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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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?!
How many days a week do you run when you are training?
How do you determine your schedule?
How do you beat the heat?