I missed another Thinking Out Loud Thursday yesterday. It was a bit of a busy day as I worked in the morning, then went for a 26Km/16 mile run (!), then went and coached track for 2 hours. Thursday night is TV night, so clearly I spent my evening watching Grey’s Anatomy and Parenthood.
For this week’s Friday Five, I decided to write about 5 things that I believe are helping me conquer this whole marathon training business, as well as helped with my Army Run race this past weekend. Yesterday’s 26K run went fairly well, minus the last 6K that were definitely a challenge (mostly because it was hot out).
Friday Five: 5 Things that are helping my Training
#1 – No music
I have discussed previously about not running with music all that often anymore. Before, grabbing my headphones for a run was standard, now I run maybe 1/10 runs with music. Yesterday, I ran the entire 26K without music. Part of the reason I run without music is for safety reasons, because I tend to be alone on the trails. Usually the run that has music is Sunday morning runs when the trails are packed. The other reason is to prepare myself for the mental head game that I will have to play on marathon day. Running that marathon will be very difficult and I am going to need to use every trick in the book to break that wall. I am almost purposefully making my training runs very hard, mental wise, so that on race day having music, cheering people and thousands of other runners will make the run fun. I utilized this during the Army Run as I turned on the music for the last 10K and it seemed like a treat.
#2 Slowmo Long Runs
If you follow me on instagram, dailymile or have been reading my long run times – you may realize how slow I run my long runs. When I run these runs, I am able to talk the entire time. Although I do tend to get faster at the end, when I finish my runs, I just simply hop in the door and take my shoes off. During faster training runs, I have had to sit on my steps for a few minutes to catch my breath. I believe that this has helped deal with any DOMS issues and kept any chance of another stress fracture away.
#3 Ice Baths
I will admit, I thought ice baths were a silly idea back in the day. Now, I fully believe that ice baths have also prevented any tightness, injuries or DOMS. After any run that I feel some aches/pains, I hop in an ice bath right away. Magically, all the pain disappears. I ran 26K yesterday and was definitely on the pain-train, but hopped into an ice bath and today, no pain! It is magic stuff!
#4 Paying Attention to Nutrition
I’ve had very little issues with my stomach this time around. A few dietary changes I have made include: limiting coffee to max 2 cups a day (usually I just have one in the morning), eliminating sorbitol from my diet, eating more veggies/salads, ensuring I eat protein often and staying hydrated during runs. I have bonked during a run and hydration during long runs hasn’t always been stellar, but all things to practice for marathon day!
#5 Sticking to the Plan and 10% rule
Obviously, training properly allowed me to run a fantastic race on Sunday. I actually stuck with running 3-4 times a week, and was pretty successful sticking with my mileage plan. Obviously, I did not follow my plan 100%, but I made changes to it as I went along. Getting to the 20K mark before a half-marathon was key for being success in my race. Even yesterday, I got to 20K with ease, so I think that I am finally comfortable running that distance. When I have had to make changes, I have ensure that I do not go over the 10% increase rule. Going up and down like a yo-yo with the Ottawa Race Weekend was a contributing factor in developing a stress fracture. Weeks that I have had to make changes involve adding up my miles and ensuring I do not go over. For example, this week I am running a 13K Beer Run – because my long runs must remain intact, I had to make adjustments to my smaller runs. This meant that this week, I am only running 3x (26K, 13K and 6K). My training plan is lower on the mileage, so we will see how that works out on marathon day, even though my goal is to finish!
It is hard to believe that I am two weeks away from taper. I have two super long runs left (29K/18 miles and 32K/20 miles) and I’m done. Well, done meaning then it is time to tackle 26.2 miles!