When I decided that I was going to attack this marathon training cycle and go for a sub-4 marathon, I knew that whatever training plan I chose would require some getting used to.
I’ll admit, I was hesitant when I looked over the Advanced Marathoning training plan and saw that it called for five days a week of running. That’s a big step for me. Yes, it’s just one day more per week. However, it’s a much bigger step to go from running 3 days per week to 4 days per week, than it is to go from 4 days to 5.
A large part of my hesitation stems from my run streak attempt last summer. I’m not certain but I’m pretty sure that my back issues may have arisen because of the increased running. That, however, was a jump from 4 days per week to 7. This time I’m trying to be a little smarter when I make the increase.
The nice thing about my current plan is that it eased me into the increase. First I shifted around a couple of my running days. Then I added the fifth day of running. That came in week 3.
I can definitely tell that an extra day of running made a huge difference even though I’ve run 39/40 miles per week before. (Not that often, but it’s not a new mileage high). My legs were definitely more tired Saturday than usual. Additionally, all of my occasional aches and niggles (back and foot especially) were back but just in the “hey-pay-attention-to-me” phase.
Since 15 more weeks of marathon training remain, I want to be smart about how I approach this. So, even though it would be so easy to skimp on stretching after my runs, especially on mornings when I have to race out the door to class, I plan to make a conscious effort stretch after runs and rest when I need to.
And with that wordy introduction, here’s how last week’s training played out:
Monday 8 miles with 4 at half marathon pace
Those four miles at half marathon pace were hard! I had to take a break after the first and second mile of those four but made myself push through the last two. On the last mile I even increased the speed every tenth ending at 8.5mph/6:58min. (If it hadn’t been just a tenth I wouldn’t have lasted much longer at that speed.)
Tuesday 4 miles “recovery” + 30 min NTC
Run–I’m ready for the rain to go. This run was harder than I thought it would be, probably because I would have much preferred to be outside. I got through though and ready to takle my first direct double.
Strength–Those four miles fatigued me more than I thought they would. A large part of that is probably due to the fact that I had to run inside and sweat more than I would have outside. Several times through this workout I felt like quitting but I pushed through. I still hate push ups.
Wednesday 8 miles regular run
It felt great to get back outside again. It’s pretty sad that in this training cycle this run was the only third out of eleven runs that I completed outside. My legs felt a little heavy today but that’s to be expected since it’s the third day in a row that I’ve run plus it’s the day after a strength training session. In the end I finished with a slightly faster average pace than I thought I had.
Thursday stationary bike at gym
After three fairly intense days my legs were craving an easy day. Instead of pushing it to get more miles I just settled in for an easy ride and caught up on some reading.
Friday 4 miles “recovery”
I felt pretty good, almost like I wanted to go really, really fast. However, I reigned myself in preparation for the long run the next day.
Saturday 14 miles long run
This wasn’t a perfect long run by far but it definitely taught me a lot.
I am taking my own advice and making sure that Sunday is as complete a day of rest as possible.