Week 1 of 18 of marathon training for the California International Marathon is done!
I increased my mileage up to the highest it has reached since April, with 38 miles for the week. I prefer the equilibrium method for increasing running mileage, which is where you increase your mileage by about 20-30% and then hold that mileage for 3-4 weeks, cutback, and then increase again.
Unlike the 10% rule, it gives the body a long time to adapt to the higher mileage, thus reducing the risk of injury. For marathon training, it lets me jump into higher mileage and focus on consistently running a certain mileage, which matters more than a peak week mileage. I hope to peak somewhere around 55 miles per week for a few weeks. It’s not high mileage, but since I run 5 days per week and hike once per week that’s a good mileage to hit for marathon training, I think.
Monday: AM: 8 mile progression run with last 2 miles at a moderate effort; PM: core & hip strengthening
I ran the first 6 miles at an easy pace, averaging just under a 9:00/mile, and then picked up the pace to a moderate effort for the final two miles. By moderate, I mean a sustainable, comfortable effort with only a slight increase to my breathing – not as fast as tempo effort or half marathon pace, but closer to steady state/marathon pace. I ran 7:46 and 7:52 for those last 2 miles and finished feeling strong.
While the Seattle area doesn’t get scorching heat and we usually have a healthy dose of cloud cover in the mornings, running during the summer months is still more challenging than normal because of the humidity. The humidity was about 90% on my run and even at an easy pace I noticed a change in my breathing, the same feeling of not being able to take deep breathes that you get at high altitude.
I had one of those runner’s socially awkward moments on a run. I was passed by two women who were running together right around mile 5.9. Shortly after they passed me, I picked up my pace to progress up to a moderate effort per my workout and was soon running side-by-side with them – which made it seem like I just ran faster because I was passed. While keeping my effort still comfortable, I surged just a little bit to get ahead of them. Unless I’m running with someone or in a race, I feel so awkward running right behind or next to another runner.
Tuesday: AM: 7 miles with 8 x 30 seconds uphill repeats at 5K effort; PM: Pilates
Originally, I thought we were backpacking on Friday through Sunday nights, so I planned on doing my long run on Thursday and opted for hills/speed development on Tuesday to not have that fatigue in my legs on my long run.
This run wasn’t awful but it wasn’t the best. I skipped my warm up after a later start. It was rainy, which meant slippery sidewalks and roads. I decided to alter my workout for the day from 6 x 1 minute hill repeats to 8 x 30 second hill repeats to avoid slipping and so I could run on a shorter hill with better visibility (to avoid any cyclists whipping over the hill and skidding in the rain).
The hill repeats were okay, but my hamstring cramped up near the end (probably due to skipping my warm up). Not pain or any strain/tear feeling, but truly a cramp – tight but I could finish the run without pain or alteration of gait. I’ve been working on improving my hamstring strength, but in the meanwhile the side effect seems to be tighter hamstrings.
In the evening, I did Pilates, stretched with a few downward dogs, and foam rolled the tight spots in my glutes, calves, and hamstrings.
Wednesday: 7 miles at easy pace
Foam rolling, KT tape, stretching, and Pilates seemed to do the trick on the tightness in my hamstring. I ran 7 miles at an easy pace (my Garmin died mid-run, but Runkeeper reported an 8:58/mile average) with no cramping. Muscles are weird.
Thursday: AM: 4 miles very easy with Charlie; PM: Strength training
Charlie and I ran 4 easy miles – well, easy for me. The little puggle decided he wanted to sprint the last mile and pushed the pace up from his normal 9:50-10:00/mile pace to 8:30. His excitement as he started running faster was the cutest thing, and he looked so proud of himself afterwards.
I tried to take a selfie of us for Instagram, but Charlie was confused about which way he should face the camera.
Friday: 12 mile hilly long run
There’s one route nearby with hills over the first two/last two miles (I run it out and back) that toast by legs by the end of a long run. They’re not bad hills – I think one climbs 100 feet and the other climbs 150 feet – but they’re a bit nasty at the end of a longer run. I only drank water with electrolytes on this run, since I’m trying out a strategy of training low-carb on some long runs, and finished feeling strong even with those hills.
I’m also proud of keeping my long run at an easy pace- 8:54/mile, which for less than a 2 hour long run felt very aerobically easy. Half marathon training lets you get away with faster long runs (usually 45-90 seconds slower than goal pace, so last training cycle that was 8:15-9:00/mile for me). The Hansons Marathon Method involved faster, shorter long runs, so I never really learned how to slow down on long runs during marathon training.
And yes, I am obsessed with these shirts from REI.
A college friend of ours and his girlfriend were in town, so we planned a backpacking trip together near Mount Rainier. We hiked 3 miles to Dewey Lake, then hiked around the lake a bit more in the evening for about 4 or 5 miles.
Backpacking is so relaxing, even when it’s cold! We woke up to 40 degree temperatures and enjoyed coffee and oatmeal at the lake before hiking back. My new Osprey backpack felt so comfortable, even when loaded up with about 23 pounds.
I increased my protein intake this week to start off marathon training with good nutrition and felt energized all week. I ate two sources of vegetarian protein at lunch instead of one (eggs and quinoa this week) to make sure I get enough, especially on days where I run and strength train.
I try to eat a majority of my carbs from vegetables and fruits, especially starchy vegetables like white potatoes, sweet potatoes, and squash. My favorite meal this week was spaghetti squash with whipped feta and Greek yogurt sauce (from this falafel recipe), chicken, and roasted eggplant.
Linking up with Weekly Wrap!
What awkward moments have you experienced on a run recently?
Which of your muscles seem to always be tight?
How was your week of running?