Week 6 Boston Marathon 2015 Training

MONDAY: Recovery and Cross Training

To my surprise, I am really enjoying my time in the pool.  After a long run, it feels so good to float in a pool and do some non-impact cardio. I love it when I get the pool all to myself, which hardly ever happens. Today I went in the afternoon when it wasn't crowded. I kicked with straight legs using my glutes and hips while holding a kick board under my upper body. Total time was 35 minutes, and I managed to get in 24 laps. Just kicking is very slow; you are working so hard with your legs without the use of your upper body. It feels like an eternity to get a lap done, but it is an excellent form of cross training and helps to get the blood flowing to those sore legs for recovery.


TUESDAY: Resistance Training and Speed work - Hill Run

Upper body and lower body resistance training with 10lb. kettlebells. Kettlebells work the core muscles hard because you’re working your abs all the time with continuous abdominal contraction and coordinated breathing that provides a very high level of conditioning.  You will notice you get a pretty good cardio workout with a kettlebell.

The shape of the kettlebell gives it an odd center of gravity that makes more muscles work and contract to stabilize the weight and work harder to move it explosively. This shape also makes it better for certain lifts (the overhead press naturally utilizes all the muscles in the shoulder.)

Kettlebells are easy to use. Explosive lifts with kettlebells, such as the clean and press, can be learned quickly and easily with very low risk of pulled muscles. Front squats are easier with kettlebells than with a barbell or dumbells.

You can get a total body workout using a kettlebell.  I suggest starting with 10lbs. for a beginner and working your way up from there. Really watch your form, you don't want to end up injured, and you don't want to throw the kettlebell accidentally!

I was scheduled for some speed work today, so I opted for a hill run. It is known that hill runs are speed work in disguise. Since Boston has a lot of hills, I want to be prepared for them. Fortunately, I live in the hills of Southern California, so it is easy for me to incorporate hill training. Today was a five-mile loop, I first did 4x hill repeats (running and and down the same hill), then I ran six different hills for a total of 10 hills. Always be careful on the downhill, you don't want to end up with a stress fracture like I did! I learned that one the hard way. Also, choose the softest ground possible when running down hill (dirt, or grass being the softest, followed by asphalt, then concrete being the worst).   


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



I began with a warm up of two miles at an easy pace, then completed five miles at 7:44 average pace per mile without stopping and finished with a one-mile run at an easy pace for a cool down. Here is how it went: 

  • Mile 1 @ 7:34

  • Mile 2 @ 7:33

  • Mile 3 @ 7:52

  • Mile 4 @ 7:49

  • Mile 5 @ 7:52

I chose a two-mile stretch on my trail. I ran two miles out, then turned around and ran two miles back, then turned around and completed one more mile. The first two miles were easy because there was no wind and it was a slight downhill grade, but then when I turned around at mile 3 the wind resistance and slight incline got to me, and my pace slowed a bit. By mile 5 I was almost depleted and exhausted, it was hard to maintain the fast pace. Tempo runs are hard; you want to stop and catch your breath, but you can't. You are pushing yourself almost to your limit, and you have to keep your head in the game, otherwise it is too easy to walk or slow down and stop. 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. Fuel is equally important, you don't want to try and run on empty! You need to have your tank full. (glycogen stores)


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. Just make sure you Google a few tutorial videos on how to properly row on a row machine. I have seen some pretty crazy things out there, and if you don't do it correctly, you don't get the benefit of a total body workout, and you may end up with an injury.


SATURDAY:  Day of Rest 

I worked the Nuun booth at the LA Fitness Expo today from 10:00 am  -6:30 pm, so it wasn't really a day of rest since I was on my feet all day long. I did stay hydrated with Nuun knowing I was going to be doing my long run on Sunday.


SUNDAY: Long Slow Distance

Remember, Long Slow Distance runs are just that, slow!  You are training your endurance. If you try and run every long run at race pace, its like running a race every week which requires extra time to recover. You should be running your endurance runs at about 20-60 seconds slower than race pace.

Don't forget to pack your fuel and practice your hydration  during your long runs. Your body needs fuel about every 45 minutes during endurance runs or anything over one hour. This is the time to practice for your race and see which fuel and hydration works best. I prefer Huma Chia Energy Gels and Nuun Hydration.

My long run was 20 miles and my average pace was 8:46, which was a little faster than my scheduled 8:57 pace. I am practicing the Boston Marathon Course as much as possible, so I begin my long run with a four-mile downhill.  Then I decided to try out some new trails in my area, I did have to stop quite a bit to stay on the correct trail.  There were a lot of hills, which is good because the Boston Marathon has a lot of hills at the end of the race. I ended up having to call my husband at one point to bring me some more water because I wasn't near any park where I could refill. I ran out and back on the new trail and called my husband to come get me when I reached mile 20, since I was two miles from home and a bit depleted. I packed my Huma (3) and took one every 45 minutes, and I packed two Nuun tablets so I could add them to my water bottle. This year, I have decided to run in the late afternoon (2:30 pm) so I can enjoy my Sunday mornings with the family and church, and then I can take in the beautiful sunsets. Plus it helps to get my body used to running later in the day, since Boston doesn't start first thing in the morning.