Marathon Training Update: Walk breaks during long runs… Beneficial or Not?

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Yesterday, I did my 20 miler which I ended short at 18 miles.

My mental strategy was to break this 20 miler into 4 five milers. I was going to sip water every 2 miles, and take water and sports beans every 5 miles.

This is how it all went down…

I stuck with the plan and took my first sips of water at mile 2. At mile 5, I was feeling so good I skipped the water and beans until mile 6. At mile 9, I was still feeling good, but came to the end of the trail so had to turn around.

Mile 10 felt good…

Mile 11 felt good…

Mile 12 felt good…

Hitting the Wall

At mile 13, I mentally lost it… I felt really dehydrated. My mouth was sooo dry. I didn’t put ice in my camel back so my water went warm. No matter how many sips of water I took, my mouth still¬†stayed dry. My stomach also started to feel bad, which is another sign of dehydration.

Walking during Marathon Training

I remember reading in my training plan, that it is okay to walk if you need to, and sometimes walking is beneficial. This is training, practice for the real deal. It is about getting the miles in. So I decided to walk a little to see if that would help. I have decided that walking is not a good idea for me because once I started walking it was hard to start running again. I really needed that second wind. I really needed that runner’s high, that you only get from keeping a consistent running rhythm. But walking took away the chance to be consistent, get a second wind, and runner’s high.

So now I know that walking doesn’t work for me… No walk breaks during the marathon unless I’m at a water station. By walking I also realized that physically, my lung capacity is good, but what felt tired were my feet. I find that very interesting!!! Maybe my Newton shoes work great for me at the half marathon distance, but I need something more for the full marathon distance. However, because I have been training in them all this time, I’m not going to switch now. I mainly have a few blisters on my left foot. I’ve also noticed my recovery time in between long runs is longer.

I am not the type to get disappointed when a long run goes bad. Bad long runs are great leaning experiences. And I am excited I have another 18 miler under my belt.

What I have Learned

1) Eat before I hit the trail… Something I forgot to mention was that I didn’t eat much before going out there. This caused lack of energy and stomach pain. I usually eat a bagel with peanut butter. A good combo of carbs and protein normally always works well. What doesn’t work well, is any type of Cliff bar or energy bars, these have too much fiber which causes really bad stomach problems.

2) I didn’t refuel properly. Water was warm, not enough sports beans consumed. This caused dehydration, which caused dry mouth and stomach pain.

3) Started walking and couldn’t comfortably start running again. This made me loose my running rhythm and I never got my second wind, never got my runner’s high in my second half of my long run. I hit the wall and could not recover.

4) I love my Newton shoes but maybe they are best for half marathons and not full marathons. My feet at hurting after 15 miles and my recovery time has become longer. However, my feet hurting is mainly blisters on my lift foot, which is minor, so I still am planning on continuing my training in them and they will be my marathon race shoes too.

5) Bad music. I desperately need to find some better songs for my running play list. My music is really old, and it bores me. I need music when training by totally solo. My music saves me, and helps me push through during those last miles.

Game Plan

I have 4-5 more weeks to prepare for MCM. I am going to really focus these last few weeks. This is what I need to do…

  • I need to make sure I fit in all of my weekly runs. Shorter runs are just as important then long runs. Running shorter faster runs feel amazing. I ran a really speedy 4 miler tonight. It felt amazing.
  • I need to squeeze in those weight lifting sessions. The stronger I am, the better I run.
  • I need to make sure I am eating properly in order to refuel and have the energy I need. I need to meal prep so I have food on hand, and I don’t resort to eating unhealthy, because I am desperate.
  • I need to drink more water. Hydration is key.

Hopefully, practice makes perfect…

Questions for You…

  1. Anyone have any other marathon training tips?
  2. Do you think walking during long runs is beneficial? It didn’t work for me… does it work for you?
  3. What is on your running playlist?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

Marathon Training Update: Taper week: 12-13 miler

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Fall has arrived!

Hopefully it is here to stay…

Marathon Update

This last week was a taper week for me. So my long run this week was between 12-13 miles. As you know, from my previous post, because of the 90 degree weather, earlier in the week, I decided to lift weights instead of run! Boy was I glad I made that decision. With a fresh pair of shoes and the rest from running, I felt strong and bouncy on my feet! I ended up having a very well paced 12.68 miles and finished right under 2 hours.

