Good morning! Isn’t this weather amazing? At least, the weather we are having here is. I don’t know where it came from but I hope it sticks around.

I’m trying not to be nervous about how warm it could end up being in Boston. Nope, I’m not even going to think about it. I can’t change it!

I spent about an hour the other night looking up videos of the Boston Marathon course. My husband has run it many times so as I was watching it he kept pointing out his favorite parts, the hills, and the wonderful final turn to the finish. It really is making me more excited to get to that start line!

I may have almost shed a tear or two when I got my official Bib # and starting corral. I’m a little bummed to miss the cutoff by a minute for wave 2 only because if it’s hot it will make for an even warmer race and because my husband will be waiting on me a lot longer, but still so excited!

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I’m still not sure how I feel about the number 30 showing up. I turn 30 about a week before Boston, it currently is bit hard for me to accept. 

Speaking of Boston, this week (knock on wood) has been the first week I’ve really felt back in my flow. It’s been a crazy training cycle and between two different sicknesses, a broken rib, and some other personal issues I don’t remember the last week I felt like my normal running self. It doesn’t mean every work out and run has been easy, but my body felt like itself again. I’m really hoping this keeps it up for the next 4 weeks!

 

Ok, just had to get all my Boston thoughts out of the way because the closer it gets the more excited I am! Now let’s take a look at training. I know I do my weekly training recap, but I wanted to talk today about my training cycle this go around. Of course, I still have 4 weeks to go but as you may have figured out it is looking a little bit different.

My coach and I made the decision that I wouldn’t race Boston a few weeks into the training cycle. It was something he knew I had been thinking about for a while, and with my history and never having raced two marathons within one year we thought it was safer. Plus, I want to be able to make sure I really enjoy. There is a great possibility that I could have PR’d but I knew my body and I knew this was the best decision, even if it took me a while to come to terms with it.

The main differences in this training cycle are:

Decreased Mileage

My past two marathons have averaged around 55-65 miles per week. It was a lot for me, but manageable with my schedule. We made the decision to cut down my miles this training cycle and I’ve been averaging 45-50.

This was one of the hardest things for me to accept; however, I can already tell how well I’ve been responding to it and in the long run I know it is going to really help.

 

Less Intense Workouts

In my prior cycles I have done 1 tempo workout, 1 speed workout, and a long run each week. This cycle has looked different and I’ve loved it! One of the best things about having a coach is that the workouts are always changing and it allows me not to get so bored.

On top of that, I usually have one harder workout each week and then another tempo type workout in my long run. I think this really has made a difference. It also helps to break up the monotony of the long run. I still will have the long, steady long runs but we mix it up some weeks by throwing in tempo work.

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Since I am running this one more for enjoyment, the pressure is off on these workouts. I work hard to try and hit the paces but I often find myself running more off of effort than religiously staring at my watch the whole time. For me, it has really taken some of the stress that sometimes comes with marathon training away.

 

Increasing the Long Run

If you have ever followed Hansons Marathon Method you will know that the long run never goes over 16 miles. This makes a lot of people nervous, but it did work for me when going for my BQ. I think a big part of this was that I had higher mileage during the week. Now that my miles are cut down a lot, the long run is more important in the overall scheme. Plus, as I’ve told my coach, the distance often becomes my weakness later in the race.

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I’ve run one 20 miler, I have a shorter more intense 14 miler this weekend, 22 miles the week after, and then a final 20 miles before the taper. I’m not going to lie, the 22 miler scares the @#[email protected] out of me, but I know it is important both physically and mentally for my preparation.

 

Adjusting When Needed

This wasn’t really a goal going into this training, but because life has gotten in the way several times it has really been important. Instead of guessing myself, I at least have Dan now who is able to tell me when I need to step back.

I missed one long run due to sickness, had to cut another one short due to a fracture rib, and had to take 2 weeks off from all workouts while letting my rib heal. Those are all things that would have been much harder to get myself to do on my own.  Not ideal, but listening to your body and adjusting is so important no matter what your training looks like.

My goal is to go into Boston feeling strong. I realize I am not going to run a PR, and that’s okay. I still want to feel strong and ready to tackle all 26.2 miles when the day comes. I know I am on the right track!

 

Trail Running

I normally don’t step foot on a trail during marathon training. This isn’t something my coach necessarily told me to do, but I have noticed such a benefit from using my Sunday recovery runs as a trail day.

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We have some great mountain biking trails in Virginia, so every Sunday morning I head out and run my 4-6 miles on trails. I really think this has been a great change up for me both physically and mentally.

 

How is your training going?

Who else is running Boston?

 

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