Just 7 days after I finished my first Half Ironman my next training cycle began. This week I started my 16 week training plan for the Chicago Marathon on October 11! I fell in love with the race last year and fell in love with the idea of going back and accomplishing my goal of getting a sub 4 hour marathon (last year I got 4:06!). Each training cycle I try to pick out some specific areas of practice that I want to work on during the weeks ahead. For Chicago I am going to focus on a few things that I haven’t focused on as much in the past, and some that I have found have helped me get faster during some previous races. These foci are:
1. Stretching before and after training
2. Run fast when you should run fast, and run slow when you should run slow
3. Strengthen the hamstrings and the core
Although I will obviously work on many other things during my training runs I am going to make sure to remember these goals each day.
I have never been one to just take a training plan created by one group and follow it through a race. I have always created my own plans and have adapted them for what I am doing, what I want to do, and what I think will be best for me. That is no different this year. I have taken a lot from Nike’s advanced Chicago Marathon training plan but have woven in many aspects of previous plans that I know helped me out a lot. Last year in Chicago I slowed down after mile 20 and had some stomach issues that ruined my chances of a sub-4 hour race. This year I am going to focus on increasing my mileage so that I am confident that even with any unforeseen issues, my legs will be able to carry me through to the end.
My first few weeks will be used as a base building time before I will start to ramp up the mileage later on in the cycle to build the needed strength into my legs. Triathlon training allowed me to build the endurance that is needed so I will focus a lot more on building the strength that will compliment this endurance to cross the finish line!
WEEK 1:Building the Miles
Monday June 22: 4 Mile Slow Run
Tuesday June 23: 4 Mile Track Fartlek-Ran almost a mile at increased speed throughout the workout.
Wednesday June 24: 6 mile Slow Recovery Run
Thursday June 25: 4 Mile Slow Run-Was hampered by the heat and the run was slower than planned.
Saturday June 27: 11 Mile Long Run-Ran through Indianapolis, IN including around Lucas Oil Stadium, their downtown cultural trail and along their beautiful Canal path!
Sunday June 28: 5 Mile Recover Run
TOTAL MILES: 35+
This week I am going to continue to build more mileage while continuing to work on strengthening my running specific miles. Although the runs where your legs are tired are the hardest, they provide a lot of mental as well as physical preparation for what I know will be a hard day in October.