3 Month Marathon Planning

So as I was going for a walk last week, I started thinking about what my next race should be.  And then it hit me…the Chicago Marathon is 3 months away!  That is my next race and training needs to commence immediately!

 

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I must say that I am slightly sad to have triathlon season over.  I held out hope that I would be able to fit in another late summer race, but between my trip to Israel and a few upcoming weekends in Wisconsin/St.Louis, that’s just not going to happen.  I bought an old version of Hal Higdon’s book Marathon a few months ago and it was time I pulled it out and started putting together a running schedule.  I wanted to challenge myself a bit and so I chose the Intermediate I plan.  On this plan, you are running 5 days per week with 1 rest day and 1 cross training day.  He has you doing 2 longish runs back to back (ie an 8 mile and an 18 mile run) followed by a rest day. 

 

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For my previous marathon, my training was not this planned out.  I trained for and completed my first Olympic Distance Triathlon mid August and then freaked out when I realized that my mileage was not where it needed to be.  Fortunately, all of the cross training had built up a strong cardiovascular base and I was able to increase my miles each week while running ~3 days each week.

 

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5 days of running scares because I think it is too much for my body and my mind.  I’d love to schedule in some cross training and yoga, so I am thinking I may just run 3-4 days with 1-2 days of yoga/cross training and of course at least 1 day of rest.  With Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays off from work, I am just trying to determine the best day for long runs.

 

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This morning was my first medium distance run (in quite some time) and should have been completed at ‘race pace’.  For me, the race pace goal is 9 minute miles.  I got up early-ish and was out the door by 8:05am packed with my water bottles for a 6 mile run.  The first mile didn’t feel too hot, but by mile 2, the sun was beating down strong and my body felt heavy and slow.  I don’t know if it is the heat, my lack of training, my recent travels, the fact that I was exhausted and slightly anxious about my fall work schedule, or what, but it was a challenging 6 miles.  I walked through water breaks every mile and needed that time to catch my breath.  I slowed significantly on the back half stopping for water 2 times a mile.  I pulled it together to finish strong, but not nearly fast enough.  It was really hard not to be disappointed in this run.  I get that in the big picture, grand scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter.  But I have been struggling all week with 3, 4, and now 6 mile runs and I have no idea why.  My immediate thought is the 80 degree heat that sucks out your energy as you paw through it, but I’m just not sure.  Do I need to rethink my diet, sleep schedule etc.?  Or readjust my expectations for hot runs? 

 

When I got back home, I was reunited with an old friend.  Note crazy amounts of sweat glistening off my legs…Yuck!

 

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Although I should have been moving more, all I really wanted to do was lay down and crash.  In this round, I’d have to score the HEAT 1; Jen 0!  Here’s to hoping I have a chance at a rematch or it’s going to be a long and painful 3 months of training.

 

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To avoid double disappointment, I am considering going to a yoga class with a friend tomorrow (where I’m hoping to lengthen and tone my muscles while also getting used to intense heat) and postponing my 9 mile run to EARLY Saturday morning.  I’m looking for running buddies to help with the early morning wake ups if anyone is interested?!

 

Important Questions…

Marathoners-

How many days a week do you run when you are training?

How do you determine your schedule?

 

Runners-

How do you beat the heat?

21 thoughts on “3 Month Marathon Planning

  1. Wow 5 days a week is a lot!! I would die hahaha. The heat kills me too, I have to get up early if I am going to go for a longer run!! Run before the sun!

  2. I usually run 6 days/week but that’s just how my body feels best. If I add in too much cross-training, I tend to get injured and if I go a week without a rest day, I feel really exhausted. Try not to stress out too much about your run today… it was hot AND humid, the most obnoxious combination. I was drenched after 2 miles!

    • You make me feel so much better! It was rough out there today and I was not up early enough to brave the humidity. I think I liked it better in the desert : ) Wow, 6 days per week is a lot and I think that is amazing. I’m not sure my body or work schedule would allow it. It’d be great to meet up for a run and a chat some day soon. I could use the early AM motivation!

  3. I wouldn’t worry about the run! 1) It was hot. 2) You just got back from a super busy holiday on a totally different time zone!
    I used to run five or six days a week but I know that my body would never let me do that now!
    I think it would be a good idea to cross train a couple days, especially since you love doing other activities too!

    • Thanks so much for your comment! I appreciate your words of wisdom because I was really feeling down this morning (which is not my usual post run mood). I agree that the travel and heat were working against me and I am hoping for better runs ahead!

  4. I am doing the Chicago marathon also! So fun! I’m using the Bart Yasso intermediate plan. But doing 4 runs, 2 cross training, and 1 rest day.

    You were on vacay for a while. Once your body acclimates again you will be good to go! Just work through it! It’s hard but you can do it. 🙂

    I still have to go through your Isreal posts too! Can’t wait to see pics!,

    • Leslie, thank you! That is so exciting…how is your training going? I will have to take a look at that plan (if it is available on line). There is so much information out there it’s hard to know where to start, but I was hoping to be more educated before this race. I hope you enjoy the pictures!

      • I think my plan is 16 weeks. It has a good mix of easy, hills, speed, tempo, and long runs. I haven’t been following it to a T but I will get with it soon!! 🙂 Yes…so much info and so little time. Everyone says something different!!

    • Amy…thank you! I can imagine that it is tough to find the time and energy when you have a little one at home. And with the heat, you can’t take her with you. You will definitely find your stride soon!

  5. I love that you’re running Chicago! I did that two years ago… it’s close to my homeland of WI. ❤
    For me.. I run 6-7 days a week depending on the week and my place in my training.
    Can't wait to hear how it all goes!

  6. I know it’s not for everyone but I beat the heat by getting on the treadmill. I love catching up on all my reality shows while I run. Good luck on your training!

    • That is a good idea! I also have access to an indoor track that I think about for winter but would be perfect for super hot days too! Love an excuse to watch something embarrassing while I run!

  7. No need to stress your run! Everyone has off runs – they’re the ones that make the good runs that much better. Running in heat + humidity used to just crush me, and the only thing that helped me get through was actually running in it more. After acclimating, it’s not so bad, and I actually kinda enjoy it! Just be sure to carry water! I also choose routes that have water stops (there are a ton of fountains around the lakes here), so that helps, too. At the start of IM training, I was running 5-6 days a week to build a base (now it’s 3-5 days a week). I think it’s good to run on tired legs a bit. My long runs are Saturdays, followed by long bikes on Sundays.

    • Thanks Erin! That is GREAT advice! I love hearing all that you are doing as I was checking out the Steelhead site today and wondering if I can fit that into 2014. The hot yoga and warm weather (if it comes back) will hopefully get me more acclimated! Although I much rather run in this nice cold weather!

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