Friday, October 21, 2016

Highlights of Training



Five Highlights of This Training Cycle

Crossing Training: I opted for a shorter 3 month training cycle for this marathon (July to September).  After my stress fracture last year, the number one priority was to stay healthy and actually line up this time at the Chicago Marathon.  I logged 376 regular ol' running miles.  But, I also rode my bike 285 miles and swam both in the pool and in open water.  At its peak, my weekly swimming time was 84 minutes.  I also water skied on the weekends, typically 45 miles (or 90 minutes).  This was definitely the cycle of extra cross training!


My favorite cross training!

Sprint Triathlons:  After my somewhat accidental first sprint triathlon in June, I went on to compete in one each month from July to September.  This was by design.  You see, I tend to obsess over things {who me?} and needed a distraction of sorts from my marathon training.  By competing in the triathlons, my focus turned elsewhere and forced a much needed monthly break from excessive pavement pounding.

At my 3rd Sprint Triathlon

NutritionI did not use this training cycle as an excuse to overeat.  The wonderful result was that I lost those few stubborn pounds that had been hanging on since Winter.  I've always eaten a balanced diet and simply adore my veggies.  But, I carefully watched my sugar intake and upped my protein.  I used a scoop of BeFit Vanilla Protein Powder every day.  I'm simply addicted to it blended with half parts 1% milk and half parts 1% low sugar chocolate milk!   TRY IT. 

Heart Rate:  As someone guilty of always running at the same intensity, I began paying attention to my HR last year, even more after completing my RRCA Running Coach Certification.  Our instructor could not emphasize enough the importance of what he termed Brady Bunch runs -- at a slow enough pace to easily belt out the show's theme song.  So, I adopted a game for long runs (and some short ones).  I'd set a low target HR and did whatever it took not to go over that number.  And yes, I admit to a some singing.  My watch stayed on its HR screen and I completely ignored my pace.   It was liberating.

Jumping for joy after my last long run!

The Results:  If things went smoothly, I thought perhaps I could finish around 4:30.  And maybe I would have been close had I not fallen -- but I'll never really know.  Nasty fall and rib cage spasm aside, I do know my body held up wonderfully.  I had no IT band pain, no cranky hips, no piriformis pain, no foot-calf-hamstring cramps -- no aches or pains below the bra line whatsoever.  Upon waking the next day, I could find little evidence I had run a marathon.  By day two, I could find none (well, minus those busted up knees).   Walking down the stairs?  Sitting on the toilet?  A breeze!

Which just leaves me itching to try it again...



Have you done anything different lately with your training plan?



I'm joining on the new Friday Five 2.0 linkup
Stop by and see what everyone is talking about.




42 comments:

  1. Those are some great things to come out of your training cycle. I didn't do a triathlon this summer and feel I missed out on some great cross training on the bike.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really enjoyed those triathlons this summer, even though I'm not a great swimmer. I could really notice the benefits of all the cross training!

      Delete
  2. I did some HR training a few years ago and it was very effective! Maybe I'll try that for my long runs--it might keep me on pace!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It helps break up the runs for me. It gives me another number to achieve other than pace. 'Cause let me tell you, that pace number messes with my head in our nasty summer heat and humidity.

      Delete
  3. Yay I'm glad your training left you feeling good! For me, it always hurts to sit or go downstairs after a marathon. I don't think I ever got away basically scott free like you did! Have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I felt pretty bad after my first one, especially since I could do very little running before participating. The cross training got me through that race, but I definitely could tell I had not spent enough time on my feet.

      Delete
  4. Great job and obviously it helped with recovery. I have found, for me, moving around after a race is essential to not feel too sore the next day. I didn't do much of anything after my first half, and I was sore for days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like to walk around afterwards. I had quite the long walk back to my hotel. Then I walked to eat supper. I think those walks help me recover.

      Delete
  5. You obviously did something right. I bet you do another. I have completely ignored my pace when training. And I have gotten faster. Go figure. I think racing often helps even if it messes up your long runs. See you in 6 weeks and counting

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd like to do another. But I want it to be very uneventful. LOL. "They" say you make the most gains with your endurance when you keep that HR low.

      Delete
  6. Smart to use the tri's as a distraction from the marathon training and have that built in cross training! It sounds like you had a great training cycle. I'm thinking of looking in to HR training for next year, it seems to make a lot of sense.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really enjoyed those triathlons so it was a win-win for me. It's hard for me to run extra slow like we are supposed to on a long training run. It is much easier to say I'm not going to let me HR get over XXX. It's the only way I CAN get the pace where it should be.

      Delete
  7. What a wonderful training cycle. I'm so worried all my aches and pains and injuries are going to show up on race day. Fingers crossed they don't...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You had a great training cycle too. Those aches and pains are just messing with your head. They did that to me too! It will all be OK on race day!

