async="src="/ Taking the Long Way Home: Marathon training week 1

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Marathon training week 1

It's no secret that I'm late to the Chicago marathon training party. If you haven't been following me, to bring you up to date, I found out 1 1/2 weeks ago that I won a free entry to the Chicago marathon. Which, of course, I'm extremely excited about! Prior to this, I had been talking with my trainer, Becky, about marathon training and decided that if I would do another marathon, I would let her train me. She promised me that we had plenty of time to get ready, since I already had a good base and we just finished 6 weeks of very heavy lifting. Becky made a marathon training plan for me, and week one is in the books. Here's how it fell out:

Monday: crossfit interval training with Becky- she had me start out on the rower doing progressive distances: 100m, 200m, 300m, 200m, 100m. These were done as fast as possible, with a short rest in between. The rower always kicks my butt--makes my heart rate soar. After that, I did 1 minute kettlebell swings alternating with 1 minute jump roping; 30 seconds rest in between. Three rounds. I couldn't finish one minute without stopping to catch my breath each time. Wow. That was tough. Think you're in shape because you run fast? Or far? Here's something to humble you. Every. damn. time.

Tuesday: 5 miles at race pace. Which race pace I was supposed to run at wasn't specified. I averaged 8:46, which is somewhere between my 10k and half marathon pace. Definitely not what I'm shooting for during the marathon! It was a good run and I felt great after. Hello, runners' high!

Wednesday: Yoga. Due to scheduling conflicts with my son's football camp, I haven't been able to go to the studio much this summer. I have been practicing yoga at home. This week, I did the video developed by Lululemon for Seawheeze 2014, which is an amazing post run workout.

Thursday: Speed work aka speed play aka mile repeats x5. This was fun! I love to run fast, and this was a blast for me! I wasn't quite sure how to pace myself, because I've never done this before. Becky recommended 15-30 seconds faster than race pace, but if I used my marathon timing for that, it wouldn't be speed work. LOL! So I just went all out and here are how my splits fell out:

Becky told me the goal is consistency, so it looks like I need to slow down a little bit so that I can make 8:10 my target pace on every mile. This would again be based on my 10k or half marathon pace. 

Friday: rest day. I worked 9 hours--doesn't really count as rest. I did go for a walk at lunch because it was so cold in the clinic! 

Saturday: 4 miles, slightly faster than race pace. I killed this run! I was tired too, so I don't know what got into me. But my average pace was 8:24 min/mile. Maybe it was the speed work? We took a ride up to Lake Wisconsin to do some waterskiing. I took one turn around the lake. My legs felt good but tired. 

Sunday: 10 miles, long run. I got up early and had my pre-run meal of cheerios and a cup of coffee. I was a little nervous for for this run, which is unusual for this distance for me. But we were in Wisconsin, I had to run on rural roads, and there are a lot of hills here. I started off fairly slow, first mile was 9:23 min/mi, which I was pleased with. But in spite of my best efforts and all those hills, I increased my speed. I felt good, so I didn't think I was running that fast. Miles 4 and 5 were sub 9 and that isn't where I want to be when I'm running 26.2. I even walked part of some of the steeper hills, and still wound up with an average 9:09 min/mi for this run. I was exhausted at the end and that isn't good. I had a few other issues during this run: my yurbuds, which never give me trouble, kept falling out of my ears. Spotify, even though I set the playlist to play "offline", would stop mysteriously every couple of songs. Those 2 issues should be non-issues in my book, and I need to figure that out, quickly. I had to carry water (I added Nuun energy) which I never do, because at home I run where there is water available. I will say the Nuun energy added a little boost about mile 6, when I really started to struggle. I used my handheld amphipod. It was a little awkward at first. I haven't used it since the last time I trained for a marathon--3 years ago! I just can't do the fuel belt--I hate stuff around my waist. And filling those little bottles seems like a major pain to me.

Some good things happened on the run, too. No tummy issues at all! I did spot a few portapotties along the way, so there was a safety net just in case nature called. And the route I ran was spectacular. For every uphill, there was a downhill. Still, I'd love a do over, but I've been told that isn't going to happen, and so I will move on.

Summary: Even in spite of my less than stellar long run, this week gave me a lot of confidence. I can see how strong I've become, just by looking at my split times. My legs feel strong, and one thing I have noticed, especially on the hills, is the power I'm getting from my glutes and hamstrings. In 20 years of running, I have never felt this before. It actually feels like my legs are pushing me, not the opposite. To me, that's really amazing and a testament to the work that Becky is having me do. She may not be a runner, but she's making me stronger and this is making running really fun again!

Coming up: Week 2: Tomorrow was a scheduled rest day, but I don't start work until 1, so Becky and I trying to coordinate another CF interval session.  Tuesday is 6 miles at race pace, Weds is yoga, Thursday is speed play again, Friday is a rest day, Saturday, 4 miles slightly faster than race pace, and Sunday is a bike ride. No long run, which is a little scary for me. 

But everyone tells me to trust the plan. So I will! Because:


  1. Haven't spent much time with the row machine-do you like it?

  2. Girl you are killing it! Are you calculating your long run pace off of your most recent 10k? You ran a fairly recent half too, right?

    1. I should be calculating my long run pace off my half marathon. I'd like to do 9:30mins/mi. As you can see, I have some work to do!

  3. Looking great!! You are killing those runs, and don't even get me started on 5 one mile repeats? Hello badass! My plan calls for 3 max! Great job!

    1. Thanks! If I'd known how much fun those mile repeats were, I would have been doing them sooner! LOL! What I need to work on is slowing down on the long run. Who knew that would be my biggest challenge?

  4. HOLY COW you are FAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Get some girly!!!!!

  5. I wish I could handle the rower. I get wicked sea sick on it even though I don't get sea sick on a boat. What's up with that??

  6. Great week of training! And I totally agree--doing something like tabata training will kick our runner's butts every time!

  7. Congrats on your awesome runs during the week! Having a bad long run is always a bummer, especially when you're training for a marathon and long runs are super important. But, it sounds like you're analyzing the long run in the right way, especially since you had those killer runs early in the week. I hope your next long run goes better and that your gear is more cooperative!