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Monday, August 1, 2016

Marathon training week 4

Training for Twin Cities Marathon, October 9:
Where most of my running takes place: Audubon
Park (at the top), which connects with The Fly
(bottom), the park that runs along the river.
Separatingthe two: Magazine Street, and the
train tracks, which always carry the threat of a
slow train to make you late for work!

Monday: Off. I switched my rest day to Mondays for this week to see if it would make my Thursday tempo any easier, as opposed to coming off a Wednesday rest day. 
Tuesday: 8 miles total: 4+ warm up and cool down with 3x1600 on the track with 600m jogs. 6:26, 6:30, 6:36. I kind of fell apart on the last one. It To say the least. But I liked how fast this workout went: with few rest breaks, I was done in no time. 
Wednesday: 6.5 super easy in incredibly cool 78 degree weather! 
Thursday: 11 miles total including 4 mile warm up and cool down. So here was the big test: Would the tempo feel easier without total rest the day before? Yes, it did! I arranged the run so that I'd run out about 4.5 miles on the levee, turn around, and run 2.5 back before a cool-down home. This kept me far from the temptation of a water fountain, but it also meant no water was available on the cool-down, either. That wasn't smart planning, as I was teetering on the brink of dehydration for the rest of the day. But the tempo portion went almost perfectly: I hit my pace, and the only break was at the turnaround. I'm running on the narrow path on the levee, and in my experience, I struggle with an abrupt turn. The portion following the U-turn ends up much slower than planned. So instead I coast into the turn and stop for a few seconds to reposition and begin running straight. I definitely was not stopped for an entire minute, so I think that's okay. Average tempo pace 7:12. 
Friday: Total for the day 12.25ish. In the morning I ran 10 easy, which I should rephrase as "ten slow" since they felt hard despite the slow pace, and in the evening I ran the all-comers track meet: 1 mile, 800m, and 400m plus a short cool down. The track meet was pretty rough on my exhausted muscles.
Saturday: Darn it, I messed this up! 8 miles at 7:46. I was supposed to be ten - I read the wrong line on my training plan :(
Sunday: I had leftover cinnamon rolls, hazelnut coffee, a fat Sunday paper, and no desire whatsoever to get out of bed. So I didn't. Which meant that I had to run after church and mimosas (celebration for a newly married pastoral intern), at high noon, in 90F, with a feels-like of 102. But you know what? It wasn't bad at all. I ran 8 miles at 7:36 and it felt...easy. Yes, I stopped for water four times, but that was just survival. I mean, I don't really want to flirt with death, you know? I actually should have run this much slower, and it was supposed to be 6 miles, but I just felt good and chose to run whatever I wanted. The Hanson's plan is so structured that I already needed a break! Usually that means time off or less running, but today I honestly felt like more. Probably due to the shortened run the day before! 
Total: 54 miles.

I am now in total consternation about this marathon plan. All week my legs felt remarkably tired, yet I hit most of my prescribed paces, and ended the week feeling pretty good. I'm worried that I am running too many miles and just generally feel tired / tired of running - yet when I flipped back through the Hanson's book, the author repeatedly emphasizes that you should feel fatigued, and makes sure to advise that you complete your run even when you feel tired.
Mid-week, I was ready to throw in the towel: I felt like I was slowing down, and all my runs were sluggish; then my really slow track runs persuaded me that this plan wasn't doing anything to speed me up. But then by Sunday I felt like I didn't really have too many miles on the legs at all. So now I think perhaps I should give it a little more time and see what happens.

As regards my switched-up rest day, I like it. I don't think it will mess the plan up too much - either way, I'm running one of my hard days after a rest day and one after an easy day. I just switched which hard day gets the day off before it. I did feel like my tempo went a lot better, so I will keep Mondays as my day off.


  1. I'm really enjoying your training recaps since I'm also following Hansons and my race is Nov. 6th. I'm with you on the program lwaving your legs feeling sluggish!

  2. Dang that is a lot of miles! I can see why you are exhausted but at least that's what the person who designed the plan said to expect! I'm really excited to cheer you on at Twin Cities!!

  3. I did Hanson's for my first marathon & I felt the same way -- beat up legs, all the time. But it definitely did a good job of teaching me what to expect during the 2nd half of the race! Glad to hear switching your rest day made a difference too.