Vancouver Marathon Training: Week 4

I have to start by confessing that every single time I type the word “marathon,” I accidentally (?) type “marathong.” Every.single.time. This brain of mine. I tell ya.

ANYWAY.

I’ve been dialing up the intensity in week 4, and I’m having fun trying some challenging workouts and really dedicating myself to my training. This week went pretty well all around, but my speedwork day was flat out HARD. I’m really glad I have a coach because he was super helpful. I always want to know WHY and how to fix it, but sometimes, it’s just a bad workout. And really, if I look at it in perspective, just because I didn’t hit mile repeats at a sub-7 minute pace doesn’t mean I had a bad workout. Let’s get to it–

Get on with it, lady!

Get on with it, lady!

Monday
What was supposed to happen: 6 miles @8:37-8:59
What actually happened: 6 miles @8:40
Completely unremarkable recovery run on the treadmill.

Tuesday
What was supposed to happen: 
XT
What actually happened: 45 minutes of arc trainering plus 15 minutes of ab work
I’ve come to really enjoy my XT days. It’s a nice break, and I don’t feel any of the pressure to run a certain pace or distance, which is nice. I usually get close to 3 miles in 45 minutes. Then, I did an ab workout that I pinned a million years ago. It was a good one!
Also, I ordered myself this hoodie from Lululemon on Tuesday, and I am very happy with my purchase.
lululemon hoodieYou might not be able to see, but the zipper is silver AND gold, and I really love the detail. Sometimes retail therapy is necessary and makes me very happy.

Wednesday
What was supposed to happen:
 Groove repeats–7 miles with 4 x 1 mile @6:51-6:55 with 3:00 jog recovery
What actually happened: 7 miles total; 2 x 1 mile @6:53 with 3:00 recovery jogs; 1 mile @7:03 with 3:30 recovery; 2 x 0.5 mile @7:03 with 4:00 recovery
So. I really had to fight through this one. Physically and mentally, I felt ready–ready to work and ready for a tough, focused run. But. As soon as I began the first mile repeat, it felt TOUGH. Too fast for me. Almost like a dead out sprint. I got through 2 repeats at the targeted pace, but my lungs were on fire. I didn’t want to slow my pace, but I wanted to get through the workout somehow, so I slowed a little. The third mile still felt hard, but I got through it. I knew, though, that there was no way I was going to be able to do a full 4th mile. I went into that last “repeat” knowing that I was going to split it up. It worked out, but I think it was just an off day.
After, I emailed my coach, and he said that it’s ok to slow the pace a little, but that I should’ve gone ahead and slowed up for the first couple of repeats and tried to finish a bit stronger, which makes sense to me. Since I did well with last week’s tempo run, I know I don’t need to worry about it. Honestly, I was kind of bummed during and afterward, but I’m over it now. Hopefully it makes me stronger for race day, which is what really counts!

Drinks on drinks on drinks

Drinks on drinks on drinks

Thursday
What I was supposed to do: 5 miles recovery, no faster than 9:05
What actually happened: 5 miles recovery @9:03
Easy miles on the treadmill. My legs felt good, if not a little tight in the hip flexors. I think I may have also done some ab work, but I didn’t write it down, and Thursday just seems like such a long time ago, doesn’t it?

Friday
What I was supposed to do: REST
What actually happened: REST!! I also had PT on Friday and did a bunch of hip/glute strengthening work. Plus, I had my hip flexors and TFLs dry needled. Necessary. He also suggested that I do my strengthening exercises after my long runs to help train my glutes to fire when they’re tired. Since they don’t like to fire when they’re fresh, I thought this was a good idea and tried it on Saturday. Not exactly what I wanted to do after 15 miles, but I know it will make me stronger.

Saturday
What I was supposed to do:
15 mile long run @8:25-8:30 pace with 2 x 3 miles in the middle @7:38
What actually happened: 15 mile long run @8:27ish pace with 2 x 3 miles @7:35 (for all 3 miles in the first set) and @7:38-@7:30-@7:30
This is (I hope) my last long run on the treadmill for this training cycle. I broke it up into 5 mile stretches so I could mentally tackle it a little easier. I did the first 3 mile repeats for miles 6-9 and felt good, but was more than ready for a gu at mile 9. I did one easy mile to recover, then finished the second 3 mile set feeling really strong–strong enough to push the pace.
Finished with post-run stretches, single leg star taps (3 sets of 5 on each leg), and 30 bounds on each leg.

Sunday
What was supposed to happen: 
5 miles easy recovery no faster than 9:05
What actually happened: 5.44 miles easy recovery OUTSIDE! (finally) @8:21
I really did try to go slower, but Roo and I were both excited to get outside for a run after so many freezing, windy, snowy days. Even though we lost that hour of sleep, the weather today made up for it.

Mileage for the week: 38 miles

vancouver marathon week 4

All in all, a good week. Otherwise, I’ve been working on getting plenty of protein, hydration, and lots of maintenance work. I’m trying to stretch before and after every run, foam roll, lacrosse ball my hip flexors (YOWSA that hurts), and do all of my strengthening exercises regularly. Sometimes, I want to do it, but I sit on the couch instead. I’m admitting that so that I can report back next week that I’ve followed through and actually done more of this. We shall see 😉

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