CIM training

well here we are, the end of the cycle.  16 weeks, 769.3 miles, 4 pairs of shoes, many tears, smiles, doubts and confidence boosts later, i am done training for marathon #8. 

on the one hand, the 16 weeks flew by, but on the other hand, i can’t really remember specifics of those first few weeks.  it seems so long ago!

August 2010 097

life was very busy in those first few weeks.  i was getting the miles in, but it things were really clicking for me just yet.  i was trying to fit in cycling along with my running, which worked at first but eventually had to take a back seat.  i needed to focus on just running. 

i went on vacation in september, which resulted in pretty much a whole week off of running, then i had a hard time getting back into it for a bit and was really struggling and doubting my training plan. 

i did get back into it though, i refocused on the basics and i had a killer month of october, my biggest month ever!  i was able to push through a couple races, get some great marathon practice, run my highest mileage week ever, and have a lot of fun while i was at it. 

new things

i tried out some new things this cycle.  i based my training off a new training plan i hadn’t used before that had a lot of different philosophies.  i have been thinking about it a lot over the last couple weeks and trying to decide what i am going to do the same/change up for the next round.  i still am not sure, but wanted to make sure to document my thoughts on training this round pre-marathon. 


i trained for 16 weeks this time (well 15 if you don’t count my vacation week), and in the past i have usually trained for 12 weeks on a strict schedule with a 4 week base build.  i really liked this length, although i did feel a little burn out around week 5, it was mostly the struggle to get back into real life mode after vacation.  i definitely think if i had the time to do this length of cycle again i would.


i worked a lot on “marathon tempo” this cycle vs. “lactate threshold” that i used in the past.  i really enjoyed all these runs and felt like my body really got locked into this pace (although we will see how locked in come sunday), but i also missed the faster tempo runs from my past cycles and the confidence those brought me.  sometimes i felt slow this cycle since i didn’t seem to have the faster pace in me anymore, but i reminded myself of the effort i was putting forth.  2 years ago when i was training for my first CIM, i had a hard time holding an 8:00 minute mile for a few miles which was supposed to be lactate threshold then.   i have been holding close to that pace easily for marathon pace workouts this time without any problem.


after a spring and summer full of track workouts, i had a really hard time getting to the track.  i felt burned out and just over it.  i was able to get in most of my workouts this time with some alterations, but didn’t have the spark i had at the beginning of the year.  i believe, at least with me, there are cycles your body will go through with speed work, and with having spent so much time on it during the start of the year, i felt like i kind of plateaued for a bit and had a hard time digging out.


my easy pace has fallen.  the effort i would maintain during my easy/recovery runs last year is at a much faster pace now which i like.  i can tell i have gotten faster, even though it hasn’t translated into certain things i hoped it would this cycle.


my long runs were longer.  i did a total of 4 runs at 20 miles or above, which is the most i have ever done.  i also did 2 22 milers, which i have never done.  i have typically maxed at 20-21 miles during training.  i really like the confidence boost i got from all the 20 milers, specifically the 22 milers.  the mental part of going that extra 2 miles should really work in my favor come race day because it did feel so much longer on those training runs. 


at first i wasn’t sure if i would like the freedom and flexibility of the range plan i was using.  some days i really just wanted to be told exactly what to do.  once i got used to it though i really enjoyed it.  it gave me flexibility to move runs around, to lengthen runs on days i was feeling good, and shorten them on days i wasn’t.  many days i only planned on going X number of miles, but once i got out there and got going, i would run to the higher end of the range.


i recapped my weeks every week on the blog which i found very helpful looking back.  i definitely will continue with logging this way for marathon training.  

