So far I’ve knocked out five weeks of marathon training, and this past week proved particularly encouraging! The basis for the overall training plan is to increase long-run milage for three weeks, then dial it back and recover for a week, and then continue adding miles for three more weeks – continuing the process for 16 weeks.
Saturday’s long run was a ten miler, a distance that didn’t go over so well two weeks ago. This week I felt like a gazelle! I am only half joking. Overall I ended up with a 9:22 min/mile pace with a total time of 93 minutes.
A few key adjustments adding to the success:
1. Switching up my route: I hit the Capital Crescent trail for the first time this summer! The trail is the best for longer runs – perfect for zoning out on the forested path or for people watching other runners and cyclists. But since it’s normally a point-to-point run (Georgetown to Bethesda and vice versa is about 7 miles) it’s not usually worth the extra effort waiting for a single-tracking weekend Metro train. In the spirit of spicing up my life, I took the chance and only had to wait ten minutes for a train! The little things.
2. Tapering: I’m not actually sure if this is a certified positive training tactic that I used this week, but since I was feeling under the weather it was necessary. I still ran this week’s three and five mile runs, but cut back on a few extra workouts leading up to the weekend long run. It definitely helped add an extra boost morning-of, but I probably won’t be implementing this plan again until mid-October. Full cross-training ahead!
3. Workout Fuel: Oatmeal with a banana has been my go-to meal for pre-weekend runs. I still haven’t experimented with mid-run snacks, however. I’m thinking that will have to happen in the coming weeks with the 12 or 14 mile run. I’m determined to supplement with real food, aka not gels or sport beans. It only took one traumatic GI experience to deter me from using them for life (TMI?!). For the last ten mile training runs I’ve successfully re-fueled right after with a Larabar. They are delicious, and easy on the digestive system! There are a million different post-workout snack options, so I may still shop around for contenders, but the Apple Pie is a keeper for now!
And then there’s the super-post-fuel, as in the day after when I’ve forgotten why I’m so darn hungry. Marathon eating, it’s as strategic as running itself!