So, for some reason I thought that I could throw some actual speed work into my marathon training at weeks 9 and 12 and it would not kick my a$$ hard. I was wrong. On Tuesday I jogged over to the track and did my 800s. It hurt REALLY BADLY. I get it. I never run faster than a 7:30 pace, so asking my legs now to book it at under a 6:45 pace is asking a lot.
After the first two I came very close to quitting and turning it into a tempo run, but somehow I got myself to stick with it, even though I wasn’t hitting the splits I’d hoped for. Basically, I told myself the splits didn’t matter and just running the 800s at the hardest effort I could would help me more than just quitting altogether. And in the end I was happy I went that route. Not just because it was what I had planned to do, but because I know that I put that speed work in my plan as much for mental strength as for physical. I need all the mental strength I can muster if I want to have the best chance possible to reach my time goal for this marathon.
Before I ran my PR (3:29:15) I did no speed workouts at all. I don’t believe I personally need to do tough sessions at the track unless I want to improve my 10K or 5K time. Tempos and marathon paced runs seem to work for the goals I’ve set in the past. And yes I am knocking on wood here, but as much as running 26.2 miles HURTS, I’ve never slowed down significantly in the latter part of the race. I am really curious to see if this continues to be the case when I run Philadelphia in 4 weeks. I also want to see if throwing a few speed workouts into my training will have a positive impact on my time, my confidence, and how I feel during the marathon.
Here’s a look at my runs this week:
Monday: 9 miles at a comfortable pace, 8:30 average
Tuesday: 8 x 800 with 400 recovery jogs in between. Jogged to and from the track 1.4 miles each way. The splits were: 3:26, 3:26, 3:28, 3;31, 3:33, 3:39, 3:36, 3:36. This hurt! My quads wound up being sore for 3 days following.
Wednesday: 6 miles easy, no Garmin
Friday: 9 miles total with the last 5 @ 7:45 pace. Felt pretty good, not amazing.
Saturday: I am running right now! 16 miles at a comfortable pace. And oh yeah, it also happens to be my birthday. I am really awkward about telling people about my birthday if you hadn’t noticed from that disclosure. Part of that “hey look at me” thing I still deal with. But hey, I guess you’re looking anyway.
The week will total 48.12 miles and next week will be my highest mileage at 53 (hopefully.) Then it will be time to taper! I’m planning to taper for 3 weeks total, as I’ve always done. Should be a fun time! I like to go completely batsh*t crazy during my tapers and I can’t wait to share that with you!
A couple of things I’ve been sucking at lately:
- Keeping up with my push ups.
I’ve kept my 2 minute daily plank routine going without fail, but the push ups have fallen off. I think in the past week there were only 2 days I did them at all, and I did 4 sets of 20 each time. I was doing that 5 days a week a couple of moths ago and I’ve slowly slacked as I’ve gotten deeper into marathon training. Plus I’m wearing long sleeves now and no one sees my arms much. I know, vanity finds me, true story.
And sleep remains a struggle. There are usually 3 days a week I get good sleep, 2 average, and 2 not good at all. If I could just turn those 2 not good nights into average nights I’ll be happy. Baby steps. There’s just always something that gets in the way of me sleeping, and I would say it’s not even usually the kids. I need to work on this in the final weeks leading up to the marathon.
How were your runs/workouts this week? Runners: where are you in your training? Anyone have thoughts on speed work during marathon training?