How would I sum up the first week of marathon training in a nutshell?
I’m feeling great at the end of this first week, but I know there are still 15 weeks to go, so I probably shouldn’t start counting my chickens before they hatch just yet. 🙂 I successfully modified my plan to get my long run in without getting derailed by winter storm Jonas, though Boston was barely hit in comparison to the DC folks! We probably got 3-4″, but hey, after last year, we were due for a break!
Anyways, here’s how the first week of training shaped up for me.
Monday – And the first day of marathon training began with NO running. Womp womp. Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day though and I had the day off from work so I had time to get a nice cross-training session in. I started with a 22 minute abs and obliques video (Fitnessblender) and then headed over to the gym for about 40 minutes of upper-body work.
Tuesday – 6 miles easy. We had a serious cold spell last week with highs for the day in the 20s (so it was around 7 degrees in the morning when I got up.) Definitely treadmill weather. I woke up at 5:10 so that I could have a quick cup of coffee before getting my butt to the gym by 5:40. I know there are going to be a lot of these early mornings during the next 16 weeks and while the initial getting out of bed part sucks, I don’t mind it so much when I’m at the gym surrounded by all the other early birds. Plus, I love being able to come home and just relax after work and not have to worry about getting my run in.
I ended up averaging around 9:25/mile on this run and I played with the pace and elevation over the course of the 6 miles to keep my mind from going numb. First run of the training cycle complete!
Wednesday – 4 mile hill repeats (again on the treadmill) at an average of 9:22/mile. Once I had warmed up, I cranked the elevation up to 4.0 (sometimes 4.5 for the last bit) and held that for 2 minutes. Then, I’d drop the elevation down to .5 to simulate the downhill and would recover for around .2 of a mile (I picked this recovery distance kind of randomly because I usually felt good enough to for another repeat by then). I increased the pace over the course of the 4 miles, but capped it at 8:57 since this was not supposed to be a speed workout.
If anyone has any tips for hill repeats on the treadmill, I’d love to hear them! An elevation of 4.0 felt challenging, but I’m honestly not sure what that would translate to as a hill in real life. I don’t want to slack off on these hill repeat workouts!
Thursday – Much needed rest/core work day. By Thursday, I think the early mornings had caught up to me, and I was EXHAUSTED. I was still going to bed around my regular time, but by getting up so early, I was getting almost 2 hours fewer sleep each day. I’m definitely going to need to work on getting to bed earlier as the weeks progress. I called it quits after doing the 22 minute abs/obliques workout again and went to bed by 9:30.
Friday – 6 miles on the treadmill again. I warmed up for the first mile and a half or so and then alternated between 8:40 and 8:34/mile for the rest of the miles before going into cooldown mode for the last mile.
Saturday – The long run!!!! 🙂 Maybe it’s just the excitement of finally training for a big race again but I was really looking forward to this 9-miler. Despite the brisk temps and impending snowfall, I headed into Boston so I could run this one along the Charles again. I guess this run was technically closer to 10 miles since I jogged the half mile to and from the subway stop!
It was cold, cloudy, and windy as hell. And there were still a ton of runners out getting their miles in before the snow, which was so awesome and motivating to see. Even though I was technically running by myself, it felt nice to have the company of other “crazies” out on the path and it helped me push myself through the cold and the wind. I was shooting for a pace around 8:42/mile, but that didn’t exactly happen – I ended up averaging 8:51/mile. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t be thrilled with that, but I know this was a result of the god awful headwind I encountered on many of the miles.
That’s what it was like, but running. The wind was actually whipping tears from my eyes. I’m sure it looked like I was having a blast 😉 Those super windy miles ranged from 8:51 – 8:59/mile, but that pace was HARD. When I had the tailwind, I easily ran 8:24 – 8:40/mile. So not exactly what I had hoped for, but I know there will be other long runs to push the pace on where I won’t feel like I’m fighting a tornado.
Adding to all the fun, I took out my phone around mile 8.5 to take a picture or two… and my phone died immediately after the one photo. After that, I just wanted to be done. I quickly finished the last half mile and then headed to a grocery store right next to the subway stop because all I could think about during the run was hot, delicious pancakes. I picked up a gluten-free mix and some syrup and I was on my way!
Sunday – 6 miles, 4 (ish) at marathon pace. I woke up to tons of sunshine and 4 inches of perfect white snow. It was beautiful out, but I didn’t feel like dealing with snow in my sneakers for 6 miles, so I headed to the gym to get this done on the treadmill. I warmed up for the first mile, then paused a minute to stretch before diving into the tempo section of this run. I gradually increased the pace from 8:57 down to 8:05/mile over the 2nd mile, then held that pace for 4 miles before slowing down again for my final cooldown mile. I am finding that breaking the run into sections (warm-up, cooldown, actual workout) really helps the workouts seem shorter and mentally easier.
I did a short round of arms and abs after this before calling it a day.
Total Mileage: 31
Motivation Levels: Sky High
And my mantra for this week –
I’m excited for week 2 of marathon training and for the fact that I have a half marathon to race in 1 month!!! I have strong feelings that Augusta could be a new PR for me in the half because of my increased focus on pace during my training runs.
Any tips for hill repeats on the treadmill? How was your week? Are you buried in snow from Jonas????