Chicago Marathon 2022- Training Weeks 1-4
Holy cow- how is it time to start marathon training again?? Truth be told I’m much happier when I’m in a training cycle. I enjoy the structure. This comes as no surprise to anyone who knows me since I’m pretty regimented and particular. I haven’t really been in a training cycle since I trained for NYC. While I ran a few other races in the Spring I didn’t formally train. So here we go- Marathon training cycle number 3. Three summer/early fall training cycles at what starts as the quiet part of the year and as the miles build up becomes one of the craziest, busiest times of the year. Back to school, holidays, birthdays and for the last two cycles balancing a full time job. I’m so fortunate to have the support of my husband along the way to encourage me and help cover the boys especially when the training runs get longer- but there’s also their enthusiasm that keeps me going. Goal- stay healthy and injury free. Less focus on time, more focus on enjoying the experience and finishing the race.
Week 1- July 18-24
I have followed my friend Suzy Goodwin’s training plan with each and every race that I have run. When you have a flexible system that works- you do it! I love the flexibility of having one key run and a mileage goal for the week. It means that I can get the miles done any way that works best for me. And that was certainly the case with this first week of training. This week was my youngest’s birthday and we were leaving extra early on Sunday morning to go to Legoland with the boys. So I had a birthday, birthday party and one morning I knew I couldn’t run to negotiate around. Additionally, while I had been building my mileage back up, I haven’t hit 24 miles in a week in quite some time. The beginning of the week (M-W) I ran 3.5 or so miles each morning. Nothing fantabulous. On Thursday morning, I thought I had enough time to inflate the birthday banner and run. I was wrong. So it turned into a rest day. I had some flexibility on time on Friday because my husband could drop the boys off at camp and I took advantage of it. I ran 10 miles on Friday in 3 chunks. 20 minute Peloton on demand class. Breakfast with the boys. 20 minute live Peloton class. Boys off to camp. Followed by an hour Peloton class on demand. See…that flexibility enabled me to get my key run a 10K and a chunk oof miles done on Friday. Allowing me to only run 3.35 on Saturday and have Sunday off. First week in the books. Feeling good.
Week 2- July 25-31
Week two coming in hot. Monday we were still in Legoland. The indoor fitness center left a bit to be desired and there wasn’t really anywhere to get any solid miles in. That and the four hour drive and eight hours in the park the day before might have left me a little tired. But again, flexibility in the training plan allowed me to not freak out about missing a day. The key run for week two is 8 miles with 24 overall miles. Again, as I was still easing into increased miles I kept my runs doing the week to a 5K each morning Tuesday-Friday. Saturday morning I ran 8.64 miles. Checking off my key run and inching me closer to my overall mileage. Alas, I finished the week at 21.14 miles a bit short of the 24 but overall I felt good and knowing I’m hitting the longer runs I’m not concerned about not quite hitting 24 miles for the week.
Week 3 August 1-7
Weekly mileage increases this week…and at the end of the week we are leaving for vacation. Translation- if I’m gong to run on Saturday. It’s going to have to be early and it’s not going to be more than three miles or so. I’m starting to feel much stronger in my runs. Yay!! I hoped that would come as I was consistently running more miles, but you never know. Key effort this week is speed work (800 x 4) with overall mileage of 26. PS camp is also over so I’m working some days at home to be home with the boys. Lots of things happening all at the same time. Monday and Tuesday 3.11 miles each. Wednesday I was able to take a live Peloton class early in the morning and get my key run done. Speed work is my least favorite. I can do it. But it’s not my cup of tea and it generally makes my body sore. This is the case every training cycle. I get through some of the weeks with speed work before I have to drop the spadework and just focus on the miles. But I crushed my spadework this week. The next day I was a little bit sore, but manageable. As is always the case my right hip is starting to be a bit tender. I really need to get back to strength and core training to help keep everything in alignment. But, that pesky hand injury has been preventing me from lifting. Wednesday and Thursday saw 4.5 miles. Friday I pushed to get 6.13 miles done, leaving 3.15 miles and live Peloton class at 6:00 a.m. before leaving for vacation. Yup, I’m crazy. So I finished the week with 24.57 miles. You’ll notice that’s about 1.5 miles short of the 26 mile goal…but I’ll take it. Speed work done. Feeling good. Miles increasing. Week three is in the books!
Week 4- August 8-14
While vacation brings more potential time for running it is also a bit harder because I just want to spend time with my family and feel bad carving out that time for running. That and if I don’t have to get up extra early for a week it feels like a blessing. Sunday was a rest day- well because it was a rest day and I enjoyed a little extra sleep. Monday should have been a run day. But we were horseback riding that morning and I just wasn’t motivated to run beforehand. Key run this week is 10 miles and 26 overall miles. Tuesday was a good day for a longer run because we didn’t have an activity until 11:00. I wasn’t quite sure what I was planning for mileage wise when I hit the treadmill. I knew I would start with 45 minutes and go from there. After two days of rest I was feeling solid so I ran for 75 minutes and 8 miles. Not quite 10 but if you can run 8, you can run 10. Wednesday, I didn’t have quite as much time but got in 45 minutes and another 5 miles. Thursday was for kayaking so I didn’t run. Friday morning, back at it for 45 minutes and another 5 miles. Saturday was a travel day. Yes, I could have gotten 3 or so miles in that morning, but I could also sleep a little bit later and I opted for sleep. I knew that meant I would have 8 miles on Sunday morning to get my mileage goal. I started with 45 minutes and 5 miles and then added another 30 adding a total of 8.08 to my overall mileage. So I met my mileage goal, but you say I didn’t run a 10 miler. Eight is close enough. This week I was more focused on hitting the miles, while still enjoying vacation. It was a win. Still no major complaints. I actually felt really strong this week. I imagine a little extra sleep and vacation will do that! First month of training— DONE!
Why do I blog about my training weeks? I learn something from each training cycle and it allows me to look back to see if I’ve felt the same way at the same time in other cycles. Each time I know I need to strength train more, so hopefully this will be the time I actually do it. Eight more weeks to go before I run Chicago in an effort to ENDALZ!