How I train between marathon cycles

I was pretty physically exhausted after the 60k buildup and execution this past April. I felt it mentally too and knew I needed a recharge after that race. Originally, the 60k was supposed to be a fun run. Something thrown in before or after marathon training. But, I ended up not running a spring marathon (did Shamrock Half instead), so this ended up being my main event. It was an experience and I am glad I did it, but I think I’ll save the ultras until I’m old and slow. For now, my main goal is joining the sub three hour club in the marathon. I know many of you may think it silly to have a number based goal, but there it is. I want it and I’ll chase it and I may hit it and I may not. And I’m okay with that. I love the challenge and I love the chase and I love the rush of pushing my body and mind to the limits. This is what I do for fun.

Anyway, I knew my body and mind needed a break from the high mileage training. I spent about a week walking, not running at all. After one week, I started reverse tapering. Or slowly building my mileage back up to a solid base, that is. After one month, I was back up to 45 miles a week with one workout. Currently, two months later, I’m running two workouts a week during 50-60 miles a week. My mileage will climb a little more and my workout paces will increase, but otherwise training will more or less stay the same until my marathon build later this summer.

The workouts have been the same from week to week. The nice thing about that is seeing the progress you’ve made from the beginning of the training block. Great if you are a creature of habit, but not if you get bored or freak out easily (over times). Overall, I don’t terribly mind the same workouts and get excited to compare split times and other stats. My workouts look something like this:

1) Mile repeats

  • Warm up 1-2 miles
  • 4 x 100m strides
  • 3 x mile repeats @5k pace with 2 min rest between
  • Cool down 1-2 miles
  • 2) Tempo
    • Warm up 1.5 miles
      4 x 100m strides
      3 miles @10k pace
      Cool down 1.5 miles
  • I also have a long run once a week and easy runs on the rest of the days. I also do full body strength training three days a week. It is important to note that running everyday works for me because my easy runs are REALLY easy. Some days, my runs are over ten minute miles. Especially when I’m pushing the double stroller. These are recovery runs for me. Going slow enough to allow my body to recover and rest from the hard days of training. I am an everyday runner and that works for me, but I know it doesn’t work for everyone. Taking a day off or cross training is a great alternative. Recovery days allow you to run your hard days harder and everyone wants to get faster, right?
  • The focus this summer is speed. Training for 5k’s and 10k’s to get faster for my favorite racing distance ever: the marathon! Counting down the days until later this summer when the marathon grind begins!
  • -S
  • 2 thoughts on “How I train between marathon cycles

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