some extra attention paid to that. So we’ll see how I feel in the upcoming week and add in extra stretching or slow down on my runs as needed!


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