Week 4 of marathon training

Once again, I actually managed to stick to the plan as scheduled last week. It was my second week of running 6 days in a row and I held up pretty good. I was extremely thankful for the one day off when Friday rolled around though!

Here’s what my training looked like this past week:

Monday: A bike/run brick at the gym. It was pouring outside, so the stationary bike and treadmill would have to do. I biked 15 miles and hopped on the treadmill right after for a slow and easy 3 miles.

Tuesday: 45 minutes of strength training followed by 6 miles on the treadmill. When I left work, the heat index was 93 degrees. There was no way I would have pulled off a decent run outside, so I opted to stay inside. I did 1 mile to warm up and 1 to cool down, and did a cutdown run for the middle 4 miles. I started at an 8:27 pace and sped up each half mile down to a 7:41 pace for the last half mile. Intervals keep me interested enough to survive the treadmill for longer runs.

Wednesday: An easy run of 3 miles on the trail. It was hot and humid, so I’m glad I only had a few easy miles to get through. After my run I did some exercises with resistance bands on my ankles for 15 minutes or so. I don’t use these often enough, but it helps to exercise my hips, IT band, hamstrings, etc.

Thursday: 4 hill repeats. It finally cooled down enough to make the hill repeats tolerable. I ran 6 miles total, with about 2 for a warm up and a little over 2 for a cool down. These repeats are supposed to be sprints, but I simply try to survive! There’s a hill right outside our door that climbs about 100 feet in about a quarter mile, and it’s steep enough that there’s no way I can handle sprinting up it.

The elevation for my hill repeats

The elevation for my hill repeats

A picture of the hill

A picture of the hill

It’s definitely a good workout and I’m always extremely winded by the time I get to the top.

Friday: Rest (phew!)

Saturday: 6 miles at marathon pace. Matt and I headed out to the trail for this one, where he helped keep my pace under control. McMillan has my pace estimated at 8:13, and I averaged 8:10 – success!

Following our run, we were anxious to finally try our new bikes. Matt got one similar to mine, and neither of us had really tried them out for a real ride yet. We went to Stony Creek and did one loop around the park – 6.3 miles total. It was a beautiful day with lots of people out on the water in boats and kayaks, and I especially loved watching a very happy golden retriever swimming around.

My new bike at Stony

My new bike at Stony

Me with my new bike

Me with my new bike

We took it pretty easy, especially since I was going to run 13 miles the next day. The bike felt good and I’m looking forward to pushing it more on a ride to see what I can do with it.

Sunday: 13 miles (I actually ended up at 13.33). The long runs are finally getting real at this point. I knew it was going to be a hot day, so I got going as early as I could. I went to Stony Creek for this one. It was probably around 70 degrees at 7:30 when I started my run, and easily around 80 by the time I finished just before 9:30. I started out faster than I should have for the first couple miles, slowed down a little for the third, then finally reeled myself in and hovered around an 8:40 pace for the rest of the run. I was plenty hot after the first loop and not too excited to do a second. I made it through without really crashing, but I did feel pretty rough when I finished. I need to get going even earlier for some of these summer runs!

Totals for the week: 37.3 miles of running, 21.3 miles of biking, and strength training once.

I’ve really slacked off on swimming – no swimming at all the last couple weeks. It gets tricky trying to make time for everything when the running miles start to add up. I considered a swim on Sunday, but the 13 miles of running wiped me out enough that I knew it wasn’t a great idea. The heat has been no fun, and it’s looking like another rough week ahead. I may finally attempt to get up at a ridiculous hour so I can squeeze in some miles before work rather than wait until it’s 90 degrees after work. I will likely end up on the treadmill a time or two as well.

– Janet


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