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!
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.
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