      Delete
  8. Brady Bunch runs - love it! Did you do that for your long runs, or for shorter runs as well?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did it for almost all of the my longs (not the final two weekends) and usually one more shorter weekly run. I believe it definitely helps with the endurance.

      Delete
  9. This is awesome!

    I really love how you did the triathlons in between your training, giving your body work outs in different areas.

    Congratulations again, it looks like your plans worked out and you rocked that Marathon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those triathlons forced a lot of valuable cross training, a break from the pounding, AND I enjoyed them. I hope I can do it again next year.

      Delete
  10. You did so amazing!! Your crosstraining stayed so strong in your whole training cycle. I have slacked off terribly, I just got so tired...I felt I couldn't multi task- I just need to dial down the focus...it is not over yet, maybe i will get on my bike more ;)
    That is awesoem to get off the last few stubborn pounds, they are always the worst!
    It is awesome minus the knees, you did not feel worn down from running one. That would give me the itch too lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thinking back, I don't think I missed a training run -- unless I was participating in a triathlon instead. And that has a little running anyway. I think all that cross training help my body hold up pretty good this time. You are going to do great!

      Delete
  11. You were a cross training machine! I'm trying to add strengthen exercises and yoga into my routine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I actually did strengthening exercises for my hips and glutes too. As I got closer to race day, I backed off considerably. They sometimes can aggravate my groin muscle. I certainly didn't want that problem.

      Delete
  12. I'm glad that you felt good after your marathon. Guess that proves that you trained the right way! -M

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do think having no aches and pains was a reward for a good training cycle. It was not that way after my first marathon.

      Delete
  13. I have never really paid much attention to heart rate, but now you're making me think that I should. What do you use as a monitor? Sounds like your training went great! And to not even feel the marathon afterwords? Pretty darn remarkable!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I started with a chest strap monitor that came with my old Garmin 110 (that I didn't use until last year). It took some time to get used to wearing it. When that Garmin died, I bought a 225 with a wrist HR monitor.

      Delete
  14. This training cycle obviously worked wonderfully for you! You performed great and felt great, and that's the magic ticket! I won't be surprised to hear that you've signed up for another. I bet that goal time is yours if you do!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Due to the circumstances of Chicago, I do feel a slightly unfulfilled. I would very much like to do another. Without the drama!

      Delete
  15. Your easy recovery is a testament to how well you trained. It's amazing that you added sprint tri's to your program and excelled at those as well - you are an inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad I threw those sprint tris into the mix. I really enjoyed them. They were definitely challenging but, like I said, a necessary distraction for me. I hope I can do a few next year.

      Delete
  16. I have never done heart rate training. I am not a gadget gal, and I don't think I'd enjoy another piece of info dictating my performance LOL (Although, I do realize it's valuable info). My coach has me doing almost daily PT stuff (and it has made a big difference), and she has me doing speed work (gag), but I have seen a substantial difference with that as well. ;-) It's crazy how all the hard things bring the biggest rewards if we stick with them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really all started for me last year when I was injured. I had to KNOW when I was cycling (for example) that I was working hard enough to get effective training. Once I was able to run again, I just kept at it. I did the PT stuff too during this cycle. It helps.

      Delete
  17. I too still love my BeFit Protein. I will have to try in with Chocolate Milk! That does sound good!
    I'm not surprised you did so well in Chicago, I was surprised to hear you had no aches and pains afterwards at all! Just proves to me you hit the sweet spot in your training but did not over do it! Boy if I could ever get there, that would truly be amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try that stuff in your beloved chocolate milk! Well, you know I tend to overdo. I believe that is why the triathlons were so effective. It forced the breaks I would have been so against during training.

      Delete
  18. Your training cycle brought improvements and was fun, too. I hope that after my next race, I can share great results like yours!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did enjoy this training cycle. For me, it was important to mix things up. Else, I would risk getting burned out and also becoming injured.

      Delete
  19. I love this! I'll have to take a look back on my marathon training and see the highlights. I think for me, cross training has been huge too! I'm still bummed about your fall, but you still did an amazing job on your marathon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think we learn something from every training cycle. Soon, you'll be looking back with your own reflections. How exciting!

      Delete
  20. Wow, already thinking about another marathon ? I think I am done after NYC. I am really looking forward to a break.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah Karen, I think so. I think because I did so many different things during that training cycle, I didn't get tired of it. I feel good, I'm thrilled it's not hot anymore, and I'm ready to run!

      Delete
  21. That is awesome that you had a great training cycle with the cross training, eating a balanced meal, and making sure you stayed within your target heart rate. I always seem to eat more cause, well, I am running more. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did that the first two times I trained for a marathon. And, it took me to this training cycle to get those extra pounds off! That protein powder seems to curb my nighttime snacking.

      Delete

I enjoy reading your comments and will make every attempt to reply. Thanks for taking the time to leave one!