Wednesday, October 9, 2013

4 Weeks to ING New York City Marathon: Last Week's Training

The New York City Marathon is less than a month away, and I've got my half-marathon tune-up under my belt. Before I talk about the race, I want to share an injury scare that I experienced last week. The day after finishing my last 150 mile week, my run began with a tight lower hamstring. As the run progressed the pain moved down the side of my knee and eventually to the front of the knee. It became painful enough to force me to stop my run early. Hoping it was a fluke, I tried heading out for a run in the afternoon, but stopped after 90 seconds as the pain immediately returned. I ran inside and called Dr. John Howell at Portland Integrated and made an appointment for the following morning. He was confident right away that it was tendinitis as the pain trail I pointed out perfectly followed the tendon. We started rehab with massage, ultra-sound, stem, ice, and an anti-inflammatory. I took Tuesday completely off. On Wednesday morning the pain was still there, but it had improved. I decided to give my schedule workout of 10 x 1km a shot that afternoon, and the improvement was significant. Each day forward it felt better and better until Saturday, the day before the San Jose half-marathon, I was pain free and have remained so since, although I am continuing to ice regularly. Fortunately I only had to take a day and a half off before returning to full training. Although the weekly mileage shown is quite low, the daily average is still fairly high when taking into account the missing day and a half. From Wednesday forward I was able to stick to our original plan. Athletes have to deal with these things all the time, so I don't mean to blow this situation out of proportion. It was a moment of fear and anxiety followed by a commitment to doing everything necessary to not let a case of tendinitis hinder me any more than it did. A day and a half off will not set me back in the slightest, and sometimes a forced break is exactly what we need. I am ecstatic to be fully on track in my NYC preparations. I can't thank Dr. Howell enough for donating his time and making himself available all week.

The half-marathon in San Jose went well. It was challenging to determine what pace I was ready to run for a half-marathon coming off of a 150 mile week. Because of this I was afraid to push the pace early. Fernando Cabada, Dylan Wykes, and I pushed through 10 miles at around 4:49 pace. At 10 miles I was still feeling very strong and decided to test myself over the last 3. I was able to pull away and average in the low 4:40s, finishing at 62:45. This is not a blistering half-marathon, but I was pleased at how comfortable 4:50 pace felt through the earlier stages in the race. Picking up a win against a couple of 62 minute half-marathoners is always a confidence booster. Considering my volume and intensity over the last 6 weeks, I think it's a great sign before having tapered.

I will put in one more week at around 130 miles, and then drop each week leading to the marathon. I have recovered well from the half, but will still keep the workouts fairly light this week. I'm happy to be back in Stillwater, OK for a mini training camp during some excellent weather. October is undoubtedly the best time of year to be in Oklahoma. It's been a blast checking out all the new facilities and hanging out with my coach and the team. There are a few guys left that were around my last year, but after this year that won't be the case, and I'll be officially old. After seeing the new track, locker rooms, medical room, team room, alter-g, and their training table (cafeteria available only to OSU athletes), I think there are very few professional runners in the world being treated better. I will have to make another extended training camp trip here later in the year. Thanks again for reading, and I'll post again next week.

Week 10 AM PM Strength/Drills Mileage
Monday 9 miles (cut run short due to hamstring/knee pain)
off 40 minutes core 9
Tuesday off due to hamstring/knee pain off

Wednesday 7 10 x 1 km 3:01 to 2:55 w/ 100 meter jog recovery
40 minutes core 19
Thursday 6 12
Friday 10 + drills and strides 5
Saturday 7 5
Sunday San Jose Rock 'n' Roll Half-Marathon off



  1. Do marathoners use the "post-race workout"?

  2. Hey Ryan, training for a small marathon a week after New York myself. I got scared the other day with exactly the same flare up you had. Up until about 30 seconds ago I thought I was screwed, but now I believe I am in good shape as I have rested 2 days and already feel some improvement. Good luck in NYC!