Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Marathon Training: So How's That Going?

In between a crawling baby and finishing law school, you're probably wondering how that goal marathon in San Diego is looking. Well, it's happening in less than four weeks whether I'm ready or not, which puts me exactly where I've been with the other two marathons I've done. While some amazing moms have the discipline to get up and do ten mile runs in the cold before spending all day with their children *coughEricacough* I am more of a, "but I'm really tired and recovery is more important" kind of person who fits in amazing runs on Monday and Tuesday, overbooks Wednesdays, and then forgets to eat before a Saturday long run.

Two things that I do consider important are the two workouts I have planned every week: one day of speedwork and one day of tempo. I then try to add in mileage and easy runs when I can.

So, no, really, how has marathon training been going? Have I actually hit any of my long runs? Have I slowed down on my easy runs? Have I gotten in any of those 50-60 mile weeks I had planned?
The easy answer is no.

Since it's been raining so much and my schedule has been so tight, a huge majority of my runs have happened on the treadmill. This means that I know exactly what my pace is, I have a TV, and I get bored very easily, so runs over 6-7 miles are pretty much out of the question.
To keep it interesting, my workouts definitely vary. The sprints are my favorite: I usually plan on about a 4-6 mile workout, with intervals ranging from 800m-1600m, or time, with 3:00-5:00 on with up to 2:00 recovery. My sprint pace ranges from 8:10-8:45, which is about a minute under my goal pace.
Tempo paces on a treadmill are the worst. I simply cannot make myself keep a steady pace for 6+ miles, so sometimes I do have to mix up the pace on my tempo runs. With these, though, I still average out to about a 9:30 pace, right around my goal.

My long runs have consisted of a few outdoor runs of  up to 10 miles, plus the Star Wars Half Marathon plus two days of Disney. With only about 25 days left, I definitely plan on getting in at least one 18 mile day, at a very slow pace, and hopefully a few more 10+ runs.

In addition, though, I have tried to increase my crosstraining days and strength. Once a week I try to swim about 1200-1500m, to help with recovery. I also have about three days of strength training, which includes squats/deadlifts, kettlebell training, or an upper body machine circuit. Usually I do this strength work HIIT style, with intense sets with little rest. I also try to add core work a few days a week, including a pilates class.

My average day for the past month or so has been like this:

  • Wake up, have coffee, play with Lilly, catch up on email and news
  • Class OR gym time: 15-20 min of HIIT strength work followed by an hour on the treadmill
  • Afternoons are very taken up with more classes or work for journal
  • If I had class in the morning, I go to the gym for an hour in the evening to fit in what workout I can on the treadmill
  • By 8, Lilly is in bed, so K and I eat dinner, sometimes he goes to the gym, and I stay home to finish homework, watch TV, and stretch out and foam roll 

To summarize, I know I'm probably not going to get close to a 4:00 marathon, which has always been a goal for me, but hopefully, with all of the speedwork, I will probably get a new PR time. Even though I always race hoping to push myself, this marathon cycle was more about setting a good base to get ready for a strong triathlon season this summer. Once I finish this race, I'm diving straight into strong cycling (indoor trainer+bar prep=awesomeness) and working on swim speed, and hopefully I'll feel that I have a good running form, which will help keep me running strong.

I know that running a marathon 9 months after having a baby, plus graduating from law school, was a crazy goal, so I'm not upset about how terrible my training has been so far. I'm glad I set a goal and have been able to keep myself motivated to get faster and stronger, and I'm definitely going to finish this out!