Marathon specific training that lasts two weeks is at once unsettling and fun because you don’t have enough time to be too perfectionist about it. I hit the goal I made up for myself in my second and last week of training, which was to get in the 16 miles of speed work at the end of the Hanson’s plan while keeping my mileage at 48 miles, only slightly above the prior week. I didn’t peak as perfectly as I had before the NYC marathon, but think my fitness is within one to two seconds per mile of what it was then and that it is reasonable to target the same goals on a flat course if the weather and my body feel good on race day. Here are the details of my training and what I am thinking:
Monday: Off. Recover from spot on plantar fascia.
Tuesday: 8.1 amazing very easy miles (9:54 avg) at sunrise on Chicago’s Lakeshore Drive (see picture above).
Wednesday: 7.26 trail miles (9:41 avg) listening to an audio book on Bill Bowerman, one of the the founders of Nike. Learned that scientifically, the improvement from interval work is believed to occur during the rest period, and if the heart rate does not come down to 120 bpm after 90 seconds, the interval pace is probably too hard.
Thanksgiving Thursday: 9.3 miles on track. It wasn’t completely pretty, but I finally broke the 6+ mile barrier of cruise intervals. I had intended to run 4×1.5 miles with 90 second rests. What I actually ran was 2×1.5miles (7:37, 7:38), then took off too fast at 7:19 for .25, then melted down to 7:46 pace (.8 miles). Recovered 2 mins to reset then ran 2.25 miles at 7:33.
Friday: 5.6 happy trail miles with my 22 year-old son who was home for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Saturday: 9.3 miles, with 5.6 at GMP (8:05/173 bpm/55 degrees). I had intended to run 10 miles at GMP, but had a meltdown after 1.6 miles. I took 90 seconds, started again and ran 4 miles feeling strong. The local high school track team took over the area I was running and didn’t feel that I had it in me to fight for the space. Decided to put off the rest of the run until the following day. Aggressively foam rolled and rested so that I could make it through speed work two days in a row.
Sunday: 8.1 miles with 5 at GMP (8:00 on the dot!/178 bpm/48 degrees). This was my best workout of the two week period. I felt happy and strong and that that my effort level was just right. Somehow, even with higher effort level, it felt easier than the prior day. I was tempted to run more miles at GMP, but didn’t want to risk not fully recovering less than one week from the marathon. I practiced fueling by sucking on a Nuun tablet a couple miles in, then taking a gel a couple miles later, but the combination of sweet and salty bothered my stomach after the run. I am still working out the kinks in my marathon fueling plan, but think I will stick to water and gels for the 1st 20 miles, then drop the Nuun tablets into my water for the last six miles when I will need the electrolytes and my body will not want the gels.
Weekly total: 48 miles
Rehoboth race goals:
“A” Goal: sub-3:38 (personal best in spring 2015)
“B” Goal: sub-3:43 (2 mins below the Boston Qualifier cutoff)
“C” Goal: finish strong and uninjured
Wish me luck! Thanks for reading.