This week I backed off of the cross training due to time constraints. Boy, do I feel the difference! When I incorporate biking and swimming into my training, I feel much stronger and less achy. When I add a dash of yoga to the mix, I feel even better! Anyway, my main focus this week was running, not purposefully…it’s just the way life worked!
Here’s what I did:
Monday, March 22 - Easy recovery run 5.25 miles at an 8:40 pace. This run followed a tough weekend consisting of an 8 mile run Friday evening, a 10 mile run and 30 mile bike Saturday, and a 12 mile hill run on Sunday.
Tuesday, March 23 – No time!
Wednesday, March 24 - Hill Repeats. 9 mile run consisting of 8 hill repeats. 1500 yard swim immediately after.
Thursday, March 25 - Fartlek run 7.25 miles
Friday, March 26 - Rest
Saturday, March 27 - Long Run. 20.25 miles with the last 9 at 8:57 pace.
Sunday, March 28 – Easy recovery run – 4.25 miles.
Goals for the week of March 29 – April 4
- Swim and Bike more
- Run less with more emphasis on quality runs
- Get more sleep
- Eat fewer jellybeans!!
- Work on keeping my mind positive
It’s Tuesday which normally means a hill repeat run followed by an hour and a half of swim lessons. Not tonight, though. My swim instructor is out of town; therefore, tonight will be a run and an hour swim.
Tonight’s run is supposed to be 8 miles of hill repeats with the emphasis on the downhill. I love running downhill! There’s nothing like feeling my feet moving fast and my body still feeling good. Uphill is another story. I work on the ascent because I know it’s good for me and I know it builds strength. Honestly, it’s not easy but, then again, nothing worthwhile is easy!
Looking forward to this evening’s workout!
Of all the rotten luck! I’m 10 days from my marathon and I’m hurting like crazy! My right hip is sore from the front (hip flexor area) right around to the back (glutes). What do I do?
I ran 7 miles last night and felt terrible going uphill. Maybe I should hit the pool and spin class. Maybe I should just run on my treadmill. Maybe I should forget my marathon. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Woo hoo! I’m doing the happy dance! Just finished my last long run (well, it was only 13.1) and even though I was tired, I ran pretty well.
The first 8 miles I ran at a nice, easy pace and the last 5 miles I picked it up and ran between an 8:35 to 8:45 pace. My total time for the 13.1 was 1:58:03 – not fast but, then again, that wasn’t my goal.
For the next two weeks I’ll take it nice and easy with my longest run being 10 miles. What a switch that will be for me, especially after loggin 4-20+ mile long runs and several 17 or longer mile runs.
Let the taper begin!
Well, I can’t believe it but I’m already in taper mode. Where did the weeks go?
For me, tapering is a challenge. I never feel like I’m doing enough running and I always feel like I’m eating too much food! However, I understand the wisdom behind the taper…let your body rest for the work it’s about to do.
My question is: How long should the taper be? Some argue two weeks, others three. What do you think?
Gotta love 22 miles, that is.
Tomorrow marks my longest run before my marathon – 22 miles. I’m psyched!! I just love getting up early on a Saturday morning, lacing up my shoes, and heading out for a few hours of running. Usually I run with girlfriends, but this Saturday I’m opting to run alone as I probably won’t do a lot of talking on marathon morning and I want to practice running silently (a real challenge for me!).
Several local runners ask me what my secret is to keeping my attitude positive toward the long run. Hummm, this is an interesting question to which there is no quick answer. I guess the single biggest influence on my mental fitness is yoga. Emphasis on being present and on breathing in peace, love, acceptance, and joy helps my focus remain positive.
Tomorrow I’ll attempt to run the last 8 miles at my goal pace, 8:45. I’ll let you know how it goes!
Happy weekend to all and happy running!
Yes, that’s my question: Should you run farther than 20 miles during your marathon training? What are the benefits? I’d love to hear your opinions!
Saturday I ran an incredibly difficult almost 21 miles. My girlfriends and I ran up and down hill after hill and only stopped once to refuel our fuel belts. For me, it was one of those runs that just felt tough the entire way. You know, the kind of day when every mile is an effort.
What got me through this run was my mind. Somewhere around mile 13 or 14 I let a few negative thoughts creep into my brain. “I’m so exhausted! I just don’t have it today! I want to stop!” But then a little voice (I call it my yoga voice) broke in and said, “Hey, just be present. Right now your feet are moving and you’re doing it. Keep it up! Shine! Be present, be present.”
So, I kept going and finished in 3:06 and change. The mind is miraculous!
But I have to wonder, do you really need to go that far in training runs? Thoughts?
Yesterday I set out to run my track workout on a beautiful, cool 66° late morning. By the standard of most, the conditions were perfect for my 1200m repeats. When I arrived at my favorite track after my warm-up, I was amazed at how difficult it was for me to maintain my 5:30 pace for each of my repeats (I ran 4 with a 400m recovery between each).
