Training Update

on Thursday, March 31, 2016 at 8:45 PM

So it's a little more than a month out to the marathon.  Training has gone surprisingly well this time around.  I've managed to get most of the training runs in, with the odd skipped recovery run.  Was able to do all the long and LT runs.  This past winter has been good weather wise.  Not too much snow.  Still, I did do a big chuck of the runs at the gym.  After doing the early wake up and run at the gym before work last year, I decided that my gym runs would be done after work this time which worked out okay.  Almost all of the LT runs were done on the treadmill, with the exception of the last 7 mile one which was done outside at 6:58 min/mile pace on the soccer field route.  

I also got lucky with the marathon pace runs this time around.  Temps for each were above freezing which allowed me to run in shorts outside and minimal upper body wear.  I had a bit of a decision to make this year.  Last year, the last MP run coincided with Around the Bay which is a 30k road race in Hamilton. This year, the race is taking place this weekend.  However, my MP run was scheduled for last week.  I had some thoughts to delaying the MP so I could do it at ATB, but the weather forecasts a week out for this weekend were not looking good.  Temperature wise it was to drop below freezing with sustained winds of 30km/hr and up.  Compare that to the weather last weekend which was just above freezing and low winds. 

What they say about the bird in hand applied and I figured with the good weather last weekend, to take what I had and then figure out what to do in Hamilton come race weekend.  Glad I did, as after a two mile warmup, I was able to crank out 7:15 min/mile pace for 15 miles . Over the course of the training cycle, I've been gradually increasing my MP by 5 sec/mile. I started out at 7:30 pace (end of January), then 7:25 (End of February) and this time around it was supposed to be 7:20 pace, but I tried for 7:15 pace at the start, just to gauge what the effort level was like to see if I could maintain it for any length of time and it seems I was able to maintain it for the whole thing.  I wanted to practice that pace because I was trying to figure out if I was in good enough shape to try for the silver medal at ATB. For men, those who finish under a 2:15 gun time get a silver medal, those under 2:00 get a gold and everyone else gets a bronze.  2:15 would require 7:15 pace for the 30k. 

As of right now, they are predicting -4C temps with wind from the west at 20km/hr with gusts up to 40km/hr for the morning, which is not too good.  With a circular route, it means tailwind for the first 10k or so and then for the last 3 km, but a headwind from 10k to about 27k.  I still haven't decided what I will do. On the one hand, doing marathon pace efforts on back to back weekends is probably not a good idea, but I think if I can maintain the 7:15 pace for the whole thing without getting injured, it would set me up for a really good marathon time a month from now.  I'm guessing that they will have pacing groups for the 2:15 time so I could probably use the group to block the wind.  I just have to remember to stay with them from the start, unlike what I did in Erie last fall.  Lesson learned!

As for my goal of doing weight training. That hasn't gone as well as I'd liked. It started out well, but lately I usually end up with only one weight training session a week tops with maybe one additional core work out.  Not as often as I would have liked, but still way more than I've done in the past.  I've also been stretching more.  It seems with the running in the evening thing, I get more time to stretch after the run, whereas before, I was quick to get changed and move on because I had to get to work.  I guess it's all about time management. 

So that's about all for this update. Hope you're all having a good training season. Spring weather is almost here (though technically it should be here already, damn Polar vortex...)