Chicago Marathon Training Update

I’ve been pretty quiet as I plug through marathon training, I’m now entering week 8 which means that I’m almost half way through this crazy thing.

Overall training has been going well! It’s been a sweaty and hot and muggy summer in Massachusetts and I’ve been drinking everything in sight after each run but we all groove on and muster through it. Some runs feel great and others feel like an absolute slogfest, it happens, especially when you’re training in the summer.

The toughest part I’ve had with my training so far was during week 4. The weekday runs went well but when it got to Saturday, my body simply wouldn’t push through a 6 mile run. It was hot, it was very windy, and I hadn’t been getting enough sleep. I ran/walked the 6 miles and felt so frustrated and defeated, my legs felt completely empty. Blech! Going into Sunday’s long run in week 4 with that horrible run in my mind set me up for failure, especially after another night where I wasn’t sleeping well. My 11 mile long run turned into 6 awful miles and they were run/walk again. 100% failed training week. I’m calling it out though because I think it’s important to mention that not every training run is going to be perfect, there WILL be bad days. I think it’s good to acknowledge, learn whatever you can from it, and make sure it doesn’t affect the rest of your training. Because how you react is when you and your training are tested. Every week is a new opportunity and I came back in week 5 and completed all of the mileage and felt great – always need to get back on that metaphorical horse, people!

As for the rest of the training weeks, I’ve been running the miles that are pre-determined for each day using Hal Higdon’s training guide. Even though I’ve been completing my mileage I still get nervous, especially before my weekly long run. Part of me knows the routine, part of me feels like I’m teaching myself all over. Where I’m struggling the most is with my speed. Ideally I’d like to be running my longer runs around an 8:10 pace. I’ve been logging my shorter runs around an 8:00 pace which is pretty standard for me, but as soon as I start to up the miles my long training runs come in at around 8:40 which is pretty much where I was last year. I know the heat and humidity have been slowing me down, and I work some pretty serious hills into my long runs which Chicago doesn’t have, so I’m hoping with cooler temps and a flatter course I’ll be able to compensate for the speed issue – but I also don’t think that’s enough so I’ve been trying to work in some speed work on my short weekday runs.

My cross training day is for yoga which I’m pretty sure isn’t the typical recommended cross training but that’s alright. I’m loving the Monday stretch sessions! In my previous post I mentioned that Pure Barre was integrated into my training, that’s no longer the case since some of the exercises began to aggravate my IT band and I’m not taking any extra risk. Instead, I have strength training exercises that I typically try to work in at least 3-4 times a week. In addition to the strengthening exercises, I’ve been getting grastin treatments on my left and right IT bands every 1-2 weeks which has helped immensely to relieve a lot of tension that had built up.

What an update! I need to post more frequently because while writing this I went off in about 6 other tangents about training and had to keep deleting things. So much to say, who knew. More to come!


What are you training for? Any plans for the fall race season?

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