I have completed my first week of training, and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be! This is my 4th consecutive year running the Boston Marathon (my 15th full marathon) and thankfully I trained smart last year and earned a BQ and PR at the Boston Marathon 2015.
My training program will be the same this year, only I am switching up one cross training day from swim to outdoor bike intervals. As with most races, you usually have at least three goals in mind: to finish, to BQ (Boston Qualify) and to PR (set a new personal record). In keeping those goals in mind, I prefer to use the Run Less Run Faster training program. This program has worked well for me and as an older runner, I am 48 years old, I cannot run a lot of miles each week because I tend to get overuse injuries. With this training program, I have 3 main training runs per week and 3 cross training workouts: row machine intervals, spin class, road bike intervals. I also take one PiYo class a week at my local gym as well as resistance training with weights.
Here is how my first week went down:
Monday I did some sand bag training with my client. I am a personal trainer and I train my clients at their homes. We did some total body moves holding the sand bags: squats, walking lunges, dead lifts, upright rows, reverse lunges. We also used some balance pods for some core work and balance training. I went to the gym for a PiYo class then I did the Row Machine (8 min easy, 10 min hard, 5 min easy). In the evening I did a lot of foam rolling.
Tuesday I was scheduled for some speed work. My plan said to do 3x 1600m but I opted to do 3x1200 (.75 of a mile) instead. I just wasn't feeling up to maintaining that pace for that long of a distance. With a warm up and cool down, I did a total of 4 miles.
My splits were: 5:27 @ 7:18 per mile pace 5:17 @ 7:05 per mile pace 5:22 @ 7:10 per mile pace
Wednesday I took a morning Spin Class at the gym.
Thursday was more speed work, a tempo run. One tip about a tempo run, you MUST maintain your pace WITHOUT stopping or slowing down to rest, that is what makes this drill work. I did 2 miles of warm up then 2 miles at tempo pace (7:13 and 7:22) then a cool down for a total of 6 miles. I was shocked by my pace because I haven't done much speed work and didn't think I would be able to reach anything below a 7:30 pace.
Friday I went on my first road bike ride with my sister. She just gave me her old road bike so it was my first day out on a bike. It has been years since I have even been on a bike! I was a little nervous because I haven't clipped a cycle shoe in before and of course I forgot and did fall after my first stop. But lucky for me, I was near the neighbor's garbage cans and they helped break my fall. We cycled a total of 28.8 miles.
Saturday was my first long run. I was scheduled to do 13 miles at an average pace of 8:40. My Garmin was a little off due to satellite issues and I started out way too fast. My average pace was 8:25 which was faster than I had planned on. I try to simulate all my long runs as close to the elevation chart of the Boston Marathon. I began with a 4 mile down hill then it flattens out a bit and I hit a few rolling hills. The major hills climbs will come near the end of my long run when I hit 17-20 miles.
Sunday is usually a rest day for me, but since my sister was still in town we decided on another bike ride. She needed to teach me the rules of the road and how to change a tire. We rode a total of 38.6 miles
Final thoughts, it went well. Knowing what I have in store over the next 15 weeks is quite overwhelming. I have learned to just take one day or one training day at a time and not look at the big picture. I remember mantras that keep me going:
"Run the mile you are in."
"Head up, wings out."
"THIS is the work, make it count."
"You got this."
"Work now so you can enjoy race day."
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13