Potomac River Run Half Marathon Training: Week 3


Week 3 is done and just like that I’m halfway through my (short) training plan. This was another weird week because we were away in Richmond the whole weekend, so I had to fit in all my key runs before then. I knew I wouldn’t have time to run in Richmond before or after my class, and I also didn’t really want to because it would still have been dark in the morning and I wasn’t familiar with the city at all. I knew I’d be exhausted in the evenings too and not want to run. This meant I ran on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and cross-trained on the other days. Since I did my runs earlier than usual and after a race on Saturday where I put in hard effort, my legs felt dead for most of the week. I’m definitely looking forward to getting back on track with my normal routine!

Here is my plan with including how week 3 went.

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Monday: Key Run #1 – Speedwork. 5 miles in 39:20 (7:52 average pace). I had mile repeats on the training plan for my speedwork. I was planning to go to the gym in the morning to do it, but I slept horribly so I didn’t. Instead I went straight there after school to get my workout done. I did a 1 mile warm up, 3 x 1 mile @ 6:53 pace with 400 meter recovery between, then a half mile cool down. This was a tough workout plus I really struggle with running in the afternoon/evenings. I really had to fight for this one and didn’t think I would be able to do all 3 at goal pace, but I did and I didn’t puke! Then my face stayed red for about 2 hours afterwards 🙂


Tuesday: XT – Walk & Strength Circuit (16:00). I had to fast and get bloodwork for my thyroid in the morning so I couldn’t make it to Body Pump like I wanted to. After work I went for a 10 minute walk with my husband and little Kev. Later that night I wanted to get in a little strength training, so I did a circuit that included push-ups, squats, dips and sit-ups. I started with 10 of each, then 8, then 6, then 4, then 2. I did the same thing a couple weeks before but this time I tried to do it fast and transition from one exercise to the next quickly. It took 6 1/2 minutes total.

photo 1

Wednesday: Key Run #2 – Tempo Run. 7 miles in 58:50 (8:24 average pace). My tempo run this week was an interesting one. I had to do 1 mile easy, 2 miles @ mid-tempo pace (7:38), 1 easy, 2 more at mid-tempo pace, and 1 easy- 7 miles total. I knew it was going to be tough but I wasn’t prepared for how heavy my legs would feel. I did the first 2 tempo miles in 7:49 & 7:49, and the second set in 7:54 & 8:06. I was just trying to hang on at that point! I did this run outside instead of on the treadmill, which meant it was also on hills making it harder to maintain my speed. It’s crazy how I ran a 7:59 pace for the 15K last weekend and today those same paces felt super difficult. But even though I didn’t hit my goal paces I’m still really proud of my effort. I really gave it all I had. Plus, it felt great to run 7 miles before work.


Thursday: XT – Body Pump (1:00:00). FINALLY made it back to a body pump class- and at 5 a.m. too! I can definitely tell it’s been a while and I lost a lot of strength. But I’m hoping to go more consistently now and build it back up again. I was definitely sore afterwards (in a good way)!

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Friday: Key Run #3 – Long Run. 10 miles in 1:25:09. 10 miles before work- DONE! I wanted to try to squeeze my long run in this morning because we were going away all weekend like I said. My goal pace was supposed to be around 8:12 and I wasn’t able to hit that, due to it being pretty warm and humid out- 65 degrees at 4:30 a.m.! I overdressed and wore a long sleeved shirt, and ran out of water early, so it was not easy. As soon as I got back I drank a ton of water and my green smoothie to refuel. I definitely felt proud of my efforts even though I didn’t make my goal pace.

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Saturday: Rest. We left to drive to Richmond at 6:30 a.m. and I sat it class from 8:00 to 6 p.m. We went straight to dinner and then back to the hotel to sleep. So the only exercising I did this day was my brain. It worked hard ALL day long!

Sunday: XT – Walking (25:00). Our hotel was a little over a mile from where our class took place so I walked there on Sunday morning. It felt great outside and it gave me a chance to see a little bit of the city. We were hoping to go to a short run as a family when we got back home that evening but it ended up being too late and we were hungry and tired, so we didn’t.

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Week 3 Total:

  • Run: 22 miles
  • Cross Training & Strength Training: 1 strength training circuit, 1 Body Pump class, walking

I’m glad that I was able to fit in some strength training this week and get back to Body Pump, which was my goal. However, since attending the RRCA Coaching Certification Course I’m thinking about modifying a few things in my training plan. I want to try to incorporate at least one day of running-specific cross training (cycling, elliptical, stair stepper, etc.) in addition to the other activities like Body Pump, yoga and/or walking that I like to do. These activities are good for my overall fitness but I learned they don’t necessarily improve my running. I also want to do more short, easy running between my harder key runs- adding in 1 or 2 a week. You can read my reflections from the course here for more of an explanation about why I am making these changes. I’m not sure yet how I’m going to make it all fit together and work, but we’ll see. It’s going to take a little trial and error to figure it out.

This week’s motivation. Coming to this realization over the past year has totally changed my running. Training your mind is as important as training your body!


Previous Weekly Recaps


2 responses to “Potomac River Run Half Marathon Training: Week 3

  1. Pingback: Potomac River Run Half Marathon Training: Week 4 | Run Inspired

  2. Pingback: Potomac River Run Half Marathon Training: Week 5 | Run Inspired

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