Vegas Marathon Training: Week 2 Recap

I’ll start this past week’s recap with a little Monday motivation for all the runners (and biker/swimmers/fitness fanatics 🙂 ):

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go” — T.S. Eliot

I love this quote because it is so relevant to marathon training. Or any other endeavor that forces us to push our limits even though we risk feeling pain or experiencing defeat. I remember when I trained for my very first marathon three years ago. I was into running for speed, only raced 5ks, and couldn’t fathom running any farther than 5 miles. I remember my first 10 mile training run and feeling so great that I had accomplished something I never had before. While that feeling has worn off as I have been fortunate to have run several marathons, I try to remind myself that I can still find new boundaries to push (speed? course difficulty? just feeling good?). I meet so many people who question distance running and say, “I could never do that”. I know that physically they can do it; it’s just a matter of whether they want to push themselves (and be disciplined enough) to accomplish it. If running’s not their thing, great. But I think the same philosophy holds true to all of endeavors in life that require hard work and perseverance.

Ok, I’m getting off my soap box now. Here’s my week 2 recap of training for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Vegas Marathon on December 4 (a mere 14 weeks away).

As I explained in my Week 1 training recap, I decided to modify Hal Higdon’s intermediate training plan so that I can allow my knee to get better and so that I can transition back into running full-time without getting any more nagging injuries. That means slowly working up my mileage so that I’m back running the overall miles and distances I was before the summer began (in May).

Here’s my week 2 plan and how it went:

As you can see I made some changes, mostly because of weather and because of my social schedule (I have absolutely no problem rearranging my training days around when I go out, per my training formula 🙂 ) This “week” actually consisted of 8 days because I pushed back my long run until today. As I mentioned earlier, the crazy storm and flooding of my running routes forced me inside to the treadmill again. It’s a good thing I really like doing my long runs on the good ole’ TM. My favorite treadmill is at the North Grounds Gym at Uva. It’s in the back row at the end so I can do some people watching for the couple hours I am on it 😉

In terms of doing runs outside vs. inside I really have a 60/40 philosophy. As long as 60% of my overall runs (runs over the course of the 16 week training period) are outside on a course that mimics the race course (I trained on hilly routes for the Boston Marathon, for instance), I can run 40% of my runs on the treadmill no problem. So I’m fine with the fact that I’ve done my last two “long runs” on the treadmill (I know, I know technically they’re not that long yet haha).

I’ve also been upping a few of my runs by a mile or two because I’ve felt pretty good. I made this first four-week plan pretty conservative so I could adjust it based on how I feel. I could have easily ran past 13 miles today, but I stopped at 10 and just walked a final cool-down mile just to be on the careful side. I pushed my tempo run up a mile on Thursday (on this post) so the weekly total came out to 20 miles.

In addition, I’ve been making an effort to do more core work and I can definitely tell the difference! I’m also a huge fan of the recumbent bike. I know, it’s easy to think of it as a “lazy person” workout, but I have a good reason for using it a few times a week. When I first moved to Charlottesville and was training for my second marathon I developed pretty bad bursitis in my hip. I went to the SPEED Performance Clinic/Motion Analysis Lab (part of the UVa’s Center for Endurance Sport) and got a 3D modeling of my running gait so I could improve my biomechanics and prevent injuries while training. The Motion Analysis lab has infrared cameras that collect data on your range of motion as well as a treadmill that measures the lateral and rotational impact forces that act on the runner.

If you’re in the area and would like this done–something I highly recommend–contact Jay Dicharry, he’s the best. The Center also has a WordPress site and there’s a great YouTube video on Jay Dicharry and the Motion Analysis Lab where I had my running gait analyzed (you’ll see how he hooks runners up electronically to run on a special treadmill and then analyzes the data):

After my analysis, I found out I had some major weaknesses and imbalances, mostly involving my glutes. The recumbent bike is a great workout for the glute muscles and if paired with other exercises, like lunges, bridges, and clam shells, the recumbent bike has helped me develop more strength so that my glutes fire when I run (I know, this sounds weird, but believe me, you don’t want “dead butt” like I had, which was putting all the stress of running on my hip flexors). So I plan to continue my “lazy” workouts on the bike 🙂

All in all, Week 2 was a success! On to week 3!!

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5 Responses to Vegas Marathon Training: Week 2 Recap

  1. Carina says:

    Ooh, I used to love working out at North Grounds. I wish I’d been into marathons when I lived in Cvle b/c that Center sounds really cool!!!

    • Yay, North Grounds! I used to mix it up and go to the AFC as well, but now I just go to North Grounds. And there’s only one treadmill I like to run on so if someone’s on it I get grumpy haha 😉 You live in TX, right? I don’t know how you fit in your runs with that hot weather!!

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