My marathon training in the past has been very different. Usually it was 16 weeks with several longs runs throughout. My coach Jen, takes a different approach to training for a marathon especially since we are balancing triathlon training on top of it! The big difference is I don’t run as much as I used to. For some this might be a bit unsettling but Jen hasn’t steered me wrong in the last three years so I am sure she has this figured out! I recently had two chance test my fitness. I did the Wings for Life World Run where I tried to run my goal marathon pace (8:27) for the race. Nailed it!
Then yesterday I needed to run 2:30 hours at zone 1/2 heart rate. I picked a loop to run that was a change of scenery for me but allowed me to circle back to my car for supplies if needed. My goal was to run at least 9:30 or faster but really pay attention to how I felt and keep it easy. At the end of the run I was supposed to be able to keep going if needed. Nailed it again! I managed 17 miles in 2:32:07, average pace of 8:57. And yes, I totally could have kept running!
So I have entered a bit of a taper until the race on May 29. I am doing my best to not mess anything up and just keep following my training. I am working to eat well so I can show up to the race at a good-for-me weight. I am making sure to stretch and keep my body happy. And I am doing a lot of positive self talk. It is going to get dark on race day around mile 18; but I know I can push through. I have done it before. On race day it will be time to trust the training and believe in myself. 3:43 or bust!!!
Coaching is still going well. I keep telling people how happy I am with my coach. It has me very excited my races this year! Right now we are starting to work on building up speed which often involves track workouts for running. I don’t have access to a track and now that I have a new job I am super tight on time. Enter in Garmin Connect. I am sure many of you have an account there because you own some type of Garmin Device. Did you know that you can make custom workouts that will allow you to do track style workouts anywhere? This is a great FREE tool that I don’t use nearly enough!
Under the Plan menu in Garmin Connect you will find an option for Workouts. From there you will get a screen that will allow you to build a custom workout. It is very easy to use. Below is a picture of the workout I created for last week.
This was for 5 X 600 with 3:00 min rest between. The watch will beep at you when you start a new interval. You can also set a target pace, HR or HR zone for each interval if you want. Then the watch will beep at you if you are not hitting the target. The best part of this is you can do track distance intervals anywhere! I went down to the flattest part of my neighborhood and just ran back and forth to do my intervals. The watch will automatically get your splits for each interval so you can go back later and see your results. Here are mine from this workout.
As you can see I didn’t do the best job pacing myself (plus one direction was into the wind). But you get the picture. If you have a Garmin device you use for training I suggest you check out this function if you haven’t already. After you have saved your workout out you send it to your device where you can find it in the workout menu (varies from device to device). It is that simple!
I wanted to take this opportunity to fess up to the fact that I am not doing my core exercises that my coach has put on my plan. She knows this but I thought if I fessed up to it maybe I would become more accountable for this. I know it works. I can feel it the next day/week and I think that is one of the reasons for the improvement in the pool I have seen recently. I just wanted to take this opportunity to come clean. Thanks.
Of all three disciplines in triathlon, the one that comes the easiest for me is swimming. I swam for 2 years in high school and that experience has really stuck with me. I am by no means the fastest swimmer in my age group but I am usually in the top 10% for sure. That has been very helpful when it comes to triathlon. I don’t need to spend a lot of extra time in the water because I already have a pretty big advantage on most of the others in my age group. Because of this I have not (in the past) tended to work that hard in the pool.
I am working with a coach to help me achieve my goals this year and of course that comes with swim training. I worked with a friend before who helped me greatly when I was training for a 2.4 mile open water swim. But other than that, I have managed my swimming on my own. My coaching for swimming so far has included drills (belcht!) and shorter sets than I am used to. I told myslef to give it some time and see how my swimming reacted to a different style of training. Well, it is working!
This week is an adaptation week so my volume has been scaled back and I get to do a couple of timed tests to see how I am doing. Yesterday I swam a 200 at 100% followed by an 800 at 90% with 30 seconds rest between the two.
See interval #4 and #5? I am pretty sure I have never swam that fast before (I really can’t remember my high school times). What we are doing is working! I am excited to see how this translates over longer distances but an 800 at that pace has me very excited! You can see the two intervals below to see more detail. I will add a link alter for the Garmin data (Garmin Connect is being crabby right now).