Friday, August 28, 2015

Erie Marathon Training: The Build

I've been far more "mellow" with this training cycle which is a complete 180 from last summer. My personality is naturally intense, so I'm not saying that I've become a totally different person because I'm still a high-strung/excitable person. I guess this summer I just really tucked my head down and did the work without worrying so much about it taking over my life. I didn't keep my training secret but I wasn't broadcasting every second. I still get very high/low off corresponding workouts but I also balance out from those peaks and valleys far quicker. I DO have a goal for Erie but I didn't let that goal dictate my every move this summer, I just wanted to put in the work and see what could happen.

Now that the end of the cycle is nearing though, I'm analyzing the numbers and the workouts and figured might be good time to actually talk about my marathon training on my running blog. Novel idea.

Training has been going well, and follows the typical ups and downs associated with marathon training. Some days are serious struggle fests to even get out the door, and other workouts leave you flying high for days. I expect this, prepare for this, and try not to dwell on either too much. You know the whole "don't let success go to your head, and don't let failure go to your heart" thing- kind of how I look at training. I try not to let the bad days beat me up too much, but I don't let the good days keep me from working even harder the next time.

May was a building month back after Boston, so no crazy miles or anything like that. I did 2 tempo runs and my long runs were primarily shorter and easier than normal. Favorite two runs of May were Pacing Buffalo Marathon, and then a 14 mile trail run I did with Heather.

June was another pretty low key month of building like May. My long runs were between 12-16 miles, and overall mileage was still relatively low. My workouts were focused on speed and track work, which was a really fun way to start the summer. Some of the workouts I did: 5 x 1 mile cruise intervals, 5 x 1 km, 3 x 1 mile at 90%, as well as a fartlek with bursts of 5k paced mixed in. Since my mileage was still building, I was taking the extra time to put towards supplementing my training with strength, core work, and extra prehab exercises. I think this really helped me mentally feel prepared to head into bigger months of July/August; I had the mileage base AND healthy foundation of strength to hold myself up.

I peaked at end of June to prepare for July which would start off with Boilermaker 15k. The two weeks following Boilermaker were a little lower, almost step back in order to bounce forward into marathon specific come August. July was another good month of adding in cross training (swimming and cycling) as well as supplemental strength and conditioning.

July Breakdown
Long Runs: 15 (7:44), 17 (8:04) {Both were meant to be time on feet, with no hard efforts}
-5 x 1 mile @ 10k-15k pace 6:26, 6:20, 6:23, 6:22, 6:19 {2 min rest}
-14 x 200 @ 40 sec. {100m recovery jog}
-4 x 1 mile @ 6:15 average {1 minute recovery}
-3 x 1 mile (200m sprint into 1200m @5k into 200m sprint) 5:53 average {4 minutes rest}
-11 mile wave tempo (5 minutes at GMP, 5 minutes at 10k) 6:55 average {including w/u & c/d}
-8 mile Fartlek ( 1 mile w/u, 7 miles with 20-60 second bursts @ 5k-10k pace) 7:13 average for run.
-Boilermaker 15k
-Tibbets Point 10k (used as GMP workout in midst of a longer run)

August Breakdown (First few weeks)
Long Runs:
-20.5 miles (8:03) Simply a time on feet run, easy paced
-16.6 miles (8:12) Recovery/step back long run, raced the day before
-22 miles (7:23) Long Progression, first half from 8:33 down to 7:36, second half 7:13 down to 6:32
-18 miles (8:03) Time on feet run, easy paced- good chunk was on a trail with rest on road
-10 miles with 8 @ 6:46 average (6:58 for entire run)
-Wave tempo (~12 miles) 10 min w/u, 60 minute wave tempo (10min GMP/10min 10k) @ 6:36 average, 11 minute c/d ( 6:51 average for entire run)
-12 miles with 10 @ 6:43 average (6:53 for entire run)
-Bergen Road Race 5k

August has been a really strong month for me so far. Coach started giving me back the long tempos to get into marathon mode and I was pleased how natural it felt to do again. I admit, the added weekly mileage turned into me putting less time into strength/cross training but I've gotten at least some in each week. In addition to my workouts, I typically had 1-2 other double digit runs each week for aerobic time on feet. August has an extra weekend in it this year so my overall monthly mileage will be my biggest by a LONG shot which is cool. I'm not ALL about miles but sometimes it's just really nice to see I can handle ~60 mile weeks back to back to back and not die(that is new for me).

I did a breakdown of my training like this before Boston and it was confidence boosting. It helps to lay it all out and see how much work I really have been doing. We let the days and weeks pass and don't always stop and look at what we have already accomplished because we are so focused on what is next. I'm proud of the work I've done damnit.

I'm currently halfway through my 10 day peak period (Started Monday and will end next Wednesday with last long tempo). I will do another update once I'm done, assuming I'm not in a comatose state.

Taper is in sight, I can already see the sheep I'll be counting and the mountains of food I'll be inhaling.

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