Is it weird that writing “Boston Marathon Training” still gives me chills? I have to keep reminding myself this is the actual marathon I’m training for. It’s unreal and I don’t think I have ever been so excited for a race.
This excitement made me feel SO ready for week one. I felt like I could have jumped into a 40 mile week with two speed workouts. My legs were ready. But I also have anxiety about getting injured during a winter marathon training cycle again. I cannot afford to derail my training or risk not making it to the start line of my dream race, so I decided I shouldn’t follow the exact same plan as I did last year. I’m still training with the Fleet Feet Boston 365 group, but I also got a coach for the first time in my life.
I’m excited to work with someone and have a plan that is so personalized for me. And week one caught me by surprise when I saw so many slow runs, a few run/walks, and no speed work in my TrainingPeaks. To be honest, my excitement faded a little bit. I don’t get excited for 11 minute pace runs on a treadmill. But I told myself he knows best and I needed to ease in.
“Ease in” and “relax” have been my mantras for these first couple of weeks. If my number one goal is to not get injured, then I know I need to be reeled in. And this is exactly why I got a coach.
I also have my PR goal in my head. I am working to improve my time, but that isn’t the number one priority either. I’m learning how to train smarter by figuring out what truly works for me (and I’m hoping that makes me faster).
Here’s what week week one and two looked like:
January 1st – January 7th: 27.39 miles
Monday and Tuesday were both easy paced treadmill runs. (4 miles, 2.50 miles) Chicago has been bitterly cold and dark when I wake up and when I leave work, so running outside on weekdays hasn’t been ideal. Wednesday I had a strength workout with my trainer – no speed workout. I’ve been loving focusing on strength work more in the past few months and I want it to continue throughout Boston training.
Thursday was an 1 hour+ of treadmill run/walking (7.89 miles total) and Friday was an easy 30 minutes (3 miles) on the treadmill after work. Saturday was my first long run back in a balmy 1 degree. I had to get outside after being cooped up all week. I covered 10 miles at 8:33 average pace and felt relaxed. I was a little nervous about the cold, but the miles went by quickly and I was grateful to see the sun. I had a relaxing day after my run and got to bed early as part of my recovery. Sunday is my dedicated recovery day. For week one, I chose to double up on yoga classes: AM & PM. It was my ideal Sunday and the perfect ending to the first week!
January 8th – January 14th: 35.06 miles
Week two was higher mileage with a little speed work thrown in. I liked the looks of week two more than one. Monday was a treadmill incline workout (5.78 miles). I don’t love the treadmill, but it is a nice way to get some extra hill work in. Tuesday I ran an easy 4.50 miles outside before my strength session with my trainer – hit a new deadlift PR which felt really good.
Mid-week I got to bring some speed back to my legs after what felt like forever. I ran 2.5 easy miles on my lunch break Wednesday and my mini tempo workout in the evening (6.78 miles). My tempo pushes were around 7:40 pace and they felt super comfortable. It was just nice to be moving fast again. Thursday was a double cross training day: hot yoga in the morning, 45 minute cycling class in the evening. I brought friends to both and had a great day. I really love yoga and cycling classes almost as much as I love running, so I’m grateful to have scheduled time for both of them.
Friday I had 40 easy minutes on the plan, so I tackled the wind and snow flurries outside for 4.50 miles before heading to a hot yoga class in the evening. I have added in more yoga classes lately and I think it’s part of the reason I have been feeling so relaxed. This was a great way to wind down before another cold cold Saturday long run. I had 1 hour and 30 minutes for Saturday at an easy pace. This meant not running with my friends, which is really hard for me, but I know I made the right decision. And Megan did hang back to run my last 5 miles with me, which was nice. I held an 8:33 average pace and never felt like I was moving very fast. The 6 degrees felt way warmer than the 1 degree from the previous week and it was sunny again, so it was a good run. 11 miles total and another tough winter day successfully completed. Sunday I took a complete rest day. It was my first complete rest day in over two weeks and I felt like I needed it. I like to do yoga on Sunday, but I was signed up for a Monday class too, so I didn’t mind not doing much of anything this day.
I ended week two feeling content and happy with how my body handled the uptick in mileage. I worked harder and covered more ground, but I also didn’t feel very tired or sore like I can during marathon training. I think this plan is going to work for me. I’m trusting the process.
Mileage will keep increasing with week 3!
Congrats on your BQ~! I definitely had the same feeling when training for my first Boston. The little moments will add excitement through training. When the release the jacket colors, your runners packet comes in the mail, when you receive your corral and wave assignments. Good luck on your journey, don’t forget to enjoy the process.