Day 22 Of 36 – Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Training Plan

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Nothing special about today’s run. A rather simple 4.5 miles (on the treadmill) at an easy 10:00 pace. I was curious to see what my heart rate would be (since I benchmarked this run a couple weeks ago).

Since I don’t get the GPS splits when running on the treadmill, I have to just look at the overall average and try to guess the trend.

Today’s average heart rate was 142, compared to the 151 two weeks ago. This is definitely an improvement. How much of one? I don’t really know. But it was quite an easy run and my HR was fairly steady throughout (although it did creep up from roughly 140-ish for the first mile or two, to maybe 146 or so by the end.

And oh yeah, day 22 of 36 is 61% done with the training plan. This plan actually ends a couple of weeks before the Navy/Air Force Half Marathon so I’m not sure exactly how I’m going to handle that. Maybe do week 9 twice and week 10 twice so I can do the recommended amount of tapering. We’ll see.



Day 21 Of 36 – Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Training Plan

Screenshot from 2014-07-20

Day 21 of 36, the Sunday long run was a pretty good effort. We had just gotten back from vacation the night before but I was ready to run. I didn’t wuss out by driving to the Indian Head Rail Trail to run on a flat path, but instead opted to do the 6+ mile loop outside my neighborhood. This is the “Maxwell Hall” loop I typically bike around.

As you can see from the elevation in the Training Peaks screenshot above, there are a couple of big hills on this run. I think I was trying to keep my heart rate at the 75-80% level which is about 145 to 155. I pretty much failed at this and my average for the whole run was 160. But my pace was a lot better than I expected at 10:11 (since it was quite hilly). I think with this distance, on a flat track, I could have easily done it at a 9:30-9:45 pace. Maybe.

Next Sunday is supposed to be an 8-miler which I might run on roughly this same path to see if any of my metrics improve (either pace or heart rate). Or maybe I’ll go to Indian Head and see if I can run 8 miles at a 9-something pace. We’ll see.

Oh yeah, this was a quite good rTSS at 133.8, for roughly an hour and 13 minutes of running.



Day 20 Of 36 – Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Training Plan

Screenshot from 2014-07-17

Day 20 of 36 of the HHHMTP was basically a repeat of Tuesday’s run. With the only difference being I didn’t do anything too strenuous the day before so I was fairly well rested.

I did 4.33 miles with an average pace of 10:26, but my average HR was a bit lower at 151. I suppose I can contribute this being a better run because I was better rested. I don’t suppose I got in a lot better shape in two days.

Not much else to say about this run, since I’m posting this almost a week after the fact and all I can remember was that it seemed like a pretty good run.

Day 19 Of 36 – Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Training Plan

Screenshot from 2014-07-15

Day 19 of the HHHMTP was another Tuesday 4-miler. We were on vacation camping in Jellystone Park in Natural Bridge, Virginia, so this run covered some new ground for me. I just ran the roads outside the park, roughly two miles out and two back. But it was quite hilly.

I can’t remember too much about this run (I’m posting this a week later), but I think I was trying to keep my heart rate roughly between 150-160. I think I was fairly successful in this as my HRs for the four miles were: 149, 158, 153 and 160, with my average for the whole run at 155 (and average pace at 10:39). I was happy enough with this effort as there really were quite a few hills.

My rTSS was 68.9 which I think is a pretty good workout for only four miles and 43 minutes.

Oh yeah, I wasn’t very well rested for this run. On Sunday I ran the longest run of my life (10.2 miles), and I also ran on Monday (maybe 3 miles).

Day 18 Of 36 – Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Training Plan

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Having just gotten back from a week of vacation, I’m posting this late. Day 18 of 36, exactly half way done with the training plan, was another Sunday long run. I couldn’t stick with the plan exactly as Hal called for a 5k race and there wasn’t anything too convenient this weekend. So I just did another long run. Link to my Training Peaks page at: Continue reading

Day 17 Of 36 – Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Training Plan

Screenshot from 2014-07-11

Today’s run was the 17th of 36 in my half marathon training plan. That’s 47.7% done– one more run day away from being half way there.

This morning was a pretty simple run. Four straight miles at an easy 10:00 pace on the treadmill. I want to use this as somewhat of a benchmark… to see how flat my heart rate was for the duration. Also to see if it crept up at all in the last mile or so. And also to see how long it took to stabilize at a specific rate, and what that rate was.

It looks like it wasn’t all that steady. It wasn’t completely erratic, but it wasn’t completely flat either. My average HR for the four miles was 151 and aside from the anomalous spikes in the beginning, it was fairly consistent between 148-154. I really don’t know why it might be swinging that much, but oh well. That’s the benchmark.

Stay tuned for the next time I do a treadmill four-miler at this slow pace. Hopefully my average HR will be a little lower.

Strawberry Pie Night

Maggie Belle's old fashioned strawberry pie- about to go in the oven!
Maggie Belle’s old fashioned strawberry pie- about to go in the oven!

Since the Hot Wife has been out of town on business this week, and our son is with his first dad, it’s just been me and Maggie Belle. So we’ve got four nights to ourselves, filled with daddy-daughter fun stuff. Last night was dinner and dessert at the Dairy Queen, and letting her stay up later than normal so we could watch “Chicken Little.” Tonight we made friendship bracelets and had ham biscuits and macaroni and cheese for supper.

And oh yeah, the awesome strawberry pie you see above. Maggie Belle insisted on putting the cross-hatch dough on top as she wanted it to be an “old fashioned” pie, just like she saw on some cartoon. I forget which one.

Regardless, the pie turned out great. And with vanilla ice cream on top, it was delicious. Two daddy-daughter nights down, and two to go. We haven’t decided on tomorrow night’s fun activity yet, but if it’s anything worthwhile, I’ll post some pictures here.

Day 15 Of 36 – Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Training Plan

Screenshot from 2014-07-06 15:46:48

Today was Day 15 of HHHMTP. Yep, I’m almost 42% done with the plan. Today’s six miles was the longest run to date. In fact, I set a new World Record. That’s right. In “Matt’s World,” this was a record. Not only did I do eight miles, which was the longest run in “Matt’s World” history, but of course it was the fastest time I’ve ever covered eight miles.

Here’s the breakdown. Hot Wife Lisa talked us into going to the Indian Head Rail Trail in La Plata, MD. This is a great 20+ mile biking trail, but it’s really flat so a lot of runners go there as well. I was all for making my long run day an easy one so I was good with the plan.

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Fartlek Run, 20 Minutes, 60-85 Percent MHR – Benchmark

Screenshot from 2014-07-05 FARTLEK

Today was a non-Hal Higdon Half Marathon Training Day. It was officially a long bike ride day (regular Saturday). And tomorrow will be my Hal Higdon long day. Yayy. Six miles tomorrow.

Okay, since I’ve been reading a lot about heart rate training, I wanted to try something new this morning. I’m sure all the good runners know what a Fartlek is, or Fartlek running, or a Fartlek run. I have no idea how it’s even used in proper grammar. It’s a strange word to be sure.

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