The only thing that has disappointed me is that this weekend would have been perfect to run a half marathon. The Navy 13.1 was this weekend, but I missed it. It doesn’t look like I will be racing at all before this Marathon.

Over all this was a great weekend to run and I had a very successful long run. All this training is paying off because I can confidently say, 12-13 miles now feels easy. During every marathon training season, when I can say, “12- 13 miles now feels easy,” it is then that I surely know my training is right on track.

The sun was shining. The air was crisp. The views were spectacular. There were plenty of other runners on the trail to keep me company. It was the ideal running conditions and a great long run. Hopefully my 20 miler next week will be just as good!

How are your long runs been?When do you start to feel confident about your training?

Back in the Gym… and running my 18 miler!

Hey Lovelies…

I’m ready for fall… so ready!

While I was laying on the beach in Martha’s Vineyard, the sun was kissing my skin, and I knew I was going to miss it. Laying on the beach felt so good, that I became sad summer was coming to an end. But this week, mid September, a heat wave snuck up on us in the DC area – it is humid and 90. Now I am ready. No more heat. Let fall come soon, delivering us crisp cool air.

MARATHON TRAINING: 

20130913-120840.jpgWhen it comes to Marathon training, I ran my 18 miler last friday. I was blessed with 70 degree weather and was able to run my 18 miler in right under 3 hours! I am very pleased with that timing. Overall felt really good.

STRENGTH TRAINING: 

The only thing is that for the last two weeks I have not been able to get to the gym. For one whole week I was at Martha’s Vineyard running around the island. I was able to lift one time while I was there, but had limited equipment. At one point, I used a picnic table bench to do incline push ups.

It is always hard for me to get back to my regular routine when coming home from vacation. The day after I got home I ran a 12.5 mile long run. For the rest of the week I did my marathon training runs, but having an overwhelming work week, made it impossible to squeeze in some strength training.

All of this running, and two weeks off of disciplined strength training has caused me to loose some muscle, mainly in my upper body. No one else has really noticed because it is only a small amount of loss, but I have noticed.20130913-122142.jpg

It is funny how quickly you can loose muscle definition. However, it is also interesting with the right strength training/ nutrition and supplement plan, how quick you can see gains. 

Also, in phase 1 of the Livefit trainer, Jamie Eason wants you to totally eliminate cardio/running from your workout routine. She claims that cardio/running leans you out and eats away at your muscles.  Phase 1 is a muscle building phase, not a fat burning phase.  I now totally get what she is saying. From my own experiences, after omitting strength training for two full weeks and only running, I have some slight muscle loss.

Back to the Gym:

Because of the heat wave this week, I decided not to torture myself. I am on a taper week for my marathon training. So instead of running in the blistering heat, I decided to hit the gym for some weight lifting sessions. I went all out. I went hard core. It felt good. My body is sore, but it is a good sore.

Another awesome thing, is that my running/workout buddy, L, is pregnant! So she will not be running the Marathon with me, however, after 3 months of not working out together she is back!!! WooHOO!! She is now weight lifting right by my side, and doing some mild cardio. It is fun to have a buddy with me again at the gym. She is going to be one fit strong mom.

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L, was feeling tired, and needed to find her energy again. After coming home from my Martha’s Vineyard vacation I was well rested, but, as the week went on, I woke up really tired too. My weekend was super busy, with wedding hair, art festivals, meal prepping, and my 18 miler, so starting this week at the salon was tiring. However, hitting the gym and doing some serious strength training actually made my endorphins kick in, and I became alive again.

I also ordered a new protein powder! I can’t wait to try it. I’ll write a review on it tomorrow.

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Questions for You…

  1. What protein powder do you like?
  2. Do how is your marathon training going?
  3. Have you struggled with fitting other forms of exercising during your marathon training?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

Good Reads, Good Runs, Good Writes in Martha’s Vineyard

“One Element of what you will learn later is how important and powerful a role visualization plays in performance. The mind follows the body and, in turn, performance follows the mind.”- Eric Orton/

So I have arrived in Martha’s Vineyard!

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I am planning on running and blogging everyday I am here! I also just started a new book.

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And although I will be updating you on this book I still will be quoting Scott Jurek’s, Eat and Run! ‚̧ He’s my favorite.

Marathon Training Update: Long runs.

“We focus on something external to motivate us, but we need to remember that it’s the process of reaching for the prize, not the prize itself- that can bring us peace and joy.”- Scott Jurek

I believe in the words above.

Because of this, it is hard for me to understand people who, hardly train for races, or hate the training process.

