Week 9 - Chicago Marathon Training

I know it's Wednesday, but let's just talk about how Mondays are the hardest days to run for me. It's really a lack of desire than anything else. Something about being back at work and having to wait 5 more days until the weekend that makes it one of the MOST difficult days for me (as I'm sure it is for everyone - I mean, who loves Mondays???). I've only done double runs a few times in my running life, but it's a way to get in good recovery miles without being worn out by a longer run. This week has my first Monday of double runs in a long series of them, so my attitude about Mondays will have to change. I successfully completed my double workout in this week's schedule, but had no additional time to do anything else like a kettle bell sequence or yoga. Here's this week's schedule:

Week 9 Schedule:

Monday: 5.5 miles (AM), 4.5 miles (PM)
Tuesday: 10 mile progression run + kettle bell
Wednesday: 9 mile threshold run (4 mile repeats at threshold pace) + yoga
Thursday: 5 recovery miles + kettle bell
Friday: REST
Saturday: 19 miles with 7 @ GMP + kettle bell
Sunday: 6 potential trail miles?

My progression run last night was a little unsuccessful as you can see below. I'm not progressing the way I should over the run as you can see some miles are slower than the ones before. I'm having a hard time closing it out at the 7:00 pace I want to hit on the last mile. I'll start back up at the track next week, so hopefully some interval and repeats will help me out with my speed. I did 9 progressive miles and ended with a 1 mile cool down. I felt like I gave up, but I also think I'm hard on myself.

Sugar Runs

I'm trying out back to back hard days. I did this in my LA and Vancouver training cycles, but am considering this again for the remainder of this cycle. My long run this past weekend went terribly and I think it's because of my lack of intensity in my training since my injury. I barely made it through the 19 miles I had scheduled. I was hoping for an 8:25-8:30 pace and could only manage an 8:45 average. I couldn't figure out if it was the humidity, lack of sleep, or something I might have done in my pre run hours that ruined it, but it was HAAAARD. 

Just to give you an idea of pacing, here's how it looks for me based on my level and goals:

Aerobic pace (anything that is not recovery, threshold, progression etc. This is a manageable pace where I can still speak while running): 8:20-8:35

GMP (Goal Marathon Pace): 7:27 - 7:35, which equates to a 3:15 - 3:20 marathon. Based on my 10K and half marathon actual finish times, this should be achievable for me with the right training.

Threshold/Interval: 6:50 - 7:00. 

Tempo: 7:10-7:15; just a bit below goal marathon pace.

Track: 6:00 pace; this is the pace I would use for track repeats under 800 meters. Anything over 800 meters would jump up to a 6:15-6:27.

Recovery: 8:45+; this can be anywhere from 8:45 to 10:00.

If you are interested in heart rate zones, those can be used to determine your pacing in these areas as well. Recovery would be zone 2, aerobic would be zone 3, tempo and GMP might be zone 4 and zone 5 would be your all out lactate threshold pace. I haven't paid too much attention to HR zones in training, but know that many folks do and find success with it. 

Here's a link to a source for determining what your heart rate should be based on your age and gender. If you know your resting heart rate, it's helpful for better accuracy: Mio Global

These are good resources for determining the paces you should be running for the workout you are attempting based on your goal race pace or recent race finish times: Runner's World Training Paces and Run Smart Project - Jack Daniel's VDOT. The Jack Daniel's VDOT calculator has a lot of info to offer if you want to get serious with your training. After calculating your goal race time and pace, click on the training tab to figure out what your paces should be running for different workouts.

Do you train by heart rate or by predetermined paces?

Do you run back to back hard days or do you prefer an easy day between hard workouts?