One of the aspects of Coach Hadley’s training that I love is that there isn’t a day on the plan where we switch to marathon training – everything you do is training for your goal race (even recovery periods). I never technically stopped training after Boston – and the plan and training runs seamlessly transitioned from recovery to light speedwork to short intervals to long tempos. So it’s hard to say I trained for “x” number of weeks or months. After Boston, I took a few days off and then gradually picked up the miles over the course of the next couple of weeks but didn’t start speed or longer weekend runs until close to the end of May. I was pretty sore after Boston and needed a bit longer to get back into the swing of things. As the months progressed, workouts became more focused on the marathon distance – so longer long runs, longer tempos, steady state.
When I look back on the training for Wineglass, a few things really pop out at me.
- Weekly mileage consistency. Since the beginning of May, my weekly mileage has been between 55-65 (two weeks were lower b/c I had to take unplanned rest days due to minor aches/pains). My capacity for sustaining this mileage has increased and my body is very comfortable in this range. I think back to years past – my weekly mileage during a training cycle would start in the 40s and go up to the 70s. It wasn’t consistent and my body would need some rest after a few weeks of 50+ mile weeks (I’d end up having to take a few rest days the following week).
- Little to no soreness. I would have a bit of fatigue after long runs or really tough speed workouts, but I was amazed at how well my body adapted during this training cycle. This is a comforting aspect of my training. Even after my biggest week of training (12 steady state miles, 5 LT tempo miles (11 total) and 16 miles @ 7:11 pace), I woke up each morning feeling pretty energized and ready to run. I think this goes hand in hand with establishing a really solid foundation.
- Not as much strength and core work as Boston cycle. Not something I’m thrilled with, but it is what it is. I was incredibly consistent during Boston with strength 2x/week and core 2-3x/week. This cycle was much less consistent. It was easy to just jump into core/strength work when I was running on the treadmill, but almost every run was outside this cycle and I found I really needed to be determined in order to head down after a run.
- Slower easy/recovery runs: This was a change that started during the Boston training cycle. I began ditching my Garmin on these runs and ran for a set distance. This cycle, I wore my watch more often and was much better with not worrying about what the pace was. Most recovery runs were anywhere from 8:15-8:35. During the warmer months, the paces were in the 8:40s on some runs. I think this led to two things. First, I was giving my body the chance to recover and get ready for the next big workout. And I started to see some big drops in paces for those runs. Second, I really fell in love with my recovery/easy runs. They became the most enjoyable, meditative, peaceful runs and I looked forward to them each week.
And then there are the hard facts of the training cycle
- Date Range: June 1 – Oct 3
- Miles: 1040
- Average miles per day: 8.03
- Rest days: 8
- All runs (below) are in chronological order within each section (so you can see the increase/improvement over the months)
Long runs (moderate pace): 11
- 13 @ 7:43
- 15 @ 7:56
- 16 @ 7:57
- 14 @ 7:50
- 15.5 @ 7:50
- 17 @ 7:57
- 18 @ 7:47
- 20 @ 8:03
- 19 @ 7:39
- 21.1 @ 7:50
- 23 @ 7:39
Long Run (with tempos/fast finish) – 5
- 13 @ 7:37 (with 7 @ 7:19 tempo)
- 13 @ 7:29 (with 7 @ 7:10 tempo)
- 14 @ 7:31 (with last 4 @ 6:57 fast finish)
- 15 @ 7:15 (with 7 @ 6:56 tempo)
- 16 @ 7:11 (with 8 @ 6:52 tempo)
- 7 with 4 @ 6:40 (happened in Alaska – gotta love the low temps and humidity!)
- 10 with 2 @ 6:58 (failed tempo – planned for 4)
- 10 with 4.5 @ 6:51
- 11 with 5 @ 6:41
- 10 with 8 @ 7:03
- 11 with 9 @ 7:17
- 3 x 2: (6:55, 6:53) (6:52, 6:50) (6:46, 6:38)
- 3 x 2: (6:55, 7:01) (7:05, 7:02) (7:04, 7:03)
- 3 x 3: (6:50, 6:48, 6:49) (6:44, 6:53, 6:42) (6:48, 6:44, 6:28)
In the weeks leading up to Wineglass, Coach and I spoke about goals. He felt I was in shape for sub-3:10 – which was both frightening and exciting. Since I started blogging four years ago, sub-3:10 has been a goal of mine. I had gone for sub-3:10 three years ago when I ran NJ Marathon, but looking back, I know I wasn’t really in shape for that time (and my DNF/hitting the wall at mile 17-18 shows that).
But this time was different. I felt confident and excited and strong enough for the pace and finish time. I knew I had put in the work for that time – both in intensity, mileage and consistency – as well as doing all the “little things” – proper diet, sleep, water.
So although I didn’t quite hit my goal time a few weeks ago, I am excited and anxious for another training cycle. Through the years, I’ve learned to not obsess over one race. It’s not a “do or die” situation. Sure, I still wake up on race days with insane nerves but it’s mostly due to knowing what I’m about to put my body through. I know it’s going to hurt. It’s not because I “have to run a certain time”.
The hours of training, mileage and even the race itself, were all building blocks in my life and journey for sub-3:10. They got me one step closer. And assuming I have a good, healthy training cycle, you better believe I’m going for sub-3:10 at Boston =)
If you have any other questions about my training cycle leading up to Wineglass, please let me know and I’d be happy to answer them!