Moose Mountain Marathon Training: Week 1

Obviously this is a continuation of the training I’ve been doing all summer, rather than a 6 week marathon training program. (MMM is Sept 10th.) I took a couple weeks “off” from training, averaging about 16 miles/week, so this past week of training was my return to training-level mileage.

Monday: 6 mi, road, 135 bpm
Tuesday: 6.4 mi, road/trail (including 6x Chester Bowl ski hill), 152 bpm
Wednesday: rest (30 min of yoga)
Thursday: 8.5 mi, road, 152 bpm
Friday: rest (travel)
Saturday: 5.6 mi, road, 144 bpm
Sunday: 5.1 mi, road, 142 bpm
Total: 31.8 mi

This is almost double the mileage I’ve done the past 2 weeks, but I didn’t feel like it was a huge, exhausting increase. I did do mostly road running, mostly due to time or travel constraints.

My focus for this mini training cycle is my “lazy” running. I have complained about this before, but I have this terrible tendency to sit back when I’m running. I’m not an expert in running form and I don’t really know how I “look” when I’m running, but I do know how it feels. When I’m running “lazy,” I’m leading with my hips, and my shoulders are back. When I’m not running “lazy,” my shoulders and upper body are more forward. I suspect that I’m also running a slightly higher cadence when I’m running in a more engaged way, but I haven’t paid much attention to cadence so I can’t say. The more engaged running style is much more efficient; I can run faster paces while maintaining the same heart rate, and I can run faster overall. I don’t think I can go much faster in my relaxed/lazy posture, and so I need to train myself to stop running in that posture. Easier said than done. No more mindless running for awhile.

Tuesday’s hill workout was tough, but necessary. Chester Bowl is fairly steep, and my legs start to burn before I’m even halfway up. I need to learn to avoid going there on Tuesdays, though; I forgot about the concert series. It’s not on the hill, so it’s not like I was running through the audience, but there were still more people milling around the bottom than I’d like, and there was a young couple lying literally right next to the only dirt path up the hill. They didn’t move for my first few reps up the hill, which was really awkward. I didn’t feel like moving off the little path, since the grass had not been cut recently and I didn’t want to add that extra challenge. I ran about 4 more miles after I complete my hill repeats, and my legs recovered nicely, so I think the workouts are really beneficial.

Wednesday I could/should have run, since my haircut was… canceled, at the last minute, kind of. Rather, I drove up to the salon and it was no longer a salon, but a travel agency. I did not get the info that the salon had moved/closed when I made the appointment 3 weeks ago, which seemed like maybe some important information to have. I did about 30 minutes of yoga, although I really, really sucked at it. I struggled with all the poses and my flexibility in certain positions was pathetic. I did 5×10 pushups after. That was my one organized strength workout for the week, oops.

I didn’t do a long run this weekend due to travel. My family got together at the cabin my dad rented for the summer, and I did not want to take the time for a long run. It was much more important to spend time with people, especially my nephew, who lives in Grand Forks, and my grandparents, who will be returning to Florida permanently, and no longer coming up to Duluth in the summers. I didn’t want to spend 2-3 hours (or more) alone doing some boring long run (the scenery is nice on the lake, but the only running options are county roads with no shade, or smaller roads with lots of bugs) when I had limited time with everyone. I also slept in a tent Friday and Saturday night and didn’t get good rest, so a shorter run was less taxing. I don’t know if kneeboarding and tubing officially count as strength training, but I’ll count both. It took a lot of strength to hang on for dear life when centripetal force threatened to fling me out of the tube (actually a raft) during a particularly tight, fast turn. I did a small amount of lake swimming as cross training, too!

This upcoming week, I’ll be getting serious about running again, and getting my mileage back up in the 40s. My plan is to start running earlier in the day, like when I get home from work, not an hour and a half later, after lolly-gagging about. This will give me time to do strength workouts after running, and also ensure I don’t miss prime-time Olympic coverage, which is a HIGH priority.

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