Goodbye Low, Hello High

OK, so here I am at the end of what was apparently my ‘rest week’. I guess I’ve never called it that before; to me rest means rest, not just lower mileage. So in my eyes here I am at the end of a low mileage week. There, that’s better.

Pedantic Pete gets it right!

So this week has me looking forward to 11 miles at the weekend, after two short runs in the week, one of which I’m just about to go and do.

Last week I did my two short runs, one on the treadmill and one through the mud in the woods, as well as a longer run. I had to leave my shorter long run (pedants unite!) until Monday as I was busy on Sunday right through until late. I mapped out a route using roads I know well, but haven’t run in that order before. It kept me on my toes trying to remember the route, but it was a nice run. I look at friends routes sometimes, ones who live in towns and cities, and see no elevation to speak of, just flat road running. I just don’t have that luxury. My “flat” running is never close to being on the level. I always have hills, no matter which way I go! The only way I wouldn’t would be if I ran the village half mile up and down. B.O.R.I.N.G. So I looked at what I could run and came up with this:


It’s a 4 mile loop that is as flat as I can get. It looks pretty good, doesn’t it? Deceptive though. Look at the same elevation in Garmin Player:

That’s the run I know!

In any case, that’s as flat as it gets, which is fine – at least I’m hill ready!

I did my 4 miles in a steady 44:12, which gave me a nice pace of 10:25. I set off too fast, I know that. I was listening to ‘Motorcycle Emptiness’ by the Manic Street Preachers and couldn’t find the right pace. Sounds silly, but there must be an odd beat to it. My first mile was 9:40. I’m supposed to be running my long runs at 11 minute miles, but only the last two were that slow. I’m not worrying too much about that.

Today it’s still raining after an almighty downpour last night, so the treadmill is getting a hit again, although I’m tempted to run it all on the incline. I’ll see how that goes! My treadmill has a manual incline of, we think, about 5% which might be a bit much for the whole run at 10 minute pace. I can see me jumping on and off the belt doing mid-run adjustments!!

I’m also picking up an exercise bike tonight, which should help with my cross training.

So, 11 miles on Sunday. I’ll see you on the other side!




3 thoughts on “Goodbye Low, Hello High

  1. Good luck on your 11-miler! Will be interesting to hear your post-run report on that one.

    I have been looking at the week following the true long runs as tempo/speed week – assuming adequate recovery. For example, since I completed the 9.5 mile this past weekend (1:47:30 – trail and beach sand running so all-in-all satisfied with it), I am now turning to some hard running for this week’s mid-week runs and I have a scheduled “magic mile” time trial on Saturday on my Galloway plan.

    So yesterday I did a 30 minute workout consisting of a 5-minute warm-up, 20 minutes steady running at a “short tempo” pace for me of 9:18/mi (2.15 miles), and then a 5-minute cool down. Tomorrow I plan what I call a “3 miles steady” workout – 5 minute warm-up, then 3 miles steady running trying to hold at about 9:48-9:54 pace [a little slower than a ‘best-case’ 10K pace for me], then a 5 minute cool down (about 40 minutes total). Then the MM workout on Saturday – I do the mile warm-up after a little walking, then take a pause to do some acceleration gliders/strides (3 or 4 x 100s) prior to running the mile time trial, and then finish up with about 1.5 – 2 mi slow jogging on the track (abt 4 mi total).

    Then I look at the following week’s mid-week runs leading into the next long run (my 11-miler) as slightly easier efforts as to pace so that I’m fresh(er) for the increased distance.

    So I suppose I see my “rest week” as the two mid-week runs leading into the increased long run distance, working on pace/tempo runs and “speed” (e.g., the MM time trial) in the week following the longer runs.

    Does Galloway say anything about this somewhere? About all I have seen is a suggestion of doing race pace runs for 2 miles on the Thursday runs in some of his plans. In his time goal plans the “off weeks” opposite the increasing long run weeks are where he puts his track workouts (typically 800 repeats of increasing repetitions), which is why I suppose I’ve thought of those weeks as “tempo/speed week” – lower mileage but an opportunity to up the intensity/pacing slightly too.

