Thunder Road Marathon Training – Week 9

Holy moly how is it September already!? It was hot and humid this week (summer’s last hurrah??) and I had more tough runs than good ones. Every time I have a tough run, I find myself questioning my “right” to be training for a full marathon. But logically I know that I have every right to be, and that I cannot base anything on any single run. And then there are the good runs, which reaffirm my belief in myself and my ability. Luckily I do have a few of those, and Monday was one of them.

Monday- Five miles at the track, Yasso 800s style. I started with an 800m warm up, then did 5 x 800m repeats @ 4:30 with 400m jogs in between, and 1200m cool down. This was a really great workout for me. I felt strong and felt like I ran solid. I managed to come in under my goal of 4:30 on each one, although I wasn’t aiming to do so.

1- 4:15
2- 4:25
3- 4:17
4- 4:21
5- 4:13

Basically all that picture shows you is that I prefer my Timex watch when I’m running at the track, that I wore a pink shirt, and that it took me 9:08 to run 2 1/2 laps and walk 1/2 a lap on my 1200m cool down.

Tuesday- Unplanned rest day. I woke up in the morning a little bit before my alarm with a migraine and it pretty much stole my whole day.

Wednesday- 5 miles with 3 at marathon pace. This run was t-o-u-g-h. I think it was a mix of the heat (82 degrees and humid) and the migraine I had the day before. My legs felt really heavy and I felt low on energy. Barry ran with me, which helped keep me going. But I wont lie, I made us stop halfway through just to take a breather and mentally regroup. My marathon pace miles came in at 10:21, 10:15, and 10:03. My goal pace is 10:18, so these were pretty close, but boy did they feel hard. We ran on the roads around our house, which means hills. This was the first time I’ve done a marathon pace run on hills.

But it’s probably good practice. Check out the elevation profile for the marathon:

When you look closely, you see most of the elevation change is happening between 650′ and 740′, which is very similar to the types of hills I currently run on.

Thursday- Cross training day. I did a Jillian Michael’s level 3 30 day shred workout. It’s amazing how challenging this workout was after not doing it for two weeks.

Friday- Easy 5 miles. The pace was easy, but that was all that was easy about this run. I should not have waited until mid-afternoon, when it was 82 degrees, to go for my run. My legs were feeling as tired as they did on Wednesday, so I kept the pace easy (to where my breathing was easy, at least) and pushed through.

Saturday- Ten mile long run on the Huckleberry Trail. I joined up with Kim two miles into the run, and we ran together for the middle 6 miles. I have noticed a trend of being “on” one week and “off” the next when it comes to my long runs. I was hoping to try and break this trend by running on my favorite trail. But it was so muggy outside (mid-70’s to 80 degrees with 100% humidity) that the run itself was tough. My legs were feeling tired early on, but Kim kept me going.

Sunday- 3 mile recovery run. I waited until 9:00 PM to run, so I ran with Sven (the treadmill) since you won’t catch me running outside by myself after the sun sets. My legs were feeling a bit stiff and sore from my long run the day before and it felt good to get them moving and shake them out a bit. It was one of those “just feels good to run” kind of runs. I need more of those in my life. 

Total Miles: 28

This week’s schedule:
Monday: 5 miles
Tuesday: XT
Wednesday: 5 miles w/ 3 @ MP
Thursday: rest
Friday: 5 miles
Saturday: 12 miles
Sunday: 3 miles

What do you think of that marathon elevation profile? I’ve seen people on describe it as “rolling” and as “OMG the hills never stopped.”

The elevation profile for the marathon indicates a total ascent of 1,168 feet. According to my Garmin data from my 10 mile long run on the Huckleberry Trail, I had 1,770 feet in total ascent. Do you think that means I’m adequately preparing myself for the hills in Charlotte?

Treadmill question: I always run with it on 1% incline, because I read you’re supposed to do that to account for the lack of wind resistance. But I’ve also seen some people say that’s not necessary. If you use a treadmill, what do you have the incline set on?

13 thoughts on “Thunder Road Marathon Training – Week 9”

  1. Looks like your training is coming along. Hopefully this weather will break soon. As much as I love summer you can keep the humidity.LUD.

  2. I’m thinking about signing up for a marathon but I’m still not sure if I can do it! I’m glad to read about your training. It’s been hot and humid here this past week which did not make for some fun runs. I’m ready for fall!

    1. You don’t know me… I don’t know you…But I do know that you can do it! I wasn’t ever a runner and I’ve done it (now training for #2). If it’s a dream of yours get out there and give it a try. You’ll be so happy you did!!

  3. I have a Timex watch just like yours! I’ve hardly been wearing it recently though because I’ve been carrying my phone so I can use my RunKeeper app. I rarely run on the treadmill anymore because for some odd reason, it bothers my knee (running outside doesn’t). Anyway, I prefer to bring the incline up and down randomly to mimic the hills outside. My theory is since your race is outside, do as much training as possible outside. Of course, I understand that sometimes it is impossible, like when it’s dark or icy outside.

    1. Timex twins! I pretty much only use mine on track workouts and on bike rides. I definitely prefer to train outside as opposed to the treadmill, but I like having that option when I let it become 9 PM and I still have to run.

  4. Wow! That is a hilly run you had. If you run on that kind of terrain regularly I don’t think you’ll be surprised come race day (that’s MY opinion!). I like Debbie’s suggestion to vary the incline a bit. I tend to leave it at 1% or 0% (when I start to get particularly angry that I’m on the treadmill).

    1. That’s my thinking as well. I purposefully chose a course that appeared to have rolling hills versus a flat course because I thought the continuing change in elevation would give various muscle groups a break.

  5. Treadmill Incline: 0. And I still think that the treadmill feels harder than the same pace on solid ground.If you train on rolling terrain, you’ll be ready to race on rolling terrain. “Rolling” can actually be rather good for working out different parts of your legs/muscles, rather than putting all the stress on the same muscles. Don’t be too distracted by what other people say (oh my god the hills never stopped). Do your thing, train appropriately, and get to the starting line with confidence. Also, take your Garmin’s elevation data with a grain of salt. Garmin elevation can be tweaky. A few of us with Garmins can run the same route, together, and get almost exactly the same mileage – but have very different elevation numbers. Last, but not least – I saw those Marathon-paced miles. Nicely done. NICELY don. 🙂

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