July 27, 2014

Chicago Marathon Training #1 - Laying Some Base

Knocking out a long run in Park City on July 26th

In my last training update, I was slowly starting to get back into the swing of things. The night I made that post, I got really sick, which put me in survival mode for a full week. I missed a few days because I could barely get out of bed, then really struggled to even complete easy runs for five more. On the way home from our trip to Steamboat Springs, I wondered whether it was even worth thinking about Chicago anymore. But then we counted the weeks and I realized I had a touch more time than I originally thought.

As I wrote on my log for July 8th...

For some reason I had an idea stuck in my head that Chicago was 12 weeks from July 4th weekend, and on the drive home from Steamboat we were discussing potentially shifting the timeline to a Nov/Dec target because my fitness is poor at the moment (May/June were definitely a regression) and it's going to take some time to rebuild. Then we actually counted and it turns out I have 14 weeks, which is a world of difference for me right now. I'm very motivated to get going, but I'm also essentially starting this buildup from scratch and need some more time before I start the workout cycle. Luckily I have two things going for me - I don't mind training in the heat, and I can handle jumping straight to 100 mile weeks as I start putting down a mileage base. With consistency and patience (lots of patience!), I think there is enough time to get ready for a marathon by October. I'm not going to repeat 2013's summer racing frenzy (it would be ugly, anyways). Gradual, incremental fitness progression is the primary objective for the rest of the summer... the more boring this looks, the better. 

First 7 weeks of summer training
The hair is coming back!

In the 3 weeks since I wrote that entry, things have started to come around. I've increased my mileage, knocked out some 20+ mile long runs, and started incorporating some track sessions such as 8 x 1000m and 6 x 1500m. As I move forward, I'll extend the length of the weekly track reps while hopefully dropping the pace. The long runs will stay easy (whatever easy means when you are running 20+ at 6-7K feet) for a few more weeks before I start adding some quality component to them, and I'll keep doing either some hill reps or short track reps once a week. It's a simple schedule, and my hope is that by the beginning of September, I'm fit enough to crank it up another notch.

It feels good to be knocking out 20 mile days again in the heat of the summer. This is my favorite time of the year to train. Some people hate the 100 degree afternoons, but I think they really provide a huge boost... when you toe the line on a crisp 45 degree morning in fall.

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to see your progression as I am shooting for Chicago as well this year :) I am well behind you, but hope to get that sub 3 finally!