Phase 2 of training is in the books! This phase of training has been solid and I am at the point where things are coming together. I am feeling strong and steady. The miles have bumped up a bit and I had my highest weekly mileage of 52 miles and my longest long run of 20 miles. I am still only running 5 days a week. This lower mileage approach to marathon training is really working for my current season of life. It feels like just the right amount and I am definitely feeling the strength and speed building. Less really is sometimes more. I say this because I definitely get caught up into thinking I am not running enough. For my season of life, 52 miles is actually quite significant and takes a lot of planning + sacrifice. Maybe one day, I’ll train with higher mileage, but for now, this is what works.
Week 1: 45 miles
Week 2: 50 miles
Week 3: 52
Week 4: 42
While phase 1 of training was all about hills, phase 2 has been all about tempos. I did a 5-mile tempo, two 6-mile tempos (one with Lance pacing me on the bike), and this past week switched things up with 4 x mile repeats.
For the tempos, I really enjoy doing these longer stretches of effort. If I am honest, I never ran quite as fast for these as I would have liked. We use Jack Daniels’ VDOT method for calculating what pacing should be like. We are trying to base paces off my goal marathon time, not my marathon pr of 2:58. Based on goal marathon, my tempo pace should be 6:04s. Most of my tempos were averaging 6:20. My training paces seem to be more aligned to my 2:58 time, but I think it is still important to aim for the faster paces as an effort to reach my 2:48 goal.
The mile repeats were one of my better workouts. It was a much harder effort, but I was able to perfectly cut down on paces. It definitely helped having Lance on the bike with me again on this workout. My mile splits were: 5:52, 5:47, 5:37, 5:34. I was really happy with this effort and surprised at how effortless it felt to consistently run each one a bit faster. I was also very happy because compared to last time I ran this same workout when I was training for Boston- I ran it faster and more consistent.
The Long Runs
Week 1: 15 miles
Week 2: 17 miles
Week 3: 20 miles
Week 4: 15 miles
These first three long runs actually went pretty quickly as I got to share some of the miles with friends. One of my friends ran about 11 miles of my 20 miler, which really helped the time pass. This final 15-miler probably felt the longest because I was solo the entire time and my phone died 6-miles in. I also was running from Dana Point to San Clemente. I was not familiar with the course, so it seemed longer and it was just a bit boring.
These past two long runs I have began practicing with fueling with Maurten. This is what we used for the SF marathon and I love how gentle it is on my stomach.
The other thing I have consistently been using for post-run recovery is Let’s Go Chia chocolate peanut butter protein. I must say I am a bit biased because this is our company, but it really is my favorite protein powder to use post-run. It is only 5 ingredients, tastes amazing mixed with oat milk, and a great smooth way to get in chia seeds!
One thing I have really been thinking about recently is this phrase: “roll with it.” This has actually been really helpful in pulling me through when training does not go perfectly. I’ve been having a lot of technical difficulties on runs. I can’t seem to ever remember to charge everything so it seems like almost every run something is dying: my phone, headphones, Garmin. I also seem to keep forgetting to resume my watch so I’ve been having to do weird estimates on certain runs. These are very minor issues, but when you are a bit obsessive with mileage and plan, these can become annoying. When any of these things happened, I tried really hard to remain present and to not let the minor issue throw the whole run. I’m rolling with it. In life and on the run. And let me tell you, it is making all the difference. I feel mentally tougher. The minor hiccups do not throw me for a loop. I’m steady. I’m focused. I’m ready for 26.2.
Looking forward to this next phase of training. Hoping to focus a bit more on speed, pace changing, and getting my longest run in (21 miles).
Speaking of rolling with it, just received an email today that marathon needed to be changed to one weekend later. And I’m rolling with it. Compared to the heartbreak of experiencing Boston being fully postponed, this doesn’t feel too bad. I can handle a week delay. One extra week to be even more prepared.