I am 5 weeks out from completing my second marathon. I thought it would be a good time to check in with those of you who may be interested in hearing how my training is going. I haven't been talking about it nearly as much as I did with my first race and I'm doing things quite a bit differently!
For my first marathon I trained with a local running store, Running Wild. The program was 16 weeks and we were divided up into pace groups based on our prior race times and running history over the last year. We all followed the same training schedule that looked something like this:
Monday: Everyday run
Tuesday: Medium Long run/Tempo run
Thursday: Medium Long run/Tempo run
Friday: Everyday run
Saturday: Long run
They didn't prescribe any strength training and I ended up stopping mine all together because I was just so damn tired all of the time. Many weeks we were running 40-50 miles and I was often getting up between 4:30-5 a.m. to get 8-10 milers in before work. My body kind of hated me. So, I wanted to do things a bit differently this time around and my 'plan' looks something like this:
Monday: 5k + 30 minutes of strength or abs
Tuesday: Medium long run/tempo run
Wednesday: 1 hour of strength or barre, sometimes an afternoon session on the bike/stair climber
Thursday: Everyday run/tempo run
Friday: 5k + 30 minutes of strength or abs
Saturday: Long run
Reduced overall miles, maintained strength training and I'm also trying to do more of my long runs at my actual marathon pace. Considering I successfully completed a 20 mile long run this past weekend I'd say the plan is working out for me so far. I don't really expect to improve my time much in Nashville because of how hilly the course is, but I'm hoping to come in at about the same (4:44.)
I think the biggest difference between training cycles is that I know I can do it this time around. Training for my first marathon included a lot of self-doubt. Almost every weekend for the last 2 months we had long runs scheduled that were farther than I'd ever run before, and I was sometimes genuinely worried I wouldn't be able to make it. Now, a 20 mile run is still daunting but knowing I've done 26.2 before reminds me that I can 100% do 20.
I also know the importance of preventative measures. I've had a few minor aches and pains come up but nothing as dramatic as I did the first time. I'm using trigger point 3-5 times a week to keep my ongoing shin splints at bay. I'll typically spend a few minutes with it after most runs, and then immediately put on compression socks. I've been jumping into ice baths after runs over 16 miles and I foam roll after every single run. Not having a set plan has also made this marathon feel much more fun and stress free. If I don't feel like running on certain days, I don't. If I need to adjust my tempo run pace or long run pace, I do. I think I feel strong and confident going into this marathon because I trained so extensively for my first. It was around this time (5-6 weeks out) last year that I started to get sick of running. I just missed other workouts and was constantly tired. Not the case this time! I went out yesterday for a medium long run of 8 miles and felt absolutely fantastic.
Assuming I still don't hate running after Marathon #2 I think #3 will be the Pensacola Marathon again this November. For that one I will be aiming for a specific goal time of 4:30. That's the group I trained with last time and clearly I didn't meet that the first time around but I will own it in round 2!
If you are planning to run in the 2014 St. Jude Country Music Marathon & 1/2 Marathon presented by Nissan you can use code ERICARUNS for $10 off your registration!
Are you currently training for anything?