Tag Archives: Hal Higdon

Post Marathon Thoughts


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One of the main reasons I run is to race, I really enjoy racing and the feeling that comes with it, even when I place 700 and something!  When I have a goal race or races it gives me something to look forward to and to be motivated by.  So after completing my goal race, no matter the distance, the next week or so is always a little like a slump.

Things are no different for the marathon.  It has been a week and a half since I conquered the beast and for the first few days I was so stiff and sore that running never really crossed my mind. But as the pain and fatigue wore off I started to get a little bit of an itch to go running.  I scratched the itch by biking to work and that helped a little…  My schedule wasn’t really conducive to running without getting up really early (and I was tired) so I didn’t worry too much about running.

One week after the marathon I went for a 5k run, I made it a little more special by running on trails and enjoying the fall beauty of the Mississippi River.  This was great and after the first little bit I felt pretty good.  A few days later on Wednesday I went for another short run and it felt pretty good too. But I am severely unmotivated.  This is maybe the best time of year to run, the temps are cool, scenery is amazing and I lack motivation.  That is a little frustrating.

I know that running a marathon takes a lot out of you and things have been extremely busy since the marathon.  I’m sure that hasn’t helped.  Neither has the fact that the sun doesn’t come up as early anymore. I’ve been eating a ton of food at each meal and sometimes walk away hungry and my sleep schedule hasn’t been the best either.  All of this to say that while I was so extremely focused before the marathon to make sure I was taking excellent care of my body, that isn’t the case now.  In fact I should be sleeping instead of writing this post and last night I played around on Delicious for hours instead of getting some needed sleep.

I think if was taking care of myself better I might not be feeling as unmotivated and fatigued.  What do you think?? Have you experienced similar thoughts and feelings?

Ok enough ramblings from me… I’m going to put my thoughts into action and get some sleep..

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Marathon Training: Week 18

Img from flickr.

TAPERING!!! In some ways life and work have been so busy that it is hard to really feel like the taper has kicked in.  But then again 2 days in a row without running is hard to handle! But the weather has been amazing!

Monday: 3 miles. I ran out and back along the Greenway for a nice 4 mile run.  This may have been the warmest run of the week in the upper-50’s in the morning!  I ran in 29:54.

Tuesday: 4-6 miles. Our last group training run.  It was a nice and relaxed run as we tried to dial back the pace a bit.  We even practiced for the marathon by starting behind the next slower pace group and waiting patiently for the first mile before slowly pulling away.  Ok, so that was by accident.  We ran in Edina and got in 5.28 miles in 41:30.  The run was followed by a talk about preparing for the marathon. It was in the mid- upper 50’s for this one.

Wednesday: 0-3 miles. I did my Metrodome loop on a chilly morning.  I was wearing long-sleeves and my knit gloves for this one.  I think it was 43! The marathon starts at the Dome so I was scoping out the starting areas.  I did 3 miles in 25:17 and things are feeling good!

Thursday: 0-3 miles. A nice rest day!!

Friday: 0-3 miles. Another good day of rest and hanging out with old college teammates!

Saturday: 0-2 miles. A relaxing and easy 2.5 miles around Powderhorn Park.  It was a beautiful sunny morning with temps in the low-40’s.  It was nice to get some of the cobwebs out but not be strenuous.

Sunday:RACE DAY!!! 26.2 miles. I did it!! 26.2 miles in 3:25:54!! My first marathon is complete.  It hurt and it rained, a lot.  Stay tuned for more details throughout the week!

Weekly Mileage

Running – 41.2 miles

Hal’s Tip of the Week: Smile as you cross the finish line. More important: Don’t punch your stopwatch until a few seconds later, while you’re in the chute. You want to look good for the finish-line photo.

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

Week 18

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Marathon Training: Week 17

Img from flickr.

This was the first full week of taper.  I haven’t felt too much taper madeness, yet. This could be because life has been so busy.  I had to work late 2x’s and went to a community fair on Saturday. Yuck!! But I can’t really complain at all.  The morning temps were all great and I got rained on the one afternoon run – perfect!

Monday: 4-6 easy miles. I ran 5 miles this morning on a humid an overcast Monday.  I extended my downtown 4 mile loop to get closer to 5 and finished 5.1 miles in 38:47.  The run was pretty unexciting overall.  A good start to the week.

Tuesday: 5-7 miles at Marathon Pace. I had to miss the training class this evening because the PTA wanted me to talk about one of the programs I run at the school.  I had just enough time in between school and the meeting to sneak in a run, go home, shower, grab some food, and be at the meeting.  The sky looked pretty ominous as I left the school and headed to the river to run.  I made a big circle using the Ford Parkway bridge and Lake Street.  As I crossed the bridge about 2 miles in it started sprinkling. It wasn’t too much longer until I was completely soaked from the rain and it only got worse! The lightening started coming and I was one of few crazy people out there running/biking around.  I didn’t really like the prospect of running over an exposed bridge for 1/4 of a mile, but didn’t have much of a choice.  I got pelted hard on the bridge, having to keep one eye closed and just waiting to  get back to the West side. I made it back to the school safely and finished the 6.3 mile run in 45:40 (7:14) so pretty much right on for a marathon pace workout! As I was walking to my car, lightening hit the school and I later learned blew out our phone system.  I felt the electricity in the air and the subsequent BANG made me jump.  I didn’t waste anytime and jumped in my car. I really enjoyed this run in the rain and through muddle puddles – it was quite fun!

