New Jersey Marathon training update: week 11

#marathon training  #new jersey marathon  #training 
Oh, you know, just jumping around a bit before my run!

Oh, you know, just jumping around a bit before my run!

All I have to say about last week’s training is that it was EPIC! Literally my best week of training ever! EVER! I broke my weekly distance record by four miles with 57 on the week! And I nailed my first 20-miler this cycle.

I started off the week with an easy five-mile recovery run, but by Tuesday, I was ready to put in the work and push myself. I had eight miles planned and wanted to do 8x1’ fartleks in the middle. I started out the run with the wife who is a faster runner than I am so she really got me moving. I ended up treating the whole run as a tempo run thanks to the quick start, but I didn’t forget about my fartleks; I nailed them too. In the end, this ended up being my first sub-8 minute pace training run since transition at any distance. I felt great.

Wednesday was another solid run with a negative split. Twelve wonderful miles. On Thursday, my legs felt tired, but they didn’t want to listen to me when I told them to slow down. I ended up pushing out an 8:15 pace for eight miles.

On Saturday, the wife and I were talking about where I was going to tackle Sunday’s 20-miler. I said I was planning to run on the Delaware and Raritan Canal towpath. She told me I may need to start at a different place on the path because the park I typically start in was holding the Miles for Music 20k and parking may be difficult. After a couple minutes of back-and-forth about it, we both decided it would be an excellent idea for me to run the 20k. It would change things up a bit and give me a chance to push myself some to get a measure of where I am at in my training.

After deciding to run the race, we ran a quick four miles together and I threw in 6x10” hill sprints in the middle. I haven’t done them in a while, but I always enjoy them.

hill sprints for marathon training

Hill sprinting! I feel kind of badass in this photo!

I was a little skeptical that I’d actually wake up for the race at 6am when my alarm when off on Sunday, but I surprised myself and got right up without the normal fight. We made it out the door quickly and stopped along the way so wifey could get Starbucks since she’d be out there cheering for me. We got to the park nice and early and I knocked out an easy and relaxed 6.1 miles on the towpath. I made my way back to the car with 20 minutes to prepare for the race. My wife took care of registering me while I was running so I pinned my bib on and we headed over to the start.

Since I already wrote a race recap, I won’t go into detail, but it turned out to be a great race! I’m beyond psyched with my performance. I was pretty tired after the race, but I had enough left in me for an easy 1.5 mile cooldown run around the park to put my daily total at 20 miles.

Looking back over the whole week, there really isn’t anything I can complain about. I nailed everything. I got in some hard, fast runs. I racked up 57 miles in 6 days of running for a new weekly PDR! I rocked my first-ever 20k about 30 sec/mile faster than planned.

I’ve got five weeks until the New Jersey Marathon and I’m starting to feel good about things. This training cycle has had a lot of ups and downs, but I feel like I’m on track again. My mileage is great, higher than it’s ever been before, and now my pace seems like it’s starting to get closer to where I want it. Yesterday’s 20 miles were at an 8:03 average and I’m looking to run 8:01 on race day. I have to feel good about that!

This week is scheduled as a slight step back with 5 days of running and 48 miles and then there are two peak weeks before taper. Even though it’s over a month away, it feels like it’s coming up soon!!