Coffee… and Training – Marathon Training 1: Week 1 Recap

Happy Sunday, my friends!

I am still behind on race reports, but I wanted to at least get this part down so I didn’t forget. I shifted my training plan back one day so I had at least one weekend day to sleep in and just sit and drink coffee. Sometimes, I may actually have the chance to update my blog – like today. Behind, though, I may be on everything else, the marathon training is on track at the conclusion of the first week. Thank God I didn’t blow it the first week! 15 more to go in this cycle, 3 weeks off, and then 16 more to go the next cycle.

The first week wasn’t bad at all – in fact, it was less mileage than I wanted (21 was the plan, I did 22 all said), so it felt a little weird not running 3 days of the 7. I was good, though – I resisted.

  • Sunday: Rest day – I did my ab workout and a few stretches, but nothing else.
  • Monday: easy 4 – did this one on my treadmill and I did it faster than “easy” because, well, I hate running on that thing so the faster I can do these runs, the happier I tend to be about doing them on it. I did 4.19 in 35:00 for an overall pace of 8:21 – and I reverse split (which is just something I wanted to work on generally – much easier to do on a treadmill, so I may as well take advantage of the situation). I also did my ab workout.
  • Tuesday: Non-run / rest day – I have talked on and on about needing to do weights… now that I have a specified plan to follow, I am working on getting a weight training plan in place and doing that at least on Tuesdays, hopefully on both Tuesdays and Thursdays. We have a small circuit set in the workout room of my office building. I did leg extensions (2×15 at #2), leg curls (2×15 at #1), leg press (2×15 at #3), calf raises (2×15 each leg), forward crunches on the stability ball (2×30) back crunches on the stability ball (very humorous, by the way 2×30), full arm plank (1 @ 0:45, 1 at 1:00), elbow plank (1@1:15, 1 @1:00), side elbow planks (2×0:30 each side), and push ups (dude-style, also comical, 6 and 4). I hope to do at least this much, maybe add one more rep in some of these and improve my push ups.
  • Wednesday: *supposed* to be an easy 5, but I did speed intervals instead. I have a “duration” interval I typically do that I’m using to push past the 8:00 mm barrier. I had been doing them in 5 minute chunks: 2 min of speed and 3 min at a much slower pace. I decided this time, to switch that and try for 6 intervals. I did a warm up at 6.7 (about an 8:52 pace) and 6.8 for 5 min, then I did my first interval at 7.6 (about a 7:54 pace) for 1:30, and then did 7.7 (about 7:47 pace) for 1:30; I then did 2 minutes at 7.2.  The first four were fine – I felt OK at this pace and the “not fast” speed (which is still under an 8:30). However, the 5th proved to be very difficult – I finished it, but I wasn’t feeling very good and had to stop the treadmill entirely after the interval. I got off, drank water, walked around my house, then, once I cooled off a bit, I got back on and finished my last 1.3 miles and the 6th interval. So… in all, I made my goal, but I felt like crap for a little while. I think the fast speeds were fine – that’s where I should be – but I think I need to take the slower speed down to about the warm up pace or something. In all, I did 5.06 in 42:00 for an average of 8:18.
  • Thursday: non-run/rest day – I had planned to do weights or core this day, but I was really sore from the weights on Tuesday and the speed interval the day before so I rested instead.
  • Friday: easy 4 – I did this one outside because I knew I had to run on the treadmill the next day for a long and I didn’t want to do all 4 runs on a treadmill, so I did it outside. Because it was supposed to be soupy and nasty, I tried to get it done early in the day – it was still pretty stinkin’ ugly. But the run was done and I had hills and I was outside… I even got a little extra mileage out of the deal: 4.51 at 41:15 for an average of 9:09.
  • Saturday: Long slow with a target speed of 8:35 to 9:15 – I did this one on my home treadmill. My boys woke up at (ahem) 5:45… just to ask if they could play video games (sigh). I managed to stave them off until around 7:30, but finally gave up and got my butt out of bed. I told them they could play when I was on the treadmill because I was going to be on it for over an hour (they were very cool with that, not surprisingly). I started my run a little before 8 and did the reverse of the workout I typically do on the treadmill when I have no other goal than to get off the thing as quickly as possible. Normally, I have what I call the “15-minute chunk workout” where I start at a selected pace for 1 minute, go .1 faster for 2 minutes, go .1 faster for 3, then .1 faster for 4 then .1 faster for 5, then I go back to the 2nd speed and that becomes the 1 minute, and so on. This workout has helped me build endurance at faster speeds and has made 15 minutes seem like 5 on a treadmill. However, because the speeds I had been starting the chunk workout were in the 8:30-ish range and those runs typically end after about 4 miles, I felt like that was way too fast to start on a long slow and the goal of this workout wasn’t speed, it was overall stamina, so I did the reverse. I swallowed my pride and started the run at 6.6, which is just over a 9:00mm, and I did that for 5 minutes; then I did 4 minutes at 6.7, 3 at 6.8, 2 at 6.9 and 1 at 7.0. At 15 minutes, I started over, this time 5 minutes at 6.7, 4 at 6.8, 3 at 6.9, 2 at 7.0 and 1 at 7.1… and so on. I did this until I hit 45 minutes and I was really ready to just quit. I was probably going too fast, so I slowed it down to 6.6 for 5 minutes, 6.7 for 5 minutes and 6.8 for 5 minutes. For the last 12, I pretty much started it over and did 6.6 for 5 of it and 6.7 for 5, and 6.8 for the rest. Overall, I ended up with 8.24 in 1:12:31 for an average of 8:38 – perfectly in my target speed.

