Tighten’ Up

Credit to Archie Bell and the Drells for this week’s blog title. It’s time to “tighten’ up now”

Week 8 went almost according to plan. The good news is that this is the last of my lower mileage weeks and I did not let weather come between myself and my training. I have found that one of the hardest parts of marathon training is really sticking to your training plan. Whether you are using a plan you found online or in a book or journal or if you experiment with designing your own program they each have challenges and require focus and work to keep working through it. I am working for a PR (Personal Record) at the 2013 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon and am aiming for a 3:30:00 finish, my current PR is 4:01:26 in New Orleans last year. Working to shave off time from the clock requires much more than logging the miles in training run. I also have to incorporate Tempo Runs and Interval Repeats. These “faster tempo” runs will help to condition my body to running faster than required to finish within my time goal.

Last week I used Monday as a rest day. This is my standard rest day almost every week. It is important to have a day for your body to recover without added stress from a run. Allowing all of my muscles and joints to have the day off makes the training week much easier.

Tuesday night was my standard 45 minute run as a pacer for the Fleet Feet Sports training program as participants are preparing for the St. Jude Rock n Roll Nashville Country Music Marathon. This was a 4 mile run at an 11:00 minute/mile pace. I use these runs to get my legs moving after the rest day without overdoing it on the energy exerted. These runs are important because they allow me to ease back into training for the week.

Wednesday I joined the track team at the shool where I teach for an afternoon speed session. After a slower paced quarter mile warm up I ran mile repeats pushing for a 6:00 average pace on each of the 4 miles with 4 minutes of rest in between. Here’s how they turned out:

Mile 1) 6:04
Mile 2) 6:06
Mile 3) 6:12
Mile 4) 6:08

Considering I was battling a headwind during these laps I am satisfied with the results of the workout.

Thursday there was heavy rain outside as I was leaving work so I faced my fears, put the Big Bang Theory into the DVD player, and stepped on to the treadmill for a 3 mile recovery run from the day before. The treadmill consistently gives me issues but I feel it is a neccessary evil in marathon training. It has its positive sides, 1) it keeps you moving at a steady pace 2) you can still run regardless of the weather outside 3) convenient when you don’t have to run out and back to get mileage 4) you can choose to stop at any time. I think this last point is also the biggest downfall of treadmill training. I only use it when I’m in a last option scenario and even though its hard to maintain pace and keep working the way I can out on the road. I totaled 3.2 miles on the treadmill this day in 30 minutes and made it through some quality television in the process.


Friday was a rest day, again I believe these are vital before long run days.

Saturday I had to run at Fleet Feet Sports and was scheduled for the 11:00 minute/mile group. As we started getting set up I was asked to pace the 10:00 minute group instead. No worries. We get out on the trail and I find out that everyone in my group is training for the Nashville half marathon. This is only a relevant point because it meant that I had to run 7 miles instead of the 12 that those training for the full were running. I was excited to have an early morning off as I took a low mileage morning.

Here’s the plan for this week:
Monday – Rest
Tuesday – 30 minute run with Anna
Wednesday – 3-5 mile run at Fleet Feet Sports to test Adidas Boost shoes
Thursday – tempo run, 7:30 min/mile, 30-45 minutes
Friday – rest
Saturday – Tuscaloosa Half Marathon
Sunday – steady state run, 8:45 min/mile, 45 minutes

I am excited for this weekends half marathon in Tuscaloosa. I will be pacing Anna as she takes on her first half marathon!

Until next time,
Happy Running!

QOTD: what are your thoughts about the treadmill? Positive & negative

One comment

  1. Do you find that your pace is different on a TM than it is outdoors? Outside, I usually run a 5K in under 25 but on a TM I’m at 30ish…theheck?! My pacing according to TM is usually 8:30-9ish feeling like death but outdoors I do 7:30-8 comfortable/talking

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