One question I am frequently asked is what a week’s worth of training looks like for an elite athlete. Shown here is a typical race week, culminating in the Houston Half Marathon where I placed 19th in a time of 1:16:46.
Mondays for me are dedicated entirely to recovery. I usually run 0 – 10 miles, depending on what I did during the previous week and what I have on the horizon. I also attend a gentle/restorative yoga class every Monday.
On this particular Monday I ran 4 miles before my yoga class, and then ran another 6 easy miles in the evening. My second run was at the YMCA with a 20 minute sauna session afterwards in order to prepare for the forecasted heat and humidity in Houston.
I usually do speed work on Tuesdays, but with a race on Sunday my hard workout was moved to Wednesday. Instead, I ran 6 miles at lunch and then another 4 in the evening with 8 x :30 strides. After the run I went to the YMCA to hit the sauna for 25 minutes.
Today’s workout was a simple tune-up in order to prepare for Houston without overly stressing my legs. I did a 3 mile warm up, then 4 x 1200 m with 400 m recovery. I ran 4:05, 4:03, 3:57, and 3:55. I followed this with a 3 mile cool down and a 30 minute weight lifting session.
My legs were sore after the workout! An unexpected warm front came through and the temperature was 55 degrees. I dressed in extra layers in order to work up a good sweat for my heat training, and ran 8 miles with a friend that morning. In the evening, I ran another 4 miles and did form drills.
My flight to Houston was at 7:50 AM EST and I arrived in Houston at 8:50 AM CST. By the time I checked into the hotel and went through elite packet pickup, it was already 11 AM and time for lunch. After lunch and a 2 hour nap, I went for an 8 mile run on a beautiful bike path.
Since I was training through the race (meaning not tapering for it), I had 10 miles scheduled for the day. I ran 6 miles at 8:15 AM with other elites. Afterwards I had to check in my uniform, prepare my elite fluids, and attend the technical meeting. Following the meeting, I went for a 4 mile run and finished with 6 x 100 m strides.
My roommate and I woke up at 4 AM to do a 10 minute shake out before eating breakfast and preparing our race gear. We had to be on the bus at 5 AM to get escorted to the start line. At 6:15 AM I did a 2 mile warm up, drills, and strides before the gun went off at 7 AM. The weather conditions weren’t ideal: 65o at the start with 96% humidity and 10 – 12 mph winds. Finishing times for the elite women were 2 – 3 minutes slower than last year. Even though it wasn’t a PR, I was very happy with how I raced. Afterwards, I ran a 40 minute cool down and ate 5 slices of pizza before hopping on a plane and heading home.
Weekly total: 80 miles