Training Weekly: Chicago week 9/16

Marathon Training- Week 9

As the last few weeks of marathon training have followed a ‘good week’, ‘bad week’ alternating pattern, I’m hoping this one will continue that trend as a good one. And if I could just hit one of my intervals sessions this cycle….

Monday

30 mins stretching

I thought I’d play it safe and give my foot another day of rest before getting back to business on Tuesday. Just a nice easy stretching session to start the week.

Tuesday

Track session: 9.57 miles including 10x800m repeats with 90 second jog recoveries

1 hour body pump class

Who’d have thought that it would have been 800m repeats that finally restored my confidence in my ability to run! With a busy day ahead, I set my alarm for early doors and jogged to the track. I didn’t really register how fast that initial rep was at the time, but it’s actually my fastest ever 800m rep. My legs felt good and I managed the 4 reps comfortably hard. By 5 and 6 I was starting to struggle and told myself that if I held on until 8, I could stop there. Knowing full well that by the time I got to 8, there’s no way I wouldn’t see it through to the end!

After weeks of struggling with Tuesday interval sessions, I’m really proud of this effort. 10x 800m, all under the 3.30 target time. Finally!

It was also an absolutely beautiful morning for a track session. Cool, sunny and less wind than in previous weeks.

Then, after a recovery dog walk and an emergency energy ball, I headed to body pump for a strength class. And in true, train hard – eat hard style, I spent the afternoon catching up with a friend whist eating a whole lot of cake!

Wednesday

10.16 miles in 1:29:30 (Average 8.49mm pace)

Tuesday’s mammoth session had definitely left a lasting effect on my legs, so I waddled around my mid week 10 miler at a comfortable, easy pace. The most distressing thing, was that unlike previous weeks, by the end I needed my head torch. I’m not ready to say goodbye to summer yet. That said, I do think I find marathon training in the winter slightly easier….

Thursday

30 mins grit strength

Although it was an effort getting up at 6am, I really enjoyed today’s grit. The last few weeks have been substituted for plyo, or a more general weights class so it was nice to throw a barbell around again! I worked hard too, which made getting out of bed worthwhile.

Friday

9 miles with 12x 60 seconds hill repeats

Another day, another early alarm. I was heading to Brighton to catch up with some friends, and so it was a case of early, or never. Feeling tired, it was another session that I told myself I could abort at 7 miles. In the end, and trying to toughen up my mental game that I know the marathon will demand, I saw it through and spend a nice few miles trotting along the beach after my hill repeats before hitting the road (and sitting in traffic for 4 hours!) Not the most ideal recovery strategy!

Saturday

6.23 miles including Bournemouth Parkrun PB in 22:56 

I’ve no idea where this came from! My legs were really heavy after the last few days, but somehow I got going and got swept along. My first mile flashed up at 7.36 and I knew I had to commit to running hard. To be honest, 22.56 is a 30 second parkrun PB, on not the fastest course, but I definitely should be capable of faster. I wasn’t flat out today, and my legs were tired before I started. I’m planning to head to Poole next weekend to see if I can have a crack at getting any closer to 22 mins flat.

It was also Bournemouth Parkruns 6th birthday, so it seems like an apt way to have celebrated.

Sunday

16 miles in 2:22:41 (Average 8.55mm pace)

This was a slog. By 9am, the temperature was already in the mid 20’s, I’d borrowed my husbands headphones and they kept disconnecting from my phone, and after a high intensity week, my legs just never really felt up for it. My plan was to run the first 8 miles easy and the second half at marathon pace. To be honest though, that was never on. I just felt exhausted, so I decided to reset my expectations and aim for a long, slow run on one of my favourite routes along the Stour river.

So all in all, despite the slower than planned long run, I’m pretty happy with this week. 51 miles banked, including my first decent interval session of the cycle, and a cheeky parkrun PB to top it off. Let’s hope next week isn’t my normal regression! Talking of next week, my interval sessions are turning into ‘marathon specific’ sessions that are frankly petrifying! I’m also planning a trip to Poole parkrun to mount a challenge on my new PB. Best get my recovery on! Thank goodness for bank holiday!

Hope you’re having a good one too.

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