Friday, February 23, 2018

8 weeks to the Boston Marathon: Last week's training

Another solid training week in the books. Monday was a scheduled off day, dropping my volume to 120 miles but still averaging 20 miles per day for the other 6. Tuesday's workout was a little different than we've done in the past, and I enjoyed it. I have done many tempo workouts following easy miles (1 hour plus), but coming in off of 5 miles at marathon effort, I was surprised by how challenging the threshold track tempos were. 5 miles at marathon pace is not in itself a hard workout, but it brought just enough fatigue to really make the next 7 miles a struggle. It felt like a true marathon workout: a constant grind, never really feeling particularly smooth. The rest of the week was fairly mundane, but the daily volume certainly has me feeling worn down.

Portland received another round of snow starting on Sunday of this week, so I am now in Santa Cruz so I can continue my training without a treadmill. A day or two is manageable, but it looked as though it would stick around for a while, and so far it has. Flying to Santa Cruz when is snows sounds pretty exotic, but I used airlines miles and am staying with a friend, so I managed to escape at no cost. It's a beautiful place to run, but it is always slightly unnerving to be in an unfamiliar place when you are in the middle of peak training and each workout is important. Fortunately I've had the help of other runners to guide me the best they can. In fact, I'll be getting the expert bike pacing of fellow 2:10 marathoner, Brett Gotcher this coming weekend. The running community is tight, and it seems you can manage to find someone in every region willing to lend a hand. Building that network has been one of the greatest joys during my running career.

Thanks again for reading, and feel free to check out last week's training below. Follow me here on Twitter for more updates.

Weekly Total
9 120 Sunday 2/11/2018 Long run 22 miles easy
    Monday 2/12/2018 off
    Tuesday 2/13/2018 Tempo 5 miles by effort on roads then 5 min rest, 4 mile, 3 mile on track @ 70-71, 4 min rest
    Wednesday 2/14/2018 AM: 14 PM: 6 + strength
    Thursday 2/15/2018 12 x 200m or hills
    Friday 2/16/2018 AM: 12 PM: 6
    Saturday 2/17/2018 AM: 14: PM: 6

Thursday, February 15, 2018

9 weeks to the Boston Marathon: Last week's training

This last week was a tough one, but I knew that going into it. In the past I have normally kept the week to one mid-week workout and a fairly high quality long run, but we are trying a couple weeks of two workouts, plus an easier long run. It won't be the norm for this marathon block, but we are going to give it a shot for at least one more week. Within 6 days I had a 24 mile run, a 14 mile tempo on a challenging, hilly loop, and 7 x 1 mile on a net-uphill paved course. My biggest mistake was not taking the 24 mile run easy enough. I still drove around my usual 12 mile loop placing bottles with my Power Gel mixture, which in itself makes me take the run more seriously. It ended up being a progression run finishing at 5:00 pace. I definitely felt that two days later in the long tempo attempt, but it still went fairly well. By the time I got to the 7 x mile, I was pretty wrecked, and decided after two reps to do the rest of the workout as a Fartlek. A couple of light days later, and I'm feeling back to normal, but it is a lesson learned for the coming weeks. It takes discipline to pull back a bit when you feel that you are on the brink of over-training, but I have enough experience to know that it's necessary in avoiding injury or detrimental exhaustion.

I decided to make an overnight trip with my wife and 2 month old son to the Oregon Coast and felt rejuvenated after a couple of surprisingly sunny beach runs at a time of year when you feel that you have the entire region to yourself. Looking forward to the challenge of the next couple weeks before backing off slightly heading in to the US 15k Championships at the Gate River Run. I have run this race many times in the past and have placed as high as third. I'm looking forward to coming back for the first time since my injuries in 2015!

Thanks again for reading, and feel free to check out last week's training below.

Total Volume:
10 140 Sunday 2/4/2018 Long run 24 miles, progressing to 5:00
    Monday 2/5/2018 AM: 14, PM: 6
    Tuesday 2/6/2018 AM: 14 miles @ 5:10 on hilly loop PM: 5
    Wednesday 2/7/2018 AM: 14 PM: 6
    Thursday 2/8/2018 AM: 10, PM: 5
    Friday 2/9/2018 AM: 7 x 5 min Fartlek w/3 min rest PM: 6
    Saturday 2/10/2018 AM: 14, PM: 6

Thursday, February 8, 2018

10 Weeks to the Boston Marathon: Last week's training

It's been a while since my last blog post, but there hasn't been much to report since Berlin. My wife and I had our first child on December 14th, so training was a little lighter than usual this winter. This was expected of course, but I am now into full marathon mode preparing for Boston in April. I have normally reserved my spring seasons for the track, so I am very excited to finally be able to incorporate the world's oldest marathon. 

After the Berlin Marathon in September, I took a couple weeks off before starting to slowly build volume again. I was able to get up to 130 miles per week with some decent workouts, but with our delivery date approaching, running had to take a back seat for a few weeks. I knew I wouldn't be sleeping much, but I underestimated how tough that was going to be. Once I started coming out of this foggy, delirious period, Portland was hit with a mini ice storm right around Christmas. That left me only a few weeks to prepare for my half-marathon in Qatar on January 12th. I actually had surprisingly solid workouts during these few weeks and was fairly happy with my performance (7th place) in a loaded field. The time was only 63:45, but it was warm, windy, and a 5k out and back around a single cone, so considering the preceding month, I was pleased with my effort. After a few days recovery from the long travel, I jumped right into marathon training. We were fortunate enough to have Eva's parents fly from Czech to help us with our newborn during this period which really helped me get into a sleep/train routine. 

I have posted the last couple weeks of training below and will now start posting weekly up until Boston. Our volume strategy this time around is to alternate between 140 miles per week and 120 miles per week. The daily volume actually won't change much, but I will take one day off every other week to catch up on sleep and prevent injury. This is one step closer to the 150/135 alternations I was able to do pre-injury. In the coming weeks I'll look more closely at the field, which is historically deep, and talk about my race plan moving forward. I'm healthy, hungry, and have fun toy to play with at home in between training sessions (baby Oliver). 

Total Volume:

12 140 Sunday 1/21/2018 Long run 20 miles
    Monday 1/22/2018  
    Tuesday 1/23/2018 Threshold: 4 mile, 3 mile, 2 mile, 1 mile @ 70-71, 4-3-2min recovery
    Wednesday 1/24/2018  
    Thursday 1/25/2018 Run 10 x hills or 200m strides
    Friday 1/26/2018  
    Saturday 1/27/2018  
11 120 Sunday 1/28/2018 3-4 mile warm up, 4 mile @ 70-71, 10 miles @ 6:00, 2 mile at 70-71, cool down = 23-24 miles
    Monday 1/29/2018  
    Tuesday 1/30/2018
    Wednesday 1/31/2018 8 x 1 mile on hilly course (4:48 down to 4:28)
    Thursday 2/1/2018
    Friday 2/2/2018  12 x 200 meter hills
    Saturday 2/3/2018