Marine Corps Marathon Training - Week 4
Training for the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) went really well this week. My coach and I set this week's objective to try to build my mileage since my calf niggle was feeling better.
On Monday, I did take a complete rest day. Which may seem counterproductive to my goal of building mileage, but rest is important! I had not taken a complete rest day in awhile and I was just feeling like it was what my body was needed, so I listened. Listening to my intuition paid off and I had a great six days of training following the rest.
On Thursday, I went to the track to get in my track session for the week. Last week, I had skipped my track session to allow my body to recover more, so I was happy to be back and tap into some speed. I did 8 X 400m with a goal time of 1:18 (5:14/mile). After skipping just one week on the track, getting down to that pace felt harder 😂 I was able to stay under the goal pace for every 400, so I counted that as a win!
Central California really heated toward that end of the week, so I had the heat to contend with during my weekend runs. Heat is probably the weather element I struggle to run in the most. In the past, I have done whatever I could to avoid running in the heat. I decided to try to embrace the heat during this training cycle and think of the heat as something that helps my training and helps me reach my goals, instead of shying away from it. Some researchers believe that heat training may even increase an athlete's VO2Max better than altitude training. I live at near sea level and I don't have hills to run on a daily basis, so I am going to embrace the heat, because I do have plenty of that. Here is a link to the article discussing the benefits of heat training if you want to learn more:
I started both my Saturday and Sunday runs later than I would have normally on such a hot day. I still got them in on the early side, because I don't like my runs to eat into too much of our family time on the weekends. Every time I felt uncomfortable in the heat and sun, I reminded myself that it was making me tougher and a better athlete. I did make sure to drop water along my path for my long run and I hydrated like crazy when I got home with water and Nuun.
My Sunday long run ended up being about 16 miles, which brought my weekly mileage to 51 miles. My body is feeling really good and I am happy to be at this mileage volume with 15 weeks to go until MCM. I see improvement over my last training cycle for LA Marathon, which makes me excited and shows what consistent training can do.
With less than 16 weeks to go until MCM, I'm starting to really focusing in on what my goal for the marathon is going to be. I like picking a time goal or very specific objective when training for races, especially that marathon. I find it really helps when training gets hard and you are wondering why you are doing this to focus on something very specific. Even if the goal is not achieved, I think it makes you push yourself further than you would have otherwise.
I'm going into this week of training thinking about this quote:
"Most of us have enough areas in our lives where we have to meet other's expectations. Let your running be about your own hopes and dreams." - Meb Keflezighi
It resonates with me and why I enjoy pursuing running goals so much.
Do you set time goals when marathon training?