Current State of Running + Why I Run Marathons

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Check out Instagram for a fun summer giveaway by Nathan Sports!——-

I drafted so many posts the last 4-5 weeks with updates on running, but each time, I was hesitant to share the progress I had been feeling because I didn’t know if it was permanent. I didn’t want to come here and shout that I was feeling great to only feel like garbage two or three days later.

Even now, I’m cautiously optimistic that I’m finally on the road to recovery. It’s two full months since Boston – 60 days. Almost 9 weeks. I had what I guess you can call my best week of running post-Boston last week. 44 miles with a whooping 13 mile long run. I know it doesn’t sound like much, especially when Timehop reminded me this morning that I ran a 63+ mile week one year ago. BUT, it is a huge improvement for me – given how I have been feeling the last two months.

To be completely honest, I’m still not 100% sure what caused me to feel the way I did (and still do to a lesser degree). I think it was a combination of a whole lot of things – nutrition, lack of sleep, back-to-back-to-back tough, breakthrough cycles. And so I’ve been working hard to get those things back in check. Vitamins every day. More sleep at night. Naps on the weekend. Lots of rest and recovery.

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    Want To Run Faster? Start Here.

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    This post was originally posted on Women’s Running. It can be found here.

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    There are a ton of resources available if you are looking to get faster – websites, books, even other runners. But before you can start incorporating some of the workouts into your training, the first thing you probably want to do is become familiar with the lingo- which can be a bit overwhelming if you are newer to the sport. I didn’t understand what a lot of the terminology was until I had already been running for years, but once I did, I was much more open to adding speed workouts into my training.

    Below are some of the most common types of speedwork. There are literally endless variations for each (and you can even get crazy and combine a few of them!) – but these will give you a good foundation from which you can build upon.

    Fartlek: Fartlek means “speed play” in Swedish and involves short periods of fast running followed by short periods of slower running. There’s often no set distance or pace. You can even do it without a watch or Garmin. Fartleks are a great way to get your feet wet with speedwork since it’s a fun, creative, and less structured form of interval workout. Some examples of fartleks (More can be found here):

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      Less Black and White Workouts

      I’ve always been a big fan of workouts during marathon training where it’s easy to track progress: set intervals (400, 800, 1600), set distance and pace tempo runs, even wave tempos (odd miles at a fast pace, even miles at a pace about a minute slower). From week to week, my goal is either to increase the duration, distance or speed. These are black and white workouts that are easy to track improvements as well as predict race times.

      I’ve tried to relax a bit more this training cycle. After Philly, I looked at my training from the fall – and more importantly, at my approach to my training. I think having these black and white workouts numerous times a week may have been too much for me mentally. I tend to get so wrapped around a certain pace in workouts, that if things aren’t feeling great or I don’t hit the paces, I view the workout as a failure. I also have the tendency to push harder than I should in training because it’s pretty awesome to see splits drop from week to week. And I also know that I got so wrapped around what the predictors predicted for my race time, that I think I overshot my ability. (I was working at near race effort for some of the workouts.)

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