Friday, August 12, 2016

Chicago Marathon 2016 Training Update

Finishing the Carmel Marathon in April
I came up a mere 21 seconds short of a 2:59:59 marathon in Carmel in April. Since then, I have doubled down on my efforts to help ensure that I will be fit enough to give myself a chance at redeeming myself in October at the Chicago Marathon. In order for redemption, I have changed my normal marathon training plan in only one regard:

Run more miles than ever before. A lot more miles.

Not faster miles, not miles at any particular pace - but a lot of miles at any pace. It was an audacious plan which has been difficult due to this summer being relatively hot and humid one in Chicago. As someone who dreams and loves running in the arctic chill, these are not ideal temps to be hammering out 80+ mile weeks. But, you know what? I am trying not to complain. So I put my head down and power through the goop. If I have a 10 mile run planned for the middle of the day, I get outside, start running and then mentally countdown the miles remaining until I can take a cold shower, chug a glass of ice cold water and lounge in an air conditioned room when I get home. If it's gonna be hot on race day, I'm at least giving myself a chance by not cowering from the heat during training.

Anyway, here is a comparison of my 22 week training mileage from my previous two marathons (Chicago 2015 and Carmel 2016) mapped against my current training plan for Chicago:

The green line is actual + forecast for my 2016 Chicago Training (taper is on the right - weeks 20,21,22)

For those of you keeping track at home here are the totals:

I'm running 45.8% more miles this time around
So, if everything goes to plan, I will be putting in over 45% more mileage in the lead up to the Chicago Marathon in October than I did in the lead up to the Carmel Marathon in April. Here's hoping that that will translate into at least 21 second faster result. Fingers crossed for decent weather conditions and that I come up with a proper pace and fueling plan!

I'm going to take a three week taper this year and am planning on taking a cutback week soon. So, I only have four more weeks of high mileage remaining. It's almost here...

20 comments:

  1. It is almost here! But I have to admit that I am so glad I'm not training this summer. The hot temps and high humidity have made for some brutal conditions. But if it's cool on race day, training in this heat is going to make for some really fast finish times!

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    1. Thanks. Yup, the conditions are bad, and it's a good time to not be training! Here's hoping the temps are cool on race day! :)

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  2. Wow, that is really impressive on the percentage increase you'll be running this year. I am following the Hansons Method and that alone is a big jump from previous marathons.

    I too am hoping we get decent weather this year.

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    1. Yes, I knew I was running more miles, but I until this post, I didn't realize how much more! Good luck using the Hansons method and yest to decent weather! :)

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  3. Oh gosh. Almost here. You've been spanking your workouts and races Pete, and I can't wait to see what race day brings for you. The ideal ideal race day weather has been ordered!

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    1. Yes, it's getting close! Thanks for ordering up some ideal race day weather! :)

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  4. I'm so ridiculously excited to see how you do in Chicago! You're putting in so much good work, you're bound for greatness.

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    1. Thanks for your words of confidence!

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  5. You are going to CRUSH it at the Chicago Marathon. I really respect your ability to put your head down and push through the goop, as you call it (very aptly named) to log those miles. That takes a TON of dedication and perseverance! And it's going to pay off big time on race day!!!

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    1. Thanks Emily, I hope you're right! Yes, the "goop" isn't much fun so I'm hoping for a cool race day. But if it's not, here's hoping I will be able to maintain pace in those final miles! :)

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  6. I can't wait to hear about how much you crush Chicago this year - that's a helluva training increase!

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    1. Thanks. I'm looking forward to seeing what I can do in October! :)

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  7. Awesome! And how have you been feeling with the increased mileage? Good? That is what helped me get my 25 minute marathon PR last December - lots and lots of miles, and like you said, not all at a specific pace (just speedwork once a week). Way to stick with it during this not so awesome summer!

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    1. I'm feeling tired. I'm not getting any additional sleep than I did in past training cycles. Otherwise, I am fine! :) I'm looking forward to some R&R in mid October! Glad to hear you have already proven my theory on running a lot of training miles for marathon prep. Thanks, I can't wait for fall! :)

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  8. I like the plan of running all the miles at ANY pace! Although the volume is obviously way up, the lax pacing would definitely make it easier to slog through the hot and humid runs. I can't wait to see how this pays off for you in October!

    Btw, heard about your new gig co-running the CRB site - exciting! :)

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    1. Yes, the "any pace" strategy helps when I am starting to feel the effects of the heat and humidity. I don't have to focus on pace, just finishing the run and then getting inside so I can cool down! I think volume is most important to me for marathon training at the moment. Running a sub-3:00 pace isn't too difficult for me, but holding that pace for 26.2 miles is what I need more than anything. Yes, I'm glad to help out in keeping the CRB site going!

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  9. Amazing, as always. So excited for you.

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    1. Thanks as always for your support! Is it October yet?

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  10. Pete, you are going to crush 3 hours! Just stay calm and measured these last 5 weeks. The hay is, as they say, in the barn. Just don't burn it up before race day and you'll feel great.

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    1. Great advice Steve. As the race nears, I'm more aware of how I'm feeling and am focusing more and more on simply arriving to the start line in one piece and refreshed. You're right: "the hay is in the barn"!

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