Week 8 – Strength Training and VDOT O2

evening, training, ready for a run, sunset, sky, sunset glow, evening, evening run, marathon training, cool temperature, ideal temperature, headlamp, reflective gear,

This week turned out to be quite the opposite of what I had in mind in terms of the scheduled runs. Although I ran only just over 30 miles this week, my focus was actually on strength training and recovery as the weekend long runs are seriously getting longer by every other weekend.

Week Countdown Week Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun Total Amount
Week 8 5/25 – 5/31 Rest 3 5 7 7 4 9 35
3.4 7.01 7.24 13.12 30.77
6 x 880s (=1/2 miles) at 5K-10K pace, but ended up not doing due to soreness caused by too much strength workout previous day
Pace 6:50 6:57 6:50 7:04
Time 23:16 48:42 49:27 1:32:43
Elev Gain 53 ft 181 ft 168 ft 224 ft

As you can see, I skipped 2 days – Tuesday’s interval training and Saturday’s 4 miler. I even ran only 3.4 miles last Wednesday instead of 5 miles.

What happened?

Well, strength training happened. Specifically, core workouts and leg press.

Last Monday was a rest day, and it happened to be Memorial Day, so I hit the gym, resuming my strength workout routine.

The problem was that I had not worked on any for a while and that my whole body was extremely sore the following day, which was an interval training day, but I just could not do it. Every part of my body was screaming in soreness like crazy.

On Wednesday, I wanted to do 2 miles of tempo run since I could not do interval run the day before, trying to make up for it on the speed run training. After a couple of miles of easy run, I began running at a tempo run pace, but I soon realized that my legs just could not keep up with the pace. Seeing no point in agonizing my already hurting body, I decided to cut it short.

By the time when last Friday was around though, my legs were fully recovered, and I was able to actually enjoy the 7 miler.

Then, last Saturday came. I wasn’t able to squeeze in a 4 miler, due to pending chores and errands to run, in the morning. But also I knew I need to work on my core and legs again, which I did.

That evening I was going to step out for the 4 miler but remembered one of the ten tips Doug Kurtis, who ran 205 marathons for the last 40 years of his life, gave in a recent Runner’s World article. He is 62 and among those 205 marathons, he came in sub-3 in 200 of them. He sort of retired from running marathon after getting his 200th sub-3 marathon in the books.

If you put that into a perspective, he basically ran 5 marathons per year on average since he was 22. The article noted that he estimates he wore 700 pairs of running shoes over the course of his running career. That is beyond impressive.

His tip was ‘just adjust,’ and he was saying that I could pair one day’s short run with a longer run on another day, in case of 5-day training, instead of 6.

I paired Saturday’s 4 miler with Sunday’s 9 miler, turning them into a half marathon run. And my legs held up well.

And then I wanted to see where I was in terms of VDOT O2. So I quickly punched the distance and the time in the VDOT Running Calculator app.

VDOT calculation, half marathon time, I put in my Sunday’s long run (1/2 marathon) time to calculate the pace – 7:04 min/mi, which is also what Garmin showed.

VDOT calculation, half marathon time, equivalent to marathon time,And then I tapped on Equivalent and saw the time for the marathon.

So, there it was. 3:13:02 with VDOT of 49.3.

I barely made the qualifying time (3:15:00 at a 7:26 min/mi pace).

Is it safe? Not at all. But, if I compare this to the result from the 1st week, it is quite mind boggling.

vdot, vdot o2, equivalent race times in comparison,This was not calculated with a half marathon distance and time. It was a 10K distance and time because I didn’t run a half marathon in training by then. So, it is not an apple to apple comparison. And of course, I could’ve done this comparison a couple of weeks earlier, like in Week 5 or 6, with another 10K, but today was a perfect time to look back and see how much progress I actually have made in the period of 7 weeks.

One thing is clear – I was 2 minutes behind my qualifying time 7 weeks ago. Now I am about 2 minutes ahead of my qualifying time, which means I am running just over 4 minutes faster than before.

Of course, like I noted above, it is not an apple to apple comparison. However, the numbers don’t lie.

So, if this is the difference that 7 weeks of training makes, then I am seriously looking forward to the end of the next 7 weeks, let alone the remaining 12 weeks.

How was your weekend run? Are you seeing the progress that you’re making? Did you run any marathon this weekend? How did it go?

Thanks for reading.


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About H Peter Ji Photography

I am a photographer. My photos have been sold on EyeEm, Adobe Stock and ShutterStock and also featured on ViewBug and G+ Landscape Photography Community, and via Death Valley National Park Instagram and Facebook. My work is the natural byproduct of my love for outdoors - backpacking, hiking and camping in nature.

3 responses to “Week 8 – Strength Training and VDOT O2”

  1. maddie says :

    Sounds like all the dedication is paying off! way to stay focused Peter! I like the tip your taking on Just Adjust!!! Amazing progress :))

    Liked by 1 person

    • @ScorpioOnSUP says :

      Well, paying off may be too early to say, but I’m glad that I’m making a bit of progress for sure!!! Thanks for encouraging!!! 🙂


    • @ScorpioOnSUP says :

      Ah, and this Doug Kurtis guy story is really inspiring!!! I won’t be able to run 200 marathons or do I have desire to do so because I love hiking so much!!! This whole training is definitely consuming my hiking time… Can’t wait to complete the program, qualify and run the marathon so that I can go back hiking and backpacking!!! 🙂


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