Monday, January 31, 2011
This is my last real training week until the taper!!
Last week's workouts looked like this (what I actually did):
Monday: Ran 10.3 mi steady, BodyPump and Ab Ripper X
Tuesday: Plyometrics (P90X)
Wednesday: Ran 7 mi, BodyPump, JM Ab DVD
Thursday: Yoga X
Friday: 16 mi, a bit faster and with walking intervals - UNDER 2:30 WOOHOOO!, also Ab Ripper X
Sunday: Ran 6.2 mi with Fartleks, but EZ paced mostly
I changed things around last week due to having to be at school almost all day on Saturday. I will also have to do my long run on a different day this week as well. But here is my plan:
Monday (today): run 6 miles steady tempo (already did that), Ab Ripper X, P90X Legs & Back
Tuesday: run 5 mi EZ with Strides
Wednesday: P90X Workouts (Ab Ripper, Shoulders, Chest & Back or something)
Thursday: run 6 miles with Fartleks
Friday: Run 5 mi with Strides (or not, whatever), Ab Ripper X, Legs & Back
Sunday: run 20 miles
Last week, as I posted in my other blogs, I had several really pumped up runs!! They were awesome! I even took my long run faster, which may not have been the best idea training-wise, but I wanted to sort of "test the waters." So, this week, my runs are a little bit lighter with less emphasis on speed - more relaxed paces, and most of them are lower mileage for me, except for the long run, of course! This is my LAST 20-MILER!!
I have be doing TONS of reading about running in the past week or 2!! I got 2 different books: Runner's World Complete Book of Women's Running, and The Complete Book of Running for Women by Claire Kowalchik. If there is one way I have *grown* through taking on the marathon challenge, it has been to more widely educate myself about running!!
So, I have been drawing a TON of wisdom from all over, these books and on the internet. And while I took last week's long run faster, I was reminded of the importance to slow those long runs down!! Over and over, I found it stressed to make sure those long runs are slower, and according to Hal Higdon (also read a lot of stuff off his website), there is a training effect that takes place after 90-120, and running the long runs fast defeats the purpose of the training (teaching your body to conserve energy), and also causes unnecessary breakdown of the muscles, which can lead to less than optimal performance for later runs.....
That was just the reminder I needed. I had already had it in my training plan to take these runs lighter this week, but I am making extra sure I do just that.
So, those were just some thoughts I had about my running.
How I feel so far in my marathon training???? You might ask...
From the inside:
I feel great that I have made it this far, especially training alone, and am optimistic that I will run that marathon and do great!! Time really doesn't matter. Do I have dreams and goals, and dream time goals?? Sure, a girl CAN dream, can't she??? But I will not beat myself up to reach for something unless I am feeling really good. Finishing strong and finishing safely are my first priorities.
I am so amazed that I have not faced ANY pressing aches or pains!! I am feeling far better than when I was training for HMs! My former issues have been:
I never had IT band issues before I started training for this marathon. I started having some knee pain in the first couple of weeks of training. Since I was just starting out my training, and I hadn't been having serious problems with this before, I didn't really want to step back from my training, so I decided to address it as quickly as I could through other means - got a foam roller, looked up prevention ideas and tips, started doing hip abductor exercises, and started stretching more. What I found is that my IT band issues seemed to stem from tightness in my hip, so I addressed that with the foam roller. I have been absolutely PAIN-FREE for many weeks now due to the things I mentioned! AWESOME!!
My piriformis pain started in 2009 when I was training for HM. I had tightness and pain in my butt cheek and down the back of my leg. At one point it was painful, but then through stretching it got better, though stretching never got rid of the tightness.... Enter foam roller! Once I got the foam roller, I started rolling all over on my hip, into my butt cheek, down the back of my hamstring, and so on. I was finding all sorts of "trigger points" and it felt AWESOME to actually get all of that loosened up!! I couldn't believe how good it felt! I am now feeling better than ever in that area, and have very little discomfort or anything in that area!
So, that about sums up the problems I have faced related to running. I now use my foam roller only here and there, when I feel I really need it. I have put more emphasis on stretching, and am doing a little Yoga too. I am just so thrilled that this far in my training, I am not dealing with any pains, injuries, or problems like that. For that I am very thankful. I know that no matter how careful we are sometimes, sometimes our bodies just give! I do not take this for granted!!
On with the last stretch of marathon training!! I am so excited to see what the month of February holds for me!!
Have a FABULOUS week, Sparkers!! Keep working toward those goals and dreams!
Friday, January 28, 2011
As I stated in other blogs this past week, I am putting a little more focus on pace in these last couple of training weeks, and working toward possibly pulling off a sub-4 marathon. This time seems to be a stretch to me, but at the same time, I would certainly like to try. My practical goal is under 4:30, which I think is very doable based on my abilities, even if I ran it really slow for me, so I will be happy either way. But my *dream* is under 4 hrs.
