Saturday, April 23, 2011


WARNING!!! This is going to be of little interest for many. Don't comment out of obligation!! Don't read out of obligation!! It's a reference for me, and I process things when I type them out sometimes. I promise I will be back to writing about animals hanging from my redneck swingset soon and you can comment then....

I am currently halfway through a marathon training schedule for Grandma's marathon on June 18th. I haven't run a marathon since Boston 2010 mostly due to an injury that kept me from my fall marathon. I spent 3 solid months of NO running and pretty much started back at ground zero in September of 2010. Not ground zero exactly but in rough cardio shape for sure. I've taken a much different approach this time around and although I believe it's benefited me in many ways, I also have some panic over different aspects of my training. I was really going to get into this but I've opted not to. I've processed a lot of this the last couple of days with some "help":) I'll list a few random numbers anyway.

Basic breakdown

(So freakin' irritated that I can't get my dailymile to do the analytics from January to April 2010. I am seriously not a math mind and have no idea how I can break this down. I could take pictures of every one of my pages of notes on my 86 runs in my running log and post them......That would certainly capture the attention of many.)

Boston training:

Long runs(threw in some Garmin activity on a couple of the longer ones. I'm sure that's of little interest)

15- 8:10
17- 8:19
20- 7:59
16- 7:32
20- 7:56
17- 7:58
23- 8:06
17- 8:06
20- 8:14-day after 10 mile race
11- 7:40
22.4- 7:58
20- 7:50
10- 7:40
Boston Marathon 26.43- 7:30-Garmin activity

*16 total weeks preceding Boston- 905 miles total/ avg. 56 mpw/peak 70

*I used these paces in training.
MP-7:35-7:40, HMP-7:20, 10K 6:55-7:00, 5K 6:45ish

*I only ran one race- 10 mile at 7:17 untapered and in the peak of my training 5 weeks out from Boston.

*I skipped A LOT of speedwork and instead opted for A LOT of miles near MP. Of my 86 runs, 64 of them averaged under 8 minutes. My slowest run of the ENTIRE training cycle was a 5 mile recovery run at 8:20. Next slowest, a 17 mile at 8:19. On the flipside, my fastest mile was 6:27 and I ran VERY FEW miles around this pace. Many many many runs done at a similar effort (usually only one harder day/week) so not the hard/easy approach.

*favorite part of training-long runs. For the most part, I gradually seemed to get stronger as I got more miles into my run. I felt my endurance was one of my biggest strengths.

*I had a goal for Boston. 3:20. I was very confident on race morning that I would achieve this goal but my confidence came more from the fact that I knew I could hold MP than from how fast I could run a speed session.

Grandma's training

Long runs
16- 8:10-HILLY
18- 7:52-harder effort for 12, SIGNIFICANT break at mile 15, plodded in the last 3
.37 miles- Hurt foot
20- 8:19
18- 8:41-5K earlier in the day-ran with a friend
20- 8:12-felt like crap after 16
22-out the door for this now!
18 or HM race?
HM-tentatively planning to pace friend at my MP as part of LR or race?
26.2-race day

*First half of training- 451 total miles (1 entire week off for a foot) Avg. 56 mpw but if to exclude the missing week avg. 64. (Already tired of analyzing)

*Using these paces for training. Not necessarily what I could run for each distance but the paces I'm using.
MP-7:25, HMP-7:00, 10K-6:45, 5K- 6:25

*ran 1 race-5K (ran another 5K but before training started). 20:08. Big PR for me and 19:52 on my Garmin at 3.1. A milestone I've never come close to and I'm certain I could not have done this in my Boston training.

*running A LOT more speed workouts and at a harder effort. Fastest mile 6:18 (unsure if I've gone faster than this on the TM??) and I almost died(don't mock me you speed demons, this is like freakin' jet speed for me-ha!)However, running sub 7 miles every week now. Slowest run 8:57 avg. and a great deal of runs with an average over 8 minutes.

*struggling in long runs with my endurance....also struggling with my confidence in holding MP.

*currently no set goal for Grandma's.

