For this installment of Friday Five I thought I would share some lessons that I learned from the Chicago Marathon that I will be implementing for a successful training cycle going into the Disneyworld Marathon. Months ago I registered for the Disneyworld Marathon because I wanted to run a marathon in Disney and since we are annual passholders there was no reason not to. The weather in Florida is also about 20 degrees warmer than Atlanta, so even if it is 40 degrees in Florida for the race it beats the heck out of January in Georgia. Since I don’t have any down time between the training cycles I am getting right to work and am altering my training plan to promote improvement. I want so badly to run a 5:35 marathon and I will be pushing full steam ahead so that it’s possible come January.
Here’s a look at some of the items I am going to focus on heading into this training cycle.
- LESS CROSS TRAINING: Since January I have spent a lot of time focusing on cross training and while it has been a good thing for my overall fitness I want to focus on my running a bit more. Some weeks I was doing cross training up to four days a week, when I should have been using that energy to focus on making my runs count. I have decided I will be cutting back to doing cross training only 1-2 days a week not including active recovery days. I want to focus on barre, spinning and kettlebells. I think this will give me the best results while still keeping me strong so I can put more effort into my runs.
- RUN 5 DAYS A WEEK: I want to get back to running five days a week. When I was training for the Colfax Marathon I started out running five days a week, but that became too much for my body and I had to cut back to 4 days a week. My body is stronger now and is in a better place so I think I am ready to go back to running 5 days a week. Even if it means implementing shorter runs I know that running an additional day will have big impact on my training. I also think because I will be cutting back on the cross training I will be giving my body more balance.
- HIGHER MILEAGE: It’s easy to get into a rut or worry about doing too much, but I’ve realized that I need to start cranking up the mileage. In the past I’ve been too fatigued to increase my mileage the way I’ve wanted but I think I am in a better place now physically and mentally to handle a little push. I would like to peak out in this training cycle at around 40-45 miles a week. I think a big part of this will be cutting back the cross training and increasing to five days a week of running. Those two items will make peaking out at a higher mileage more possible. I would also like to have more than one 20 mile long run in this cycle. I think it will do wonders for my confidence and allow me to be stronger going into the race.
- ACTIVE RECOVERY: I have tried active recovery days before, but I think I have a better idea of how to use them now. I am looking forward to more hiking, biking and walking to increase my flexibility and allow my body to heal faster post long run. This also includes more recovery runs and longer recovery runs so I can meet my higher mileage goal.
- SPEED WORK: I’ve done a lot of hill work in the past and have included fartleks and interval runs into my routine, but it’s time to be more diligent in them. Since I will be running the Hill Country Trail 15K at the end of next month I need to up my hill work to at least once a week. This race includes an elevation gain of over 900 feet over 9 miles. For me that’s a lot. I also know that doing speed work every week will make me stronger and give me more focus mentally. The only way to go faster is to teach my body what that feels like and really hone in my gears. I will be focusing on more tempo, interval and fartlek work so that I am ready to crank out the last part of the marathon with purpose. It’s so easy to get comfortable doing long runs and maintenance runs, but speed work makes you mentally and physically stronger.
This training cycle also falls over the holiday season so I need to set myself up for success by not skipping runs and running over vacations. We will be spending time with my family over Thanksgiving in Tennessee and going on a 7 day cruise to the Caribbean for Christmas with them as well. I want to have the bulk of my training over with so I am just maintaining by the time the cruise gets here and not worrying. I don’t want to be undertrained going into the Christmas holiday especially with the marathon on January 10th. I want to be as close to tapering as possible.
I can’t wait to see how this cycle goes. I have the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon and Hill Country Trail 15K to keep me busy during this training cycle so that will help break up my training runs. Marathon training is always more fun with races thrown in the middle as training runs. I will be sharing weekly progress updates so stay tuned!
Do you use races as training runs?
What did you learn from your last training cycle?
Are you training for a race over the holiday season?