Wednesday: 4-6 miles easy. I felt pretty good for this easy 4 miler around Powderhorn Park. I finished right at 32 minutes so I stayed just under 8 minute pace! It was a very cool morning and felt great.

Thursday: Rest day. I enjoyed another great rest day!

Friday: Four miles. Another run downtown, this time I used my old 3 mile loop and extended it into 4 finishing in 31:12. It was another cool yet humid start to the day.

Saturday: 8-10 miles. I was able to make it to the group run today.  We met at Parade stadium to run some of the early miles of the marathon course around the lakes. A pretty perfect morning, except for some headwinds.  We finished a 9.45 mile loop in 1:13:04.  I think we all enjoyed the slower, no pressure run and had lots of conversation.  Our group got separated on the southwest end of Calhoun as a few of us stayed on the bike trail while the rest went on the running trail.  The bike trail makes a much wider arc and we got behind the others.  Someone decided we needed to pick up the pace and catch-up to the other group.  When we caught them I looked at my watch and we were at 6:22 pace.  That mile was the fastest of the day at 7:04 and it felt pretty controlled and almost comfortable for that short interval.  It was probably in the low-60’s and on the ride home I was riding through misty almost drizzle.  A great day for a run.

Sunday:Cross-training or off. I’m taking the day off!

Mileage Total

Running – 29 miles

Biking – 29.5 miles

Hal’s Tip of the Week: As you get into the final weeks of your marathon preparation, the most important thing you can do is rest, rest and rest. The hard work is over. You need to do some training, but not too much. My approach has always been to cut mileage, but maintain intensity. Continue to run somewhat fast on the “hard” days, but not so far. For inspiration, rent a video of the classic English movie, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner.

Week 17

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

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Marathon Training: Week 16

Img from stock.xchn

Another week in the bag and only a few more to go.  This was a pretty good week, the weather really warmed up which was a little surprising after last week but it still wasn’t really hot.

Monday: 5 easy miles. 3 miles on a modified Powderhorn Loop.  I had some intestinal problems if you know what I mean that severely interrupted the run.  My legs felt pretty good though.  It was a cool and gorgeous morning too.

Tuesday: Yasso 800’s (8-10 miles). Happy Anniversary! Today marked our 2nd Anniversary so I opted not to run with the training class.  Instead I did the 800’s on my own. I did them right after work so that we were able to go out and enjoy our evening.  It was about 80 degrees when I ran these on the track at the University of St Thomas.  I had to dodge the football team and women’s cross-country team who were both taking up large portions of the track.  I did just over a mile warm-up before completing 6×800.  The plan was to do 8-10×800 but my times were dropping and I was hot, tired, and wanted to get on with the evening.  My Garmin says that I was actually running 0.54 which is probably accurate since I had to run in lane 8, swerve around a cart into lane 6 and then back to the outside around the circle of xc runners.  I hoped to make up the difference by cutting each of the intervals short, but guess I didn’t accomplish that! My splits were: 2:55, 3:11, 3:20, 3:23, 3:21, and 3:16.  So I started out a little too fast! I did approximately a 400 very slow in between each interval to about the 3:00 minute mark and finished the workout with 1.5 miles back to my car.  The run was 7.7 miles long and took 1:00:22 to finish.

Wednesday: 5 easy miles. I was a little tired and sore from the track workout and opted for an evening run again.  I ran along the Midtown Greenway and kept trying to slow myself down but I ran the 5 miles in 38:23 which is 7:34 pace.  It felt pretty good despite the temps being up at 80 again.  The Greenway gets pretty busy at this time of day (evening rush hour) and I passed a guy who was playing his trumpet while riding his bike!

Thursday: Rest Day. I successfuly rested today and actually got a massage. It had been awhile and this was my last pre-race massage.  It felt good and my body seems to be holding up pretty well.

Friday: 4 miles at marathon pace. Friday and Saturday’s workouts are pretty much interchangeable as scheduling goes and since we were going out of town it seemed like a good idea to get the longer run done.  So I ran 12 miles along a modified downtown loop.  With the 35W bridge and related roadways opening up yesterday it meant that some of the running trails re-opened and so I was one of the first runners to run underneath the East side of the bridge.  It is a pretty nice bridge with some green stone for decoration/memorial(?) underneath.  It was a very uneventful with temps in the mid-60’s. It felt really good until the sun started coming up and then it seemed to feel pretty hot. I ran 12 miles in 1:38:13, not the best showing of the season but a pretty nice easy run!

