Marathon training: Week 8

Sunday marked the beginning of my eight week of marathon training. I now have 103 days until my first marathon.

The past three weeks have been focused on speed intervals (and racing), as well as preparing for gradually longer long runs. This is a recovery week, and thank goodness for that. I am surprised at how exhausted I felt on Sunday and the oddly located pains I’m feeling.

A “recovery week” means, at this point, one hard workout and one long run instead of two hard workouts with the long session. But I may need to scale back from even that based on how I feel over the coming weeks.

Last week was two speed sessions and one 16 mile run on Saturday, with easy and recovery runs on other days. I felt completely trashed on Sunday. One problem: I did a speed session on Thursday. I’ve learned from this experience that I need more than one recovery day between a hard session and a long run, so I’m adjusting my plan accordingly. Not drinking three quarters of a bottle of wine on Friday night is probably also a good adjustment to make.

The other interesting discovery is how dispersed the pain is. My neck and upper back hurt on Sunday. Yesterday, it was my arms, including lower arms and hands. At least the shinsplints have abated, although now my hamstrings are complaining.

I’ve got one speed session left, which I moved to Wednesday. Then Saturday is my first of seven planned hill workouts. The More Marathon route includes a hill, which means I need to run up it five times. I want to be happy running up that hill.

A few days before Christmas I start adding in tempo runs as well as making my long runs longer (and faster at the end). I personally love tempo runs — they’re hard, but I trace my racing improvements over the past year directly to the tempo work I’ve done, so I’m looking forward to seeing how they help this time around.

A week from tomorrow is my first 16+ run, an 18 miler. I felt like dog shit for the last four miles of my 16 miler on Saturday. Possibly because of the “not enough rest” issue, but I also was experimenting with not taking in any fuel. For next Wednesday, I’m going to take some Clif Shot Bloks out with me and take them if I start to bonk again. More water too. Must drink more water.

Jesus. I’m even boring myself.

3 Responses

  1. I hate to break it to you, but the More Marathon doesn’t have a big hill. It’s 5+ loops of the Park clockwise, which means you have some rolling hills on the west side and one big downhill on the eastside. You don’t get to the northern loop. That’s not to say you needn’t do hill work as a general proposition. Do a few races and some runs in Central Park to get a feel for the place (bearing in mind that half-marathons (including the More half) do go up the northern hills, but they are really not that big a deal in half-marathons.

    I would also consider including Route 22 on some of your long runs. I discovered (up the BRP path to WP and then down 22) that from Scarsdale south it is constantly going up and going down, which is terrain that will put you in good stead for Central Park, since it is very similar.

    Also, two speed workouts and a long run? Seems like a lot to me.

  2. No big hill is bad news? Nope — that’s good news. I can’t find a good representation of the course and its elevation, so I’m happy to hear that it’s not hilly.

    And, yes, the training plan is undergoing constant tweaking these days as I get a sense of what I can handle and recover from. Thanks for the feedback — it’s valuable coming from someone who’s actually done this.

  3. Also, I will check out 22 for the hills, as it’s easy for me to get to from where I am.

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