So, after doing a lot of reading online from different sources, I decided to test the waters a bit further with my long run today. I wanted to do my long run with regular walking intervals, shooting for my *dream* race pace throughout the running segments, and walking 100m for every 1500 m of running (distance of about a mile total). With the walking in between, it allows me to run at a faster tempo without fatiguing as much, so that my body gets used to running at this tempo, and conditions intself for that. I run at a WIDE variety of paces during the week, but I hadn't attempted a long run at this pace before.
Could I pull it off? Could I do that? I didn't know, but I wanted to at least try for my 16-miler today, since I am not new to the 16-mile distance, and next week is a 20-miler, which I plan to take a bit more relaxed.
But I TOTALLY did it!!
Here are my 1600 m splits:
10:20 (warm-up mile), 9:28, 9:25, 9:15, 9:27, 9:20, 9:24, 9:15, 8:51, 9:35, 9:07, 8:51, 9:22, 8:57, 9:03, 8:48, with 150 m at the end in 49 seconds.
16 mi (25.75 km)
Total time (including all walking):
2 hr 29 min 26 sec
Pace (not including warm-up mile, but including walking):
Oh, and the last 3 miles were without walking. I did a fast-finish type thing. The other 2 miles that were under 9 were also without walking, because I forgot to walk, and over-ran it!! LOL
NOT BAD for eating not too many carbs yesterday, too!! Unintentionally, that is. I usually eat a little bit under what is conventionally recommended, but I think I ate just under 130 g of carbs yesterday. I did eat a small pre-run snack this morning, consisting of pure organic peanut butter (nothing added to it) mixed with protein powder and a tad of organic Nutella for flavor, and a half of a banana. I took an energy bar with me, but did NOT eat it!! I just didn't need it, and why eat it if you don't need it?
I am very encouraged by this long run. I actually much prefer to run at these tempos vs. 10:15-10:30 miles. I just feel sluggish, like I am heavy and dragging, but I usually do it to be on the safe side. It was great to test things out a little and see how I did.
ONLY ONE MORE 20-MILER, and then TAPERVILLE, here I come!!!! WOOOOHOOOO!
Have a great day, Sparkers!! Happy and safe running to all!
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Thought I would throw in a quick update about my Vibram FiveFingers! My Bikilas are working out well, but I am still not serious about transitioning to them quite yet.
Here is what I have done so far with them:
Total miles: 14
Total miles last week: 7.5
Longest run: 2.5 mi
How I run in them:
First, I do it at the end of my normal run, so my muscles are warmed. Plus my feet are warm so they don't get cold while I run in these. VFFs do not have insulation from the cold, so below-freezing temps WILL make your toes feel like they are gonna fall off.
Secondly, I try to relax and keep my form as natural as possible. I do pay attention that my heel is not striking the ground hard, but I have noticed that it naturally does not most of the time. I have more of a mid-foot land, and my heel usually hits the ground a split second later, but not hard. I have not experienced any heel pain while running.
Thirdly, I have been running at different paces. I think this is important too. I have read that you should keep your running slow at first, but I don't necessarily agree with that. Short distances, yes, but not necessarily slower than you usually run. I think it is important to try these shoes out at your normal tempos, little bits at a time at first, and test the waters. So, that is what I aim to do.
So far, absolutely no problems, no pain, not even calf soreness anymore. I only was sore after the first mile I did, but I think that was because I was trying to do forefoot striking, and I have since decided I am not going to *try* to strike any certain way, unless I sense my heel is hitting too hard. I also read that your body will naturally adjust its form when running with these shoes, so keeping it relaxed and natural and listening to my body I think is the best way.....
After my marathon on February 26th, I will try to train a lot more in these shoes. I am hoping maybe to run the 30K in June with these, but we will see. Training safely is my #1 priority. I will keep you all informed if I do manage that!
Have a wonderful day, and Happy Sparking, all!!
**Oh, one more thing - whatever you have heard about these shoes "being super comfortable," it is SOOOOOOOOOO true!! At first when I got them, they felt a little weird, a little snug (plus I had the socks on at first), and I wasn't sure. It was just a whole new feeling.... But then I ran in them. After I ran in them, I was trying to think about how they felt on my feet, were there any weird sensations, was there pain, were my toes comfortable - and I could NOT remember anything about how the shoes actually felt!! (I think that is a VERY good sign!)
Plus, I have gone to leave my house to run in them, and stepped outside on more than one occasion, and, for a split second thought, "Darnit, I forgot to put my shoes on!!" Duh, I am wearing my *barefoot* running shoes. Seriously, absolutely no joke there. They are THAT comfy.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
I am just one of those people that needs sleep! I am in bed by 10 pm every night, almost, and I get up very early - ranging from 4:45 to 5:30 on most days, depending on how long my run is.
Yesterday, I was running around all afternoon, getting my health department certificate so I can start working at that cafe, and then I had to head straight to my evening class. On my way home, I hit a HUGE traffic jam (for those of you who saw my status last night) on the Autobahn.... UUUUGGGHHH!! NOT COOL! We are talking total stand still here, not moving at all. After sitting there for 15 minutes, watching the clock turn over to 10 pm, I was wondering if I would EVER make it home, and if I would be able to drag myself out of bed the next morning for my run.
