Ekiden Coaching: Week 3

After just three weeks of remote coaching, I can understand why folks swear by it. There’s something rather lovely about both the accountability factor and receiving a daily text reminder about what the training plan is for tomorrow.

This was a last week of “building” before heading into a recovery week in week 4.

My given workouts were:

  • Monday: 30 minutes easy.
  • Tuesday: 1 mile easy warm up, 3 miles at goal half marathon pace, 1 mile easy cool down.
  • Wednesday: Cross train: yoga or at home 60 minutes of stretching and mobilizing.
  • Thursday: 30 minutes easy plus a few strides at the end.
  • Friday: 75-90 minutes easy with direction to “really easy and keeping the effort as low as possible for the entire time” because this run was about endurance, not mileage. (I have not been good at going out slow and staying low on the effort scale, so my coach has really been trying to hammer that home for me.)
  • Saturday: Mobility work; a long walk recommended.
  • Sunday: Rest.

How it actually went:

I didn’t let my busted watch band stop me! Props to Garmin for great customer service and sending me a new one.

  • Monday: I was way overdressed, which I think contributed to my ability to keep the easy pace truly easy.
  • Tuesday: This run was almost a comedy of errors. Knowing that I’d need my watch to tell me my pace, I used the USB convertor in my car to charge my Garmin Fenix 3. I took it off after dropping mini off at school, then charged it on my drive to work. When I parked, I went to take it off the charger and was surprised to see the buckle flopping around. I had lost the screw on one side — and the buckle is crucial! As someone who has to wear her watch on the smallest size anyways, I knew there was going to need to be some MacGyver-ing in order to make things work. The tach-it gun tag shown here ended up being too long, so I found some string and literally tied the buckle on. While I was bummed to have to contact them, I am glad to say that Garmin’s customer service really is as stellar and pain-free as everyone told me it would be. That is yet another reason why this runner will be a Garmin girl for life.

    When I started out on the workout, I was feeling tired (teething toddler wanted to party the night before) and stressed (watch saga) but did not want that to dictate how this run went so I went out trying to keep my head positive. After the warm-up mile, I tried really hard to hold to a good steady pace but like before I found myself running faster than I was meaning to so I tried to be very conscientious of how fast I was going. For the 3rd mile, I tried to go ahead and let myself run by feel. Success!
    1mi WU, 10:14
    3mi goal pace, 8:54/8:46/8:46
    1mi CD, 9:43

  • Wednesday: rested. Rolled, stretched, and did whatever felt good.
  • Thursday: This was a “I ate poorly” run that started out dragging, the whole first mile with me having a “and that is why you fuel well even if there IS a bridal shower potluck at work” talk with myself. However, it ended on an “I don’t want this run to end” note, which was a huge plus. I finished it up with some strides on the grass at the park sans watch before dashing back in for a meeting.
  • Friday: I truly enjoyed a social 90 minute run with a coworker, who waited until partway into the run to disclose she had already run 4mi that morning. I felt the longer time in my whole body, a good reminder as to why core and upper body work is important, but also still felt like I had some left in the tank when we finished. When we got back to the office I did legs up the wall; laying on cold concrete has never felt so good!
  • Saturday: I honestly think legs up the wall made a difference. I was sore but not overly so. I took mini out for a walk (50 minutes) and stretched and did some free-flow yoga after, focusing on hip openers and releasing glute tightness.
  • Saturday: I honestly think legs up the wall made a difference.
  • Sunday: rest day with more stretching at will, yoga and the like.


Coaching is making a difference for me as a runner that I can feel in my stride and in my overall endurance. I have been joking about having pace problems, about not knowing my speed or how to reel it in, but I think the truth is that I am stronger with better form now than I was even at my peak before having a baby. To be almost too honest, I think having a baby helped correct some of my scoliosis pelvic tilt, if that’s even possible. Proper training and focusing on my form during “easy” runs really seems to be making a fast difference, especially after coming off of about two months of not running. My cousin Dan, who paced me to a big pace and course PR at the San Jose 408K, reminded me recently that I have some speed in me. If that’s how fast I was “sort of trained” in March, I can only how fast I could be hitting the course again this year with some guidance. Hope you’re ready to pace me again, Dan!

What is your favorite way to study your running form? Does having someone pace you help you when racing or training?

Disclaimer: I received coaching from Ekiden to review as part of being a BibRave Pro, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews.

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