Hmmmmm..........OK-back to the rambles!!!!


Vanessa @ Gourmet Runner said...

Thanks for sharing this--I really like seeing how people train, and I can learn a lot from you!

The Hungry Runner Girl said...

I LOVE NUMBERS....this post is perfect for me:) I hope you are having an amazing 22 miler right now and you should have all the confidence in the world because you have kicked trash in your races and your speed work!! 6:18 is AMAZING (especially on the treadmill). You give me hope because I think it will be 3 months of no running for me too and if I can come back as awesome as you, I will be so happy!! Hope you are having an amazing Easter weekend!

XLMIC said...

I just lost a great comment about speedwork getting better and faster while long runs seemed slower and requiring more effort and it all coming together once you are tapered for the race…that has been my experience and is something I tend to forget while I am in the process. Does that make sense? Or maybe you just need to power down some meatloaf hotdish to get more energy ;-) You know you can always count on me for that!

pepe said...

I love numbers, but you know that. I love reading about your training. I think the faster you get at the shorter distances, the faster you are going to get in the marathon. You did not mention here that you did a ton of biking during these past few weeks. This means you ran on tired legs, as biking challenges the quads a lot.

So you are half way through your training cycle. You have 7 weeks till your marathon, 2 weeks taper, so 5 strong weeks. I would do the long runs starting slow and maybe not looking at the garmin pace (putting tape over?) for the first half of the run, and then building up the last half of the run to go to MP, then push the last mile all out (OK, some say this is risking injury, but it always works for me). I would also run your peak mileage about a month from marathon, and then focus the last month on running less mileage but more pace. I personally think you should race the half. It comes at a great time in your cycle, and running faster than MP at that point will serve you well. Plus, it will give you more of a mental prep for the marathon. And, you will PR, which is always nice.

OK, so now I just realized that you won't have any idea who this Pepe is. I updated my son's blog and forgot to sign off. So yes, it is Ana-Maria

GoBigGreen said...

Come run the GIG on my bday! you will do awesome:) I hope to just get it done, no top end speed yet!
I am ABOUT done with the optimism pep talk sista, so let it rip This weather blows A$$! I know you have it bad too, so lets pout together:)

Caroline said...

I read all of I have a headache...

just kidding!!!!!

Lisa said...

I definitely appreciate seeing this. Like Vanessa, I'm always curious about how people train. I recently learned that I have to start training long before most people to make sure I don't get another stress fracture, so I'm currently trying to figure out how to get to the start line of the half marathon I have scheduled in July. Thanks for sharing. Hope your run went well today!

Amanda@runninghood said...

Yes, what Pepe said. Love it..pepe! Good ol' Ana Maria posing as Pepe and Chris all the time. :) I can't wait to come back and pour over your numbers when I have time...for now, I will just say that I think you are amazing and that I learn from you daily! This kind of stuff really helps me to reflect on my training and learn from what you've done. I love is like you're my teammate and we are talking numbers...good for training.....thanks Jenn! I'll be back. Just got home from our trip and enjoying pitching a few balls in the backyard and LOVING the green grass, blue sky, and sunshine!!

Jill said...

I read this all and have absolutely no idea what you said.


Now get back to rambling, I can't handle numbers!!

Small Town Runner said...

OK....I have much to say here, but am going to have to come back and do it when I can give it a proper 5 paragraph comment.

Happy Easter, Jenn

love, R

Amanda@runninghood said...

Okay, I'm back again. Do you think that running slower that 8's and 9's is good on recovery days or are you still trying to keep most of your runs at a closer to 8 and sub 8 pace? You totally inspire me to run more miles! oh and 6:18 as part of a training workout is awesome Jenn! Hard to do. In a race it seems like I can go out at a fast first mile and not realize that it even happened until I look at my watch and go "Oh shit! slow down girl!" but trying the same time in a workout seems so much harder...especially when we train alone. Sounds like you're a machine that can run at a pretty good clip for really looooong time. I'd bet that you could hold on to this 7:30 pace for even longer than 26.2! I like the MP, HMP etc. that you are setting for your workouts...this was good reflection for me tonight...not that I'm comparing myself to you but it sounds like we run pretty similar times so this was helpful to see since I have a MP run tomorrow and I've been thinking that I'll shoot for between a 7:20 and 7:25...not that I can hold onto that for a marathon but I'm hoping for it or close to it. we shall see. Anyway, great job on your 22.75 today Jenn! And thanks again and again for your influence on me yo! Happy EAster beautiful friend!

