Sunday, February 16, 2014

Hanson's marathon method....so far

For my last marathon, I hurt my IT band and knee about halfway through my training, and ended up going almost four weeks with zero running. By the time I got back into training, I was only able to hit about 15 miles before the race, and finished in something like 5:50. You can read my full race report from that one here.

For this one, I seem to have wiped all memory of how awful it is to run 26.2 miles, and signed up for RnR USA in DC in March. I've been faithfully foam rolling, stretching, and doing ab work. My biggest concerns right now are the weather (it's still in the mid-20s!), hitting the wall at 20 miles again, and not fueling right.

I've been trying to follow the Hanson's Marathon Method. I bought the book, read it through, and it seems to make sense. I felt ready to focus just on running rather than doing any of the "run only three days a week" programs out there, even with all this terrible Baltimore weather. The basic plan can be found on the Hanson's website.

I got kicked on my butt for most of December with a terrible virus, but by the first week of January I was enjoying a ten mile run in Huntington Beach. Coming back to snow days and slush forced me to become best friends with the treadmill, and I can now say I have completed a 10 mile run indoors. It was terrible. Not even the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills are entertaining for that long. I've been running outside every chance I get, which is maybe once a week, but when I do, I love it. My pace is stronger and more consistent, even in the cold. I'm really looking forward to better weather.

Some changes I have noticed from all the treadmill running aren't that great. On the treadmill my stride is a little shorter, which means I can feel the impact a lot more. I try to relax, but always end up hunched forward. Also, because I get bored, I tend to run only a mile or two before slowing down to a walk for a quarter mile. The consistent pace has helped me get a better feel for my own pace, though, even off the treadmill.

Because my schedule needs to focus on school first, and I get bored with both running and studying after shortish periods of time, I've been splitting up most of my long runs. The Thursday tempo runs of 9 miles? Those are usually split into two 4-5 mile sessions. The Sunday 16 milers? How about 8 outside, then 8 on the treadmill. I'm not sure yet how I'll do just running all the way through. Also, because of that split, my fueling is probably going to be a little off. I might have a few sips of water on the treadmill, or take a gel between the indoor and outdoor run parts, but for the most part, I haven't needed anything more.

The accumulated fatigue thing is definitely kicking in! After the first week, I never felt exhausted, but definitely felt tired, hungry, and like I wanted to dial back the pace a little bit by the second easy run on Saturday. The foam rolling is definitely key to recovery, but it's still hard to keep on top of the stretching.

I'll be training through the Glass Slipper Challenge this week, since it fits into the plan perfectly, then I'll definitely be ready for some taper! I guess I'll know soon enough if I really am ready.   

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