Training Plans for HM

I mentioned before that I use my phone to track my runs and I have a selection of apps I’ve been trying out for that. My friend R recommended runmeter (RM) to me little over a year ago. Its a good, reliable app with lots of features I’ve never used. In the past I’ve been basically switching the app on when I leave the house and then use the log as my means of keeping track of my running. All of last year I reflected on my runs on dai.lym.i.le and I’ve come to enjoy the community there. That’s another subject for another blog post though.

Going back to the apps, so RM has a whole lot of features that I’ve only started to explore over the last couple of weeks. One of the features is a set of training plans. It’s got plans for marathon, 10k AND one for a half marathon. While I wasn’t sure on how to use it I chose another app to start my training in January, it’s the asi.ics free one. The asi.cics plan looked like something I could do without much thinking. It breaks the training into three main phases, Phase one is Pre-Conditioning of one week slow running to get ready for training (I suppose that’s for people who haven’t done any running for while, but I did it anyway).

Phase 2 is called getting faster and recommends 2 speed focus sessions per week as well as long runs every 7-10 days. The aim here is to improve your pace while gradually increasing your distance.

The sticking to the plan bit was tough for me mainly because I wasn’t comfortable with the pace runs due to my injuries. I’m also stuck in the ‘idea’ I have to do a long run once a week which basically means I earmark a particular day of the week for my long run and work the other sessions around that. So that lead me to look at RM again and I’m beginning to really like what I see.

RM has more short(er) runs during the week with focus on speed and/or distance and then pushes the long run at a pace I’m more familiar with. And even RM takes weeks off from long runs to aid recovery.

I still haven’t a master plan on how I will spend each week. RM has some lovely speed training runs though(that’s what I used in Coutown on my last training session there) and I really like the way the ‘run for distance’ lets you focus on just that. This might sound strange to you, but it does help me a lot because when running cross country you can really loose focus on how far you’ve come during any particular run.

Today I did a ‘run for distance’ session. I spent the first k warming up (walking up the hill), then I sped up and slowed down depending on ‘circumstances’ but at no point did I think, I must complete the circuit (at the top of the hill). It was really great because it allowed me to push my pace and lets say run uphill until I could go no further, then turn around and run downhill in the other direction for as long as I wanted. it was a tough run but a fun and fast run too!

I actually met another runner on this run, too. She’s down from Dublin for the weekend and we ran alongside each other for a while chatting. As she’s much faster than me I really pushed my pace. I also got lots of info from her about running clubs and events. She actually did the Connemarathon in 2009. it was a great run because I could run with her for as long as I could, then she’d take off and I’d meet her again on another one of her laps, we’d run together for another while and so for, you get the picture?

So, yes, great run.

distance: 7.04 km
total running time: 47:54 min
average pace: 6:48 /km
fastest pace: 4:54 /km
total ascent: 257 m

It was nice to be back on the hill though the hill is very, very different now that they are felling. The top circuit is blocked off during the week because they are really felling now. I got a lovely shot of N as she takes off again on one of her lightning fast laps.
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