26 Before 26, Running

Marathon Training, Week Seven

Matt and I made a big decision this last week about our marathon training: we decided, after much stewing and deliberation and advice-seeking, to switch up training programs. Thus far, we’ve been on a training program that called for running 6 days a week, with the shorter runs on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, mid-length runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and long runs on Saturdays. While this training plan worked great at first, we’ve been running into problems these last two weeks especially–Matt’s knees have been giving him serious problems, and my stomach has been giving me grief more days than not, which has made me miss more than a couple days these past few weeks.

Since the beginning of our marathon training, we’ve heard snippets here and there about a three-day-a-week training program, which a lot of studies have proven to be just as successful (if not more so) than an everyday running program. So, this week, we decided to make the switch.

We’re hoping this decision doesn’t come back to bite us in the figurative butt.

The new program has us running Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. On Tuesdays, we’ll do speed sprints for short distances, on Thursday, we’ll do a mid-length tempo run at the speed we want to run for the marathon, and Saturdays, we’ll do our long runs (at a slightly slower pace than tempo).

And you know what? I’ve felt GREAT this week–my runs have been SO much easier, I haven’t had any problems with my breathing or getting sideaches (which I ALWAYS struggled with before), and on my 12-mile run this last Saturday, I felt amazing: like I was finally feeling like “a runner.” And I know it’s too early to tell whether we did the right thing or not, but I’m feeling really good about this decision. I think that come race day, we’ll be very glad we switched.

High Point: How easy all my runs felt this week–I didn’t do The Stall before going out the door like I usually do, my body wasn’t achy and sore at the beginning of each run, and I just felt like I could go farther each time, and faster.

Low Point: You know? I really can’t think of one. I’ve had a truly excellent week of training. It’s about time!

Number of Miles Run: 28

Avg. Time Per Mile: just under 10 minutes

Question for the Runners Out There: Since this new training program involves cross training, what would you all recommend that I do on my non-running days?

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