Friday, May 18, 2018

Will Less Be More?

As my next marathon draws near and the taper is making me a little nuts...OK a lot nuts...I've been nervously obsessing over my training cycle.  I went with a different thought process this time.  Will it pay off?



The Runs

I only ran 3 times a week.  This was tough, especially toward the end.  My last marathon cycle?  I ran 5 times most weeks.  But as I've struggled with injuries in the last few years, and since I'm an {ahem} older runner, I thought the extra rest days would be beneficial.   I'm nervous about this, but keep reminding myself all runs were of distance and effort; peaking at 38 weekly miles. 


The Cycling

To make up for a 4th run, it was important I get the same type of cardio workout I would get if I'd run 5-7 miles on another day.   These were hard sweat sessions cycled inside on the mag trainer to maintain that desired heart rate.  I jammed to 70's funk, watched Survivor, and some other really bad TV for distraction.  I peaked at 70 minutes and 23 miles.


The Pre-Hab

No, I didn't go the gym {pigs would fly, right?} but I continued with my usual pre-hab to keep my hips, hammies, glutes, piriformis, hip flexors and knees happy.  I do a variety of  300-350 reps on each side using exercises I learned in physical therapy.  I threw in pushups until my left elbow was no longer down with that plan [had a steroid shot this week - miracle drug!].  Wall sits were added to aid in handling the downhill grade of my race.   Yoga happened most weeks too.


Just a stupid pic goof-balling with the mailbox
with either a bug or food on my face...

The Specificity 

There were no recovery miles or so-called junk miles.  In addition to the all-important long run, one weekly medium distance run (starting at 6; peaking at 11) was dedicated to steady marathon race pace.  I also ran 4 half marathons faster than MRP during this cycle.  One weekly shorter distance was dedicated to fast pacing or speed work with down hill grades when possible. Speaking of downhill, my training was put to the test at the  Tear Drop Half.  7 miles of continual, steep, down hill grade, averaging 300 feet lost per mile, left me running, limping walking away with a new PR. 


The Hiccups

No training cycle is complete without a few hiccups.  After 2 days of strenuous Smoky Mountain hiking in March, too much slipping on ice and mud had my left hip screaming loudly.  After a week or two, it didn't hurt much while running but turning over in bed, walking up stairs, and getting out of my car were difficult.  Today with my continued pre-hab and stretching, it is much better.  I also went through quite the dental saga with months of unrelenting pain early in this cycle. I'm beyond thrilled to have that behind me. 
 

There it is.  Will less be more?  So many factors will come into play on race day; namely 10,000 feet of altitude, warm weather, downhill running, and air travel.  Will everything come together for a strong finish?  Only time will tell.

How many days of running are typically in your training plan?



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






24 comments:

  1. I think you're going to do very well--that half marathon proved that this training cycle has been perfect. I run 4 days/week, but probably could get by with 3 at this point. What's next for you? I know of a half marathon in July that has your name on it!

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    1. I'm very interested in seeing how this training cycle worked for me. I may use it again! I did miss running more often when it was cooler, but now that it's hot...not so much. LOL. PS...July is hot!

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  2. I have never run more than 3x a week for anything! It sounds to me like your training cycle has gone really well. You are heading into your race strong and uninjured. I think you got this girl!

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    1. I hope so, Deb. I feel like I'm walking on eggshells right now waiting to see what calamity occurs.

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  3. I usually run 4 or 5 times a week. I am just getting back into marathon training. I did the 3 day a week plan similar to yours for a few marathons, and really liked it. I may give it a try again for my marathon coming up in August. Good luck with the taper!

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    1. I enjoy running more days a week and look forward to getting back to that, but at shorter distances.

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  4. I trained for one half using just 3 days a week, and it was hard -- because, like you said, every mile really counted. 4 days a week is my sweet spot -- 5 is too much, 3 is too hard!

    The bottom line is that you're going to have awesome scenery and an awesome friend to share it with. What could be bad, right?

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    1. Oh yes, with just three runs they must all be of substantial effort...which was pretty difficult compared to other training plans I've used. I can't wait to meet up with Teresa and enjoy beautiful CO!

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  5. I think you will do just fine only running 3 days a week. There is a book out there Run Less Race Faster or something like that.

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    1. I looked at the theory behind Run Less Run Faster when constructing my own training plan. We'll soon see how it works!

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  6. Hey my marathon PR was only running like 4-5 days per week and never running more than 40 miles. Like you, I do better with less junk/so called "recovery" miles. Seems like you found what is working for you, now go get it!

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    1. I hope this will be the sweet spot for marathon training! The extra recovery days are very beneficial at my age.

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  7. It sounds like you had a great training cycle. Can't wait to hear how your marathon goes!

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    1. I hope I have a good story to tell!

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  8. I think you have this race in the bag. I'm a huge advocate for the less-is-more strategy, as well, because my body does not like non-stop running. That said, I usually do 4-5 days/week (and usually one of those may be considered a "junk" run LOL). I'm curious what all of your PT exercises are...I could use a few new moves to my roster ;-) Best of luck!!!!

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    1. This was a big change for me and I missed being able to run more often at shorter distances.

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  9. This sounds like a pretty good plan. I tend to run 5 days a week which is probably too much for my age, but it is hard to cut it down, isn't it? Good luck, I think you'll do great!

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    1. It is hard to run less. I'll probably return to 4 or 5 days once I'm not training for anything specific. I

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  10. I think it sounds like you are ready for a strong race! I definitely think less is more. When I coached my hubby for his last marathon I had him on a similar plan...lower mileage with a day of cycling and some simple strength work. He ended up with a huge PR! I think its really beneficial to run less as long as you still get in the long runs.

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    1. That's great! I hope I'm fortunate enough to get the same results.

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  11. I have looking into the 3 day marathon training plan so I'm curious to find out how this worked for you. I was always under the impression that the more miles you put in the better, but it sounds like you are ready. Good luck and stay positive!

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    1. I missed the extra running days, but I do think extra rest is more beneficial for someone my age.

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  12. I definitely think less will be more. I used to think the opposite, which is probably true for younger runners, but as we age I think more quality and less quantity is better. Sounds like you're ready!!!!

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