Weekly mileage PR and marathon expectations
Here at the end of my highest-ever weekly miles (103), I feel remarkably fresh.
In exceedingly dull weather news, the rain rolled back into town and proceeded to pound southeast Alaska’s four feet of snow into submission before washing nearly all of it away. Don’t tell anyone in Juneau, but I was so relieved to see the rain return. Running is significantly less exhausting when I don’t have to fight through the energy-suck of a thick padding of snow on the road.
So, I don’t really follow a training plan. My tactic lately has been to do whatever I want. However, I do see certain patterns emerging in my training, and since they seem to work for me, I’d like to continue on with them.
In lieu of the traditional “three week buildup then a cutback week” thing, I’ve really been liking my recent habit of alternating between “volume weeks” and “speed weeks.” I’ve been gravitating toward a week in the 90-100 mpw range focused on hitting big miles, followed by a week in the 70-80 range focused on a few quality strength/speed workouts. It’s keeping things fresh for me mentally and physically, and I feel really, really good.
There are five weeks to go before the marathon, and if all goes well they’ll look something like this:
5. Speed week at 70-80 miles, two quality tempo/speedy workouts
4. Volume week at ~100 miles
3. Speed week at 70-80 miles, two quality tempo/speedy workouts
2. 50-60 taper
1. 40 taper
Hmm. Looking back at this week’s “Volume” training, I did actually have 2-3 runs that incorporated faster stuff, so it’s not like I’m just jogging through the volume weeks, but it helps me to think about it that way.
Goals and Expectations.
I hate admitting that I actually have expectations for this one, but I do.
Somewhere between 3:15-3:20 should be achievable, but then I think about the fact that 3:15 requires a 7:26 pace average and I freak out a bit. On the other hand, there’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to do that if I taper appropriately, stay injury and illness-free, knock back enough sports drink during the race, and avoid being stupid.
I really want to keep my approach to this marathon low-key. PRing and breaking 3:20 are the primary objectives. Beyond that, I don’t want to dream too big just yet. I have the feeling I’m not going to see the benefit of this mileage right away. It’s entirely possible that I’ll have a mediocre marathon and won’t yet realize any rewards from all the miles I’ve put in this fall. If that happens, it’s okay. I am well-versed in the reality that running is not an instant gratification endeavor. These miles will come back and reward me some other time if not this time, and at the very least it’s been an enjoyable experiment.
Anybody had experience with night sweats or horizontal ridges on your fingernails? I had a few significant night sweats at the beginning of the week, but none the past few nights. I’ve heard and read that this is a symptom of overtraining, and with the couple of ridges it could be that I’ve got some sort of nutrient deficiency. I’m thinking the night sweats might just be an adaptation response and not so much something to be worried about in terms of overtraining, because physically I feel good and mentally I feel excellent: eager to get out there every morning, satisfied with my paces, springy, energetic, happy to be alive.
Every day after my run I either do 50 pushups or two sets of 3′ fancy planks. I also do a quick “myrtl” routine (a lot like this one) and some inchworm stretches. Other than that, there is no strength training or other ancillary stuff in my running life right now. I get up, run in the morning before work, do my pushups or planks, stretch, and that’s it for the day. No doubles in the afternoon or extra workouts, because the idea of running in the dark again after work does not excite me.
I go to work, get stuff done, spend time with friends and keep up some semblance of a social life, and don’t even feel like there were 15-20 miles tucked into the beginning of the day. I’m not really sure why it’s all clicking so well right now, but I know that things can change pretty quickly and the process of training and running won’t always be this easy, so I may as well enjoy this while I’ve got it.