Week of August 23-29
This has been a great week of training. My two key runs were a progression tempo run on Thursday and my long run on Sunday of 32K. I'm happy to say that my weekly running is about where it was when I reached the peak of training during my last marathon training cycle two years ago; yet this time, I still have six weeks to go including three hard training weeks. I finished the week with 78K total.
The progression tempo run on Thursday was supposed to be about 5K at easy pace, then 4K at marathon pace, 3K at half-marathon pace, 2K at 10K pace, 0.5-1K at 5K pace if I could manage it, and then 2K easy. What I actually did was 5K at just under 6:00/km, 4K at 5:25/km, 3K at 5:07/km, 2K at 5:03/km, and then 2K cooldown at about 5:30/km. I wasn't able to go under 5:00/km even though I tried as I reached the fast end. My coach says this is fine-- I am not doing any top speed work these days, and those speeds get harder to hit when the mileage is high and mostly slower. I felt strong throughout, but just couldn't go faster. Still, overall, a great hard run.
On Sunday I did my longest run so far in this training cycle of 32K in 3:18, or about 6:12/km. That's right where I think my speed should be for my long runs. I know people who are also training for 4-hour marathons that seem to want to push their long runs faster than this. I don't see the need to, and I want to make sure I have the speed on my hard run day. That run included two times up a fairly big hill; I'm trying move out of my comfort zone of flat running.
My other running this week was all at easy pace, including a nice 12K run with a friend on Wednesday and another 12K run on Saturday. In my last marathon training cycle I only did very short runs on the day before a long run; I think these longer 75-minute runs will be another key to my marathon success this time, along with getting in more long runs.
I look forward to another progression tempo run this week, along with another long run around 32K or maybe a big longer. Wish me luck.