Week 6 of marathon training

Due to a triathlon at the end of this week, I shifted my training around a bit. I’ve been good about following the marathon plan for a few weeks now, and now I see how difficult it can be to make adjustments but still fit everything in. Unfortunately, the next month is going to require me to shift things around almost every week due to things like concerts, a baseball game, etc. Things might start to get ugly!

Here’s how week 6 went:

Monday: A bike/run brick of 12.3 miles on the bike followed a 3-mile run. I went out to Stony Creek to try a harder workout on the new bike for the first time. I did two loops around the main road and it went pretty well. I still feel like I have quite a bit of room for improvement in the speed department though. I did an easy run right after the bike ride. This was supposed to be my recovery day after running long over the weekend, and my pace was probably faster than it should have been at the start. I always feel like I’m dragging along after I get off the bike, when I’m actually going much faster than it feels. I gradually slowed myself down during the run.

Tuesday: 35 minutes of strength training followed by a 7-mile run. I hit the gym first, then went home to meet up with Matt and head to the track. I had a 5 x 800 workout on the schedule. We ran around a mile and a half to warm up, and I was really dragging. My pace usually picks up as the warm up progresses, but it wasn’t happening this time. I really questioned my ability to pull off the 800s based on how I felt. I decided I’d aim for around a 7-minute pace and see how it went. I’m really lucky that Matt has offered to pace me for my last couple track workouts. When I run on my own, I tend to start out way too fast and don’t maintain a consistent pace. When he leads, I’m able to just follow along and not worry about it. Somehow once we got going, the speed came. It can be amazing how that works. I averaged around a 6:55 pace for the first 3 repeats, which was followed by a 4th at a 7:07 pace. We were running 400s for recovery, and I knew I was running those faster than I should have been and it caught up with me. I slowed way down for the next recovery and it made a difference – I dropped my final 800 to a 6:50 pace. A successful workout! When it was time to cool down, I was dragging again. I’m not sure how we pulled it off, but somehow we did.

Wednesday: Ran 7 easy miles. I had 3 miles on the schedule, but dropped that run in favor of doing my typical Saturday run this day, followed by my Sunday run on Thursday. Rather than make this a tempo run like it should have been, I took it easy. I figured the race pace of my triathlon run should make up for it.

Thursday: Ran 10 miles. I wondered how tough this run would be following two days in a row of 7-mile runs. I stuck to the Paint Creek Trail to keep things as flat and easy as possible. I was pretty tired by the end, but I did it!

Friday & Saturday: Rest days to prep for the triathlon.

Sunday: Swam 800 meters, biked 15.5 miles, ran 4.5 miles. The Village Triathlon in Clarkston – recap here.

Totals for the week: 31.5 miles of running, 27.8 miles on the bike, 800 meters of swimming, and strength once.

This week was definitely a challenge. I cut my miles down a little in order to squeeze in the triathlon, but it sure didn’t feel like much got cut. It was tough to do 7 (including speedwork), 7, and 10 on consecutive days. From this point forward, I will definitely have to debate if squeezing a race in is a smart choice. Marathon training is hard enough when I follow the schedule as it is. Shuffling things around is not ideal!

– Janet

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