As the summer begins to wind down (noooo!), I’m wrapping up yet another marathon training cycle. I’m running the Beantown Marathon on September 10th (the day before the Boston Marathon 2018 registration opens!) and yes, I’m going for my first BQ.
Even though I’ve been on “summer vacation” these past couple months, July was very busy. I took two intensive grad school courses, which took up most of my time, and have also been working on wedding plans. However, I still made my running, workouts, and healthy eating (and watching Netflix 😉 ) a priority, and am feeling strong.
I’ve spent July and August training hard, running more miles, and doing more strength training than I ever have. I finished July with 193.29 total miles, my highest monthly mileage ever. But it looks like my August miles will be right up there too, possibly higher. We’ll see when I tally them up!
In mid-August I ran my longest training run ever – 24 miles!
Something that stands out between this marathon training cycle and my past cycles is hill work. Each week I’ve had hill repeat workouts, which at first intimidated me. Running up a steep hill over and over again is tough work, but I’ve actually grown to love them. Plus, I’ve traveled to upstate NY and Canada where there are hills everywhere you look….so many of my non-hill repeat workouts have had many hills thrown in. My coach, Siobhan, tells me how all this hill running will pay off in my race, and I’m excited to see the results.
Relaxing in Canada after a long, hilly run. I felt strong on this run, and lay here for about 2-3 hours afterwards. The sunshine and elevating my legs felt so nice.
One other thing that stands out between this cycle and my past cycles is my mental strength. My mind is strong…but that can sometimes hurt me. I’ve had so many runs in the past where I’ve told myself I can’t do it, and that’s ultimately hurt me. This summer’s training has been mentally challenging for sure, but I’ve pushed through the the negative thoughts more than I ever have.
Many people have asked me what I do for strength training, and I’ve created a weekly schedule for myself.
- I lift weights for 30-40 minutes on recovery run days so my legs do as little work as possible.
- I focus on lower body strengthening on speed workout days so my legs do A LOT of work.
***Keep the “easy days” easy and the “hard days” hard! 😉
- On “race pace” run days, I focus on back/shoulder/chest work
- I do 6-minute planks about 3x/week, and ITB hip strengthening exercises 4-5x/week.
- I’ve also started using the sauna after my workout is complete to help build endurance. (But as the Beantown Marathon approaches, I won’t use it much because saunas dehydrate you and flush out electrolytes that the body needs for a marathon).
- And finally, I’ve started doing “legs up” the wall for 10 minutes (not everyday, but maybe 3-4x/week). I’ve read that this helps with recovery, stretching, draining fluids…plus I find it peaceful and relaxing.
^All of that may or may not sound like a lot of work to do on top of running alllll the miles, but they have all become habits for me. I’m determined to keep them going when teaching, grad school, and volunteering rev back up beginning this week.
Finally, an article was written about my running journey in my hometown’s online newspaper. If you have not yet read the article, the link is here.
Officially 14 days out from the Beantown Marathon, and 14 days out from my BQ! Enjoy the last week of August 🙂