Saturday, June 30, 2012

Marathon Training Week 1

Here we go again. Time to kick off another marathon training cycle.

This will be my 4th standalone marathon training cycle in preparation for my 6th marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon on October 28. I am sticking with Hal Higdon's Intermediate I as my training plan. Sorta. I followed Intermediate I for Chicago. It mostly worked. I followed Intermediate I for Shamrock, but with slight increases in mileage and a lowered marathon goal pace. I ran about a half mile longer on most runs and a mile longer on most long runs. Y'all know about the good things that happened at Shamrock. So I think I will bump up the mileage again, even slightly above what I did for Shamrock, and lower my marathon goal pace again. To what, though? 7:30? That just seems crazy fast.

Goals? I am not completely sure. Once you have a marathon or two (or five) under your belt, it is helpful to pin down your goal before you lace up your shoes for your first training run. What you do from Day 1 onward sets you up for the rest of your training. Last time around, I knew I wanted to come closer to 50 miles per week than I had in the past. I set myself up for extra mileage from the very beginning. I am going to train to run 3:30 or 3:35 but don't have to reach either of those times (unless Boston registration goes completely haywire and I need a faster qualifier. I doubt this will happen but you never know. Even then Marine Corps will be too late to get me into Boston for 2013.).

The summer in DC is one of my biggest fears. I ran fast, and sometimes very fast, in the winter in preparation for Shamrock. I can't improve or even replicate that speed in heat and humidity. Then there's the actual marathon. I might run as a pacer. Who knows. I will have a better sense of goals later on in my training. Plus, although I go into marathon training with a general goal, I never decide on a firm time goal until a day or two before a race. You need to take weather into account. And your training. And how you feel. And 834 other factors.

My plan for the week was cross-train, run 4, 5, and 4 miles, rest, 5 mile pace run, and 9 mile long run, plus strength training where it fit. No, not exactly Intermediate I. I made some adjustment where I saw fit. But lookit that. A pace run. Haven't done one of those in a while.

Sunday - about an hour of yoga podcasts, plus lunges.

Monday - 4.5 mile run plus one-legged squats in the AM. Humid but not too hot yet. Ran on the fast end of my usual pace for no particular reason. Did core and pushups in the PM.

Tuesday - 5.3 mile run. Cool and dry. Almost cool enough for a T-shirt. Fast again. I think something clicks once I am training. Running is more focused. That is fine, as long as I don't do it on every run.

Wednesday - 4.8 mile run, plus upper body strength training and calf raises. Still nice and cool.

Thursday - Rest.

Friday - 5.2 mile pace run. I usually start off each new training cycle with a pace run on the treadmill, but not this time. 7:44 overall pace. The first 2 miles were exactly 15 minutes (7:30), and then things slowed down. It was a combo of hills and the weather. I still do not know how to pace myself appropriately on hills. It wasn't super hot and humid when I ran, but the weather enough to make an impact. Good thing I ran with Gatorade and water in my Fuelbelt. I could feel the poor air quality in my chest by the end. Temps got up to over 100 later in the day.

Saturday - 9.2 mile long run. Got going early because it was another day with forecast temps over 100. Bah. Maybe it is going to be a long summer. For long runs, I tend to see where my overall pace falls in the first mile or two and then stick with that pace. It was in the 8:30s and so I went with that. My pace crept up into the 8:40s in the middle, but I got it back down to the 8:30s by the end. Did I mention the strong storm overnight that knocked out trees, branches, power lines, and power to 1.5 million people in the DC area? They were fun. My car windshield got badly damaged, my power was out for 16 hours, and my run was an obstacle course. First world problems, right? The windshield can be easily replaced, the power could have been out for days, and there are worse things than jumping over tree limbs and leaves.

Total Miles- Scheduled: 27 Actual:29

1 week down, 17 weeks to go!


  1. My "training" starts next week. I'm also quite anxious about running in the heat =/

    I did an interval run on the treadmill today. 5 miles on the treadmill is torture.

    1. I see your 5 mile interval run, and I raise you racing a half marathon on a treadmill. Believe it or not, it was not the worst thing in the world. I tolerate the treadmill. It has its purpose.

      Good luck with your training! Stay hydrated, eat salt, slow down, wear light colors, and wear sunscreen.