A New Kind of Training

I have been reading recently about splitting long runs in marathon training. Since, in my opinion, the WORST part of marathoning is the 20 mile runs, I thought it sounded like a plan. My interpretation of the plan is to run 2-4 miles on Friday night, then get up on Saturday morning and run no more than 16..... a bunch of times. There was a recent article in Runner's World about the Hanson Brooks Training group and how they never go over 16 in training. They start their long 16-mile training runs on tired legs. And on the facebook page for Marathon Nation, there was an article posted about training runs over 3 hours doing more harm than good. Since my marathon pace is about an 11-minute mile, I can do exactly 16 right at 3 hours.

Last week, I ran 16 miles without a walk break. I did stop for one potty stop and to empty rocks out of my shoes (6 miles were on a trail), but I never said, "Hey, I need to walk a minute or two." My body just did it. It amazed me. The whole run averaged an 11:00/minute pace. This week, I did my 4 miles on Friday night and felt extremely tired during those miles. (That did not bode well for today's run.) But I got my 16 miles in . It was hard. I suffered. After about 12, I hit a major wall. I had not gel'd until about the 70-minute mark--far too long without carbohydrates. I never quite caught up after that. At the 13-mile point, I started walking frequently. Miles 14 and 15 were in survival mode. My legs were just done. After mile 15, I had to drive to my daughter's soccer game 15 minutes across town. I got there with about 14 minutes to spare, so I got in that last mile--mile 16. I felt good in that mile after the brief rest while driving (and the chocolate milk) and averaged a much quicker pace with only one walk break. I got in a total of 20 miles within a 15-hour time period. Theoretically, that should be the same as about an 18-miler, training wise.

So, with two 16-milers under my belt, I'm feeling OK about the marathon. Some of the excitement has worn off, in all honesty. The long runs are just plain hard. They are not fun after about 13. I always used to say anything after 14 is just not fun. Now, I think it's more like 12 or 13. They take so much out of your body. My hamstring is finally healed, and I want to be cautious about re-injuring it. And the long runs make it hurt.

I'm much more excited about these 3 upcoming races than the marathon:

May 7: Iron Mom Half Marathon in Paducah, KY
May 14: The Adairville Strawberry Festival 5K in my home town (also my 4-year old's first one mile fun run afterwards)
May 21: The Scenic City TRAIL Half Marathon in Chattanooga, TN

I just decided to do the trail one. I've been doing about 6 miles on the trail lately and LOVING it. I still don't have trail shoes though.

I am really enjoying running again, but I still love a good Crossfit workout. I do about 1.5 Crossfit workouts a week-- one whole one and a short mini-one after or just before a run. I love doing hand release push ups and pull ups and sit ups and squats and lunges and wall ball throws and burpees! I'm so glad I discovered there is more out there than running. I think there's room for both.


I think there is room for both as well. I just love running, and I love running really FAR.

I love trail running. The actual clock time goes by slower, but the mental time goes by so much quicker. I love it. I haven't signed up for Chattanooga just yet, but hope it works out.
Oh... and the hubs and I are both running Iron Mom in Paducah. Maybe we can meet up race morning. We are hoping to get him a sub 2hr.
Steph said…
Hi there, just stumbled upon your blog, which is great! I will be back!