Obviously no two training cycles are going to be the same but there were a few major differences between last year and this year. To be honest, I'm still scratching my head as to how this year's training somehow led to such a great race.
Last Year: Peak mileage weeks at 60-65 mpw
This Year: Peak mileage weeks at 40-45 mpw
I prefer to run higher mileage, but unfortunately a series of injuries kept me at low mileage this time around.
Lake Park is one of my favorite MKE spots to log miles
Last Year: Five 20-22 mile runs within the marathon training cycle
This Year: Three 20-22 mile runs within the marathon training cycle
Three 20-22 mile runs is sufficient but my confidence is higher when I can log more long runs.
Last Year: Weekly speedwork
This Year: No speedwork til the month before the race
I love speedwork but I tend to peak quickly so too much early on in a cycle is a recipe for burnout. It's too hard to maintain peak fitness for an entire marathon training cycle.
As much as I love the track, I have to run on it sparingly during marathon training
Last Year: Two full-effort half marathons in September
This Year: No races in September
This one is just common sense. Don't get greedy the month before the big event. Or you will risk ending up with an injury that will ruin your race plans.
Last Year: Cut back on strength training to fit in miles
This Year: 2-3 strength training sessions weekly
Cutting back on strength training meant losing strength. A key factor in getting injured during last year's second September half marathon.
Dumbbells are my friend
Last Year: 10 pounds lighter
This Year: Umm ... 10 pounds heavier
No one likes to be put on a diet, but weight is something that is 100 percent controllable. I once read every 10 pounds lost equals a savings of 20 seconds per mile. Over a 5k, that's about one minute, a 10k about two minutes, and so on.
My takeaways for the next marathon training cycle:
Increase mileage again to 60-65 mpw but keep doing strength training. No racing the month before the marathon. Fast track repeats should be saved til the end of the training cycle to avoid peaking too early. Lose 10 pounds.
This should be easy, right? ;)
Because I like asking questions:
- What are a few differences you've noticed in your own training between cycles?
- What is your ideal weekly mileage?
- Speedwork - Do you do it throughout a training cycle or just use it to sharpen at the end?
- Would you or have you lost weight specifically for running performance?
Tell me everything and more!