Philly Training: Half Way There

It’s hard to believe I’m already half way through my training for the Philadelphia Marathon. It’s also hard to believe I still have another nine weeks until race day.

I don’t know of anything but marathon training that can simultaneously fly by and feel like it will never end.

This week was about recovery for me, and it was about getting back into the normal swing of things in training after vacation and a cold threw a wrench in things.

Training Week 9

The recovery part of the week was because I ran a strong 5th Avenue Mile last week…and followed it up with a 20 mile run. I was sorer than I expected to be (and I think perhaps more sore than I was after the Berlin Marathon last year).

I started running my recovery runs based on heart rate this training cycle, because I know I have a problem with slowing down when I really need to be slowing down. And this week, my Monday recovery run proved to me that my body needed to slow down and that it needed more time to recover.

I aim to keep my recovery runs <140 beats per minute (bpm), allowing up to 150 bpm on uphill segments. Typically, that means a pace between 8:25 and 8:45 min. per mile. But on Monday, I needed to drop to 9:00 to 9:10 min./mile to keep my heart rate in the correct zone.

With that clear indicator of fatigue, when I got home, I cancelled my planned spin class for Wednesday, and decided to make Tuesday a rest day, pushing my Tuesday workout to Wednesday. I think that was the best decision I could have made.

By the time I got to Wednesday morning, my warm up pace / heart rate was a little elevated, but nowhere near as bad.

Wednesday’s workout was more of a half marathon workout: 12 x 400 meters starting at 10k pace and working down to 5k pace, with a 200 meter recovery jog in between.

My splits looked like this:

1:37-1:38-1:37-1:35-1:36-1:36-1:34-1:34-1:34-1:34-1:31-1:32

And my recoveries also ended up being pretty consistent, even though I don’t look at my watch for those. All of them were between 1:05 and 1:08.

Thursday was just an easy 8 mile run to get some miles in, and then Friday morning, I had to wake up nice and early (so early the Williamsburg Bridge totally deserted, see above) to get my long run in before flying to Chicago for my cousin’s wedding.

The goal was to put in 16 miles with 12 miles at marathon pace.

The first two miles of my pace segment clinked off a little slow at 7:34 and 7:30, but I’m not convinced on the accuracy of that because my pace felt good and I was running under a road in an area that always screws with my GPS.

Regardless, the next 10 were consistent and felt good:

LR 9

The rest of the week was all about recovery. On Saturday, it was recovery from the long run effort. On Sunday, it was recovery from my cousin’s wedding!

And the big news this week?

Total: 50 miles

Yep. My first 50 mile week ever! I’m pretty happy to have made it to this milestone still feeling strong. I didn’t think my body was capable of hitting this mileage without falling apart. It’s amazing what building up slowly and training smartly can do for you!

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