Thursday, September 5, 2013

Chicago Marathon Training Week #3

During my last Chicago Marathon progress report for Week #2 I had a big reveal: My Chicago Marathon "A goal" was to BQ and run a sub-3:25. What I had actually done was kinda pick a number "out of the air" and thus put some pressure on myself to hit that number. However, even though I did this, sometimes I feel that picking an arbitrary goal number is not always a good thing.

Marathons are almost exclusively training dependent and weather dependent*. If I don't train correctly, or if the weather on race day is too hot, my final time will suffer. Right now, I am working with a compressed training schedule, so there is a real risk of doing "too much, too soon", or at the other end of the spectrum doing "too little, too late". Also, what will a 3:25 mean for my recovery post-marathon? Maybe a "smooth" 3:35 will be a lot easier on my body and allow me to recover a week or two sooner than a "forced" 3:25. The faster I can recover, the sooner I can build a decent base for a full 18 week cycle for a spring marathon.

Anyway, with all of that said, for the moment I feel fantastic! Now that I am nearing 40 mile weeks, I seem to have hit my running sweet spot. After my extensive downtime in "Injury Jail", my legs and lungs finally feel like they are "home". My right ankle still makes occasional clicks, and my right foot feels like it may have very minor PF, but I will take the trade-off for the increased lung capacity and faster legs. Oh yeah, and the daily shot of post-run endorphins isn't that bad either!

I may be destined to keep a base of 35 miles/week for the rest of my life, just to keep this feeling going!

Week #3 Total: 35 miles
Avg Pace: 8:15/mile
Other Training: Three gym workouts and one yoga session

Last year at the Chicago Half Marathon

* They are also dependent on running your ideal marathon pace, but if you know your fitness (which is a direct result of training), you can figure out your pace.

13 comments:

  1. I hope it rains and is windy so I can blame something other than my own abilities on my time! hah

    Glad you are finding the sweet spot #twss

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    1. I'm getting ready with the excuses for my marathon post-mortem. However, I'd love the rain (as long it's not a downpour). Yes, it's always good to find the sweet spot! :)

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  2. I am so happy to hear you are back at it and feeling good! And you are in such a tough spot with deciding what your goal should be. Let the weather that day dictate? JK!

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    1. Thanks! Unfortunately, the weather may dictate the day! :)

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  3. The weather always dictates the day! I guess we'll save the scavenger hunt for another time... WRCE scavenger hunt race? With a bacon station and post-race 40s?

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    1. YES PLEASE! Sorry, didn't mean to yell. But that sounds awesome.

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    2. Please keep the scavenger hunt idea on the back (sausage) burner! You never know how this training is going to end up! :)

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  4. Week 3??? What training plan are you on?

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    1. I am doing the last nine weeks of the Hanson Brooks marathon training plan. I was resting an injured ankle most of the summer, and I started running nine weeks out from Oct. 13th.

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  5. It's interesting to me that a 10 minute overall time difference would have such an impact on what your post-recovery looks like. I mean, that's 23 seconds per mile, which sure doesn't sound like much! Whatever you decide, glad to hear you're feeling good now!

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    1. Yeah, 23 seconds/mile doesn't sound like much, but imagine running your goal pace except you were able to stand still for 46 seconds 13 times during the race! :-) Anyway, I guess what I have realized about my running is that I can sometimes dial it in and "force" myself to run on absolutely exhausted legs. However, my form is off-kilter, I get dehydrated and basically I am doing some damage to my legs and body. If I was given another 23 seconds a mile, I could focus on better form, get a relaxed drink. This would all (theoretically) lead to an easier recovery post-marathon.

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  6. I'm glad that your training is going well! I hope your ankle makes it through! The weather will definitely play a big factor. I checked the predicted forecast for the marathon on Accuweather and it says a morning shower; partly cloudy with a high of 56 and a low of 38. That would be perfect. *fingers crossed*

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    1. Thanks. I hope that forecast is correct. That would be wonderful! :-)

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