Marathon Training: Week 5 and 6

My how time flies. In fact, it flies just a little bit faster than I can run…but not much.

Week 5
FiveFingers Sprint2 easy miles. This was a continuation of the previous week which was a rest week. I ran 2.02 miles in my Vibram FiveFingers shoes. This was not my first run in them. I snuck in a .88 mile run on Saturday just to test them out. No problems with this run. I kept it slow at just over 11 minutes per mile.

Tempo run, 6 miles. That included a 1 mile warm up and cool down. So only 4 miles at a tempo of 9:31. I did not do so well on this one. I decided to do 3 laps of a 2 mile route that I have. I am not good at loops. When I get close to home I just want to stop. I did 2.65 of the 4 miles at 9:06 pace. Too fast, but it worked.

I took Saturday off this week since I went on a 3 day hike. We were going to cover as many as 45 miles in the three days. We were very surprised to only accomplish just under 20. We really only hiked 2 days since on the second day we walked in rain all day and ended up with blisters.

XT Week 5
I did a spin class on Tuesday and Thursday. 1 hour each class. I also ran a short time (about a mile maybe) on each of these days after class. I ran on the treadmill and worked on some running form exercises. I had been watching videos to help me learn a better stride and landing method. I think this is the key to taking care of some knee inflammation I have. It has really helped to clean up my running style. It puts more work on my muscles and less on my bones and joints.

Week 6
After the hike I was not running. I wanted to get out and do the prescribed 2 mile run on Monday, but my legs and blistered feet would have none of that.

7 mile interval run. That included a 1 mile warm up and 1 mile cool down. The tempo pace was a bit faster this time, 8:54. I took my Vibram FiveFingers to the treadmill and worked on my form in the process. These were 1 mile intervals with a half mile recovery. I did the 3 interval miles, but did not spend as much time on warm up and cool down as I should have. I only did a total of 5.5 miles.

At the end of the run I knew I had overdone the workout with the new shoes. These are minimalist shoes and are essentially running barefoot with no cushioning. I curled my toes under (which I apparently do in my shoes too) and ended up with blood blisters on 2 toes of my right foot. This went with the blisters I had on another toe and the ball of my foot from the weekend’s hike. Rough week for feet.

14 mile long run. I mapped out a 13.3 mile route last night. This morning I could not find my CamelBak. I had it just last week. The gnomes hauled it off. I had to do this run without the aid of constant hydration and being able to carry all the nutrition I needed. I stopped at a convenience store about 5 miles into the run and bought me a 32 oz. electrolyte drink that I carried the rest of the run. I made a wrong turn in my route and ended back at home with only covering 11.5 miles. That was fine. It will just make the 16 mile run next week seem a little more daunting, but knowing that going into this week may help me prepare for it.

XT Week 6
I did spinning class again on 2 days this week. I also spent some time on a real bike. I know I need to work on some upper body exercises and did a little, but probably not enough to matter.

Week 7 Preview
Monday 2 miles easy. Wednesday 6 mile tempo. Saturday 16 miles long run. I will be traveling this week which will make the Wednesday run a bit more complicated, but I should be able to do the Monday and Saturday run without a problem.

Marathon Training: Week 4

Monday: 5 miles easy
I ran just over 5 miles at about 30 seconds per mile faster than my training schedule called for.

Wednesday: 5 miles easy
It was Wednesday that I realized that I was on an easy week. My training did not do this last year, but this year I have every 4th week (I think) that scales me back a bit. I ran the same route as Monday a bit faster.

Thursday: XT day
I intended to ride my bike 30 minutes or so since I had not been on a bike in several weeks. I was having so much fun that I was a long way from home before I got turned around. I ended up being a 15.8 mile ride which took me an hour. The interesting thing about this ride was that I did not have to stop for a single light until I was 1/4 mile away from home. The very last light caught me. But that also meant that I did not get a chance to stop and let my backside rest. I was a little sore the next day.

I bought a mirror a few weeks ago (before leaving on our last trip) but never got a chance to use it. It is the kind that clips onto my glasses and I can see cars coming from behind. It was very nice. It gave me much more confidence while riding.

Friday/Saturday: 5 miles easy
The long run for the week was just a 5 mile easy run. But I know I will not be able to run a long run this coming weekend, I decided to mix up my plan a little. Since I had to scrub the 10 mile run from the previous week, I decided to run 11 miles this week. I ran on Friday because it worked better for my schedule. My next long run was to be 12 miles, but I will be on a 45 mile hike when I am supposed to be running that. So I will pick up the next week with a 14 miler to get me back on target.

Shamefully my 11 mile long run this weekend was the longest run since my half marathon (13.1 miles) PR back in November. I can’t believe I have not been more consistent with the longer runs. I used to always feel like I could get out and run 8 miles any time someone wanted to go out for a run. It is embarrassing that I have let that slide. But I am determined to get back into good form.

Friday I also bought me some new shoes. I got a pair of Vibram FiveFingers Sprint. I have already done 3 miles in them. I have been reading and watching videos about running form and how the barefoot running is supposed to help me run more efficiently. I look forward to the bio-mechanical benefits more than, necessarily, an increase in speed. I don’t plan to run my marathon barefoot (or shod with FiveFingers), but I might. It depends on how the transition goes with these shoes. I need to build some muscle strength in my legs to be able to go the distance in the FiveFingers.