Saturday: 12 miles. Obviously I did the 4 miles at marathon pace today! We were celebrating our anniversary in Lanseboro, MN which is the heart of Bluff Country. I did a mile warm-up before starting the marathon pace. I ran along the Root River State Trail, which was quite empty at the 7:00am hour.  The temperature was probably in the mid-60’s and it was just me and the cows – chewing their cud. I ran the 4 miles in 29:34 which was 7:24 a little off marathon pace. The Garmin was acting up a bit during my warm-up saying I was running 14-min pace – I don’t think so! The overall run was 5.5 miles in 42:04.

Sunday: Cross-training. We rode our bikes along the trail and ended up doing just under 24 miles of easy cruising. We had a grand time, the leaves are just starting to change and everything – perfect!

Weekly Mileage:

Running – 33.3 miles

Biking – 48 miles

Hal’s Tip of the Week: Research suggests that runners often catch a cold or the flu the final week before the marathon, or the week after the marathon. That’s because in building to a mileage peak, they often overdo it and temporarily suppress their immune systems. Marathoners thus are more vulnerable to any viruses they might encounter. To avoid colds, try to avoid people who have them. And get plenty of rest.

Week 16

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

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Marathon Training: Week 15

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Taken by phelle

This is it… the last hard week of marathon training. And I felt it! 53 miles of running and last week’s 25K race to help start the week! Good times! I felt pretty solid all the way through but was humbled by the 22 miler – which may be a good thing!

Monday: 4-6 easy miles. A 6.2 mile recovery run downtown in 50:23. Most definitely a little tired and I took it easy on this overcast morning with 51 degree temps. I ran part of the riverfront loop on top of my normal 4 mile downtown loop.

Tuesday: 10 mile fartlek. We met at Fort Snelling to run these on dirt trails in the park. My group ended up running 9.12 miles including 11 hard intervals and finished in 1:10:54. It was perfect weather in the mid-60’s and shady down by the river (didn’t see any vans though). These fartleks were more like what a fartlek should be. 1 person set the pace and distance, and they were the only one that knew how far it was going to be. Each fartlek was supposed to range between 1-3 minutes. Recovery was supposed to be equal to the interval time. This was a lot of fun overall. It was interesting that the intervals I was leading were a lot easier than the ones where I wasn’t – quite the mental game. I won’t bore you with all the details of each interval! It was a good time.

Wednesday: 5-7 easy miles. There was no way I was going to wake up and run after last night’s work out. So I ran in the evening with my wife. We rode our bikes downtown and each did our own variation of the riverfront loop. I ran 5.8 miles in 45:55 and felt pretty good despite the windy weather and 67 temps. We had fun “running together”.

Thursday: Rest Day! I was quite ready for this rest day and my legs were too! They were starting to feel a little banged up I think. I’ve also been dealing with some sinus drainage since Tues or Weds so was glad for the chance to rest-up.

Friday: 10 miles at marathon pace. Some how I missed that this was a MP run, but I think since I raced last weekend that its ok to miss the MP part! No reason to do anything stupid at this point. I ran 9.7 miles and didn’t feel like tacking on the extra .3 on a pretty nice morning, and ran it in 1:16:56. It was 58 and like 90% humidity. I ran down the Midtown Greenway and around the Mississippi River crossing both the Lake and Franklin bridges. I felt pretty good and was happy to run it under 8 minute pace.

Saturday: 20 miles. The last long run of the training cycle!! We met at the finish line of the TC Marathon course and ran out and back on it. I guess it is also a tradition that my pace group tacks a little extra on and makes it a 22 mile run. So I ran 22.2 miles in 2:52:40 (7:46 pace)!! I’ll be honest this was not an easy run to finish and I was ready to be done a few times! My slowest mile (excluding the first) was 8:07 and was mile 21. From there it was cruising to the finish and it was a thrill to come around and know that the finish was just up ahead! I can only image how it will feel right there in a few weeks. My fastest mile was a 7:26 for mile 13. It was a great day to run with temps around the 60 mark and a slight drizzle for the last 10k.

Sunday: Cross-training. I woke up pretty tired and a little sore. Today Higdon said you could cross-train or take the day off… I opted for the latter!

Weekly Mileage:

Running – 53 miles

Biking – 25 miles

Hal’s Tip of the Week: What you do in any one workout doesn’t matter. The most important point of any training program is the totality of that program, and the results it brings. A flash speed workout with quick splits may look good in your training diary, but it could bring you to the edge of overtraining. The same with running the long runs too hard. Your time in the final 20-miler won’t count three weeks later. Your success will be measured by, 1) finishing the marathon, if you’re a beginner, or 2) finishing it in a time that reflects your current capabilities, if you’re an experienced runner. What you did while getting there doesn’t count.

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

Week 15

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