Week 3 & 2 - Boston Marathon Training + Taper

If you asked me two weeks ago how I felt about tapering, I would've told you I'm so ready for it! Uhhhh, that's definitely not how I feel now though, and I am so ready to get this race done! I've never tapered down as much as I have this cycle. Week 2 of Chicago, I ran 40 miles with the week of taper running 23 miles and my last long run at 12 miles. Week 2 of Boston I finished out at 35 miles, my taper week will be only 20 miles and my last long run was 8 miles. I realized why the taper really feels hard is the diet. I'm still eating my regular, 50-60 mile/week nutrition plan, and definitely have a hard time adjusting that down to the 20 mile week.

Despite going a bit crazy because of the taper, I'm very happy I finished out week 3 with a kickass 16 mile run at goal marathon pace and I felt great during it. I waited until later in the day to get started, and the weather was pretty warm. I was still able to manage just under goal pace for the entire run.

Week 3 Schedule:

Monday: 7 miles (8:19 avg.)
Tuesday: 9 miles (7:18 average)
               1.5 m w/u, 3 x 1 mile @ 6:35 avg w/ 1 min recovery, 2 m c/d
               Hip strengthening
Wednesday: 5 recovery miles (8:39 average)
                     20 minute kettle bell workout
Thursday: Cross Training - 800 meter row + strength training
Friday: 5 miles + 8 x 100 meter strides with 100 meter recovery between (8:09 average)
Saturday: 16 miles (7:29 avg)
Sunday: 4 recovery miles (9:01 average)

Rootz Nutrition

This past week has felt much easier, and the actual nice part was I allowed myself to sleep in both Saturday and Sunday. I haven't slept past 7 am in the last 3 months, especially on the weekend. I got another late start to my Saturday run, and again it was warm, but I had a strong finish and overall, a great (but easy) week.

Week 2 Schedule:

Monday: 6 miles (7:59 avg.)
               Hip strengthening + band work
Tuesday: 7 miles (7:29 average)
               2 m w/u, 2 mile @ 7:21, 1 mile @ 6:41, 1 mile @ 7:12, 1.5 m c/d
               20 min strength training
Wednesday: 5 recovery miles (8:37 average)
                     10 minute kettle bell
Thursday: Cross Training - 20 min stairmaster + strength training
Friday: 4 miles + 8 x 100 meter strides with 100 meter recovery between (8:11 average)
Saturday: 8 miles (7:05 avg)
Sunday: 4 recovery miles (8:37 average)

My goal for the coming week is to focus on hydration and getting it in each day. I know that the small things I do throughout this week leading up to my race will make a huge difference on race day.

Do you enjoy the taper?

What are some of the things you focus on during race week?

J

Week 4 - Boston Marathon Training

This week was good. After 2 really tough long runs a few weeks ago, I nailed my long run this past weekend. It involved zero specificity. I was supposed to do 20 miles and the only direction was to be "comfortable." I had to get up at 3 am to get this run in because I had a funeral to attend late morning. I've NEVER gotten up that early for a run and it was soooo hard. Not to mention I basically ran the entire run in the dark and finished just as the sun was coming up.

I knew this was one of my last chances to practice fueling and my prerace routine. I had chicken, quinoa, and broccoli for dinner and my typical pre long run banana ice cream. Everything had to go down super early because I had to be in bed by 8:30. When I got up at 3, I was so groggy. I ate my apple and Honey Stinger waffle while I drank some water and tried to wake up. I was able to go to the bathroom twice, which was great! Yah! I decided to finally give Run Gum a try too. Maybe not the best idea since I haven't used it all training cycle. Super weird at first, but ended up giving me a little boost. I headed out around 4:15 and it was so quiet. I took my pepper spray with me, but felt pretty safe. 

The first 5 miles were a little tough, and I honestly thought I just wasn't ever going to get into this run. I stopped to pee super quick at mile 5, almost practicing a quick bathroom break on the course if necessary. Definitely helped me feel much better and I started cruising at sub 8's.

20 milers are always a bit weird for fueling for me. I usually fuel at mile 6, 11 and 18. When doing a marathon, I might change this to 5, 10, 15, and 21, but when I'm running a 20 miler, it's not really going to help me if I fuel at 18 miles with only 2 more miles left! By mile 14, I'd finished my 2 Glukos gels and was still feeling really good. I have spent so much time this training cycle focusing on segments of my long runs. I find this mentally helps me focus on the mile I'm in, push through to the next mile and really understand how I'm feeling. At this point, I just kept ticking off the miles and constantly asked myself, "Do I feel comfortable? Is my breathing too labored?" and so on. I kept saying, "Yes, I feel good. This pace is manageable." When I looked down at my watch on mile 16, I was hitting a 7:05. Mile 16 was my fastest mile at 7:14! I finished with a 7:42 average and felt amazing afterwards. This was exactly how I wanted my last long run of this training cycle to end.

Another thing that has really helped me this training cycle is positive affirmations. I constantly tell myself during my runs, "I am capable of hitting this pace. I am able to run faster. I have control." It's easy to find negativity in training. You don't hit paces, you feel like crap while you're running your goal pace, you're taking a long time to recover. The list of things that go wrong during training is long, but changing your mindset can make all the difference.

Week 4 Schedule:

Monday: 7 miles (8:02 avg.)
               Hip strengthening + band work
Tuesday: 9 miles (7:18 average)
               1.5 m w/u, 1 mile @ 6:39, 2 miles @ 6:41, 3 miles @ 7:02, 1.5 m c/d
               15 min kettle bell workout
Wednesday: 5 recovery miles (8:56 average)
                     20 minute recovery yoga
Thursday: Cross Training - 20 min stairmaster + strength training
Friday: 5 miles + 8 x 100 meter strides with 100 meter recovery between (8:14 average)
Saturday: 20 miles (7:42 avg)
Sunday: 6 recovery miles (8:56 average)

Everything about this past week was good, even though I'm feeling super burnt out still! So excited to taper :)

How'd your training go this week?

J