TCM Training: Week 3

A chart showing mileage progress for week three of marathon training
First missed workout – boo!

Week’s Theme: Brawn Over Brain (slash “Don’t let your head get in front of your feet”)

As this is the first marathon training cycle I’ve done in a while, and the plan is reasonably aggressive (for me), there have been several points in the first few weeks where I’ve allowed my brain to think about how HARD a workout will be versus turning off the worry and giving my body a chance to prove itself. More often than not, my body surprises me. This has been particularly true of my long runs and workouts, but even the easy miles can catch you on days when you’re not feeling 100%.

Monday: 5  + plyos [5]
Tuesday: 2x (2×400, 2×800) [7.25]
Wednesday Rest
Thursday: 4 MP [4.5]
Friday: 3 + strength
Saturday: 13 11.25
Sunday 4

New This Week: Pacing Runs.

Starting this week, most of my Thursdays will involve pacing runs, which are meant to be run at my goal marathon pace (MP), and will help me dial in to how that pace should feel, and give me confidence to draw from during my actual race! I’ve used these in my last few marathon training cycles and found them to be incredibly helpful and motivating. For this training cycle, I’m aiming for a pace somewhere between 8:30-45. How did it go? This first run was unfortunately done on a treadmill, so I need to figure out a solution to uninterrupted mileage that doesn’t involve my normal to/from lake commute, which is a bit too long to tack on to these workouts. I ended up doing a 1/2mi warm up followed by 4mi @ 8:34 pace (7.0 on treadmill). These miles felt a little hard, which was a bit frustrating given the fact that I recently raced longer than this at this pace at SF10, but I also know that my legs have way more miles on them than they did for that race, and sometimes speedier treadmill sessions make me a little tense, which can impact how my legs feel. My warm-up also definitely needs to be a bit longer; my legs weren’t quite ready to shift gears! (Seriously, I feel very old all of a sudden.) I also know from experience that these are going to feel hard until the very end of the training cycle, when they magically don’t feel so hard on race day. I was proud of my first effort and excited to see these miles come back to me in October.

Track Workout: 2x (2×400 @ 1:48, 2×800 @ 3:35)

[1.5 up + 1:53, 1:49, ~3:40 (interrupted interval), 3:38, 1:49, 1:49, 3:35, 3:39 + 1.25 down]

In part because of weather concerns, I decided to do my track workout on a treadmill this week. I also thought that doing so might force my turnover a bit, and build some mental confidence. I’ve found in the past that treadmill speed work has translated to a faster Hillary in the wild in a shorter amount of time, if only because it takes some of the mental work out of pacing and forces my legs to keep up and get familiar with the necessary turnover. It can be a pain to cycle up/down on the speed, but I set the treadmill at 8.3mph (7:09 pace) and knocked out all intervals to completion with ~half distance of walking/jogging rest. Typically, my rest intervals involve me walking 1/2-3/4 of the time and spending the remaining distance ramping the speed back up to desired interval pace so that I can hit the next interval at close to full speed. My first 800 was interrupted briefly because I accidentally set the treadmill time to 30min in my attempt to just hop on and get started, so I just restarted interval once I got a new session set up and continued the rest of the workout without issue (ultimately this added an extra ~0.25mi). For treadmill intervals, I use the distance on the treadmill and capture the elapsed time on my watch, which gives me a general sense as to how long these intervals take me. I felt really strong during the workout despite the fast paces, and managed to knock out all of my intervals at full speed. I was pretty thrilled with that, even if my thumb was sore from pressing the speed button so many times.

Long Run a.k.a. Self-Sabotaging for 11.25mi

I was in Indianapolis this weekend for a wedding, so I did this run on the Monon Trail (a pretty awesome rails to trails effort that runs North/South along Indy’s east side). I tried to be good the night before at the rehearsal dinner, but accidentally drank about a bottle of rosé and under-fed myself. It was also about as hot and humid as possible (which is apparently the only way I know how to attend weddings in Indy), and we didn’t get out the door until 9:30 or so. Since going off of hormonal birth control (didn’t like how they made me feel after years of uneventful use), I get hormone-related cramps during my runs at certain times throughout the month. Like clockwork, they showed up about 20min into this run. I spent mile three hoping they’d subside (they usually last about 10-20min before calming down, and usually I can run/jog through them) and half of mile four walking while doing a combination of Lamaze-style breathing (Lamaze teaches you to drop f-bombs, right?). Thankfully, they did, and I was able to continue the rest of my run just fine.

giphyI’m not super familiar with the water stops along the Monon, so when I saw one, I used it (and by used it I mean generally gave myself a bath in it). I dropped Todd off around mile 8 and continued on solo. I fueled with some cliff blocks this time (non-caffeinated) and I really liked how that felt, so maybe that’s a new option for me. This got cut a little short when I realized we were getting crunched for time, but I felt pretty good about the time on my feet and my negative splits (started ~10:15ish, ended 9:30ish) given the heat, cramps, and lack of necessary body glide.

Final Thoughts: Man… I’m tired.

Original LOVE sculpture at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

I missed my first workout this week and was pretty bummed out about it. Some poor planning on my part mixed with some wedding hangover and travel in a perfect storm, and my Sunday shakeout went the way of the Dodo bird. That damn chart is pretty motivating, and while I know that the unintended rest day was probably necessary and for the best, it makes me want to push that much harder to plan ahead for busy weeks. This next week involves some serious travel and elevation challenges (hello, long run in Montana!), but I’m also hoping to get some pretty awesome pictures and trail runs out of it.

Anyone have any can’t miss trails near Big Sky? Are they bear-free? (I’m super into the idea of bear-free running.) 

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