September 7, 2012

New York City Marathon Training: Week 8

Guess what? I didnt run a single mile while I was in Europe.

Why? I needed to not run. Before The Pilot and I took off for London, I was sick with a nasty upper respiratory infection that kept me in bed for 3 days. I still managed to eke out 30 miles that week...25 of them that weekend, even though I wasn't feeling 100% yet. I ran Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday with no rest in between and when I attempted to hit the track on Tuesday for some speedwork before my flight out, I slugged through 1 lap around the track at close to a 12:00 pace before calling it quits.

I needed a break. I intended to run later in the week in Europe, but I decided that the amount of walking I was doing was sufficient cross training and that the way my training was going, I could afford to take a week off.

And you know what? It worked. I've felt great on all of my runs this week...better than I had been feeling even before I got sick. It was stupid of me try and keep my training going full throttle while being sick and taking a week off was just what my body needed to fully recover.

This week, I've done 2 easy runs and 1 technique run. Im heading out again this evening for some double day miles and I'll run long on Sunday. I jumped right back into my training and after the rest, my legs feel fresh, my mind is clear and I feel strong, and ready to tackle the next 8 weeks of marathon training.

Marathon training is a tough beast to tackle. The longest training cycle I've ever done was 14 weeks...this time around, I built a strong base and then started a 16 week cycle and maybe it was just a little too much.

Next weekend, I'm running the Philly Rock & Roll Half-Marathon. I haven't even thought about setting goals for it but I do know that I'm a lot more prepared to race my 2nd half of the year than I would have been without taking some time off.

This might seem unorthodox and I know that for a lot of people, the idea of taking a week off during marathon training is mortifying, but for me, I think it worked...and I'm excited for the next 8 weeks which will involve harder, longer speed work, hills, long runs of 18+ miles each weekend and another half just a few weeks out from Race Day.

How do you feel about taking a week off from training?
Have you ever done it?
Happy Running!


  1. Sometimes your body just needs time off. This summer I really listened to my body. If I need time off from working out, I did it. When I got back from my two week Euro vaca without any running, I definitely felt it for the first few workouts but then I was back to normal.

  2. A month before the SF Marathon I cut way back on the mileage. No long run and I think I ran 25 miles instead of what I average in a typical cycle (almost 50). Before that week I was miserable but it helped so much! Sometimes the best thing to do is listen to your body. Such a cliche, but true!

  3. For an illness or an injury you definitely should take time to recover before resuming training. Rest is important in any training plan, I need time for my body to recuperate from time to time.

  4. I'm really good in taking rest days and probably take more than I should :) But I truly believe rest is just as important. My rule is: If you are not sure to run or not, take the day off! So glad you are feeling better!

  5. I'm definitely all for the resting. It's amazing how refreshed you feel both physically and mentally once you start back up again. I think I'm cutting it too close to actually be able to run NYC this year though :( More updates on that coming soon...


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