Marathon Training Update

Ten weeks of training down, seven to go until marathon number two!

Let me start by sharing some of the challenges I’ve been facing with this training cycle:

  1. The heat and humidity: I prefer the spring/summer over winter any day of the week; however, running in the heat and humidity is not ideal. My Garmin watch tracks my heart rate zones- zone 1 basically being a walk at the park (literally) and zone 5 being high intensity. I’ve noticed that my outdoor runs get me into zone 4 a lot. My indoor runs, with sometimes faster pacing are actually in zone 3. Even though I do most of my runs early (like 6 AM early), it’s still warm enough and humid enough to affect the runs.
  2. The chafing: Things might be going over the TMI line here, but something tells me you’re going to keep reading. I am a sweater– I sweat. A lot. More than the average female in general, but especially when I work out. I know, I know, I’m painting a very beautiful picture of myself right now, but it’s the truth so deal with it. And with lots of heat and humidity, comes a lot of sweating and ultimately a lot of chafing. You know “thigh gap”? Yeah, I’m not familiar with her either, therefore I chafe and because I’m me, not just in the typical places- like my whole body. There’s been runs that when I’m finished, I am in more pain from the chafing than I am from the miles on my legs. And yes, I’ve learned to lather my entire body with vaseline before I go running, but once in a while I forget, and it stings and hurts really bad.
  3. It’s summer! And that means more events, more long weekends away, more stuff that requires me to rearrange my running schedule. When I trained for the marathon in January, February, March and April, I had almost nothing going on during those months, so weekends were pretty open to getting my runs in. This time around… not so much. I spent 4 days in NJ/upstate NY in August, and I have a bachelorette party on the weekend where I’m supposed to do one of the two 20-mile runs on my schedule. My kids are starting all their fall activities this week and some of those things fall on Saturday mornings. The Type A in me is freaking out because I can’t do the training plan exactly as it is laid out, but I’ll make it work one way or another.

As for things that are working quite well this time:

  1. My confidence in growing! Instead of getting a little anxious and nervous the night before my long run, I’m actually kind of excited. Every time I clock a long run (which I define as anything over 15 miles), I feel like a badass. I don’t dread it as much, my body recovers a lot quicker, and I feel pretty amazing overall.
  2. Running 5 days/week > 3-4 days/week. The ability to run 5 days/week has been game changing for me, as well. It allows me to get my mileage up without having to do 2 excruciatingly long runs over the weekend. I can spread out the mileage and not kill my legs. Plus, I’m able to build up my total mileage over time. I just came off the largest mileage week of the program- 44 miles, but I am going to up that mileage the next time around. My goal is to get to 40-60 miles/week comfortably the next time I train for a marathon.
  3. My gear game is on point. Thanks to Nick, I have all the gear I need and it’s all working really well- he got me a new backpack that not only holds water, but has tons of pockets which are great for the rest of my stuff- Blok Chews, phone, keys, GoGuarded handheld with pepper spray, etc. Plus, my RoadID bracelet. Basically, I look like a professional out there. (And don’t mess with me, because you will get sprayed in the face).
  4. I’m learning everything I can. I’m absorbing everything I can about running, training for marathons, types of training plans, etc. I’ve become a student of the sport. Anything I can read, listen to, or accounts I can follow, I’m in. I’m learning about running seasons, taking time off to recover, how to introduce speed training into my plan. You name it, I’m here for it. And spoiler alert: my training won’t stop at marathons… I see an ultramarathon in my future.

Welp, that’s all I’ve got today. I’ll probably do another check in as I begin my tapering in the beginning of October. That part of training is always tough. There’s a part of me that wants to keep up with the long runs because I’m afriad I’ll lose it as quickly as I’ve gained it, but I also know that my body needs to rest and save up for race day.

Until next time…

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