Marathon Training: Week 5

As I reported last week after joining the MDRA Training Class I had to make some changes to the Hal Higdon plan that I had been following. So this week is kind of a transition week between the two programs. I have decided to follow the Higdon plan but shifting it so that my training aligns with the class and also following the class schedule for the long run days. I might change it again later if it doesn’t seem to be working. The two plans are very similar so they are quite compatible. You’ll notice that there are two cross-training days this week, that is part of the transition! The italics will still represent my planned mileage for the specific day.

Monday:Cross-training day. I went ahead and swam today – I swam a total of 400 yards doing freestyle and backstroke. I didn’t rest too much in between each lap. Before I left for the YWCA I did the first day of the 100 Push-up challenge – pretty tough – I’ve added an element of difficulty by doing them with my feet on the core ball.

Tuesday:5-7 miles with class. Tonight was another Marathon Training Class group run. We met at the Edina Community Center and ran to and and ran 2 laps of Bredeson Park. The park has a nice 2 mile paved loop and a slightly shorter dirt/grass/gravel loop in their nature area. We ran at a pretty steady pace through the park despite the 88 degree temp. The shade and a slight breeze helped keep it a little cooler. There was water for us at the park so we took water 4 times on this base building run. It is nice to have a group to run some of these longer runs with at a similar pace. Due to technical difficulties we didn’t have any presentations after this weeks class. We ran 7 miles in 54:05.

Wednesday:Three miles. It is always a little hard to know what to do the day after running in the evening, since I am a morning runner. I decided that since this was just an easy 3 miles I could probably go ahead and do it in the morning. It was 73 with 75% humidity at 7am so I can’t imagine what it will be later in the day. I did the Metrodome loop in 24:50. I didn’t do any strides afterwards because I’ve got a little pain in the ankle/achilles area so I came home and iced it down. I then did Week 1 Day 2 of the Hundred Push-up challenge.

Thursday: Rest day. Was my rest day and it went pretty well until I locked my wife out of the house. She has been going for a run almost every day and asks me to lock the door behind her – I assumed she took a key since I had to leave for work, well you remember what assume means right? I leisurely biked the 4 miles to work and just as I walked in the doors my bag started ringing and ringing and ringing. Oops. So I hopped back on and rode hard home and back so I could get back in time for a meeting – there went my “off” day.

Friday:7 miles. Happy 4th of July! I really wanted to run some trails so I rode my bike to the light rail station and took the light rail to the Fort Snelling station and rode my bike down to Fort Snelling State Park and ran the trails. I had a general idea of where I wanted to run – basically to explore new parts of the park. So I ran around picnic island – but still had a long way to go, so I ran around Snelling Lake and then a 1 mile loop at the end to make the 7 miles. I spooked a couple of deer on this cool (lower 60’s) but humid morning (in the 70%’s). One nice thing is that most of the run was very well shaded sadly it wasn’t 100% dirt trail either, I would guess maybe 60% of it was on dirt. It was a good run and I felt good all the way through, even dropping the pace to near-race pace for awhile at the end. My two slowest miles included times where I was trying to figure out which way I needed to go and my last mile was the fastest in 7:32. I did Week 1 Day 3 of the One Hundred Push up Challenge for a total of 41 push-ups on the core ball.

Saturday:10-12 miles. Another long run with the training class on a fairly nice morning. We met at the Calhoun Executive Center and went out for a “nice easy” 12 miler. It wasn’t overly easy but it was nice. One thing I’ve noticed about the group of guys that I’m running with is that most of them have done several marathons and most of them are fast. So this wasn’t a true LSD especially considering that our 6th mile was at 7:20 (7:15 is goal race pace). 11.85 miles in 1:33:16 is just under 8 minute pace and we actually only had 2 miles over 8 – the first and one through a bunch of windy trails. It was a scenic run and I didn’t feel too bad over the distance. We looped around 3 of the lakes – Calhoun, Isles, and Cedar hitting the same water stop 3 different times. It was 67 when I left my house with 70% humidity for the 4 mile bike ride there. It was pretty much a flat course with no significant elevation changes until the last 3 miles where we hit two grades well over 10% and one with over 100ft of elevation change. I’m happy withe overall effort for the day but definitely a little tired!

Sunday:Cross Training. After yesterday’s long run I had enough time to rehydrate, eat, and ice before loading up in the car for a 5 hour drive to a wedding and then a 5 hour drive home – arriving back at the palace around 2am. I’m feeling a bit tired and sluggish and highly doubt anything will come from today – especially with temps expected to reach 90!

Weekly Totals:

Running – 29 miles

Biking – 49 miles

Swimming – 400 yds

Hal’s Tip of the Week: Runners sometimes find it difficult doing the long runs, particularly on hot days. One secret is to stop frequently to walk, even if not forced to do so. Walk, grab something to drink, then resume running again. It will make the miles seem much easier plus you’ll train yourself to go from running to walking to running during the race. Drinking is important too.

Week 5

[tags] Marathon Training, Hal Higdon [/tags]