Fortunately, I was able to weave my way through the millions of trucks sitting on the Autobahn, to get to the next exit, and get home. I didn't know where I was coming off the Autobahn, and my battery in my iPhone was almost dead, but thankfully, it lasted until I arrived home, and I was able to navigate myself with Google maps on my iPhone, and get home safe and sound. Late, but safe and sound.
I got into bed shortly after 11pm (very late for me), and set my alarm for 5:30. I even changed into my running clothes, so that I would have less to do when I got up. My runs are simply not optional. It doesn't matter if I am up late, or tired, or "don't feel like it." It simply isn't optional, unless I have some physical problem preventing me, like sickness or injury....
This morning's plan:
1 mile EZ, 10 x 0.25 mile @ level 10 (so PUMPING it) with 0.25 mile recovery in between, 1 mile EZ
So that adds up to 6.75 miles. I decided to modify it slightly - 1 mile EZ, intervals for 5 miles, come home and change into my VFFs, and do 1 mile with those as my last EZ mile.
I was ON FIRE this morning, and didn't even know where it came from. I just relaxed, and poured myself into those faster intervals. It felt great, and it didn't even feel super hard!
6 miles (including the EZ one): 51:49 (8:38/mile)
1 mile with VFFs: 9:13
I love getting out there, in spite of "not feeling like it," and then pumping out some amazing run!! WOOHOO! I am really feeling like I am back to my old self conditioning-wise. I haven't been working on really fast paces lately, but I am pumping it up a little in these last few weeks, testing the waters. It felt really great to manage that run this morning.... AWESOME!
Have a great day, Sparkers!
Monday, January 24, 2011
What kind of a time goal would be reasonable for me to have? How should I pace myself for this marathon? Is my original time-goal of 4:30 a bit too generous? Am I selling myself short?
These questions have been whirling around in my head all weekend. I based my original goal of 4:30 on my previous running, and what I thought my potential was. But even at the time, I thought that would be, with good training, quite reachable. Now, I am thinking I should raise the bar. It's not like I want to put a lot of pressure on myself, and be unreasonable, but I do want to do my best. That is what I LOVE about racing - It is not so much the competition with others, but it's the competition with myself, striving to put out the best I can, the excitement of getting up to that start line, and the anticipation, and the extra pressure to perform that brings out strength in me that I never knew I had. I love it.
Sure, I know that every first marathon will be a PR, no matter how slow. But I am also the type of person who always aims to do my very best. But I also know that, when it comes to race day, I will have a tendancy to run a bit faster. A marathon just seems like such a huge distance, and I don't wanna be dying at the end.... How can I be cautious, yet still shoot for my best?
So what is reasonable? I just got a book about running for women, and I checked in there to see if it had any tips. According to a chart in there, if I have run a 25-min 5K, and a 1:55 HM, if my long run pace is 10:13, and tempo runs are about 8:08, then I should be able to run the marathon in just under 4 hours!! That would be just FREAKIN' AWESOME!!
Here are a few of my stats:
5K PR (non-race, just normal training run): 23:46
10K PR: 46:16 But I am not sure I should count this, because it wasn't with my Garmin... My previous PR was in the 49-50-min range
HM PR: 1:55:06
This morning's 10.3-miler (16.6 km): 1:33 even
23-miler (longest training run 2 weeks ago): 4:06:40 (10:45 min/ mile, but I was totally not focused on pace, and ran most of it with in 9-1, run-walk)
Before I had read that in the book, I decided this morning to do my 10-mile run at my *DREAM* race pace - which would be finishing under 4 hours. Since my Garmin is set to Km and not miles, I was to shoot for 5:40/ km pace. It felt kinda weird shooting for a certain pace, actually, because I normally just run however I feel like running. I try to push myself, but I don't shoot for a certain number on the Garmin. I thought doing the full 10 miles at this pace would be difficult, but I thought I would give it a try. As it turns out, it wasn't NEARLY as hard as I thought! I maintained a slightly faster pace the entire 10 miles, even to the very end. My end total pace being 5:36/km or 9-min miles. **I think it should also be noted that I was not *fully-fueled* this morning - only a half of a banana, some water, and a coffee before I ran, and I didn't take anything with. This also makes a difference.
I also got the Runner's World "Complete Book of Women's Running." In the section about pace, it suggests to use one of your 10- or 12-mile runs as a time trial, or to jump into a HM. It states: "The pace you're able to run will be a good approximation of what you'll be able to handle for the marathon 2 months farther down the road, when you're in peak shapre, fully rested, and focused on your big event."
So, I know my race is not 2 months away, and I didn't even really use this 10-miler as a "time trial" necessarily, but maybe a sub-4 marathon is not so out of reach for me????? Could it be?
Hhhmmmmm.... Guess we will have to see. Guess that is what makes the marathon such an amazing experience! You never really know what to expect!
Get An Email Alert Each Time RUNDARCYRUN Posts