Sunday, July 23, 2017

Training log - Week ending 7/23/17

This week was 59 miles of running, 27 "miles" of pool-running and 3000 yards of swimming -- training log is here.

And the heat continued.  Temps in the 80s and dew points in the 70s.  It's like this in DC every year, and yet it seems noteworthy every year.

It's hard to train in this weather.  But yet, I think it's beneficial.  And not in that "humidity is a poor woman's altitude training" way.

If I lived in a more consistent climate, like California, it would be very easy to fall into a training rut - the only variation in my training would be that driven by my training cycle.  The seasonal changes in DC force us into variety - in the summer we focus on mileage and short fast stuff, limiting long sustained efforts in the heat.  In the winter, we shift to longer efforts in odd locations (like under a freeway), focusing on sustained effort over time, rather than splits.

Since conditions aren't conducive to running our fastest year round, we get two seasons where we can ignore times, and just focus on effort and placing  And that's mentally refreshing.  Balanced out by two seasons where we can race very fast.

Plus the obvious - when you run in a wide variety of conditions, you gain confidence that you can handle those conditions.  Several times each year, I run in 90 degrees with high humidity, in single digit temperatures, in 30 mph winds, or in a torrential downpour.  Like everyone else, I hope for great conditions on race day, and I plan my goal races to maximize my chances of weather perfection.  But I can handle what race day gives me, because I've experienced it before.

Related to the above - while some avoid marathon training in the summer, I've decided that I actually prefer it. To be more specific, I prefer marathon training over 5k-half training in the summer.

Why?  When I'm focused on training for the 5K to half, my tempos are my priority workouts - and those can be challenging in the heat.  But when I'm marathon training, mileage and time on my feet are crucial, with speed work taking back seat.  And even in very hot and humid weather, I can get the miles in - I just drink a lot of water and rachet back my expectations.    For that reason, I'd much rather train for a marathon in August, saving the shorter distances for January, when I don't care that much if I have to miss a run or two due to ice and snow, as long as I get the tempo done at some point that week.


Monday: In the morning, foam rolling, yoga and 7.5 "miles" pool-running. 2.5 "miles" pool-running in the evening.

Tuesday: 11 miles, including a track workout of 2x(1600, 800) in 6:04, 2:54, 5:56, 2:47.  Also did injury prevention work at the gym and 1250 yards of recovery swimming.  Foam-rolling at night.

Wednesday: In the morning, 8 miles very easy to yoga (9:12), yoga, and then 4 miles very easy (9:22).  4 "miles" pool-running and a massage in the afternoon/evening.

Thursday: In the morning, upper body weights and core followed by foam rolling and 9 "miles" pool-running.  Another 3 "miles" of pool-running at night.

Friday: 10 miles, including 7 hill repeats (~500m up, then 200m jog, 100m stride, and 100m jog down to base of hill). Followed with injury prevention work and 1250 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling at night.

Saturday: 10 miles easy (9:30) followed by drills and four strides, and upper body weights and core.  Foam rolling and 1 "mile" pool-running in afternoon (pool closed early due to lightning).

Sunday: 16 miles progressive, split as first 5 at 9:35 pace, next 5 at 7:51, last 6 at 6:55.  Followed with injury prevention work and 500 yards recovery swimming.   Foam rolling in afternoon.


  1. Coming out of lurkdom to comment, but I love the points you made on the weather causing us to have seasons in training. I don't run nearly as much as you, and I'm slow, but I live in Charleston SC where we usually have 95%+ humidity all summer and the heat. Tempos outside are pretty much impossible but it gets me out of the rut of always doing tempos like I do in the cooler months. I've started doing more short interval work each week, longer intervals when there is a break in the weather, occasional trail running (because SHADE), and just logging miles. Sometimes a change is what you need to eventually have a successful race when the weather is better!

    You had an awesome week of training- impressive mileage and pool mileage and yoga. Love that you do yoga as well as run!

  2. Born and raised in Los Angeles. Two seasons - summer and rain. Low humidity year round (close to the beach). No racing seasons - I races bicycles from Feb to Nov (only stopping because I got tired each year). No peaks / no valleys / no "tough". I laugh when the guys back there complain about the "weather"....Scott

  3. I agree with you that summer training for longer distances is better- and I live in NOVA so same crappy weather as DC. But I didn't come here to agree with your training preference, I just came to say I appreciate your pool running posts- because as a competitive (and currently injured) runner, I'm going stir crazy not running. All I have is the pool right now and I'm trying to embrace it (as much as a runner can). Thanks for sharing your aqua jogging wisdom and humor with fellow runners. Maybe I'll see you in a race some time when I become a land dweller again.

  4. Thanks for all the comments - very much appreciated. Amy Lauren - I find that the yoga is an essential part of my injury prevention routine. It's also a good self check - if I'm too tired to get through a yoga class without wobbling, I'm probably going to get injured if I run.

    Em - good luck! I'm in Northern Virginia too, actually - Arlington. I just refer to DC because I'm thinking of the broader DC area (and many of my runs are in DC proper)

    Scott - I've been told that people in LA don't run outside when it rains...

  5. This is a new perspective on the running weather in DC that I had not considered. And thank you because it makes me appreciate the variety more instead of dreading it.