Thursday, September 3, 2015

Erie Marathon Training: The Peak

Officially done, I quit running. I quit training and hard workouts. I'm done.

Just kidding, but I am done with real training for Erie. I'm now in the "do no harm" phase, which is almost as hard as training but in other ways (sitting on your ass is tiring y'all).

Last week I talked about how training went for Erie leading up to the peak point. Now that 'peak week' is done, can wrap this training cycle up.

During this 10 day training period, I had 3 workouts to do which is how I closed out the last few marathon cycles with my coach. A tempo, a long hard progression run, and a final long tempo to be a week and a half out from the marathon. While I obviously want ALL workouts to go well (who doesn't?) I know that the outcome of those workouts doesn't necessarily dictate what will happen come race day.

Rochester 2014
Tempo 1: Nope, had to shut down last few miles.
Long Run: BONK. Bazillion degrees out, hit NO paces on the 23+ mile run.
Tempo 2: Eh, paces were there but didn't feel great.
Result: 2 Minute PR, 3:11 (although a few minutes off of my goal)
Thoughts: I guess bonking all 3 was probably a good indication, but ya never know.

Memphis 2014
Tempo 1: Very good progression tempo, hit paces and could have pushed more!
Long Run: Spot on 23+ mile run, very confidence boosting.
Tempo 2: I broke my damn half marathon PR in a training run. HELL YES.
Result: 7 Minute PR, 3:04:40 (Obviously a success!)
Thoughts: The confidence from nailing all 3 definitely helped, but worried if I peaked in performance too soon- obviously not this time.

Boston 2015
Tempo 1: Paces were there, but didn't feel awesome and had to work for it more.
Long Run: Decent 20 miler, first ten were off but the last half was on point.
Tempo 2: BONK, hit paces for a few miles but then slowed down & had to cut short.
Result: 37 second PR, 3:04:03 (Success, although not quite as big of PR as hoped)
Thoughts: 3 so-so peak workouts and still rebounded mentally to have a spot on race with execution, that is encouraging. The last long run was also shorter than the others and still felt like I had that endurance on race day.

Now onto Erie's peak training.

Tempo 1 (last Wednesday): Nailed it. I ran 14 miles total with an overall average of 6:50. The 12 tempo miles averaged 6:43 and I was very consistent with them especially on the middle flat miles (which is confidence boosting for Erie's flat terrain).

Long run (This past Saturday): 23 miles @ 7:13 average which is my fastest paced 20+ mile run by over 10 seconds/mile. I ran the first 10 as warm-up/easy progression averaging 7:41. Followed that with 3 miles around current marathon pace (7:04) and closed the last 10 miles at 6:58, 6:56, 6:52, 6:52, 6:48, 6:47, 6:41, 6:41, 6:37, 6:28 (6:46 average). The fueling was on point. The pacing was on point. The best part, gas in the tank.

Tempo 2 (Yesterday): Phew, it's done! It was 86 degrees yesterday, and pretty thick. Decided the treadmill was a better option, so I could have a fan as well as multiple water bottles in reach (I hate running with a handheld water bottle when doing a speed or tempo workout). Anyways, 1 mile up followed by 12 miles averaging 6:42, and 1 mile cool down. Originally there was 13 tempo miles planned but I cut one out for a few reasons, and really don't care. One tempo mile isn't going to make or break me in 10 days, if it does then I've got bigger problems.

Thoughts: HELLOOOOO Taper, I missed you oh so much. Sorry, had to get that out. Okay, back to thoughts on peak training this time around; the short of it is I am happy. This summer was a different one of training and I think it suited me well. I wasn't constantly freaking out about it and it made it go smoother and much more enjoyable. Enjoying it is kind of the point, right?

As for the peak workouts, they served their purpose. That first tempo gave me confidence on the roads to hit paces, and to take it one mile at a time. The long run helped me nail down fueling (something I am finally getting a better grip on), and also was reassuring when those later miles didn't feel like a ride on the struggle bus. The last tempo was probably the "worst" of the 3 workouts, but still gave me confidence in hitting paces regardless of conditions. It also made me really happy I won't be a a hormonal lunatic feeling like a beached whale next week like I do now; for once girl luck is on my side.

Now it's time to kick off a long relaxing weekend and get ready for the race week next week!


  1. I hope you have a great long weekend and good luck with Erie! I agree the taper has to be hard, no workouts but plenty of time to be nervous and overthink, so hopefully you can relax and not do that. I bet you'll do great at the marathon, can't wait to see how you do :).

  2. I'm excited to see how Erie goes for you. You've worked your ass off.

    PS: Happy Birthday!

  3. Cannot wait to see how it all goes.

  4. Awesome! Looks like you're on target! I can't wait to read about the race!


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