February 28, 2012

Madrid Marathon Training: Week 9

Well, we're more than half way to Madrid...and subsequently, the end of my Master's degree. I don't know which one I'm more freaked out about right now.

Actually, I'm not freaked out about Madrid at all. I feel pretty good about it despite missing 2 weeks of training.  I am nervous about the fact that I'm supposed to have a 40 mile week this week when my highest weekly mileage this cycle is 28. I'm nervous about getting hurt but I'm not sure how to work around that because I need to be at 40 this week and I need to build from there.

My only choice is to take it easy, listen to my body and really take the time to RICE and foam roll after every run.

The Cowtown this weekend proved that I'm definitely ready for a race...not necessarily marathon distance but I'm definitely race ready. I'm really proud of the way I raced this weekend. I ran a smart race. I kept my pace steady and finished strong. The only thing I would have changed is my fueling strategy. I usually only take 1 gel during a Half but the fact that I felt the need to take one so early on in this race (Mile 4 1/2), I should have known I would need one again by Mile 10 and at Mile 12, it definitely hit me. It wouldn't have made too much of a difference time-wise but I think I would have felt a lot better during the last 5k if I had something to keep me going.

Speaking of fuel, I think I finally found something that works. After the disasters that Gu created for my stomach during all of MCM training resulting in me being bed (and bathroom) ridden after every single long run, I've been trying out some different fuel sources and it looks like Clif Shot Gels are doing the trick.

I've only tried the Mocha and Razz and really only like the Mocha. I don't think they give me quite the energy kick that I got from GU but they don't destroy my stomach and they don't taste like someone is pouring honey down my throat like the Honey Stinger gels did. I have one brand to try this weekend before I settle on the Shot Gels but so far, I like what I've seen.

So this weekend, I have an 18 mile run planned. In the past, when marathon training, I've done 2 18 mile runs, a 20 and usually a second 20 or a 22 before tapering. This time around, I'm only doing one 18 mile run. I'll go from 18 to 20 to 22, take a step back week and then bump up to 24 before tapering off. For some reason, I'm somewhat nervous about only hitting 18 once. I usually liked hitting those long distances more than once and trying to run smarter the second time around but I trust the training plan I've built and I think this is going to be good for me.

So, this week as I gear into my high mileage, I'm also taking the emphasis away from hill work and adding speed work. Cowtown proved to me that I definitely have a solid hill base and running in Central Park at least twice a week means I won't be losing anything in terms of hill training But it's time to start throwing in some tempo runs and really pushing my marathon goal pace on some of those hills.

Madrid Marathon Training: Week 9
Total Mileage Last Week: 25.2
Missed Workouts: 1
Trouble Spots: None
Planned Mileage This Week: 41 (yikes!)

Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday: 3 miles easy
Wednesday: 8 mile tempo run (3 miles @ 8:30)
Thursday: Rest Day
Friday: 9 miles with 7 at MGP
Saturday: 3 miles easy
Sunday: 18 mile run

Goals for this Week: Get every run in but take it easy and be smart about recovering post-run
Current Annoyances: Extra hours at work that will make it difficult to get every run in
Things to Keep in Mind: Upping the mileage this much (28 max to 41) could be risky, just pay attention to what my body is telling me and back off if I need to.

So that's it! Madrid is less than 8 weeks away! Starting next week, I'm going to start including Fun Facts about Madrid in my training posts so stay tuned!


  1. Have you tried Hammer gels? i recently discovered them but really like them. They are all natural so maybe a little easier on the stomach (not sure) but I think I get more energy from the more natural gels and I know you don't like honey stingers...

  2. I used to use the Clif shots too but I just found them to be a bit too thick for my liking. So glad you are figuring out what works for you so you don't have a repeat of MCM training!

  3. Good luck this week. You are a smart runner :)

  4. You're gonna kill Madrid! I need to take some inspiration from you and drag my butt out there for some intervals in the morning. Sigh. I've been lagging on training for this half like crazy. Not good when I've set pretty lofty goals for myself!


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