DAY | PLAN | ACTUAL
MON | REST | REST
TUE | 3M/STRENGTH | 3M (9:52/MI)/STRENGTH
WED | 3M/YOGA | 3.2M (9:46/MI)/BIKRAM90
THU | 3M/STRENGTH | 3.2M HILL INT (9:24/MI)/STRENGTH
FRI | REST | REST
SAT | YOGA | BIKRAM90
SUN | 7M | 7.3 (10.08/MI)
TOTAL |16 MILES | 16.7 MILES
I’m enjoying these first few weeks of marathon training because I’m looking at them as a lot of trial and error and getting to know myself as a runner. From what I am told, as the weeks progress and I’m pushed more to my limit, I will be getting to know myself much more as a person. I’m taking each stage as it comes and appreciating it for what it is.
Week 2’s short runs during the week went just fine. I especially enjoyed my hill interval workout on Thursday after my strength training session. My energy was good and I felt really strong, even as I raised the incline on each interval. It was encouraging to finally see a bit of progress on my hill work. You guys all told me I would, and you were right! Being told that the hills would still benefit my training even if I walked them has set me free somehow. I have still yet to walk any of them, but for some reason knowing I can has made all the difference.
My run on Wednesday was a bit tough and is something I may need to look at in the future. Well, to be honest, the run wasn’t too tough, but after getting it in at 530am in 83 degree weather and then trotting off to a 90 minute yoga class in a hot room, I was wiped. I’ve done this combo often for quite some time–a short run, and then yoga. I think one difference is that I usually run inside on the treadmill and out of the sun. I didn’t think the heat would affect me too much, but it definitely did. When I arrived at my studio right before class my teacher joked, “Is it raining outside?” It was clear and sunny but I was drenched. I had had my normal AM drinks, as well as a coconut water and bone broth, but it was not enough. This week I am going to adjust my hydration and take some salt tablets both before the run and before class. If I can maintain energy throughout and not leave feeling like I got hit by a truck, then I will continue the combo. If not, I may have to go down to just one yoga class a week, or perhaps some weeks I’ll slide a class in on my rest day. We will see. Like I said, I’m gonna take it week by week and see how I feel.
My real education this week came on my 7 mile run today. My blogger friend Hanna had suggested to me that I make my longer runs progression runs where I’m really trying to push myself at the end. She mentioned it was one of the best ways to simulate the marathon, where I’ll reach a point where I’ll have to seriously push through on tired and angry legs. I thought this was great advice, and set out to start to incorporate it into my training today. Earlier in the week I read about how there are different types of progression runs, and I realized that one of the general methods is how I typically run. I am pretty good at starting slow and increasing my pace. In other words, I’ve got a pretty good negative split game. I realized though that this was not necessarily the progression run I am going for in my training. Instead I want to be able to hold a consistent and manageable pace for several miles before starting to push for the last few. If you look below at my stats for the day you might think I didn’t do too bad, but really, I was all over the place. I’ve only had my Garmin for about a month but I’ve already learned a great deal from it. This morning I would be jogging along at an easy 10:45 or so pace, breathing easy and getting into my podcast. A few minutes later I would think, “Man, what’s wrong with me, why is my breathing getting heavier at this slow pace?” That is the point where I would look down at my watch and notice I had quickened to 9:05. This happened all throughout my run. While the numbers balanced out fine for each lap, I didn’t like how imbalanced my sporadic pacing made me feel. Before my watch, I never realized how easily my pace can get away from me if I’m not paying attention to it.
I’ve run a half in under 2 hours. When I train for the half I’m pretty comfortable averaging the 9:00/mile pace. But the truth is, that comfort level is only there because I know I only have to maintain it for 13.1 miles. I’ve been so worried about going out too fast for the marathon that in my head, I’ve pictured myself training very slowly for it to make sure I can finish. All in all, you might say I’m a little lost as to what my pace should be–I’m really not sure what I am capable of. I guess that is why I am so grateful for these first few weeks of training–I am using them to try and find my true pace, or at least a range I can steady myself at. I like the idea of challenging myself to running more evenly on my long runs. I’m thinking it will help me incorporate my breath-work as well and these two things can start to work in tandem, instead of against each other.
I’ve been so rejuvenated by my two rest days–it’s something I think I want to try to maintain throughout training, and also perhaps in the off season. I’ve been going six days for years–often with one or two days that I’m really dragging myself along. I really feel like I am seeing more strength and energy and focus in each workout with two days rest. My sister, a collegiate athlete herself, was telling me about a conversation she had with a friend, who happens to train several professional athletes. He told her, “Real athletes approach rest with as much vigor as days they train. If an athlete doesn’t rest well, they won’t perform well, period.” Hearing this from a guy I really respect has really shifted my perspective. It made me realize that I have been run ragged by my ego for a long time. I’m very type A and intense; I like the idea of being seen as someone who’s always pushing. Working out six days a week fed my desire to maintain that persona. Things look different to me now though, This training has me thinking more about the type of runner and athlete I want to be, and the success and longevity I hope to have. If adding an extra rest day keeps giving me that pop in my workouts, then I think I’ll be sold. BONUS: I LOVE that my rest days are Monday and Friday–I’m really digging the way that it structures my week–everything feels so achievable!
Have a great week everyone–let me know how you are all doing out there! How did you find your “marathon” pace? How many days are you resting, and does it differ when you are training for something?
Also, enjoy GoT tonight if you’re a watcher. If you’re not, get on that shit now! #winterishere