Week 8 Boston Marathon 2015 Training

MONDAY: Recovery and Cross Training

I wasn't too sore today, since my long run yesterday was 13 miles instead of 20, so I went to the gym and used the outdoor pool. Thankfully, we live in Southern California, so I can swim year round. I really enjoy this form of cross training because I can concentrate on really using my hips and glutes and get my heart rate up without pounding the pavement. Total time was 35 minutes, total laps 24.


TUESDAY:  Speed work

7.5 total miles of running today. I have yet to go to a track, so I still do my speed work on a fairly flat 2 mile trail near my home.  First I warmed up for 2 miles, then I ran 6x 400 meter repeats (.24 of a mile) with  90 seconds of recovery interval between repeats.  After all 6 were complete, I had a 2 minute and 30 second recovery interval, then I did it all over again: 6x 400 meter repeats.  Here are my splits:

1:37, 1:36, 1:31, 1:33, 1:30, 1:30  (2 Min 30 second RI)

1:34, 1:34, 1:37, 1:36,1:35, 1:30 (1 mile cool down)

Speed work is not my favorite, and I never look forward to it, but I do look forward to it being over and the feeling of accomplishment!  Speed work is making me faster, helping my long runs seem easier, and they are worth it. I am pretty new to this kind of training program, and I have never done speed work like this before, but I see the results and I am impressed. I use the Run Less Run Faster training program, you can find the book here.


WEDNESDAY: Cross Training Day with PiYo Class (Pilates Yoga) in the morning and a Spin Class in the evening at 24 Hour Fitness. 

I really enjoy the PiYo class because it helps to strengthen my core and lengthen and stretch my muscles. Plus it is fun to exercise in a group with my best friend and enjoy some great music! The spin class is my non-impact cross training. Cross training is important for runners because it challenges your body to use your muscles in a different way than you do when you run. If running is your only form of exercise, your chances for an overuse injury are quite high. Have you ever tried a spin class? I hated it for about the first three months, then I started to enjoy it, and now I actually love it! Spin is excellent for building your quads, which you will need for all those down hills at the beginning of the Boston Marathon. The uphills don't begin until around mile 17, and the worst hill being at mile 21, a.k.a. Heartbreak Hill. Strong quads are a must for Boston.


THURSDAY: Core work and Tempo Run

A strong core is important for runners, so I grabbed my 15 lbs kettlebell and did some upper body and lower body work. The kettlebell works the entire body, including the core during every move, that is why it is one of my favorites!

More speed work today. Tempo run for three miles. I began with a warm up of two miles at an easy pace, then completed three miles at 7:32 average pace per mile without stopping and finished with a one-mile run at an easy pace for a cool down. Total 5K time 22:35:22

Here is how it went: 

  • Mile 1 @ 7:30

  • Mile 2 @ 7:34

  • Mile 3 @ 7:32

I chose a two-mile flat stretch on my trail. I ran two miles out, then turned around and ran one mile back. The important thing to remember about a tempo run, you cannot stop or slow down.  You have to maintain the desired pace over the entire length of the tempo run, without rest.  This is where mind over matter comes into play. One thing that has helped me stay focused, CogniTea. I drink a cup before every run to help me stay focused and give me a little extra boost of energy. I never think of quitting or stopping, I stay positive with mantras and keep my focus on the finish line....in Boston!

FRIDAY: Cross Training Day: Row Machine 

Today I went to the gym and rowed at a moderately hard pace for 35 minutes. I really like the row machine because I can get a total body workout done in a short amount of time.  I like to warm up at an easy effort for about four minutes then I switch it up between hard effort and easy effort for the next 28 minutes, then cool down with an easy effort for the last three minutes.

SATURDAY:  Day of Rest

SUNDAY: Long Slow Distance 18 total miles

I ran my first trail run this morning, this was supposed to be done in December, but it was postponed due to rain. I would not suggest running your first trail run during Boston Marathon training. Not really knowing what I was getting myself into, I thought it would be a fun challenge. 

It was the Xterra Crystal Cove 15K Trail Run in beautiful Newport Beach, CA.  The weather predicted rain, but only a slight chance, so we ran it anyway.  Thankfully, it only rained a little and not enough to get the ground wet which was good because we were running up and down rock, dirt, and sand hills.  It started out beautiful, running on a wide dirt path through green brush, then it narrowed into a single lane sandy path.  As we continued the path turned into rock and we were practically rock climbing at some points. "The Wall" was almost straight up on slick rock covered in sandy dirt.  You had use your hands to get up that thing. Needless to say, I did a lot of praying during this run. The last thing I wanted, was to end up falling or twisting my ankle. I finished 15th in my age division out of 31 and 187 over all out of 320 runners. I thought that was pretty good considering the amount of walking/hiking I did to ensure I didn't fall. I have determined I am a road racer, and will stay away from any trail runs.

Since my schedule said 18 miles, I drove home and hit my local paved running trail and ran another 9 miles. It felt great to run on a flat surface!  I had 4 hills to run on my last mile, but they were nothing compared to what I ran on the trail!