Week 5 Recap

 2011 Boston Marathon Training  Comments Off on Week 5 Recap
Nov 302010

I finished week 5 of my 26 week training schedule for the Boston Marathon.  This was a “cutback” week meaning that the total miles I ran was reduced slightly from last week (17 down from 22).  This brings the total to 90 miles run since I started training 5 weeks ago.  This Sunday my “long run” will be 11 miles, so wish me luck! In general my endurance is definitely improving although my speed continues to resemble the turtle more than the hare!

So far you have helped raise $1,500 towards my goal of $6,000 for Children’s Hospital and I think that is great progress at this point!  If you have not yet had an opportunity to register your sponsorship you can do so here.

 Posted by at 11:34 am

Heart Rate Analysis

 2011 Boston Marathon Training, Training Log  Comments Off on Heart Rate Analysis
Nov 262010

I have been monitoring my heart rate in every workout and I think I am getting a feel for it.  Based on a resting heart rate of 61 and a max heart rate of 192, my heart rate reserve would indicate the following zones based on the calculator at MarathonGuide.com which can be found here.  If course my max heart rate could be above 192.  The highest I can seem to push it at the end of workouts is 188.  When I do my first measured mile calculation in a few weeks on a track I imagine I might have a better number.

My experience seems to match the above chart.  When I push my heart rate above 170 I can definitely feel something shift and know I am on borrowed time.  I have looked over the heart rate data from a bunch of different kinds of workouts I have done and it seems that I spent most of my time in zone 3, followed by zone 2 and then 4.  Not surprisingly, the workouts where I am working on speed I find myself in zone 4 a lot more.

What I am still a bit stymied about is the relationship of pace to heart rate.  I would swear it is not linear, but I really don’t have a great way to figure that out.  It seems to be something like this:

  • 12:00 mm: HR around 154
  • 11:00 mm: HR around 160
  • 10:00 mm: HR around 168
  • 9:30 mm: HR around 172
  • 8:30 mm: HR around 180

Clearly the 8:30 pace is out of my reach.  I can sustain that for approx 3 minutes.  But a 9:45 pace actually feels comfortable when I am taking walk breaks every 3 minutes for 30 seconds.  But I assume that this would still result in lactic acid buildup in the marathon and ultimately disaster.  I really have also been noticing that things like temperature, hydration, sleep and other factors can change up the heart rates.   At this point my best guess at this point is to just run whatever pace that day is around 160-165 (for marathon pace).

 Posted by at 9:00 am

Speed Work

 2011 Boston Marathon Training  Comments Off on Speed Work
Nov 242010

Ok for this workout I ran each lap for 2.5 minutes with a 1 minute walk break.  I was supposed to run slightly faster than marathon pace.  I think I got a tad carried away and ran too fast (for me) again considering that my current marathon pace is 11:30 (explained here).   It looks like I am averaging 9:20- 9: 40 pace with one interval actually 8:20.  Why do I think I ran too fast?  Because my heart rate was hitting 172 on each interval.  Now interestingly it was only on the 8:20 pace interval that I actually got winded. Also, according to the charts I ran the majority of the 5 miles in the aerobic threshhold zone, which would not be sustainable in a marathon.  Well the idea of the workout was that it will help train my body to run faster.  Hopefully these speed workouts will be helpful there.  I think it is encouraging that I was running the 9:40 pace without much issue.  It makes me wonder if that if a 10:00 pace could be sustainable and keep my heart rate under 165 and in the aerobic zone.  I think more experimention is needed.

Workout Link

 Posted by at 2:22 pm

Week 4 recap

 2011 Boston Marathon Training  Comments Off on Week 4 recap
Nov 232010

I finished week 4 of my 26 week training schedule with a total of 22 miles this week including the 9.5 mile long run.  I did have some dark moments in the middle of my long run when I was doubting myself and my ability to be able to really do this.  I kept thinking to myself “how can I hope to complete a marathon if running 9 miles is this hard”.  But after the fact, and with some perspective I realize that was just fatigue talking.  The fact is 4 weeks ago a 5 mile run was out of my reach and now I run that twice a week without even thinking about it.  This brings the total to 73 miles run since I started training 4 weeks ago.  By my estimate I will run 630 miles before the marathon in April, so I have barely just begin!

9.5 mile long run

 2011 Boston Marathon Training  Comments Off on 9.5 mile long run
Nov 212010

Brutal.  Ok I just have to say that.  It was a deeply unpleasent experience.  I left a few minutes before dawn.  Conditions were clear and 38 degrees.  I knew I was in trouble 2 miles in when I was already feeling tired.  I had switched to intervals of run 4 min, walk 1 min since all the recommendations is to walk a min.  I hated it.   By mile 5 I was pretty miserable and at some point I switched back to my normal 3 min run, 30 second walk.  I think for some reason the 1 min walking is too long, very hard to get moving again.  I need to do some research to see if 30 seconds will be enough to reduce lactic acid buildup.  I think all the miles this week wore me down.  I am very glad next week is a cutback week.  At mile 8 I was feeling a lot of discomfort in my left foot and shin and my right calf.  I stopped and stretched thoroughly for 5 minutes and then continued.  That made a huge difference.

