Monthly Archives: July 2013

Marathon training week 3

This was a strange week. First of all a heat wave hit NJ.

As you can see this heat wave was no joke. 95 degrees every day with high humidity. My strategy was pretty simple. Drink abnormal amounts of water all day long. Run at night usually around 7:00 p.m. When running I make sure I bring water with me. I love my handheld amphibian water bottle. It cradles my hand and I don’t feel like I am going to drop it. My other secret weapon is my cool towel. You may have seen this towel advertised on TV. You wet it, rinse it, then snap it and it cools around your neck. I just tucked it into my neck under my shirt and it was nice and cool on my neck.
For two of my runs on the hottest days I went to Loantaka Park which is a paved trail with a lot of tree cover. That kept me out of the sun. My times were pretty good considering the heat. I made a point to run flat routes this week. It also helped me that this was a scale back week. For my long run I scaled back after two weeks of progress. Last weekend I did 7 miles and this weekend only 5. What does everyone else do during a heat wave? Tell me in the comments.

Monday: Crossfit
Tuesday: 3 miles easy pace and 9 mile bike ride.
Wednesday: 4 miles
Thursday: 3 miles and Crossfit
Friday: 15 mile bike ride
Saturday: Off
Sunday: 5 miles

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Marathon Training week 1

Week 1 of 16 weeks of training was interesting to say the least.  Of course we are in the middle of a heat wave here in NJ so 95 degree temperatures with 80% humidity felt like a kick in the stomach.  I am loosely following Hal Higdon’s marathon program.  When I first looked at week 1 my thoughts were this is going to be easy.  I am in pretty good shape after having never really stopped running since last year’s NYC Marathon was canceled.  The only thing I need to start doing is log more miles and run more often.  In the “Off-Season” I typically run once or twice a week and usually on the weekends.  With this program the miles and the pace don’t scare me but the 4 days a week I need to get used to.

The plan:  Week 1:

Monday.  Crossfit

Tuesday 3 miles easy pace. 8:40 a mile. This turned out to be no problem.  The heat wave didn’t kick in at this point yet.

Wednesday 3 miles easy pace. 8:41 a mile.  Crossfit at night. Again no problems here.

Thursday.  Bike ride 12 miles

Friday was supposed to be another 3 miles run but I ended up not doing it.  My wife misplaced something which led to a 4 hour search that ended at 9 oclock at night but that’s a story for another day. Turned out to be an off day.

Saturday was where things got dicey. The heat wave kicked in.  Even at 9 a.m. it was already hot and very humid.  I decided to join the Morristown Running Company’s group run.  I have done this in the past and enjoyed it.  They do a 5 miles run and my plan was to do another mile on my own after for the 6 I was supposed to run.  Keep in mind I just ran 7 miles last weekend at about an 8:30 pace no problems.  At about mile 3 I literally felt like I was going to puke.  It was a brutally tough run.  All types of things are going through my head now.  Things like I am too heavy.  I am 8 pounds up from this point last year.  CrossFit and biking is just too hard on my legs.  I was able to gut out 4.5 miles at a 9:30 pace but I had some thinking to do.  I can’t remember the last time my pace was over 9 minutes a mile.  Maybe Mile 23 of the 2011 Baltimore Marathon.

Sunday.  3 miles still super hot and humid and I finished at a 9:04 minute a mile pace.  That is still slow and my legs felt heavy but it wasn’t quite as bad as the day before.

All in all I am going to forget about week 1 and chalk it up to unusual heat.  I went back and looked at last July when I was training for NYC and it seems like I ran at night more often.  7 or 8 o’clock right before the sun goes down so I may try that for some cooler temperatures.  Week 1 is in the books and already the mental battle begins. But I still have a smile on my face because it is summer and most of my days are spent like this.

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