This marathon training stuff really messes with your head. It really forces you to question your abilities and shakes the unshakeable confidence you might have had going into the whole training process in the first place.
Lately I’ve been knocking out some pretty awesome workouts and holding my own in the process, which rightfully builds the confidence I have in my speed and endurance. It naturally follows that hard training will result in faster racing….but first you have to get there…to the “big dance”. In the meantime, no matter what successes you achieve during the training, your racing ultimately suffers.
For instance, today I decided to step it up on my second hard workout of the week, which I often do alone. Normally I might do some sort of fartlek workout or even a pretty standard hill workout, that although might be rather strenuous, doesn’t necessarily take a shot at my confidence. Today, instead, I decided to do the following workout:
4 mile warmup
5 hill sprints (severe grade) both ways (up and down) w/ a short recovery in between each set
Followed by a 3 mile tempo run
5 more hill sprints both ways w/ short recovery
Final 4 mile cool down run home
I’ve done a hard hill workout quite often and know the difficulty that lies ahead, but I’ve never put the consecutive downhill into the run. And I’ve certainly never thrown a 3 mile tempo run into the whole mix. After the mind numbing warmup, and after knocking out the 5th hill sprint, I was pretty psyched to kick out a fast tempo run. I was feeling decent despite going into the whole workout with legs still beat up from Tuesday’s 800’s. I started the tempo run and felt strong and smooth, making a conscious effort to keep my form solid and push through on each step off. I continued to feel strong and although I lost track of the mile markers I ended up coming through the first mile at 5:30.
Wait….5:30? What the hell! I kept going and tried to step it up more, pushing off stronger and stronger, trying to glide over the packed dirt path. My breathing was powerfully maxed out and my legs started to falter underneath me. Finally, I hit the last mile marker and after looking at my watch, I realized I averaged just about 5:30 miles again. But I was spent!
Granted, I still managed to knock out the next 5 hill sprints and take the 4 mile cool down home, but the rug of confidence was pulled out from beneath me. Going on my earlier projections, I basically have to average around 5:30 miles for…well….THE WHOLE MARATHON. And here I am struggling to keep pace at 3 miles. Add to that my last 5k race I averaged 5:04 per mile and I couldn’t help but feel quite concerned about what I was going to do come October 11th.
But I have to keep everything in perspective. I went into this workout with beat up legs, on top of consistent weeks of mileage longer than I have ever run, and workouts more intense than I have ever run, not to mention running the tempo run in the middle of hill sprints. It only makes sense that I struggled at 5:30 miles.
And that’s the thing with marathon training. At some point this is all going to pay off, most likely during the taper phase that will come a couple weeks before Chicago. Only then will my body start to fully recover and the flood of fitness will show its beautiful face. Then 5:30 miles will probably feel like a warmup. But until then…I suffer. Patience grasshopper.
On top of that, I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing a 10k race in just over a week. Considering my last 10k was run a year ago, it should follow that I’ll crush my PR….well, that might have been the case if I wasn’t doing Chicago. There is now a good chance I’ll be struggling to keep pace with the front of the pack. Eh, we’ll see what happens. It’s all part of a larger process friends.
Keep keepin on.
Also, the vegan dandies team singlets and shorts have been picked out. Next we work on graphics/logos for the screen printer. Images will be posted when all finished.
In-store promo pieces are also finished. These will also be posted soon.
World marshmallow domination is coming.
Breakfast – Oatmeal w/ peanut butter and brown sugar, No coffee!
Lunch – Leftover pasta w/ oils, nutrional yeast, spices, sunflower seeds, tofu
Dinner – Leftover pasta, sweet potatoes, leftover garden burger
Snacks – Banana, coffee, grape nuts w/ soy milk, bread and margarine