Week 1

Week 1 of marathon training started on Monday.  So far so good!  I created my own training plan for this training cycle, which is loosely based on Hal Higdon’s Advanced Plan.  Each week generally follows the same pattern:

Monday – Easy run on the longer side (1/2 the long run distance)

Tuesday – Easy run on the shorter side

Wednesday – Speed, hill, or tempo workout depending on my mood

Thursday – Easy run on the shorter side

Friday – Same distance as Monday, usually at marathon goal pace

Saturday – Long run!

Sunday – Rest/Eat all of the food

I am tracking my runs on a Google Spreadsheet.  All future runs are in red, and all completed runs are in black.  The plan is intended to be a “guide” because I have learned from past training cycles that things do not always go as planned.

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 11.30.30 AM

Due to snow and/or arctic temperatures, all of my runs this week have taken place on the dreadmill hamster wheel treadmill so far.  I have a love/hate relationship with the treadmill.  On one hand, I love that I can get a run in when it is -30 degrees outside and/or there is 3 feet of snow on the ground.  I love that I can run specific paces without thinking about it.  I love that I can run “hill” repeats on a whim.  I love that I can zone out while watching Netflix* on my phone.  However, I hate with a fiery passion that time seems to stand still when I’m running on the treadmill.  Six miles on the treadmill feels like 12 miles outside, and 12 miles on the treadmill feels like an ultramarathon.

* I would never, ever watch every episode ever of Pretty Little Liars while running.

Another thing I hate about the treadmill is that anything over 6.7 mph (~9:00 min/mile) feels like sprinting.  Outside, 9:00 min/mile generally qualifies as an easy pace for me.  Today, for example, I have 6 miles at marathon goal pace (8:00 min/mile) on the agenda.  Given that it is 2 degrees outside (not exaggerating – see photographic evidence below), I will likely run on the treadmill unless it miraculously warms up by at least 18 degrees.  Six treadmill miles at 7.5 mph?  I’m pretty sure my heart rate monitor is already shuddering at the thought.

My propane bill > The number of miles I will run in 2015
My heating bill > The number of miles I will run in 2015

As for tomorrow’s long run of 12 miles, that will be taking place outdoors even it means losing a few toes the feeling in my face.  The thought of running 6 consecutive days on the treadmill, and for 12 miles, makes me want to break things.

Modeling the latest in winter running fashions a few weeks back.
Modeling the latest in winter running fashion a few weeks back.

In addition to running all. the. time., I will be incorporating into my routine as much strength training as possible to prevent injury.  As any runner will tell you, strength training is a necessary evil.  It is necessary because a strong core (especially the glutes and hips!) is crucially important to both preventing injury and improving running performance.  It is evil because time spent strength training is time spent not running.  This may not seem like a big deal, but 1) running is awesome, 2) running is time consuming, and 3) time is precious.  It’s science.

Here’s to hoping for warmer times!

Some day it will be warm enough again that my outdoor runs require water!
Remember when I used to run outside in a tank top, get really sweaty, and carry water?  Yeah, me neither.

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