week zero 43.6 miles, 8:53 avg
week one 45.5 miles, 8:49 avg
week two 47.1 miles, 8:43 avg
week three 53.5 miles, 8:48 avg
week four 5 miles, 8:37 avg
week five 41.4 miles, 8:45 avg
week six 47.0 miles, 8:52 avg
week seven 58.4 miles, 8:53 avg
week eight 60.0 miles, 8:54 avg
week nine 50.3 miles, 8:45 avg
week ten 62.0 miles, 8:51 avg
week eleven 55.4 miles, 8:46 avg
week twelve 65.0 miles, 9:10 avg
week thirteen 70.1 miles, 8:41 avg
week fourteen 48.4 miles, 8:42 avg
week fifteen 40.0 miles, 8:36 avg
week sixteen – pre-marathon: 20.2 miles, 8:59 avg

it’s been a great training cycle, i have learned a lot and worked really hard.  i will continue to take the lessons i have learned with me to the next round, and am always looking at ways to improve and change things up.  i challenged myself this time by going into the unknown a but, and am so glad i did.

it’s been a whole year since i had my day… i can’t believe it’s been an entire year already.  i have so many fun things coming in the future months, but i am so excited to see what i can do on this course again.  i love this race!


i definitely have some time goals in mind, but if you have caught on to me lately, you know i don’t like to jinx myself by posting anything too specific.  most of all i don’t want to feel constricted by a number the whole time and i don’t want my race to be measured by those goals. 

above all i want to run a smart, hard race where i give it my all.  i don’t want to walk and i don’t want to blow up.  i want to be controlled and patient and smart.  those are going to be my key words to myself on sunday.  my legs know what to do and my brain is ready to let my body push itself to the limits. 

i know i have trained hard, i know i love this race, and i know i am ready for a great day on sunday… let’s see what these legs can do and how fast i can get to that finish line!


last couple runs:


slept in to get some extra rest and did a quick 5 miler after work.  kept the pace easy with a couple pick ups in the last 2 miles just to wake up the legs some.

5.0 miles/44:26/8:53 avg


last run before CIM!  yikes.

beautiful morning run after the rain.  kept the pace easy and thought about the race.  next run CIM!

4.2 miles/38:30/9:10 avg pace

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32 Responses to CIM training

  1. Her Name is Rio December 2, 2010 at 7:16 pm #

    You've put in the training. Now go enjoy CIM!

  2. P December 2, 2010 at 7:19 pm #

    Great post! You are so ready for this – go get 'em!!

  3. the dawn December 2, 2010 at 7:23 pm #

    i am really excited to see how this marathon goes for you. for my last two marathons i've done pfitz 12/55 which i know that's what your training used to be based off of, but i'm still working on what i want to use for boston. once you dominate this marathon i'll be interested to know what direction you're going to take your training for the spring.

  4. Nicole December 2, 2010 at 9:06 pm #

    Ready to rock number 8??? Cuz your going to! Ive said this before and ill say it again… i cant get over how much more confident you are this year… not that you werent last year but you know you can do it now because you have… its all about you girl, & remember to dig deep! ill be rooting for you! cheers! <3 xoxo

  5. Melanie December 2, 2010 at 9:16 pm #

    LOVE it. I can't wait to hear all about the race! I know you're going to do awesome, and I'll be thinking about you while you're out there!

  6. Jo Lynn December 2, 2010 at 9:26 pm #

    I hope it goes great for you and is everything you have worked for! I'll be thinking of you. ;)

  7. Amber (Girl with the red hair) December 2, 2010 at 9:39 pm #

    I really like the way you used "ranges" this plan instead of a set number and I actually am planning on doing that for my next marathon training cycle! I'm a little worried I would always choose the lower end of the range though ;) Hehe

  8. Christine December 3, 2010 at 3:30 am #

    Very interesting post, like reading about your marathon training. It always gives me some ideas for my next training :)
    You will do AWESOME this weekend!!

  9. LindsLovesMiles December 3, 2010 at 3:37 am #

    I loved reading this post! You put in so much work, I know you will do great this weekend :)

  10. Running and living December 3, 2010 at 5:07 am #

    Perfect! Good luck!!!!

