Fall (Summer?) 2014 Marathon Training Recap

12 Aug

In a way, I feel like I’ve been training for this marathon since the beginning of the year.  When I was trying to build back from the litany of injuries that derailed my fall 2013 plans, I always had an eventual fall marathon in mind.  And in a lot of ways, once I decided on a race and declared I was “officially” training for a marathon, there wasn’t a lot of change in what I was doing week to week.

For brevity’s sake, however, I’ll start this recap with the week of May 12th, which I think was the date we decided was the real start of training.


Week Of: Total Mileage: Key Workouts: Long Run: Comments:
05/12 43 None 15.03 Easy, base-building miles.
05/19 35.8 Buffalo Half Marathon in 1:39:30 14.6 (half, plus warm-up) Tapered just slightly for the race so overall mileage was lower.
05/26 43.8 None 15.12 More easy miles post-race.
06/02 49.1 6 mile tempo: 7:27, 7:17, 7:21, 7:16, 7:23, 7:07 (7:19 avg) 16.42 Solid tempo and long run along with overall increase in miles.
06/09 51.9 – 25 (30?) minutes of hill repeats

– 4×1 mile repeats w/400m rest: 6:51, 6:49, 6:57, 6:54

16.3 Quads were hurting from the start of the mile repeat workout but was able to push through. Thought I’d be dead for the long run but still held a 9:15ish pace.
06/16 48.9 – Ladder: 1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-1; 5:43-5:59-6:33-6:41-6:52-6:49-6:57-6:47-6:07- 6 mile MP Tempo: avg 7:55 pace 17 Wanted to run 8-8:10 for MP tempo (ran it watchless) so I was happy to see my pace was close. Started to experience some groin/front-of-hip pain that progressed throughout the week.
06/23 41.2 7 mile MP Tempo: avg 8:16 pace 17.51 Groin/hip pain persisted and so I modded Tuesday’s speedwork to attempt another MP tempo. It didn’t go very well. Took an extra rest day and ran very easy miles the rest of the week. Got through the long run without pain intensifying.
06/30 43.3 5K Race – 21:12 16.18 More easy miles leading up to the race. Groin/hip pain still present, but not worsening.
07/07 44.8 None 12.47 Ran the Boilermaker with my bf and wasn’t sure what to do in terms of mileage or workouts. Didn’t want to trash my legs just in case. Ended up being a fun week of easy miles.
07/14 53.6 45 minute tempo – covered 6.3 miles/7:10 average pace. 17.49 Groin/hip feeling better this week. Tempo felt very good, even with poor weather conditions, and managed a big negative split. Then came the crash – this was supposed to be the first 20-miler of the cycle. Both my friend and I felt like SHIT the whole way, to the point where even a run/walk approach wasn’t cutting it. Had to call it at 17.5 miles. This was probably the lowest point of training, thus far.
07/21 45.4 Short intervals – 6x(60/90/30 seconds w/short recoveries) 20 Like the big dummy I am, I managed to tweak my hamstring running the short interval workout. I need to be fucking smarter about this. My body just doesn’t handle short and fast speed work. Took an extra rest day. Did, however, manage to get to 20 miles for the long run, which had felt entirely impossible the prior week. Win some, lose some.
07/28 50.6 Long strength intervals – 2x(5/7/3 minutes w/short recoveries) 21.52 Hamstring improving, but the last 3 minute interval aggravated it a little bit. All the intervals were sub-7:00 pace, so all-in-all, a workout with 30 minutes of ~5K pace running. Felt good. Followed up with a really fun and productive long run. A++ week.
08/04 52.5 60 minute tempo – covered 8.35 miles/7:15 average pace 22.5 Still contending with various “niggles” but had a really strong week. Very happy with the long tempo and had a fantastic long run with my friend. Hilly run and still managed a 9:08 pace.  This was probably the strongest week of training I’ve ever thrown down.


What has worked well for me:

  • More tempos
  • Higher mileage (for me) – a 40 mile week used to be a peak week for me; it’s nice to know that even when I’m feeling like I’m on the brink of a potential injury, I can “step back” to a 40-45 mile week and that does the trick
  • Starting with a good long run base – prior to “officially” starting training, I was routinely doing 2h-2h:15m long runs. The long runs used to be the hardest part of marathon training for me, and while I am not ready to say they are easy quite yet, they don’t take it out of me quite as much as they used to.

What hasn’t worked so well:

  • Adding a second workout while increasing mileage – I loved doing the second workout, but next time I want to keep my weekly mileage stable when I add it in.
  • Short speed workouts – yeah, my body just can’t handle anything faster than about 6:35 pace without combusting. I should probably figure out why that is.

And so here we are: 2 more weeks of real training, and then it’s taper time. I’ll try to recap those weeks in real-time (aka, stop being such a slouch).  As of right now, I am on the up-swing of the training roller coaster and I hope that it stays that way.


Are you training for a goal race this fall?  Which one, and how is it going?

Please tell me someone else out there shares the rollercoaster training feeling.


2 Responses to “Fall (Summer?) 2014 Marathon Training Recap”

  1. Hollie August 13, 2014 at 8:37 am #

    Reading all of this, you are ready to BQ in a few weeks 🙂

    I’ve found adding mileage and faster miles only results in injury for me as well. I’m glad everything has come together this training cycle.

  2. Laura @losingrace August 13, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

    I’m always on the roller coaster, look at me “weeeeeee”. I’m so glad you are on the up, and I cannot wait to run this weekend. And I cannot wait to watch you nail that marathon in September. Beer, Fries and fish await!

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