Rise and shine runners it’s Boston Marathon training time!
I absolutely love this time of year at the running store: tons of marathoners (seasoned and newbies) out on the hunt for fun, shiny new running gear- shoes, gu’s, hydration belts and fancy Garmin watches.They have set their eyes on the marathon and the time has finally come for training to begin!!!
Yet as I talk to more and more marathon hopefuls it is becoming clear to me that some runners run the marathon and some runners race the marathon. Both types of people have set a goal for themselves of which they should be proud: completing a marathon!!! Both types of runners put their bodies through hell and back for at least 16 weeks as they run harder and farther than they have ever done before. This level of focus and determination should be applauded.
I am well aware that I will never win the Boston Marathon- or any marathon for that matter, but that doesn’t stop me from running the best time that my body will allow on race day. How will I get there? I will train. I will race the Boston Marathon. I will leave nothing on the table on race day and will cross the finish line knowing that I will have spent 20 weeks working towards that one single day.
Training is very different than running. In my opinion, training indicates that you have the following:
- A singular goal race and you will strategically plan for other races leading up to your goal race.
- Possibly a coach,definitely a structured training plan
- Structured workouts during the week. Instead of having a 3, 5, 5, and 10 mile runs for the week, you will have speed work, a tempo run and maybe even hill repeats. Runs with specific workouts built-in will safely tax your muscles, get you stronger and help prepare you for race day! I like to think of them as mini-quizzes to help prepare me for the big assignment – yes, I am a nerd at heart.
- Passion, vigor and immense dedication for your sport (you will willingly plan vacations, family trips and nights out around your training plan and goal race)
I am four weeks into my Boston Marathon training and in a way I feel like I’m just kind of plugging along! Runs are generally going well, I’m not crazy tired (yet), the knees feel strong and I’m eating everything in sight- yep, everything is normal for training season!
Below is the breakdown of my weekly runs for the past four weeks (with the most recent week first- Dec 22-28). If you look closely you can see how from week to week my mileage has gradually increased from 37 miles in early December to 51 miles this past week (I went on 2 walks with the dog- so it’s listed as 53 miles). I complete tempo runs on Tuesdays, hill repeats on Thursdays and my long runs on Sundays. The remaining runs of the week are meant (mostly) to keep loose, relax and simply run as I feel.
*Also note how often I cross train (indicated by a +XT). I try to swim 2-3 times a week, and strength train 2-3 times a week. Strength and cross training are essential tools for runners to help balance out the strain and stress from weekly miles. Honestly, my body feels more balanced, healthier and stronger when I incorporate cross/strength training into the mix! It’s a must.
M- Recovery 4 @ 8:42 pace; 1 mile swim
T– Tempo- 9.5 miles @ 7:34
W– Base run: 5 miles @ 8:11 pace; 1 mile swim
Christmas: OFF (eat lots and lots of homemade chocolate chip and peppermint bark milano cookies)
F– Hill repeats x7: 8:06 pace
S– Base pace: 7.5 mi @ 7:57; 1 mile swim
Sun– Long run: 16 miles @ 7:47
Total: 51.5 miles ran, 3 miles swam
Up next: A well deserved recovery week- that ends in a 5k race!! I must admit that I’m super nervous for my first race back since Chicago- it’s been a while sine I’ve done any speed work! Gulp. This upcoming week I will have at least 2 days off and significantly lower mileage to allow my body to recoup from the wear and tear of the past few weeks of training.
Hope everyone has an awesome week of runs and a very Happy New Year!!
The Lone Runner