September 14, 2014

Chicago Training #4 - Biggest Week, One Month Out

I posted this on Twitter earlier in the week. Can I make the jump over the next month?
Previous training posts from this cycle:

Running at the Classic 10K last weekend
The Chicago Marathon is now exactly 4 weeks away, and I'm starting to really feel like my training and fitness are clicking. Today I capped off my biggest week of the buildup (160 miles, after back to back 145 mile weeks) with my staple 26.2K tempo run. Essentially this is the Hanson's "simulator" - but I make a few adjustments: 1) I don't run it at marathon goal pace... I aim for 10-15 seconds slower per mile. 2) I don't take any fuel or fluids. Today I averaged 5:31/mile, which is actually a touch faster than I ran this workout before CIM last year, and today was a very controlled effort. I made an effort to dial back the pace and make sure I wasn't dipping under 5:30 pace. I've found that if I run this workout closer to goal MP it takes a little too much out of you - especially mentally, when you are running it alone. You only have so much mental focus to use, and I think it's better to save the bulk of it for marathon day.

The rest of the week was standard - 14/8 doubles (with as much grass / dirt running as possible), 17 miles with a 10 mile progression on Thursday, and 10 x 30 second hill efforts (I can't call them sprints) on Saturday.
Workouts for the week of September 8th
I'm not as fast as I've been in the past (in terms of shorter workouts and 10K/HM races), but my aerobic strength is as good as it's ever been. I think that bodes well for the marathon. I've had an excellent stretch of long runs this summer (graphic below)... most of them at higher altitude and with a decent amount of hills. Today's run was almost completely flat, by design.

Over the next couple weeks I'll start to reign in my total volume, focus on a few quality longer efforts without trying to squeeze in too much now that I'm starting to feel "in shape." I'll save the magic for the streets of Chicago in four weeks. Ice bucket, protein bars, and massage will also be key elements of the next month!

First 8 long runs of the cycle
Fresh pair of Fastwitch for the next stretch of workouts


  1. Your training is seriously badass. Why no fuel/fluids for the simulator?

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    2. Because if I set up bottles in my neighborhood loop, I don't trust the kids to not steal them or pee in them :-)

      It's really just more of a hassle when I'm doing it solo. If Andrea had been home and on her bike, then I probably would have taken a few drinks since it was hot out. But ultimately I like to train my body to NOT need anything... and then if I have something in a race, it's a nice bonus.