Half-Marathon Training (Week Nine)

Marathon Training Week 9So it’s Week 9 in my half-marathon training program and I’m feeling really good. Sore but good!

After slacking off in the past two weeks, I’m glad to report that I’m back on track once more! And it’s all thanks to having finally putting out my training process in the blogosphere! Knowing that I will be keeping track of my training process in public has definitely made me more accountable and helped me in getting my butt off the sofa on those days when I’m thinking, Man, I don’t really feel like working out… maybe I could take this one day off… maybe I could put Body Pump training off for another week…I’m so hungover, maybe I could just skip this week’s swimming class…

But I didn’t skip anything and so this is what Half-Marathon Training Week Nine looks like:

March 3rd to March 9th:

Monday: 6km run
Tuesday: Brett Hoebel 20-minute challenge
Wednesday: 6km run
Thursday: 8km run
Friday: Rest (2km recovery walk and stretching)
Saturday: Body Pump & 30 minute walk.
Sunday: 45 minute swim.

Nailing the 6km runs took a bit of effort, as the weather was still fairly warm earlier this week. And on Thursday, the weather was so hot, it was  still 31 Celsius degrees (about 39 Fahrenheit) at sunset when I finally started on my 8km run! Luckily, as the sun went down, it got relatively cooler with a nice bit of chill coming off the river. Thank goodness for river runs!

Also paused to take a picture of the city lights across the river as you can see from the picture on the top left! 🙂

My calves were fairly sore after my runs and especially after the Brett Hoebel 20 minute challenge on Tuesday! I’ve signed up for the 20 Minute Body Challenge by trainer Brett Hoebel from the Biggest Loser (American version) on the Challenge Loop, though I wasn’t sure how much I’d actually participate in this as I already had half-marathon/marathon training and swim classes on my plate. But I thought it’d be good to have something different to try and shake things up a bit and I was right!

Come Tuesday, I actually hadn’t been feeling well and thought I’d be making that day my rest day instead, but after sleeping off most of the day, I felt much, much better and thought I’d try the 20 minute challenge for that day as some light exercise ahead of dinner. Um… light exercise, not! It was only 20 minutes and four circuits of four exercises, but Brett sure worked me hard! The four circuits involve mainly plyometric exercises, the sort of which we do in the Les Mills Body Attack classes and they were killer! Mountain climbers and sit-ups to lunges? Crazy but great! My body was definitely super sore the day after and it just reminded me how great plyometric exercises are, especially as  a cross-training alternative for your running program.

Another thing which I’ve been really missing is weights training. I’m not a fan of weights training, but skipping weights for the past two weeks have made me realised how much this particular workout has added to my running. Suddenly, my body, especially my core and back, didn’t feel as strong during my runs. I had no idea how much of a difference having a strong core and back makes to my running until I stopped weight lifting for only two weeks! Suddenly I’m slumping a lot more and not keeping good form and the stitches are striking again. You wouldn’t have ‘thunk’ it but having a strong body does make running a hell of a lot easier! I’m glad I forced myself to head to Body Pump this weekend (see pic on the right side at the top!) though I am rather sore now! But it’s a good kind of sore!

Another class I’m glad I dragged myself to is swimming. I’m happy to report that I am making good progress in my fourth class! I’ve finally been able to forgo the kickboard, though not the flippers (they make swimming so much easier!) and have spent my 45-minute class trying to pull together everything I’ve learned about the freestyle – the breathing, blowing of bubbles underwater, arm strokes with fingers hitting the water first rather than the heel of my palm, keeping my body straight like a plank and only moving my head for breathing, and keeping my toes pointed and legs straight as I kicked. There is so much to remember and it’s really hard to keep it all in mind as you’re struggling to keep afloat in the water! I’m still swallowing lots of water and trying to get the breathing right and this time around, I keep forgetting how to blow bubbles underwater and end up holding my breath instead!

Oh well, at least I’ve made some progress! Now I just have to find time to practice. I’m not enjoying swimming too much as I’m constantly swallowing/coughing up water, but I know it’s all a matter of perseverance and that if I devote more time for practice, it will get better! But for the moment, I’m just swallowing lots of water and just wishing I’m one of those adorable little kids in the next lane doing their swim classes and practising the ‘starfish’! Oh, to be a kid again – or at least to have been able to learn swimming when I was a kid when it would have definitely been much more fun and much easier!

I’m super proud of myself that I didn’t skip anything in my training this week, though I came oh-so-close to doing it so many times! Now I can’t wait for next week to start! 🙂

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