|Just rocking compression under my work outfit, NBD|
This is my first marathon training cycle during the winter, and has it ever been a winter. Last weekend's 18 miler was my first run in which I wasn't experiencing:
3. extreme wind
4. all of the above at the same time for the entire time.
I won't say I loved every minute of it, but I felt pretty good during this 18 miler. I was a little sore and tight at the end, but no significant stomach issues and no real injuries. It's interesting to compare this to my 18-mile run during my last training cycle:
Holy speedy hell!
Since I managed to improve my time so significantly, I thought this calls for a little introspection. Here's what's different about my approach to this marathon training cycle:
- It's winter. Colder temps and different times of the day change the way I run, I'm sure.
- I've ditched the lone wolf routine. My long runs are done in a group setting where I have to keep up if I want to hear the good gossip. And I don't want anyone to drink my post-run beer.
- CrossFit is my friend. I still faithfully attend the Endurance workouts twice a week to get my sweat/strength/mobility on.
- I'm only running three days per week ...
- ... But I go all out each time. I do one day of intervals, one day of tempo runs and one long run per week per the FIRST training method. Even though I'm wiped out at the end of every run, I'm not all that sore and am feeling healthy overall.
- I'm focusing on quality over quantity. In my first rodeo, I got caught up in the idea that every weekend, I was running the furthest I ever ran before. I tried to keep the pace out of my mind and focus on going the distance. Now I've got a need ... a need for speed.
- I don't do the whole ice bath thing anymore. It's winter, I am an ice cube at the end. No need to belabor the point there.
- I've stopped carb loading. I eat enough carbs daily thankyouverymuch.
- I have embraced the treadmill. I'm logging more time in the gym than ever before because it's been so icy and slushy and cold. This also allows me to dial in my speedwork like never before.
Now that I'm less than 40 days away from my third marathon, the time to change things up is quickly dwindling. There are a few things I'd like to experiment with on my final two long runs. First, I'm going to change up what I eat the night before to see how they settle my stomach. I drank a new brand of kombucha before Sunday's run and think it made a difference. I also plan to try a different fueling strategy to see how my tummy feels about it.
Finally, I got a new pair of distance shoes. I love my Saucony Kinvara 3s for speedwork and shorter distances, but I need more of a shoe for these slushy outdoor runs. I put six miles on them on the treadmill last night, so I'm ready to take them out for my 19 miler this weekend. Even though they're so fresh and so clean!
Next up, crafting a training plan that takes me from my first marathon March 29 to my second marathon May 25 with Cabot Fit Team. Any suggestions, Internet world?