Sunday, February 8, 2015

Marathon Training So Far

So far, I'm pretty darn pleased with my training for the April Illinois Marathon. As usual, I haven't put all my eggs in one basket. I don't seem capable of going "all in" to train for one single race. I'm always "training" for my next ultramarathon so any other races are side shows. But, the Illinois Marathon has drawn more of my attention than is typical. After all, it is my Boston qualifying attempt. I've restrained myself in the few ultras I've completed in the past 3 months. Here's a quick recap of the my running, racing, and training in the past 3 months.

I ran a total of 138 miles last November. My big event was the Tunnel Hill 50 mile trail race in southern Illinois. It went very well--a new personal record for this distance. I struggled a bit during the later stages of the race, but I was satisfied with my pesisitence and grit. You can read my full Tunnel Hill race report here. This was a great month heading into winter. Good miles and an extra long race.

I completed 121 miles last December. Not great, but not too shabby either. Winter was mellow and I managed some reasonable training. It included the "Winter Solstice" 30 mile fun run with my buffalo brothers. If I can complete an ultra during the winter, it's a win. I was one of only two finishers of the full 30-mile fun run. In addition to the long trail runs, I managed a few speed workouts--mostly progression runs and marathon pace efforts. Good month.

I did 171 miles in January. My best ever for any January! Following a good November and December, this month went incredibly well and provided a great foundation for my ever-building aerobic base. Lots of long trail runs and one fat ass ultra. To top off the aerobic training, I threw in regular speed sessions--Yasso 800s, progression tempo runs, and marathon pace efforts. Another successful month.

February was terrible last year. I only had 58 miles all month. Intense cold and snow, plus I got a nasty cold that had me posting many zero run days. This February has seen milder temps and a healthy and injury free self. So far, things are going well leading up to the Illinois Marathon. Let's hope this streak of good weather and solid training continues. I have two ultras in March: Last Man Standing/Springing (March 1) and Clinton Lake 30 (March 28). If I'm uninjured on April 1, I'll have a lot of confidence tapering for the marathon on April 25. No jokes, no fools. April 1st will likely predict my marathon success or failure.

I'm gaining serious confidence as I march toward the Illinois Marathon and my date with fate. I need to throttle back some of my training so I don't get injured or sick. With more pure aerobic running, balanced with a touch of speed, and I'll be set for the next two ultras. If those go well, a nice taper, with a slightly increased focus on speed, should get me to the marathon starting line healthy, injury-free, and full of enthusiasm.

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