After I finished my 8.7 mile run, I sat and reflected on why this was such a challenging workout. I came up with a few reasons.
1. Keeping a consistent pace around a track is TOUGH! In the winter months, I do my speed workouts on a treadmill and I’m always amazed at how much easier they are. I guess that’s because the machine sets the pace, you just have to keep your legs moving. On the track, it’s your legs that set the pace and it’s not easy to maintain it for 3 laps.
2. After 4 days without a rest, my body is tired! So, I ask myself: Do I gain more fitness by pushing hard when I want to run easy? Or do I risk injury?
3. When you amp up your training to 55 to 60 mile weeks that include hill repeats, track workouts, and long runs of 20 or more miles, you need to eat more calories. This shouldn’t be all that difficult! What I’ve started doing is eating peanut butter on a banana before a run.
4. Mentally, I don’t encourage myself enough on these runs. When I know I have to do 1200m repeats I tend to silently say, “Oh no! I hate these things. They’re so hard!” Instead of, “Well, this will be a great workout and I’ll be so much stronger on the long run because this.” I have to remember to shine, especially when it comes to longer repeats.
Rest weeks are always welcome in my world of running and this past week was an opportunity to for my body to enjoy a little rest and recovery. Having completed a 50 mile week that included a 20 mile run the previous week, this was such a great break.
Rest weeks are not weeks absent of all running and cross training, however. I still did my track workouts and long run; each run was just shorter runs than the previous week. Also, I added an extra day of yoga and if you’ve ever done Power Vinyasa, you know that it’s no joke.
My continued focus is on keeping my mind positive and running easy on easy days.
Monday, August 11: Track Workout #1 – 6 x 800m in 3:40 with 400m recovery. After a 2 mile warm-up, I started my 800m repeats. For me, the first couple are always the most difficult but after I get into the groove, I love the repeats. I find that they keep my mind focused and the time goes by so quickly! Total Miles for the day= 7.3. Yoga day.
Tuesday, August 12: Easy run. 6.25 miles at an 8:53 pace.
Wednesday, August 13: Easy run. 5.20 miles at 8:49 pace. Yoga day.
Thursday, August 14: Long Run. 12.1 miles at an easy 9:06 pace. In the spirit of rest and recovery, my long run was only 12 miles today and I keep these miles easy. Typically, I run the last several miles at goal pace but not during a rest week. I enjoyed a great run and incorporated several moderately long hills in the course. Yoga today.
Friday, August 15: REST!
Saturday, August 16: Track Workout #2. 12 x 200m in 50 seconds with 200m recovery. Total miles for today: 6.25.
Sunday, August 17: Easy Run. 5.5 miles at 8:49 pace.
Total Miles for the Week= 42.2
It’s true: I love to train for marathons. About 7 years ago, the marathon bug bit me and I’ve been in love ever since. There’s just something about the challenge of 50 to 65 mile weeks, the thrill of the 20+ mile run, the whittling of the waistline, the tired quads, the peaceful mind that keeps me coming back for more.
It seems like just yesterday that I laced up my running shoes and set out on my first 20 mile run. I vividly recall the hours I spent planning for that run: mapping out routes, planning nutrition, packing my fuel belt, setting out water. Boy, have things changed!
Thanks to the invention of the Garmin 305, I can run just about anywhere and know exactly how far I’ve run and at what pace. Knowing that my body needs GU after 45 minutes, I can quickly estimate how many to take on any given run. And water? Well, I just make sure I run by a few stores and keep my water bottle at least 1/2 full at all times. The 20 mile run has gotten so much easier!
Running 20 miles is still challenging, but I don’t dread the distance any longer. Maybe that’s because I usually run that distance with at least one friend. Last Saturday I ran my 20 with a very large group and it was great. Once again, 3 of us ran the last 5 miles at goal pace and got faster as we ticked off each final mile. I love running negative splits; it just gives me such a great feeling of accomplishment!
This year I discovered a new product that has helped relieve leg cramps: Enduralyte Tablets. To me, they’re magic. I take two just as I start my run, and two every hour after. They keep my quads from feeling like rigor mortis has set in both during and after the run.
I’ve also discovered the benefit of running slowly for the first several miles. My legs stay fresh and I handle the hills with much greater ease. As an added benefit, I can chat endlessly with my friends. I’ve found that running the last 5 or more miles at goal pace makes me a much stronger runner and forces me to tap into my mental energy, my shine.
Finally, I’ve learned the restorative and strength-building power of Power Vinyasa Yoga. Practicing 2 to 3 times each week since early last July, I’ve noticed a dramatic improvement in my core as well as my upper body strength. As a distance runner, it’s difficult to maintain flexibility but the yoga has definitely helped.