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

OMG - how I love thee! A girl after my very own heart. I am such an analyzer. I just LOVE IT!

thank you, thank you, thank you, for posting so much detail. I have never tried so many long runs prior to a marathon (like your Boston training) think I may give it a try.
I've primarily been a long, speed, tempo type of marathon trainer for a few years. I do this because I need the variety in the training, but I can totally see how you went into Boston VERY strong from all of the MRP plus roughly 30 second, long runs.

I LOVE experimenting with different ideas. I totally believe speed can help. For me, it's been important to get my 5k time down prior to each marathon, as a way of gauging my fitness for 26.2. McMillan's predictions are close ballparks for me.

I will be coming back to this post to do some more analyzing for my personal training - thanks!

keep analyzing and keep reporting my friend, but yes, keep your typical posts coming too. Love all of it!

C2Iowa said...

good insight and very analytical. 6:18 - wow said...

i LOVE me some numbers!!!

i love obsessing over paces and training plans and all sorts of other good stuff.

bottom line: you've put in SO MUCH good work this winter and you are prepared to KILL it at grandma's. can't wait to cheer you on from here!!!

Small Town Runner said...

Ha. This is NOT an obligation comment. =D

Numbers get me going...the thing is, there are so many variables. I know you have changed your training style since your injury. And I am guessing, you are just not sure how high to shoot and if the "new system" of speed work is what's best for you...??

I can't advise you. You are - really- a great distance runner. You really seem to be geared towards the longer race, but your recent 5K tells me that it could be a really fast MP That you can do!!

Just going on what I have read...MP is really not a pace that is useful for anything except confidence building. Too fast for a good easy pace, too slow to get a lot faster...But GIRL, maybe you are the one to prove all the researchers wrong. =D Seems that way to me! Worked pretty well last time for ya :)

And this is just my little hindsight...FWIW: I could have spent less time trying to get faster with speedwork early on with Boston, maybe enjoyed a few shorter races to get ready and still done the same- or better. There is a risk with speedwork.

The half marathon decision is a biggie. It could be a great confidence boost, and we all know you'll PR BIG time on it..If you race it and don't do it as a pacing job. Pacing a friend would just be nice miles. Tough decision. I know you'll make a good one. =D

How'd your 22 go??

Hope you had a great Easter, Jenn.

Nathan says hi to Max.

Also, I agree with Pepe. =D

Jess @ Blonde Ponytail said...

How did your 22 miler go?!! We were distance buddies! I wish you could be the rabbit when I run-- know I get faster CHASING you--you are speedy jenn!

I bet your legs are more refreshed than ever and you will be ready to rock Granny!

lindsay said...

ugggh i feel so obligated to leave a comment. you should be having a giveaway on this post for making people 'suffer' through it ;)

i, too, am a numbers nerd. more so for my own numbers than others though, no offense. yours just make me feel lazy and slow. and fat of course, since you are 88 lbs remember.

Keri said...

I LOVE looking at numbers and stats. Also, I was thinking about you after I ran Boston and your 3:18 PR there. I thought the course was so tough! I bet someday you break that 3:18!!

Nicole Wagner said...

I love numbers too!!! My husband gets so annoyed with me! your boston training was hard core! I can't believe you did that many long runs!!! I went from short distance training into 8wks of this training for my first marathon...only 3 or 4 long runs...aahhh...but I'm faaaairly confident I can hold the pace lol...however NEVER ran 26.2 so we'll see!! anyway, I love these kinds of posts! you should write them more often;)

Nicole Wagner said...

and p.s those are the exact same paces I use in my training too for 5K, 10K, HMP and MP:)