  11. Lisa December 3, 2010 at 5:33 am #

    Have a great race!

  12. Laura December 3, 2010 at 5:47 am #

    Have an awesome race and experience – your training is wicked…

  13. lindsay December 3, 2010 at 5:52 am #

    good luck this weekend! :) i am thinking i might know what one of your goals is (other than the obvious re-BQ of course) and you can do it!!

  14. misszippy December 3, 2010 at 6:44 am #

    You've got a PR in those legs! Good luck!

  15. Keri December 3, 2010 at 7:02 am #

    It is here! Best of luck on Sunday! I will be thinking about you! Positive vibes for you all weekend long. Yay, yay, yay!

  16. jen December 3, 2010 at 7:22 am #

    An amazing training cycle for sure. You are at the top of your game and I know you are going to have an excellent race this weekend. Good luck and have fun!!!

  17. fancy nancy December 3, 2010 at 7:53 am #

    You have most definitely put in the training…now enjoy your hard work and kick some butt!! Good luck!

  18. J December 3, 2010 at 8:04 am #

    Very impressive Aron! Good luck on Sunday! Hope you have a great race! You certainly have trained hard! It is great to see your easy pace become faster!

  19. December 3, 2010 at 8:40 am #

    Best of luck ! Can't wait to hear how it went !!!

  20. Denise December 3, 2010 at 8:52 am #

    good luck on sunday, can't wait to hear how well you did. race hard!

  21. December 3, 2010 at 9:32 am #

    Aron…you are an inspiration!!! Because of you, I am vowing to be MUCH better at tracking mileage and logging everything for Boston.

    You are going to be FANTASTIC! I hope we get to meet up next Tuesday and dish all about your CIM PR (because you know it's gonna happen) ;)

    I'd say good luck, but you don't need luck. You've got this!

  22. Nelly December 3, 2010 at 9:56 am #

    like everyone else said on here, you are definitely ready! I know predictions are not always good to give people before races, but I think you will PR =)

  23. Tara December 3, 2010 at 10:37 am #

    It's been so awesome to see you go through this training cycle and try new things! I will be thinking about you on Sunday and I am happy that I will get to be there so see you at the end :) Have GREAT race! ♥

  24. Katie A. December 3, 2010 at 11:29 am #

    You have had a great training cycle! You're going to do awesome! Can't wait to see what you do! And hopefully I will be able to give you a big hug at the finish line!
    Congrats girlie, you've worked hard, now go get it Sunday!!!!!

  25. runner26 December 3, 2010 at 11:50 am #

    great training!! have fun!!

  26. Tonya December 3, 2010 at 11:53 am #

    you have a great blog! lol have fun and good luck!!

  27. December 3, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    I loved hearing your recap and lessons learned from this training cycle. I think each training cycle is like each pregnancy (says the never been pregnant woman!), each one is so different and you never know what to expect!

    Good luck on Sunday, Aron! You'll rock it, again :)

  28. Sarah December 3, 2010 at 4:47 pm #

    yay Aron! Good luck this weekend! I will be thinking of you and wishing you well from the East Coast. Have a great race!

  29. Sarah Woulfin December 3, 2010 at 7:52 pm #

    You've trained your tail off. Now go have a blast at CIM!!

  30. Average A December 3, 2010 at 8:54 pm #

    Good luck and have an awesome race! Can't wait to hear how it goes!

  31. Marlene December 4, 2010 at 3:16 am #

    Congrats on another killer training cycle! I loved your weekly recaps and always love these end-of-training recaps, and I always get a ton of ideas and inspiration from you.

    Here's hoping you have a great day tomorrow, that everything clicks and your legs know what to do. Good luck!!! :)

  32. Mica December 5, 2010 at 7:13 am #

    That looks like an awesome training period to me! I hope you kick some butt out on the course today! Best of luck. :)

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