Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Big Weeks

We are just 9 weeks out (including this week) from the big day. This will include six heavy training weeks in two 3-week blocks with a recovery week in between, and two weeks of taper. And that's all folks! Is it me, or is time really flying? It feels like we moved the clocks forward by a few months!

This week kicks off the first set of three big weeks. When I decided to back off the mileage early last month, I maintained the intensity of my workouts, which I hope will make this transition easier. I've put in several solid weeks in the 50 to 55 mile range, which feels very manageable  for me at this point. I will continue to increase gradually, working my way up to 60 miles (or 62 for an even 100K).

I'll have two key workouts most weeks, plus several long runs to include race-pace miles. We're also back to "Twosday Tuesday", starting yesterday...

When I first saw what Coach Hubs had planned for me, I thought there must be a mistake; not just two runs but two workouts in one day? Then I was gently reminded that practicing marathon race pace on tired legs is key. I nervously anticipated the runs, but the gorgeous mid-day sun and lingering evening daylight put some extra pep in my step and I completed both with ease.

lunch: 10K w/ 6K (4.4mi) tempo
tempo goal: 4:45/KM or better
tempo result: 4:40/KM (7:30/mi)

eve: 13K w/ 10K (6.2mi) MRP
MRP goal: 5:13/KM or better
MRP result: 5:06/KM (8:12/mi)

14+ miles for the day with two quality workouts - and we're just getting started!


If there's one thing I have been learning throughout this training cycle, it's that I can continue running on very tired legs - and I can even continue to hit my target paces on very tired legs. I'm starting to get a good feel for what I can handle when I get tired, and I'm hoping this will pay off in the later marathon miles.

We still have lots of work to do and I'll be taking it one run, one day, one week at a time over the next little while. To ensure that I make it through these big weeks, there are a few things I'm focusing on more than ever:
  • getting adequate sleep
  • fueling properly
  • taking recovery seriously
  • getting my vitamins in the hopes of staying healthy
  • looking after my muscles with frequent physio visits (every 1-2 weeks)
  • being smart, and remembering not to let my enthusiasm cloud my judgment

28 comments:

Jogging with Fiction said...

I like your list of things to focus on. I think I'm going to adopt it for myself!

dietitianontherun.com said...

"I can continue running on very tired legs" <-- biggest lesson I've gained from doing Yoga, Spin, and other random cross-training adventures. Just because there was a "class" in whatever form that day, doesn't mean I can't run! But letting that judgment reign is key :) Smart girl!

Jill said...

Yes, time IS flying...I can't believe it's mid-March! You're going to be so ready for THE day - you are focused and driven and doing exactly what you need to do. Keep it up, girl...you're doing great!!!

Hannah said...

Your list of things to focus on is awesome, and I feel like I need to write those things down. I do much better when following a "list".

Sounds like everything is spot on for you and your workouts. Awesome! Way to get those workouts in on tired legs, to boot. Well done.

Laura said...

I can't believe it is mid March...my marathon is now less than 2 months away...
This running on tired legs thing is key but it still sucks. :)

Jason said...

You are going to own that race. And running on tired legs and hitting goals is a true confidence boost b/c you know after two weeks of taper you will be like a caged animal ready to fly.

Runners Fuel said...

It sounds weird, but I love running on tired legs. I think it gives me a feel of how it will be on the big day! great job on your training!

Gotta Run..Gotta Ride said...

Key - one run at a time. Keeping it real and enjoying the journey. YOU have got all the important points covered!!!

VERY nice SOLID double runs :)

J said...

A tempo and a marathon paced run all in one day!??! Look at you! Sounds awesome and you did great with both workouts!! I need to get more sleep! This week I have been dying because of stupid daylight savings!

runnergirl training said...

Nice job! Looks like you are doing well with the mileage! Thanks for sharing!

Aron said...

You are doing VERY good at being smart this whole cycle... like when you backed off a while ago and now have a clear head about what you want to accomplish in the remainder of training. GAH time is going SO FAST!!! 1.5 more weeks until taper for me :-/ eek.

Irish Cream said...

Holy Cow! That is a SERIOUS double. Amazing job!! I think your list of things to focus on is spot on . . . and agree that you have been nailing the "smart" thing. Keep up the good work ;)

TMB @ RACING WITH BABES said...

You are rocking this training and these big weeks are going to give you the confidence to crush the race!

And you definitely need to take it to 62 for that even 100K!

Johann said...

I'm also keeping and eye on the time flying by. It's amazing how fast it goes as you prepare for a big event. Your training is incredible, well done! Good luck with the big weeks. I've started my peak 6 weeks as well.

Jess said...

It's funny because your countdown to the marathon is on a very similar countdown for me (birth of baby #2), except my "training" schedule is very different :)

Good luck with the big weeks!

Char said...

It's going to be a challenging time for you. Looks like you're going to have to recover as hard as you train.

Mark said...

Very impressive, Marlene! You are really training well!!

MCM Mama said...

Wow! That's some kind of day! You are going to knock that marathon on its a$$!

ajh said...

You certainly think it out clearly. It is impressive that you hit the pace you want on tired legs. You sound confident and sure for a good reason. You are putting the work in.

yumke said...

Welcome to the big mileage club, of which I used to be a member. I'm just medium sized, thank you very much. You're gonna love what this will do to you during your taper, a special feeling! (Thanks for the donation!)

Beth said...

Your twofer tuesday looks awesome! Thats a great plan to learn how to run on tired legs!

lindsay said...

umm. big weeks? i'm running a marathon the same weekend as you (i think anyway) and i definitely am not throwing the miles around like you.

aka, once again, you are more awesomer than me. :)

yikes on the two-workout-twosday though.

when you donate to US charities (if you do?) do you get to write that off on your taxes? do canadians pay taxes? haha. mmyeah cause donating to you/mel last year is so not giving me a tax writeoff this year.

Richelle said...

I'm so impressed by your focus and ability to pound out high-mileage weeks. You've got this marathon in the bag!

Nicole said...

I dont know how you do it... life has seriously got in the way of my training lately! mad props marlene!

Amy said...

We are getting a late spring and it has me totally fooled into thinking May is much farther away! Your focus over the next few weeks sounds great and a good reminder for all of us!

Denise said...

i'm with you...time is flying!! i need it to slow down a bit.

nice job on the first double day. you nailed it. keep it up...that BQ is yours!!

chris mcpeake said...

2 a days .. way to go. Keep it up.

kristen said...

I think I need to follow your "looking after my muscles" advice...Off to find physio!