The crazy thing about a 16 week training cycle is how quickly it seems to go by (at least for number nerds, like me).
I’m already 12.5% of the way. Doesn’t that sound like a lot? That is half of a quarter! (I know, I sound crazy. Now you know how I keep myself going during interval workouts).
Another big thing happened this week: my Philadelphia Marathon time,3:06:34, was confirmed by Boston as my new qualifying time! I still get a big grin on my face when I see my time.
I’m hoping that this gets me into Wave 1 (start 25 minutes earlier…that can make a big difference if El Nino leaves us with a hot day). Last year Wave 1 required a time of 3:10:58 or faster, but two years ago, it was 3:12:52 or faster, and three years ago it was 3:18:33 or faster, so it is definitely trending faster.
Anyway, back to training. This week was better than the last (even though it was colder). That’s probably because I only had one hard workout versus three.
Here’s how it looked:
Taking a step back for a moment, I only last cycle started tracking my mileage on a Monday-Sunday schedule versus a Sunday-Saturday schedule. I have to say, it has made a big difference.
I’m sure you all have times when something comes up and you have to move a long run from Saturday to Sunday because life and travel (or weather) gets in the way. When you track on a Monday-Sunday schedule, suddenly that doesn’t matter and it doesn’t cause any funny spikes in your week-to-week volume. I find that makes it easier for me to track my progress and to make sure I’m not making any big jumps in my training.
It’s a little thing, but I feel like it’s a running “hack” of sorts!
Anyway, this is the first training cycle during which I’ve consistently had big miles on a Monday…and I kind of like it. There is something so satisfying about kicking off the week with a solid number of miles.
I had back to back easy runs on Tuesday and Wednesday, an unusual occurrence because I’m still building up my overall weekly mileage, and there really wasn’t a good place to put those extra four miles this week without making my other recovery runs really long. I meant to also do some form of cross training on Wednesday, but I got lazy.
The big workout for me last week was 8 x 800 meters @ roughly 5k-10k pace (using McMillians, since my 10k PR is a half split) with 200 meter jogging recovery. That means the goal was between 3:04 to 3:11 per 800 meters.
In reality, I split:
3:10 – 3:07 – 3:08 – 3:11 – 3:10 – 3:10 – 3:11 – 3:10 (3:09.6 average)
My 200 meter recovery ranged from 1:10-1:13, so they were pretty consistent, as well. It was a really solid session. I like running speedwork in the winter because the track didn’t have any walkers in the first two lanes, which is usually the case in the warmer months.
For comparison, I also went back and found my most recent 800 meter interval workouts.
In July (week one of 18 in marathon training), I did 8 x 800 ranging from 3:16-3:23, 3:21.1 average, with 1:30 recovery. So in six months I cut 11.5 seconds from my average interval time and reduced the recovery by 17-20 seconds.
In September (week 10 of 18 into training), I ran 7 x 800 ranging from 3:06 – 3:11, with a 3:08.9 average, but a 400 meter recovery. That means my average is only 0.7 second slower with half the recovery. And that workout was 7 intervals, because I scheduled 6-8 and didn’t feel up for the last one.
I’m pretty happy with that progression!
On Saturday, I woke up feeling less than ideal. Sore throat, congestion, body aches. I had a feeling that I shouldn’t run…but I did anyway. I was meeting a friend, and 7:30 a.m. is not the time to flake on someone!
I carefully packed a couple tissues in a plastic bag with my phone…and proceeded to forget my hand held water bottle, which also contained my house keys in the zipper pocket on the hand strap. Ooops. Surprisingly, I didn’t realize this until about mile nine when I noticed I was feeling mighty thirsty.
In the summer, I don’t run with a hand held because all the city water fountains are on, but unfortunately once it gets cold, they turn them all off. Luckily my friend had some cash, and he was able to splurge a whole $1 to buy me a bottle of water at a bodega.
Overall, that run felt better than expected. Thankfully it was warmer on Saturday than it had been during the week (about 40 degrees vs. 20 degrees). But I started feeling it after I got home and showered.
The rest of the day was rest and cold meds to try to kick that sucker, capped off with more than 10 hours of sleep that night! I felt good enough on Sunday (all symptoms above the neck – no more body aches) to get my final recovery miles in for the week.
Still, I took it easy on Sunday, just seeing the movie Brooklyn with my boyfriend. It was very well done and very enjoyable. It also made me very excited about our trip to Ireland scheduled for next month!
Total: 52 mile
Average pace: 7:59 min/mile
Do you track your runs with a Monday – Sunday, or Sunday – Saturday schedule? Do you have any running “hacks” you’ve picked up over the years?