Last week I sat down and mapped out all my long runs for Boston Marathon training. It was exciting and scary at the same time. Initially I hadn’t planned on running a spring marathon. Mostly because I didn’t want to put the pressure on myself while I was still pregnant or recovering postpartum to be in “x” shape by “x” date. I still think it is hard to train for and run your best possible marathon if you’re still breastfeeding and your baby isn’t sleeping through the night. Lack of sleep coupled with the demand on your body from breastfeeding mean that training may not be optimal. Because of this I don’t have any time goals or expectations for the Boston Marathon. I’m there to have fun, to enjoy the opportunity I’ve been given by Stonyfield to run with Team Stonyfield and to soak up the experience.
I still plan on training to my best ability, which means I’ll put in hard efforts on my hard days and log multiple 20 milers (I’ve got six, 18-20 mile runs scheduled). Put in the work and see what happens. That’s my goal for Boston. The only time goal I have in mind is for the half-marathon that’s been on my radar for later in May. That’s the race I’m really training for, and if I put in the work to achieve that goal I should run relatively well at Boston.
I just wrapped up a hill cycle and have moved on this week to the basic structure of my training for Boston. Here’s what my weeks will look like for the next few months:
Monday: recovery run or rest
Tuesday: longer easy run 8-10 miles
Wednesday: indoor track for a total of 8+ miles
Thursday: hill Run
Friday: easy run
Saturday: tempo run
Sunday: long run
My weekends will be demanding. But the idea behind a tempo followed by a long run the next day is that I’ll get plenty of practice running on tired legs. I knocked out my first tempo this weekend and felt remarkably good. My goal was to run two miles at 7 min pace after a two mile warm up. I went out with little expectation on the pace, not really knowing how 7 min pace would “feel.” The last time I ran a tempo run was the summer of 2013 and I can remember those tempos feeling ridiculously hard (I think I was running them too fast for my fitness level at the time). So I wondered if I would feel that same I.cant.catch.up.with.my.self feeling that came with those too-fast paces.
But on Saturday I rolled right into that 7 min pace relatively well and stuck to it feeling smooth and relaxed. The only draw back was the footing, it was snowy and with an inch of freshly fallen snow on the road the footing wasn’t super great. When I could I ran on the clear pavement where the salt had melted the snow down, there the footing was fine. I ended up with 14:02 for my two miles. And I felt good, smooth, collected, calm. I’m hoping all the tempos feel that way.
The rest of last week went pretty well, there were more treadmill runs than I would like. But I’m finding that when I run on the treadmill I’m more likely to do strength training afterwards. So it seems like a win for me. Here’s how the rest of the week broke down:
Monday: Easy thirty minute run that ended up not being all that easy. I did my cross training and then fifteen minutes into my run on the treadmill the kids came down hungry for breakfast. So I snuck in another 15 minute later in the day to get in thirty. Here’s what I did for strength:
3 sets, 10 reps each
Form drills: single leg running man, backward lunge, eccentric hamstring cross-over
Kettle bell swing, prone leg lift, plank on ball with knee tucks
Kettle bell row, squat with olympic bar, bridge
Tuesday: Treadmill Hill Run. Ran five minutes at 4%, 6%, 8% and 10% then eased back down to 4% for 10 minutes and then 2% for another 10 minutes. 4.5 miles total. Then 8×100 (which is about 20 seconds hard and 20 seconds easy on the treadmill).
Wednesday: Indoor Track. 1.5 mile warm up, then 3×1 mile, 1.5 mile cool down. The plan was to run 6:30’s on the miles, faster if I could maintain good form and if I felt smooth and relaxed. Honestly, those 6:30’s scared me I didn’t think I could do it, let alone faster. I went out at what felt like an effort I could sustain for a mile (I don’t wear a Garmin on the track and rely completely on internal pacing and a stopwatch to provide feedback on pace). The goal was to go through each lap at around 39 seconds (on the indoor track 10 laps is a mile). I clocked the first lap in 34 seconds and tried to ease back thinking that I couldn’t sustain that pace. But I must not have eased back all that much because I finished that mile in 6:03. I eased up for the last two miles running 6:14 and 6:16. I felt strong and my coach said that my form looked smooth and strong, until about midway through the third mile he said he could see the fatigue a bit in my form. I walked away from the workout feeling really pleased. I did what seemed scary, I trusted my body to pace me and it didn’t fail me. I think that there is a certain confidence that you can gain but running intervals WITHOUT a Garmin. When you learn to “feel” the pace and rely on the feedback from your body (in the form of your breathing and heart rate) instead of a watch you can find the confidence to run to your full potential.
Thursday: Got a terrible nights sleep on Wednesday and felt the start of a sore throat. Decided to sleep in and take Thursday off. Turned out to be a good choice.
Friday: Treadmill Hill Run. Ran five minutes at 4%, 6%, 8% and 10% then eased back down to 4% for 10 minutes and then 2% for another 10 minutes. 4.5 miles total.
Saturday: Tempo run. 2 mile warm up with easy running. Two mile tempo: 7:04 and 6:58. Two mile cool down. 6.32 miles total
Sunday: Long run 14 miles. With rain, a wind advisory and cold I decided to try and find company for my run and joined up with other members of Six03Endurance. We ran a coastal loop that had us fighting some pretty nasty headwinds. When the weather is miserable it’s nice to have company. I would not have wanted to do this one on my own.
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Email: RunFarGirl [at] gmail [dot] com
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