September 6, 2011

Training Tuesday: Week 7

You know what is amazing? Getting wine drunk on a Monday. You know what else is amazing? Step back weeks. Last year, when I was training for Philadelphia, I made the grave mistake of using my step back weeks to make up for mileage. This time around, with only 1 missed workout under my belt, I used the week to step back which was exactly what I needed coming off of a rough 2 weeks of training. So, after a great week last week, I'm ready to get back into things!

MCM Training: Week 7
Total Mileage Last Week: 32
Missed Workouts: 0
Trouble Spots: None =)
Planned Mileage This Week: 41

Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday: 3 miles easy (9:52/mile with 3 strides)
Wednesday: Tempo Run - 8 miles with 3 miles @ 8:30/mile
Thursday: Rest Day
Friday: 9 miles with 7 miles @ Marathon Pace
Saturday: 3 miles easy
Sunday: 18 miles (9:52 pace), fast finish

So that's the plan. It's not going to be easy. An 8 mile run, a 9 mile run and an 18 mile run in one week? I definitely need to pay attention to my body to make sure I'm eating, hydrating, stretching and fueling properly. This week marks the end of hill workouts (which, I didn't actually do a whole lot of) and the start of speed workouts. I'm not tremendously disappointed at my lack of hill workouts since Central Park is definitely full of rolling hills and I do my long runs on them. The plan though, is to really clock into the sub-9 minute miles  and try to hold them so that I can get my marathon pace to be what I want it to be. I know I'm capable of a sub-4 marathon and I know I'm capable of a lot faster than 3:59:59 but that's what the next 8 weeks of training are all about.

Goals for this week: Eating, fueling and stretching properly.
Current annoyances: Rain...and the fact that I can't calculate how long it will take me to run when you have traffic to figure in leaving me with a plan to knock out 8 miles on the treadmill tomorrow before my morning class.
Things to keep in mind: Strength training needs to include core strengthening as well!

It's not going to be easy but it's definitely going to be fun because you know what? It takes a lot more than 26.2 miles to run a marathon.

So here's my question for all of you out there:

In reading training plans/recaps of everyone, I've noticed a huge split between people who do their long runs at or near their marathon goal pace versus people who do them slower. My marathon goal pace is well in the sub-9 region, but I'm running them closer to 10. What do you do?

By the way, classes start tomorrow, wish me luck!


  1. In the beginning of the training cycle I did mine around 45 seconds slower. Then I gradually added more marathon paced miles to some runs usually alternating with a easier long run and a long run with marathon paced miles. I am a big fan of doing at least one long run (preferably at least an 18 miler) at/near marathon goal pace. For me I have found what I can do comfortably for that run is about the pace I will be able to hold for the race. I am not sure if I recover faster than people who do all of their runs slower, but I guess the one caution would be not to let the effort of the long run start to affect your other quality workouts during the week. My body doesn't seem to mind moderate paced long efforts...which is what a marathon pace is.

  2. This post made me happy, Christy! I think I need to get wine drunk tonight...or this weekend :) Looks like you're hard at work with this training! I have yet to train for a marathon, but from the training plan I'm using now (which I'm loving!!!), it's forcing me to run at faster paces...I'd have to read the marathon training section, to see what it advices... Happy Wednesday!

  3. I run my long runs much slower than my goal pace. you are training your body to be on your feet for a long time, speedwork happens at a different point in the week. on race day you put those pieces together. i always have a hard time trusting the long slow run but it works.

  4. My marathon goal pace is 8:12 and I'm working on getting most of my runs closer to that pace. Last year I think I took it too easy and was afraid to break out of my 10:00 comfort zone. I ran ~9:00 miles until about mile 19 and then hit the wall like whoa. Even if I don't BQ, if I manage to run a consistent race this time around, I will be happy!

  5. I try to keep my marathon goal pace during my long runs. I'm not upset if it is slower, but running goal pace gives me the confidence I can do it on race day as well.

  6. I always aim to do my long runs at a slower pace but usually once I am out there I just try to find a comfortable pace and try not to push it too hard. I have to remind myself that the long run is about time on my feet and building my endurance and my speed workouts and tempo runs are the times to push myself.

  7. I think I actually need to start running my long runs slower than goal pace. I get way too competitive with myself. Best of luck this week!


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