Week 3 of Jack and Jill Marathon training is done, with a solid 45 miles and my longest run of the year logged. The first few weeks of training feel like a bit of an experiment in determining what does and doesn’t work, when to take rest days, and when to fit in specific workouts.
Huge congratulations are in order for Meredith, who PR’ed at the Long Island Half Marathon this weekend! Meredith won the coaching giveaway back in December and had an exceptional training cycle, ran a smart race, and earned that PR! I know a lot of other people raced this weekend with the BMO Vancouver, Pittsburgh, Tacoma City, and other races, so congrats to everyone who raced!
Jack and Jill Marathon Training Week 3
Monday: AM: 8 miles with last 2 miles hard, 8:18/mile avg pace; PM: 25 minutes Pilates
My plan stated 9 miles, but when I reaching mile 4 on my out-and-back, I decided to turn around. I was drenched already from the rain and felt as if I was toeing the edge between feeling good and feeling fatigued. Those first few weeks of training require adapting as the number of miles increase. When I run, I always think of leaving something for the next workout, unless of course it’s a race. The first few weeks of training require some intuition and attention to the body to find where exactly that balance of training hard but not overtraining rests.
For the final two miles, I eased from my comfortable easy pace to a tempo effort. What I love about running by perceived effort is that it changes from day to day; you see where your body is at, and you never push a pace that’s not right. This day, I decided tempo pace or slightly faster was appropriately hard: harder than easy pace, but still controlled and steady. My Garmin surprised me after that run by telling me I ran 7:16 and 7:18 for those miles.
I spent the morning with freezing cold hands and feet from running in the rain. It wasn’t cold outside (mid 40s) but by the end of the run I was drenched with chilly rain. I struggle to warm up after rainy runs and usually end up hiding under a sweatshirt and several blankets at my desk all day.
Tuesday: AM: 20 minutes strength training; PM: 4.5 mile run
Ryan is increasing his training and decided to add two a day workouts (which you know I am a fan of this approach), so we headed to the gym bright and early for round one of our workouts. Without my morning coffee yet, I managed 20 minutes of strength training without any whining. I followed the same routine as last week with a few modifications. I added overhead presses to the squats for upper body strengthening, which is so important as I increase both the distance of long runs and hikes.
For the evening run I met up with Aimee for a mixture of hill running and a couple miles on a gravel trail for a total of 4.5 fun miles.
Wednesday: AM: 9 miles with 15 x (1 minute hard, 1 minute easy), 8:08/mile avg pace; PM: 15 minute Pilates workout
More and more each week, my hard workouts become focused on effort rather than pace. The approach worked well for me during half marathon training, so I don’t track my pace on my marathon training workouts. I simply let the elapsed time and distance show on my screen so I could track the time for the intervals, and then just ran the entire workout by effort. Since I wasn’t worried about pace, this workout flew by, and before I knew it I was done and more than ready for breakfast.
Pilates helps me feel stretched and lengthened again after a speed workout. Even a few minutes of Pilates is like hitting a reset button and I feel as if I return to my normal height by the end of a session.
Thursday: 3.5 mile easy run, 9:58/mile
April 28 is Charlie Day, which celebrates the day that Ryan and I adopted Charlie as a tiny puppy. He was only four months old and so little when we adopted him back in Dayton, Ohio. He was so little that he could only spanned the length of Ryan’s forearm. Now he’s a strong dog who loves to run and hike! I started running Charlie when he was 9 months old and used run-walk intervals to ease him into running, and now he can run or hike for miles!
Friday: 15 mile long run, 8:45/mile
Ouch. Yet again another long run in the rain, only this time I experienced some minor chafing on my legs – for the first time ever. Thankfully it wasn’t anything that a bit of coconut oil couldn’t fix.
I also had heartburn for the first 10 miles. I contemplated calling it quits multiple times, not because the run was particularly awful, but just because the combo of heartburn (of all things, from changing brands of fish oil supplements) AND running yet again in the rain was mentally challenging. Neither of those things was bad on its own, but my mind focused on them more because I was out there running for a long time. But as Suzy says, the marathon is mental as it is physical, and most long runs that are a struggle simply require the exercise of mind over matter.
I took the final miles a bit fast for a long run (8:30s), because I just wanted to finish this run. Not ideal, but we all have those runs where we just want to finish, shower, and eat.
Saturday: 9.5 mile hike, 1300 feet elevation gain
Originally Ryan and I considered doing a 14 mile hike, but we opted for a long but flat one after both having hard weeks of training. So Ryan, Charlie, and I headed out to Stevens Pass to hike Greider Lakes, which featured three beautiful lakes (one at the start, two at the top). The first two miles were flat and nontechnical and the final 2.75 were steep, rugged, and slippery thanks to last weeks rains. But the views at the top made the muddy pants (and puggle) and slow climb worth it!
I upgraded to a new iPhone last week and love the high-quality camera! The clarity makes everything out here appear almost as green and vibrant as it is in person.
Sunday: 5 mile run with Ryan, 9:50/mile
My favorite run of the week! Ryan and I did 5 easy miles on our favorite trail. These Sunday runs feel so rejuvenating for the legs after a hard hike.
45 miles run | 9.5 miles hike | 3 supplemental workouts
Linking up for Weekly Wrap!
Who raced this week? How did you do?
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What for you is the hardest part of starting a new marathon training plan?
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