Sunday, July 17, 2016

How's Training Going?

A lot of friends and co-workers have recently been asking "How's your training going?" They know I'm training for a marathon...and some know it's for a Boston qualifier. I appreciate their interest. I just finished my last medium length run this morning. Now it's taper time. Fourteen days to the Jack and Jill marathon in Seattle area. So, how has my training been going?

Overall, my training has been OK. If I was being graded, I'd give myself a solid B. I've logged reasonable mileage and I've gotten in some long runs (even in the miserable heat and humidity). Most importantly, I've not been injured and I really only got sick once--a minor cold with extra allergy issues. Here's a breakdown in terms of areas that I consider important:

Total mileage: B+
I never run that many weekly miles. Even when training for a 100 mile trail ultra, I rarely exceed 40-45 miles per week. For marathons, it's usually 30-40 miles/week. That's about what I've logged (on good weeks). I tried to stay just above 30 miles each week. A few more miles would have been wise, but it might have tired me out too--especially with the summer heat. Being conservative was probably a wise decision.

Long runs: B+
I got my long runs in, even when the humidity was oppressive. I maxed out at 22 miles. I should have done 1-2 more runs in the 15-16 mile range, but I just didn't have the motivation. I'm satisfied with my endurance.

Speed: B-
I haven't done much with speed, but I hadn't planned on much either! I did expect to complete a few tempo runs, and those really didn't happen. I had a couple "uptempo" style runs, and a fartlek session here and there, so it wasn't all slow and easy. Lately I've thrown in several marathon paced runs. That will have to do.

Strength: D
I told myself I'd do some leg weights and core exercises. The leg weights (knee extensions to work the quads) lasted about 2 weeks. I've done on/off planks, so all is not lost. Still, it would have been a confidence booster to have been able to look back and see regular quad and core work over 12 weeks. Maybe next time.

Stretching: C-
If I include a little foam rolling in this category, then I was simply poor, rather than a full failure. Very little stretching (I've never stretched much), but I did do some calf stretches and foam rolling (also on calves).

Health: B+
One minor illness, plus allergies. Not too bad. Never missed that much training--just a cut-back here and there. I'm happy. Currently feel strong. Need to stay the course over the next 14 days. Rest and recovery is job #1.

Injuries: A
No injuries. Only minor soreness and aches after long runs. My calves are always the "weak spot" in terms of being tight and achy. Trying to stretch and foam roll them after harder efforts. Should do that daily.

Overall: B
I get a solid "B" for my overall marathon training. I could have been better in a few areas, but maybe increases in those areas would have lowered my other grades. I'm content. Now it's a matter of staying positive and keeping disciplined.

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