The last two weeks of training have been great. I would have posted last week but we had some crazy stuff happen towards the end of last week that kept me busy for a few days. So this week’s post is a double update, covering the past two weeks of my training for Grandma’s Marathon in June. So let’s get started.
Monday, March 6th: Starting the week out with some strength reps on the track. 6x1600m on 7 minute goes (every 7 minutes we started the next rep). I’m calling paces around current half marathon fitness, maybe a little faster, strength pace. So we didn’t mess around, Chancy and Francis took it out hard and I held on for the ride. Splits for this workout were: 4:51, 4:57, 4:54, 4:56, 4:57, 4:46 (Average 4:53.5). Very pleased with the workout and excited to get the week started off with a good one. Jogged an easy 3 miles in the afternoon to make it 16 miles for the day.
Tues, March 7th: Recovery day. Double runs with 12 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon to get in 16 miles. Pace for both these runs was relaxed, around 7:30/mile.
Wed, March 8th: Back at it today with a 40 minute Tempo Run. I’ve been struggling with hitting goal tempo pace, so the focus has been more on effort during these runs. Today’s run went well, got in 7.25 miles in 40 minutes with an average heart rate of 168 BPM and an average pace of 5:31/mile. Better than two weeks ago so I’m moving in the right direction. Long warm up and cool down today so no afternoon run. 16 miles for the day.
Thurs, March 9th: Recovery day. Doubled with 11.5 miles in the morning at 7:14/mile and 4.5 miles in the afternoon at 6:52/mile. 16 miles total.
Fri, March 10th: Unscheduled off day because of a break in last night at the guest house. Someone came in while we were out to dinner and took our laptop and camera. A very big bummer as most of my photos from this trip were on those two devices. Spent the morning at the police station and talking with security at the guest house. Not much of a chance we’ll see any of that stuff again, but we’re hoping it might still turn up.
Sat, March 11th: Back at it for the long run this morning. Planned on 20 miles this morning, ended up with 22. Longer run than expected left me empty over the last two miles. Ran the 22 in 2:37:09, around 7:08/mile. I don’t usually hit a 22 miler until later in the training cycle, but I felt good overall and my body seems to be handling the training well.
Sun, March 12th: I hate running the day after a long run, but with Friday off I had to get in a run. Friday was supposed to be a speed workout so I went to the track today to get some sort of turnover going. Ended up running 3 miles of straight and bends, a simple workout were you stride or sprint the straights then jog the turns. I was feeling flat, but it was good to get some turnover for the legs at something quicker than the workouts I already run this week. Total for the day was 10 miles.
Week Total: 97 Miles
Mon, March 13th: Recovery day. My body is still tired from the 22 miles on Saturday and the “speed” on Sunday. Ran with Francis, Chancy, and Benzo as long as I could, but when we started clipping sub 6 minute pace I was done and turned back. Morning run was 10.5 miles at 6:56/mile followed by an afternoon run of 6.5 miles at 6:21/mile. I came around by the afternoon and knew I’d be ready for tomorrow’s workout.
Tues, March 14th: Well we’re getting into marathon training for real now. Today’s workout: 12x1000m on 4:30 goes. When I told Francis we were doing 12 reps he seemed a little shocked, but he’s a tough one and can put his mind to anything I’ve come up with so far. Goal pace for these was 3:07-2:58/km. Started out at 3:06 and spend up from there. Splits were: 3:06, 3:05, 3:02, 3:03, 3:03, 3:04, 3:01, 3:02, 3:01, 3:02, 2:58, 2:51. I was a little worried after rep number 6. Running back to back 3:03s and then a 3:04 had me concerned that we had gone out too hard and were going to fade. Francis however is a second half of a workout monster and we fell into a pattern of me leading the first lap, then he taking over on the second to pull us through and keep it honest. As we approached the line on number 11 he asked to confirm it was indeed the 11th rep. After ensuring him that it was he dropped the pace down a notch and pushed us to a 2:58. Not wanting to be out done I took the last rep out hard and when he tried to move around me at 400m I responded with my own move and pulled away running the 2:51, he a few seconds back at 2:55. The other guys who had finished or dropped around half way through the workout we laughing as we crossed the line and bent over to suck air. They stopped laughing when I told them the split. Francis and I are getting fit. Finished up with an afternoon jog to get in 17 miles for the day.
Wed, March 15th: RECOVERY. Doubled today, 13 in the morning, 4 in the afternoon to keep the 17 miles per day streak alive. Feeling sore, but not too bad.
Thur, March 16th: The guys seemed to be in disbelief when I told them the workout for the day. Tempo intervals or broken tempo, whatever, but 50 minutes worth of work. Reps were 15,10,10,5,5,5 with 1 minute rest for every 5 minutes of running (15/3,10/2,5/1:15). I told them to treat it as marathon pace effort and I feel we did, but it didn’t make it any less tough once we hit the hills. The workout broke down like this:
1 x 15 minutes: 2.78mi, 5:23/mile, AveHR: 164BPM
2 x 10 minutes: 1.86 and 1.74mi, 5:23/mile and 5:46/mile, AveHR: 168 and 173 BPM
3 x 5 minutes: .89, .92., and .91mi, 5:37, 5:28, and 5:32/mile, AveHR: 168, 174, and 175 BPM
Those last two 5 minute reps were a struggle along with the nasty climb thrown in during the second 10 minute rep. Overall the workout provided 9.1 miles of running with an average pace of 5:29/mile. Getting there little by little.
Fri, March 17th: Something happened rather by accident today that I didn’t realize until after my morning run. Because of the change of schedule last week when I moved my off day to Friday instead of the usual Sunday I found that I’ve hit one of the my highest 7 day totals without planning it. After my double of 12 and 5 on Friday my 7 day total from Saturday to Friday was 118 miles. I’ve only run that a few times that I can remember, and usually at a very carefully planned time during my training schedule, so it was kind of interesting to just randomly hit it during a normal training week without really thinking about it. This probably just shows that I put too much focus on hitting numbers and that a lot of my fatigue some weeks is just the numbers I see on the page, not actual fatigue. Anyway, Friday’s total was 17 miles.
Sat, March 18th: Finished up the week with an 18 mile long run this morning. Ran it in 2:03:25, 6:51/mile. Decided to bring the run back down to 18 this week after the 22 miles the weekend before. Felt good for most of the run, but towards the end was starting to feel the week’s total catching up with me. Planned rest day tomorrow and back at it Monday.
Week Total: 103 Miles in 6 days.
The past 4 weeks have been a great start to my training for the marathon. I don’t think I’ve started a training block quite like this ever. The closest I can compare to is when I came out of college and prepared for my first half marathon in 2011. I was running around 90 miles per week on a 6 day schedule similar to this while training in Flagstaff, AZ. Ended up running 1:04:35 in my first half marathon off that training block and qualified for my first Olympic Trials. I hoping to see even better results this time around. I’ve got twelve more weeks to keep adding to it, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.