Sunday, September 25, 2011

Training Cycle in Review: This is the Journey

The Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon is just one week away! It's hard to believe it's here already. I think it's really important to reflect back on all my hard work because the journey is what it's all about. Regardless of what time I actually run, I know that I have put in a solid training cycle and that I am a stronger, faster runner because of it. With so much that is out of my control on race day, I have to focus on controlling the things I can, and that's the training.

As I've written in past blogs, there have been some major changes with this training cycles compared to others in the past:

  • Regular core strengthening (I used to do nothing)
  • Working with a coach/team
  • Lower weekly mileage (avg. low 40's as opposed to low 50's)
  • Pool running and swimming twice per week (I used to never go to the pool)
Weekly Mileage For the Past Three Months
I've run two 20-milers and one 22-miler. Each of these were on brutally hot and humid days. At the end of July, I was worried I was developing peroneal tendonitis so I stopped running for six days and substituted pool running. During the taper, I was dealing with DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) because I didn't allow enough recovery from the half marathon, so I ran less than I would have liked to.

Here are more cross training details from the past eight weeks.

10 minutes of pool running = 1 mile
10 minutes of elliptical = 1 mile
Swimming distances are actual distances

Week of Aug. 1: 22 miles running, 12.5 miles pool running, 12 miles elliptical, 1.4 miles swimming
Week of Aug. 8: 37 miles running, 7 miles pool running, 6.5 miles elliptical, 0.9 miles swimming
Week of Aug. 15: 45.3 miles running, 5 miles pool running, 1.2 miles swimming
Week of Aug. 22: 51 miles running, 0.8 miles swimming
Week of Aug. 30: 43.7 miles running (includes half marathon)
Week of Sept. 5: 44 miles running, 9 miles pool running, 0.6 miles swimming
Week of Sept. 12: 23.2 miles running (includes 8K race), 8 miles pool running, 1.4 miles swimming
Week of Sept. 19: 27.6 miles running, 8.5 miles pool running, 0.5 miles swimming

This week I have planned about 16-18 miles before the marathon on Sunday. I'm not sure if I will pool run or just rest.

My two tune up races went according to plan. The Rock 'N Roll Virginia Beach half marathon was on the slower side, due to the heat and humidity, but it was well executed with negative splits and an amazing final kick. The Run! Geek! Run! 8K last weekend proved that my mental game is "on" and the colder weather allowed me to run a very speedy race, predicting a marathon finish time of much faster than I actually expect.

I still don't have any details on live race tracking. The website mentioned that they might use a Facebook application, but I haven't heard any more about it. 

I feel very prepared and cautiously optimistic for my race next weekend. Even if the unexpected occurs and I have yet another bad marathon, I think this training cycle has prepared me for an overall strong racing season. 


  1. yes yes, i think you are very well prepared! you have been so smart with your training - really listening to your body, running strong and doing excellent cross-training and core strengthening. i am sure you are going into this race well prepared.
    and you have a great attitude - yes, anything CAN happen on race day but you will run every mile knowing that you did all you could to prepare for race day. your confidence and belief in yourself should not be shaken, no matter what comes your way! it IS about the journey and you have had quite a journey :o)
    i am so excited to read about your race and would love to track you if they have that capability!
    oh - and hello awesome graph!? that is really a neat visual for looking at the big picture of your training! i'm impressed :o)
    enjoy your last week of taper before the big day! yay!!

  2. Great training cycle!! I'm so excited to see how your marathon pans out!! :)

  3. Don't even think about having a bad marathon. You've had a great training cycle. Now go out there and just run. I'll be thinking about you!

  4. Great job, girl! You're doing so well this season, very exciting.

  5. I agree with everyone else - great cycle. And you've clearly taken huge steps forward as a runner!

  6. You've been nothing but smart with your training, you are fully prepared to have a great race. I hope they get some tracking info together, I want to virtually cheer you on on race day!
    Good luck!

  7. Time to execute the MOSt important plan. :) You can do it, Elizabeth! Have faith in yourself; the hay is in the barn.

  8. So excited for you!!! You've done so great in your training and will rock the marathon. I love your attitude...nothing stops you.

  9. You've had such a great training cycle and I can't wait to see how you do next weekend! I'll be thinking of you and stalking the results (even if there is no live tracking). :)

  10. Wow, this has been such a great cycle for you. I hope that tracking is available, I'll be cheering for you!!

  11. Awesome cycle... enjoy the race!!

  12. I like the graph - what are you using for this? Thanks in advance.

    Thomas Gerlach
    Professional Triathlete

    Save 10% at with Coupon Code "TGER-S"