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Sunday, September 4, 2016

Marathon training, week 9

Training for Twin Cities Marathon, October 9:

Monday: 10 total. Now that I switched to Monday night track last week, I stuck with it. This week I drove home after work, changed, and ran to Audubon park for 3x2 mile repeats with 800 active rest. 13:45, 13:55, 14:09. Only the last rep was within my pace range - now that I'm doing longer, slower intervals, I am really struggling to get the paces right! The funny thing is that the last rep was in the dark and I couldn't read my Garmin, so apparently I pace better by feel.These still feel way too easy.
Tuesday: Off.
Wednesday: 11 total with 9 at tempo: 7:04, 7:14, 7:08, 6:59, 7:06, 7:09, 7:05, 6:57, 7:03. Average pace of 7:05 - my best tempo yet. The temperatures have finally dropped to low or mid 80's in the morning, and it made a gigantic difference in my tempo run. I was relieved that it seems that much of my struggles were just due to constant high temperatures. This time, it was only 83F, and I could not explain to my body that I should slow down to 7:15. I felt like this effort was 7:25 - 7:30!
Thursday: 8 easy. Still lovely temperatures, even a slight breeze. 
Friday: 8 easy at the crack of dawn before an early work seminar followed by the usual 9-hour work day. The worst! 
Saturday: 16 miles of sun. Well, so much for cool temperatures. It was still nicer than it's been - maybe summer is finally on the way out - but I woke up late and didn't start my run until 9 am. It was hot (90F average for my run and a "feels like" temperature of 103F when I got home), full-sun, and kind of the worst because I also had terrible cramps. Still, I was easily able to complete 16 at 7:45 pace. Maybe this training is starting to click, because I thought that would have felt more difficult. Unfortunately, I got a sunburn, though. I guess I sweated through my sunblock.
Sunday: 7 easy.

Total: 60 miles.

This week was a big confidence-booster: every run felt great. The drop in temperatures made a huge impact on my paces, and helped me see that my fitness really is improving. My speedwork feels way too easy, even the ones I am running too fast (I'm trying to get them in range, it is just odd for me to run intervals at over 7 minute pace. I get the idea, but I can't translate it into results) and for the first time, the tempo felt easy. I am still worried about the long runs, though. I bet I bonk on race day. There is a world of difference between 16 miles and 26 miles, plus, all those little aspects of the 20 miler are missing: practice carrying gels, taking fuel, sizing up the blister situation. But I promised myself I'd follow this plan to the letter, and with the exception of one skipped day, one shortened tempo, and a few too-fast intervals, I'm doing just that. 


  1. The lack of the 20 mile long run is what really makes me nervous about Hansons, but many people who use it have great success! Being able to easily run 16 at 7:45 pace is pretty huge and telling of your current fitness, especially after many miles during the week.

  2. We are at the exact same poin in training....Week 9 of Hansons but my training has derailed (travelling, niggling soreness in my heel) so I am glad yours is going well. Looking forward to the race report!

    1. Sorry to hear about your injury! I hope it's nothing worse than a tiny niggle. My week 9, though, might be different from your week 9 - I jumped in at, I think, week 3 or 4. I have five weeks until the race.

    2. I figured so. :) Mostly because you're already at the strength phase and I always look forward to those workouts because they feel so easy compared to speed workouts and tempo workouts! Thanks....I hope with a little patience I can kick it and resume training as per usual.

  3. I'd be nervous about a training schedule that didn't include a 20 mile run. But hopefully this training plan works well for you come race day. It's tough because you won't know until you are about 20 miles into the marathon... The good thing is that you aren't a person that does just one marathon a year, it seems, so if Twin Cities doesn't go as well as you'd like, you've got other races ahead of you and can go back to a more traditional training plan. I hope that's not the case for you, though, as I want you to have a great race experience here!

  4. Nice week! I'm sure it's nice to have the weather cooling off a bit.

  5. You'll be okay without a run longer than 16 miles. I just ran a 30.5 mile race and my longest run was only 22 miles, and I never bonked or came close to bonking. I actually could have kept on going (though I'm glad I didn't have to). In fact, many of my runs were only in the 5-8 mile range, but they incorporated a lot of elevation (a lot!) and/or mountain running. It's all about intensity, I think. Distance matters but so does pushing yourself, day after day. Cheers and happy running.