Just 6 weeks to go until CIM! Marathon training truly feels like marathon training at this point: 20 mile long runs, hard tempo workouts, and a huge appetite.
Training fatigue seems to ebb and flow at this point in marathon training. I’ll have days or even full weeks (like last week) where everything just feels great during and run and I ride on a good post-run high throughout the work day. Then I have days like Wednesday and Thursday of this week where running feels hard and all I want to do is take a nap and eat grilled cheese sandwiches with soup (that’s been my recent marathon training craving).
Monday: 8 miles with 6 miles at goal marathon pace
I sort of winged this workout once I started running – a bit of something to do some short marathon pace work before the workouts become more difficult in the following weeks. I ran over some rolling hills to mimic the first 16 miles of the race course. Some of the miles ended up slightly faster than my goal race pace, especially over the downhills.
Tuesday: AM: 7 miles easy; PM: 20 minutes strength training
I can tell when training becomes more intense because of how my easy run paces slow down. This easy run took as long as the previous day’s run – only I ran one full mile less. I’ve stopped looking at my Garmin on easy runs. I flip the screen over to the clock and program it to beep at me when I need to turn around. There’s no reason to worry about pace as long as the effort is truly easy.
For strength training, I did a short workout with a few lateral strength exercises: 3-way lunges, push ups, lateral walks, side planks, and side step ups.
Wednesday: AM: 10 miles with 4 x 2K; PM: Core work and foam rolling
Along with progression runs, 2K and 2-mile cruise intervals are some of my favorite workouts for the marathon and half marathon. They can be a demanding workout in the middle of peak training, but they add some quality tempo workout without wearing on the body as much as a continual tempo run.
I considered doing 5 x 2K or tacking on some shorter and faster intervals afterward, but 4 x 2k was enough hard work for this day. Those final few weeks of marathon training feel like a sort of balancing act of applying just enough stress without overtraining. In retrospect, I think Hansons overtrained me slightly, so I’m being more cautious in these final weeks with both my volume and intensity.
The scenery along the trail was breath-taking! The fall foliage and morning fog were stunning. I sometimes wish there was a marathon that just ran the 13 miles out and back along this trail.
Thursday: AM: 5 mile recovery run; PM: 25 minute Pilatesology workout
My shoes were soaked within the first half mile of this run – heavy rains meant deep puddles. But once you’re drenched, it doesn’t matter how long you run. I still kept my run short and slow so that it served the purpose of a recovery run.
I spent the remainder of the day chilled. While I don’t mind rainy runs, sometimes I can’t warm up for hours after them.
Friday: 20 mile long run
No rain or wind for the first week in a while, so I took advantage of the pleasant weather and ran my first 20 miler. I went out with a plan of 18-20 miles, but I knew within the first few miles that I was having a good long run and should make the most of it.
I felt good for my first 20 miler! I started out at a comfortable pace and took it one mile at a time. The stunning fall colors made time pass quickly – I always run better with great scenery to look at. Other than my legs feeling a little shaky immediately after the run, I felt good both in the remainder of the day and during the following days.
Also – see my socks? I received Darn Tough Vermont socks as part of the swag bag at the Rise.Run.Retreat and they are incredible – comfortable, breathable cushioned, and no blisters or calluses after a 20 mile run.
Saturday: Rest day
Ryan and I decided to go car camping over the weekend. The high volume of rain recently left washouts and lots of mud along many of the trails – and not to mention that there was already snow in the mountains, which doesn’t make for comfortable camping. Charlie and Ollie were a bit confused about why we were spending the weekend in the car along the side of a river, but it was refreshing to get away and just relax.
Sunday: Rest day
I slept over 8 hours for the second night in the row – my body needed rest after that first 20 mile run! The little mini-vacation was the perfect reset before training enters the peak weeks. We enjoyed breakfast and coffee by the river before returning home.
You can catch up on past weeks of training here!
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