Marathon Training: Week 6

This has been kind of an up and down week physically. Alternating between tired and sluggish and almost euphoric – sometimes in the same day! Keep reading to find out all the details. Another wedding this weekend forced some major changes to occur at the end of the week. There wasn’t going to be any time for running on Saturday so I opted for a Friday long run! Bike miles have also taken a huge nose-dive. The culprit is that summer school has started and I get 15 minutes in between summer school and working at Commond Bond – not enough time for a bike ride in between the two and neither time is flexible. So for the first time in 6.5 months I’m driving a car to work on a regular basis, yuck.

Monday: 3 easy miles. I ran the Little Earth Loop (3 miles) in 24:00 and then did some strides and my core work, including Week 2 of the 100 Push-up Challenge. It was 70 and humid for the run, not overly pleasant but a decent run.

Tuesday:5-7 miles This was in the evening with the MDRA class. We ran the same place as last time – Bredesen Park in Edina. The group was pretty small again, with just 3 of us for most of the run. All day I had been dragging and almost went to another meeting (I was triple booked) or even home. Glad I didn’t because once we started running I felt great. We took off at a comfortable 8:19 first mile towards the park and then ran 2 loops inside on the dirt trails (watch for ticks) surprising the same 2 teenagers who were making out on each loop. We ran a 7:37 fourth mile, finished our loops and headed towards home. Higdon says that its ok to pick-up the pace on these mid-week runs if you are feeling it. I was feeling pretty good and thought I’d push the pace a little bit on the way home. I guess I was feeling really good because I ended up running mile 7 in 7:06 (remember 7:15 is race pace) and the last .22 in 1:14 (which is 5:38 pace). I never felt out of control or uncomfortable during the final mile. It felt like a good solid pace. The really surprising part was, as you can tell by the chart, the last mile or so isn’t exactly flat and includes several rolling hills. So I was quite pleased with the overall run. 7.22 miles in 55:50 with 81 degree temps.

Wednesday: 3 easy miles. I think I mentioned this last week but this run is rough since it is less than 12 hours after the last run, but it is easier to get it out of the way as soon as possible! I did the Powderhorn Loop which is 3 miles and enjoyed the grass scenery instead of the roads – I ran 2 of the miles mostly on grass. I did it in 22:05. It was a cool 67 but had 70+% humidity which negated much of the cooler temps. I did a few strides and my core work.

Thursday: Rest Day! I definitely enjoyed the day off although it was pretty cool in the morning and some nice afternoon storms cooled the air even more!

Friday:7 miles at marathon pace. A scenic and solo 14 miler along the Mississippi River. Because of a wedding I had to shift the long run to today. It was a cool 63 at the start but with 93% humidity it wasn’t long before I was sweating hard. I ran along the Midtown Greenway to the West River Parkway – north crossing over Franklin and then along the East River Parkway crossing over Ford Bridge and back up West River Parkway to the Greenway and home. Had I run solely on the road/paved trail I might have been a little disappointed with my 1:54:54 (8:12 pace) run, but I was a little adventerous. I went in the clock-wise manner knowing that I might try to bail out if I went the other way and took pretty much every opportunity to get off the pavement as possible. Well this produced some interesting (read as stupid) results including a 9:52 mile where I was running on a trail that was so overgrown and almost impassable that I was pretty much walking for parts of it. But a solo long run should be fun and full of excitement and I can definitely say that this one was! With over a 1,000 feet of elevation and loss (for a net loss) it was plenty of variety in the terrain, but importantly most of the run was in the shade! I took a Powerbar Gel just before mile 7 for the fun of it and found a couple of water fountains to quensh my thirst a little. Looking through my splits and the pace vs elevation chart I am quite pleased with the overall workout and effort.

Saturday:12-14 miles. In the car for about 10 hours today, it was a good day for resting!

Sunday: Cross Training. I ran Friday’s workout today along the Prairie Path in Wheaton, IL. Pretty much every time I visit my friend I run along the crushed stone, tree lined path. It was a gorgeous day for running mid-60’s with a high humidity but also a slight breeze. I decided I would see how I felt after pretty much spending 2 days in a car. I hit 7:20 pace within the first half-mile so I went ahead and ran it as a pace run. My goal pace is 7:15 and the 7 miles in 50:36 is 7:13 pace so that is pretty dang close! My actual mile splits were all over the place: 7:37, 7:16, 6:59, 7:09, 7:12, 7:02, and 7:14. I felt really good throughout the whole run and at times felt like I was having to harnass myself in a lot which I guess is a good thing. I am starting to feel the pace a little better which is also part of the idea behind these workouts.

I am feeling pretty good right now about the training which is a far cry from a few days weeks ago!

Mileage Totals:

Running – 34.2 miles

Biking – 0 miles

Swimming – 0 yds

Hal’s Tip(s) of the Week: Shoe care is important for success in the marathon, not only your racing shoes, but your training shoes. Here are some quick maintenance tips: 1) Always untie your shoes before removing them. 2) Never wash shoes in a washer, or dry them in a dryer. 3) Don’t store them in a cold garage, or leave them in a hot car. 4) Don’t use them for other sports. 5) Always wear clean and dry socks while running. 6) Have more than one pair of shoes, so you can alternate, allowing shoes to dry between workouts.

Week 6

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

3 thoughts on “Marathon Training: Week 6

  1. Mike

    I'm using one of Higdon's schedules as well and one of my mental dilemas is the long run pace. Hal says 45-90 seconds slower than marathon pace for the long runs and I usually think that's just too slow. I feel like I'm always telling myself to slow down. I've noticed you tend to stay on the fast end of that range as well. What do you think about his long run theory of going quite a bit slower than marathon pace?

  2. crossn81


    Most of the theories I have heard or read about long runs is that they should be done at a slower pace – and actually even with the MDRA group they stress that each week. Since this is my first marathon we'll see how it goes! I think that if you feel comfortable at the pace then it is fine, but I also know that it can lead to burn out and injury. I actually heard a podcast today with the coach from Zapp Fitness talking about LSD day's should be Long Steady Distance – NOT Long Slow Distance.

    My current conclusion is that as long as I feel comfortable with the pace at the distance I'm not going to worry too much.

  3. Pingback: Team Cross Runs » Best of Team Cross for July

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