Oakland Marathon Training Recap: Week 13

Oakland Marathon recap week 13

The first of two peak mileage weeks. My weekday runs are not too bad, but 20 miles on Saturday!


My never-ending quest for good, high-quality at home workouts brought me to Sworkit. I’ve read many glowing reviews of this app, which I’d read has a wide selection of workouts.

Spoiler alert: the best thing I can say about it is there are a wide variety of workouts.

Read Prior Recaps

Oakland Marathon Training Recap: Week 13

Training Goals

  • I am a pace group leader for Saturday group long runs, so my main goal is to hit my pace – 11:00 (+/- 10 seconds) on training runs
  • 1 strength workout a week
  • Run 1 new route each week. I’ve been making sure I consciously take new routes on a regular basis so I don’t get back into a running rut. Even minor changes to a usual route can make a huge difference
  • 1 Yoga/Stretching/Pilates workout a week
  • Regular Foam Rolling – I won’t define ‘regular’ but I’ll know it when I do it (or not)

The Plan v. Reality

PlanSworkit5 miles
5 miles
5 miles
Sworkit20 miles @ 11:00 min/mile pace
cross-train /
ActualSworkit (x2)5 miles
Sworkit (x2)
6 miles
5 miles
Sworkit20 miles @10:56 min/mile pace
Sworkit (yoga)

Area of Focus This Week


The Week That Was


Sworkit week begins.

I love the Nike Training Club app for at home workouts (and Asana Rebel for daily stretches), but I felt like I was doing the same workouts over and over so I thought I’d try out a few new apps to see what else is out in the world.

Next up is Sworkit.

I’m going to try out this app for the week. They have a February challenge with a workout for each day of the month. I’m not willing to commit to the full month, but I’ll do (at least) one of the workouts each day this week.

Did the workout intended for today: ‘Maximum Calorie Burner’. It was fine. A standard combination of at-home cardio moves (high knees, skaters, mountain climbers).

Also did the ‘Full Body Stretch’ workout. There was a total lack of flow in the workout. It was a stand-up move, then a sit-down move, then a stand-up move.

Seemed like too much prep and moving from position to position for a short stretch class.


Did my new go-to five-mile route into the hills today. Felt good.

It was one of those runs where I don’t have much to say about it (good for running, not so good when I’m trying to write a blog post about running).

Sworkit of the day is ‘ABSolutely Awesome’.

It was fine. Standard core moves.


I did it again! I can’t quite figure out the right place to turn around in my new 5 mile route, so for the second time in as many weeks, I ran 6 miles instead of 5.

Sworkit was ‘Valentine’s Day Workout’. Based on the title, I expected at least a few moves that required two people, but it had nothing to do with Valentine’s day.

It was a standard workout of jumping jacks, crunches, and bird-dogs.

I sense theme developing – it was fine.


Actually ran the right mileage today. I took the fact that I’d run the right distance for granted for years, but suddenly I’m proud of myself for not accidentally running an extra mile.

Sworkit workout of the day was ‘Standing Only Stretch’.

Exactly what it sounds like. It was fine.


Only did today’s Sworkit workout – ‘Pilates’.

Did. Not. Like.

The moves themselves were fine. But:

  • We were supposed to hold a move for 30 seconds then move to next one, but the app didn’t give any buffer time to move from position to position (some other of their workouts have had this – not this one). So I actually had 5-10 seconds less in the actual pose since time was lost in transit.
  • As has been the case for most of their workouts, there is no flow or logic to the sequence of moves. One pose was on my back, the next one will be standing, and then the next one will be on all fours. Making the time lost (see above) even worse.
  • There are zero cues, hints or descriptions for the moves. I’m glad I’ve done a fair amount of pilates or pilates-based workouts over the years, because if I didn’t already know the moves, I would have been lost. As it was, it often took me a few moments to figure out the moves because many of the names they used were different from move names I was familiar with. (making the time lost – see above) even worse.


Felt better on our first 20-miler than I had any right to feel running 20 miles. I could have kept running today. I could have run the marathon today (and done it with a pretty good time too)!

Fingers crossed I feel as good on race day.

Sworkit was ‘Full Body Stretch’. Once again, a lot of standing up and sitting down with a poorly arranged combination of moves. If I’m already sitting down doing a forward fold, why are you going to have me stand up to do a chest stretch only to have me sit down again for another move?

I know this is annoying me way more than it should, but it feels like I get more of a workout with the constant standing up and sitting down than I do from the workout.


Sworkit week ends with ‘Yoga For Runners’. My impression of the app stays intact – is it was fine.

On the upside, for the first time, there seemed to be some logic to how the moves were arranged. Since a low lunge and warrior 2 are basically the same lower body move with different arm positions, they were done one after the other.

What a novel idea!

But again, no time to move from position to position, so seconds were lost in even the most straightforward transition.

Week Overall

  • All of my runs this week were wonderfully uneventful.
  • Sworkit is not my cup of tea. Good idea, and the moves themselves are fine, but each workout this week re-emphasized my initial belief that these workouts are put together by an algorithm and not a person. There is no flow or logical sequence to how moves flow into one another.
  • I’m for sure not going to do the rest of the February challenge. I think I’ll try a few more workouts just to get a better sense of what Sworkit has to offer, but I doubt it will be in my regular workout rotation.
  • To give credit where it is due, one great thing about Sworkit is that for each workout, you can change how long your workout should be. It makes it much easier to adapt to your abilities and your schedule.
  • Now that I’m in the peak weeks of training, I’ll do a few strength workouts here and there, but I’m not going to start any new programs until after the marathon (which is only a month away!)

Next Week: Week 14


Planstretch or strength5 miles8 miles5 milesstretch or strength15 miles @ 11:00 min/mile pacecross-training
ActualSworkit5 miles8 miles5 milesSworkit - Stretch and Strength15 miles @ 10:57 min/mile paceSworkit

Area of Focus

Hydration. I’m terrible about drinking enough water in the winter. This training cycle has been no exception.

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