This upcoming week the plan calls for at least 35 miles, though, it will likely be closer to 38-40:

  • Monday: 5+ – a steady 5 miler with 4-20 second/ and 3-2 minute rest intervals after the base run (I finish the base run, sprint 20 seconds, run base pace for 2 minutes, sprint 20 seconds, base base 2 minutes, sprint 20 seconds, base base 2 minutes and finish with a 20 second sprint). I plan to do this one outside, weather permitting. May also attend a run group and run an easy 3 with some friends from work who are starting in running – so I’ll be doing their pace. I may not even track it. If they decide not to go, though, I’ll swim instead. I also plan to do my core exercises and stretches.
  • Tuesday: non-run day – planning to do the same weight training I did last Tuesday, hoping for a couple more push ups and maybe a little more time on the planks, though. I’d also like to get in a swim in the early morning if I end up doing the 2nd run on Monday.
  • Wednesday: 6+ – same as Monday, only with a base of 6 miles instead of 5. This one will likely be on a treadmill as I have my kids on this day – my goal for the sprints will be sub-8s (7.6 or higher).
  • Thursday: non-run day – planning to do the same weight training I did last Tuesday, hopefully, I won’t be too burned out or sore. If I am, I’ll rest.
  • Friday: easy 4 – planning to do this one outside if I can, earlier in the morning since my schedule allows for it.
  • Saturday: Long Slow: 10 miles at a goal of 8:35-9:10. I will likely have to do this one on my treadmill, too, and likely will do a similar “slow chunk” workout I described above, only, repeat the slowest chunk twice, move to the 2nd chunk – do it twice, and then the next one and do it twice. I still get a reverse split-ish pace, but I don’t feel as burned as early, especially since I’m adding mileage this week. So, they’ll be 6.6/6.7/6.8/6.9/7.0 (chunks 1 & 2 -30 min); 6.7/6.8/6.9/7.0/7.1 (chunks 3 & 4 – 60 min); and 6.8/6.9/7.0/7.1/7.2 (chunks 5 &  6 – 90 min). My plan is to see if I can make it to 90 minutes on this workout.

That should do it! I hope to get back to the other stuff I’m still writing after I finish my chores for the day!

Have a great day!


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