My heart rate distribution shows most of the run was spent in the aerobic zone, but roughly 20 percent was in the aerobic threshhold zone, which means I was probably going too fast for part of the long run.  Sheesh, the one rule for long runs is “don’t run too fast” and I can’t even get that right!

Workout link

Marathon Pace Run

 2011 Boston Marathon Training  Comments Off on Marathon Pace Run
Nov 192010

Today’s run was 5 miles at marathon pace taking walk breaks.  I experimented in the first half by running 5 minutes with a 30 second break.  I started to feel sluggish and switched to 3 minutes running with 30 second walk breaks.  Interestingly I ran the first half with an overall pace (including walk breaks) of 11:25 and the second half at 11:05.  I can tell I sped up the running parts in the last half and my HR reflects is at an average of 165.  I still don’t know if 165 will be ok.   If that is indeed over 80 percent of my max then that will not be sustainable for the whole marathon.

My running pace is around 10:20 – 10:30 right now, with the overall pace of 11:05 reflecting the walk breaks.  I am still very unhappy with the running speed, but hopefully that will improve with time.  I am also still not sure what the optimal run/walk ratio is.  I will be expereimenting with that quite a bit in the future.

Link to the actual workout is here

 Posted by at 9:39 pm

8 mile long run

 2011 Boston Marathon Training  Comments Off on 8 mile long run
Nov 142010

The third week scheduled called for an 8 mile long run.  I took the 7 mile route and added a half mile out and back down fletcher road. As per the schedule I ran this using a walk run ratio of 3 min run and 30 second walk.  I was supposed to run at marathon pace + 2 minutes, but in the end I ran faster than that, which is not good.  Spent 21 percent of my time in the aerobic threshhold zone over 165.  So my average pace, including walk breaks was 12:11.  Considering that my overall marathon goal pace is 11:45 I was obviously moving a bit too fast since this is supposed to be an long slow easy run.

Workout link

 Posted by at 6:12 pm


 2011 Boston Marathon Training  Comments Off on Healing
Nov 072010

I spent the week recovering from my foot injury.  Based on recommendations this is what I did:

  • Rest: No running
  • Ice: Icing the foot for 20 minutes at a time
  • Compression:  Picked up an ankle compression sleeve from Walgreens
  • Elevation:  Portion of each evening with foot on a cushion

In addition I ordered a stability disk from Amazon :Isokinetics Deluxe Balance Board.  I also went to Marathon Sports in Melrose and it was their analysis that my Brooks shoe had too much structure for my feet.  They put me in a Saucony shoe that I absolutely love.  I feel no pain when walking in it.

My foot is feel is feeling much better 7 days after I injured it.

 Posted by at 9:28 am


 2011 Boston Marathon Training  Comments Off on Ouch!
Nov 022010

I should have known that I would not escape from my first long run without a pain or two, but I have to admit I am a tad worried.  About 3 hours after I finished I started feeling a pain on the middle-bottom-left of my left foot.  Now I am limping around wincing on every step.  Apparently this is where the Peroneus tendon attaches to the foot.  Of course I googled the heck out of this and have read lots of posts from runners all over the world about this specific issue.  This is very common for runners who run a lot on treadmills who then start road running.  Or runners who start running trails after only runnnig on roads.  This is cause when the stability muscles of the leg and foot become strained.  The recommendation is to let it heal and then add some stability exercises to your daily regime.

 Posted by at 9:21 am

7 Mile Long Run

 2011 Boston Marathon Training  Comments Off on 7 Mile Long Run
Oct 302010

Today was my first “long run”.  When training marathons and half-marathons you have one “long run” a week, which increases in distance over the course of your training.  I will have a separate post on that.  This run was scheduled to be 7 miles and I laid out the course in advance using Training Peaks interactive route maker.

As you can see from the detail at the left I looped into town and back over the course.  I ran in intervals of 3 minute run / 30 second walk.  The training program calls for long runs to be marathon pace + 2 minutes.  Since I really don’t know what my marathon pace is yet I just ran as slow as I could.  The result was an overall pace of 12:42 including the walk breaks.  Since my 3 and 5 mile runs have usually been around 10:50 pace perhaps this is right on target.  My HR was 155, but I am sure that was effected by the times spent walking.  It looks like I was mostly around 162.  I don’t know yet if that is good or bad.

 Posted by at 11:37 am