    You are lucky to have a lot of hill work (although I’m sure it doesn’t feel lucky). I have had some runs with a difficult hill thrown in, but I find hill running to be a real weakness of mine and I have a nearly mile long hill at 3.5% grade (not horrible, but long) between miles 3 and 4 in my race, then down the backside of that, and a similar climb back over it between 10.6 and 11.4 miles. I’m rather worried about it so I am thinking that during the last 6 weeks I might use the Tuesday workout following the very long runs for hill repeats or some such. What do you think?

    Sorry for the long post/comment – we are just tracking so close as to pace and race date/schedule I’m very interested in your insights. So please excuse the lengthy description of my own workouts – only intended to share in case you have any comment/criticisms.


    1. Hi Eric 🙂

      When I started using the app I had to decide whether I was going to class myself as a ‘finisher’ or an ‘improver’ i.e. did I want to just drag my sorry carcass to the finish line or beat my time. I’ve put myself in the middle of that, wanting to improve on my last half time, but just work on finishing the event because it is HUGE. Trying to get a PB, a serious PB, just isn’t an option. That said, I am hoping to knock 10 – 15 minutes off my last half time, but only because my last half was very steady!

      So, short story is I’m following the finisher programme, but upping my mile pace to 11. The finisher programme doesn’t ask for tempo runs etc., just that you run for 30 minutes twice in between the longer runs. The app dictates the 30 minute runs at a slightly faster pace (10 minute miles for me), but other than that it’s only me that’s making it tougher for myself by a) running on trails and b) running on the TM on incline.

      The improver plan is more complicated, as you describe, and I will follow that for the Rock and Roll Half Marathon and the Dumfries Half that I’m planning on next year.

      I find hill work hard, but worth it. The flats are almost like running downhill in comparison! I would definitely think of incorporating them into your workout, but I wouldn’t get hung up about them either. I don’t do “hill repeats” as such. I just use the hills, one after the other, as my route!

      You will survive the hills because, by then, you will be at your peak. Keep in touch – I like to hear how you are getting on 😀

  2. Thanks Julie – kind encouragement! This is my first half, as I mentioned a while back, so I am also using a Galloway “To Finish” plan, but in Galloway’s notes to that plan (actually the Disneyland 1/2 Marathon Plan) he says “On the Thursday runs, after the standard warmup, time yourself for 2 miles and try to run the pace you feel is realistic on raceday, using the appropriate run-walk-run strategies.” He also suggests “On Tuesday, after the standard warmup, try various run-walk-run strategies to discover what works best for you.”

    In his Half-Marathon book in his “To Finish” program he simply states “Tuesday and Thursday runs can be done at the pace of your choice.”

    Taking all of that together, I suppose I just proxy the idea of MM and Thursday “race day practice” pacing and flirting with different r-w-r pacing (smaller run to walk interval requires faster running pace to keep same net pace) as essentially being tempo/pace work for the beginner/”finisher” although he does not call it such and it is less structured than track repeats. So while I don’t follow precisely always doing pace runs on Thursday per his Disneyland 1/2 plan, this is the idea of what I am following for the mid-week runs following the increasing long slow distance runs (or to say it otherwise – leading into the MM time trial).

    I have never been sure how the app works as to pacing – no verbal announcements of this, correct? Once when running with the app on a given Tuesday, however, I noticed a pace up in the upper left corner (I think it said 9:40, which felt very ambitious that particular day) – is that the “suggested pace” you are talking about? If I turn the intensity down on the colored meter, then that pace drops though r-w-r ration doesn’t change. Am I tracking on how this works?

    I only use the app for some runs. I prefer not having headphones in my ears for my long runs so I use my trusty Timex Ironman 50 for interval timer alarms and simply turn on my Mapmyrun app for my mobile to give me distance and record splits, elevation profile, to log workouts, etc. – poor man’s Garmin 🙂

    I have used the Lolo 13.1 app for a MM workout, but did not like that it gave no real warning that I was going to launch into the MM immediately (contrary to my hard-copy plan’s suggestions of how to execute the MM) and did not seem to coordinate walking breaks with the MM – so I hit pause first thing, did a few strides, came back, lined up (on the track) and then started it again and ignored the “Start walking” cues during the MM. Since then I’ve avoided using the app for the MM. I love the interface, and like many of the things Lolo does, so it’s not a knock on the app – just doesn’t always work for me.


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