I start training for the Jack and Jill Downhill Marathon today (the race is July 31) and so this past week was my last week of unstructured training. A week of easy before the marathon storm of 2-3 hour long runs, higher (for me) mileage, and runger descends upon the Norris household.
I was a bit lazy this week: all easy miles and several nights where I opted for a glass of cabernet over a strength workout. Okay, so I shouldn’t call myself lazy, because getting out there and logging any miles is never lazy. But you know what I mean: taking it extra easy before a marathon to mentally and physically prepare for the next 16 weeks of demanding training.
This week I listened to a fantastic episode of the Run to the Top podcast in which they interviewed Stephanie Marie Howe, who’s an ultra runner and Ph.D. in sports nutrition. Howe discussed intuitive training and listening to your body, which is an approach I’ve adopted in the past few months and hope to continue throughout marathon training. I highly recommend you give the podcast a listen!
Monday: 8 miles easy
Nothing remarkable about this run, except the usual beautiful scenery.
Tuesday: 7 miles hilly on the treadmill + 15 minutes strength training
I convinced myself that if I ran on the treadmill, I would be more motivated to weight lift immediately afterwards. Yeah, right. Instead of sticking to my plan for 5 mile run and 30 minutes of strength, I ran for an hour (because running beats weight lifting, am I right?) and then half-assed my way through 2 sets of four basic strength moves.
Wednesday: AM: 7 miles easy; PM: 30 minute Pilates workout
I planned on only doing 5, but as soon as I started running I knew I would go longer because it was so incredibly beautiful outside. Allergies used to make spring running a sufferfest for me in the Midwest, so I’m reveling in the fact that spring allergies in Seattle are virtually nonexistent compared to St. Louis, Dayton, or Valparaiso.
Thursday: AM: 30 minutes plyos + kettlebell; PM: 1.75 mile run/walk
I literally almost feel asleep at my desk without a run on Thursday. I strength trained mid morning, which may have made me feel more tired as well, but that morning dose of exercise and vitamin D helps so much for my productivity.
Ryan and I planned to take Charlie for a run along the river, but we had to stop and walk less than a mile in because the poor puppy was struggling in the heat. The temperature had randomly spiked into the 80s, and Charlie’s shorter nose can make it more difficult for him to breathe on hot days. His well-being is always more important than a workout when we take him on a run, so we walked the rest of the way back. Actually…we carried him at one point, because the beagle stubbornness and the pug laziness is a powerful combination.
Friday: 12 mile long run
I had wanted to try the long run workout Meredith shared when she guest posted back in January. Since I start marathon training on Monday (the day this post publishes), this run was my last chance for a while. I maintained a steady effort (easier than half marathon pace) on the “on” segments and by the end of the run definitely felt like I had gotten a good workout.
Saturday: 5 mile hike, ~1000 feet elevation gain
We debated up until the last minute on whether to do a hard hike (9 miles & 3200 feet gain) or an easy hike. The easy hike won out because Charlie wanted to come along and he needed the exercise after skipping his run on Thursday. The three of us headed out to Heather Lake along Mountain Loop Highway bright and early to beat the crowds. We hiked 5 miles total and spent nearly an hour just exploring around the top of the lake, where the ground was still covered in a layer of compacted snow.
Sunday: 4 mile easy run
Ryan and I decided to start running on Sundays together, so he can lengthen the duration of his weekly long run and we can regularly run together. Marathon training miles can get lonely, so it’s well worth it for both of us to switch our rest days around. We ran 4 easy miles along the river and then, of course, headed out for a post run beer (or two) at our favorite local brewery.
What does your running look like in the weeks before you start formal marathon training?
How was your week in running? Did anyone race?
Do you train intuitively or follow a more set-in-stone plan?