It’s hard to believe I’m already in the middle of my 7th week of training for the Chicago Marathon – I swear time passes by more quickly with each passing year!
Since I haven’t been doing weekly training recaps for this training cycle like I did for Boston this Spring, I figured I could do a quick check in post to say how things are going, and what’s different this time around from training through winter/spring 🙂
Biggest change: I’m not using Hansons Marathon Method. (Whattt??) I know, I know. Hansons helped me nail a PR in Boston, and I felt good doing it too. I absolutely plan to use this method again, but I’m doing so for next year’s Boston Marathon. The reason I really chose Hansons in the first place was that the longest run on the schedule was 16 miles. I hate winter weather, and the thought of suffering through multiple 20-milers in the dead of winter really turned me off. I completely loved Hansons, and think the cumulative fatigue worked to my advantage on race day, especially on Boston’s course when my legs felt trashed after 16 miles downhill (ok rolling hills…but mostly down).
This time I’m using a plan from Advanced Marathoning. I got the book for Christmas back in 2012 and read through it then and there. But I used Run Less, Run Faster for my Baltimore Marathon in 2013, and Hansons for Boston this year. I didn’t want to use Hansons 3 cycles in a row (especially since I don’t mind super long runs in the summer), and I didn’t want to go back to Run Less, Run Faster.
Enter Advanced Marathoning. I chose the 55-70 miles per week plan since with Hansons I topped out at 66 and felt good (meaning no injuries or soreness, just general tiredness). I’m using the plan as prescribed for the most part, except for the addition of progressive runs throughout, and adding speed to a couple of the longer runs.
Most weeks look like this:
Monday – 9-11 miles with 5-6 at tempo
Tuesday – Body Pump
Wednesday – 13-15 miles
Thursday – 10-12 miles
Friday – 5 miles
Saturday – 15-21 miles
So far I haven’t done any speedwork, which Hansons had me doing from the start. This plan has an endurance build up before the speedwork comes in, so I’ll be starting it in the next week or two.
One of Alison’s recent recaps reminded me about fast finishes as well, so I’m incorporating those into my runs more often as well. I used to run fast finishes or some variation of progressive runs ALL.THE.TIME. in the winter – but that’s because at least 25% of my weekly miles were on the treadmill, and it became second nature to pick it up at the end. Since I returned to nearly 100% outside running, I kind of zoned out and stuck to the same pace for my entire run. Not anymore though 🙂
Cross-Training: For Boston, my cross-training was solely yoga and a variety of planking after pretty much every run. I’ve kept up the planking, but have switched out yoga for body pump. The truth is, I get bored of whatever cross training it is I do after doing it week after week for months on end. I’ll go back to yoga at some point, but for now I wanted a break. Back to body pump it is.
I’m also using the app 30 days, again from something Alison mentioned. It builds challenges for you based on what you can already do for a specific exercise, over a 30 day time span. So if you can do 10 push-ups, over a 30 day period, it might build you up to 45. I’m trying to do better about “the little things” during this cycle, and this app keeps me on top of it – I’m using is specifically for push ups, mountain climbers, and wall-sits. Additionally, I’m doing bridges and leg lifts since my right glute and IT band have been feeling the mileage. I don’t think it’s anything to worry about (yet), but definitely want to be diligent about the prehab so I can keep running. Last but not least, I try do do some calf raises or shin strengtheners each night.
Saddest Change: I said goodbye to Sammy 😦
We met about a year ago on our first run each with the Montgomery County Road Runners, exchanged numbers, and never went back to the club. We ran together twice a week, in the morning or evening, in the heat and cold, wind and rain. But it was time for her to fly out to CA for a road trip across the country with her boyfriend before starting grad school in PA – awesome way to spend some vacation days before starting school, but she is sorely missed.
Races before THE GOAL RACE: Just 2 weeks before I fly out to Colorado for the Pike’s Peak Ascent! Have I done any specific training for it? Nope. I find it kind of funny that I signed up for a 13.32 race up a mountain 2 months before my goal marathon that’s known for being one of the flattest courses around. But really, I just want to have fun in Colorado. I have no time expectations. They say the ascent takes you roughly the amount of time it takes to finish a marathon, but given that I’m not training at altitude, or on hills specifically, I’m not really taking that into consideration. Crossing the finish line alone will put a smile on my face 🙂
2.5 months to go!
How’s your training going?
What “little things” do you do daily to for your running body?