It has been a while since I’ve trained for a race, but I am excited to officially be in my marathon training build for the Mountain 2 Beach Marathon in Ventura, CA.
Officially 12 weeks out from race day! I am taking a more conservative approach to training this time around. My coach/husband, is giving me my training on a weekly basis. Even though we are keeping mileage relatively low, I trust him and I’m interested to see how I can perform with less days of running, lower mileage, and more cross-training/strength training.
This will be my second full marathon. My first was the San Francisco Marathon in 2019. I trained for this marathon in the first year postpartum with Hudson. Choosing to train for that race and qualify for the Boston Marathon was a huge part of helping me get out of my postpartum funk. I reflect on that race here.
The goal after running SF was to run Boston in the spring of 2020, but as we all know that never happened. I kept weekly training logs leading up to what I thought would be Boston. I started reading some of them today and really enjoyed remembering that season of training. Here is a Marathon Monday I wrote back in 2020 when I was also 12 weeks out from race day.
This is week 4 of training and is a down week. Last week was my highest week of mileage and I hit just 40 miles. My longest run so far was last Saturday and was 13 miles.
In terms of workouts, I spent the first 3 weeks of training with hill workouts. I did the same hill for 3ish miles and continued to just go up and down it. First week I did 7 hills, next week was 8 hills and third week was 9 hills. It was amazing to feel the strength build in both my lungs and legs with each consecutive week. I really love hills at the beginning of a training block. It is my favorite way to build strength and as our coach always said, they really are speed workouts in disguise.
After three weeks of building to 40 miles, this current week is a down week of 34 miles and just 4 days of running with 2 days on the Peloton bike. Even typing this out, I realize how low this sounds. It does make me a little curious if I am able to get where I want to be on less, but I know my current season could not handle any more mileage. Less is more is the thing I keep telling myself. My time is so much more limited now than it was 3 years ago training for my first marathon. While I might not be running crazy high mileage, I want to really maximize the time I do put in. This is why my two most important run days are my hard effort days and long runs. If I get these two runs in well and cross-train on my off days and squeeze in 10-15 mins of core/strength work each day during the week, I think my body will adapt to where it needs to be.
This week, I had my first tempo run. I did a 3-mile warm-up, 3-mile effort (6:18, 6:14, 6:01), and 3-mile cool down. My goal race pace is 6:24. The plan was to do 3 miles at race pace, but a bit faster felt very controlled. Even though I’m looking forward to holding longer tempo efforts, this first tempo was a good confident boost that I’m heading in the right direction and my goal pace is tangible.
This training block, I really am committing to staying consistent with strength and core work. I have been breaking it into smaller chunks. I try to do a 10-15 minute Becs Gentry class on Peloton. I love her strength for running classes.
I still have 2 runs per week with the baby jogger. Now that Hudson is in preschool, Thatcher joins me on these runs. We usually will just do park loops. These park loops can be boring and tedious, but I’ve already had some encouraging moments on these repetitive loops. There have been a few positive comments, but the one that stuck with me most was from an older man who was actually out running. He looked me straight in the eyes and with the utmost confidence stated, “You must be a marathoner” and with a smile, I said yes.
This marathon training build already feels entirely different from my last two. Life is already fuller. My energy is so much less. My sleep is even more broken. Yet, I am committed to getting the most out of these next few weeks and I am hopeful that I will be able to chase down that sub 2:50 goal.
Today I wrapped up this down week with a 12-mile run. I went out 6 miles and worked on coming back at a faster pace. I averaged 7:26 pace. It felt good to have a bit faster of an overall average. I really want to focus on getting this average pace down for future long runs.
Here’s to phase 1 of training done! Onto phase 2!