Don’t get me wrong, I love running the race. But I also love having a disciplined training plan to keep me on track. For me, one of the reasons I sign up for a race, is to set a goal, that I need to train for. ¬†My training runs, which are sometimes extremely difficult, brings me peace and joy.

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The picture above is after I had finished my midweek 7 miler. It was fast and easy. As you can see, the sun was shining and my hair was blowing in the wind. Although, the beginning of the summer was hot and humid, which slowed me down and made me very discouraged, now the weather has cooled down significantly. I love running on beautiful days. Good weather is motivation enough to lace up my running shoes.
20130819-165339.jpgLONG RUN: Saturday, 8/17/13

Through out my marathon training, I have been doing my long runs on Friday mornings. I don’t work Friday or Saturday, so by doing my long run on Friday, I am able to get it done and have the rest of my weekend free.

However, last weekend, I did my long run on Saturday morning and I liked it 1 million times better. The trails around my house always have traffic, but on Friday, it is much less crowded. Actually, sometimes I feel very lonely out there – it is so quiet. ¬†On Saturday, I didn’t feel alone. Instead, I was surrounded with tons of other runners, running groups, walkers, cyclists. It felt good to be running among other runners that were obviously training for marathons, and in it for the long run, just like me. On Friday, I feel lonely, bored, and really rely on my upbeat music. But on Saturday, I use the other runners on the trail to keep me motivated. The energy is electrifying. My pace was right on target.

Again I was blessed with gorgeous weather, and had an amazing 15 miler. 

1184784_10101290079612166_1249870050_n-1Today, Friday, 8/23/13

Because I am heading up north tomorrow morning, I decided to squeeze my long run in today. I am on a taper week so my long run was 13 miles. I am happy to say, 13 miles felt pretty comfortable, even in the rain. In the above picture, I tried to capture how wet it was – you can see rain drops on my shoulders.

It started sprinkling three miles into my run. It started pouring at the 6 mile mark. Because of the rain, this Friday, the trail was even more empty than usual, however there were still a few other runners out there – we smiled when we passed each other.

Minus the blister on my toe, because my socks got soaked. I am pretty happy with this run. My pace was right on target, and I was blessed again with cooler weather.

Questions for You..

  1. How is your marathon training going?
  2. Do you enjoy training?
  3. Do you like long runs?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

Transformation Tuesday! Lets talk about progress and balance.

It is running season…

Which means, most runners are training for some sort of fall race, from 5K to 26.2, whichever distance it may be, us runners are out there running.

And although, running is our main priority right now, our focus… some of us runners start to worry…

I want to weight lift, but I need to run…

I want to do yoga, but I should run…

I want to ride my bike, but I gotta get out there and run…

Recently, I have been receiving tons of e-mails regarding how to balance a disciplined running plan and fit in weight lifting, yoga, etc.

Well let me tell you this…

Cross training is important.

Strength training is important.

Yoga/ stretching is important. 

I started running 6 years ago. I became so passionate about running that all I did was run. During the colder winter months after my fall marathon I picked up Bikram yoga. I loved it and became a regular, but still I ran.

When I trained for my first marathon, I followed my training plan religiously – I never missed a run. When I trained for my 2nd marathon, I did exactly the same thing, sometimes I even ran on the day that called for cross training.

However, after spending 9 months in 2012, running in a natural running shoe (newton), focussing on running form, in February 2013, I started weight lifting. I wanted to get stronger to improve my running, and I did. I got stronger, I improved my running. It was shocking I was running a little less, but I was running better than ever.

I am now running faster and further. The combination of being stronger and running with a more efficient stride/form, allows me to run faster, further, with less effort.

My point is you do not have to run every day to be a great runner. Running everyday, could actually make your running suffer, from burn out or injury. It is so important to incorporate strength training, cross training, and stretching in the mix. The stronger you are the less injury prone you will be, and the more your running will improve.

So to answer the question … How do you balance a disciplined running plan and strength training, cross training, stretching. How do you do it all?

It depends on your fitness level, comfort level.

Rookie: If this is your first race (first full marathon, first half marathon, etc.) follow your running training plan. Focus on your running. Stretch after your runs. Rest on your rest days. Cross train once a week. Strength train once a week.

Veteran: If this is your second, third, tenth, time racing this distance, then it is okay to use your training plan as a guideline. At this point, you can tweak and customize you plan. This marathon training season, I have been lifting weights on days when I run short and easy. I always do leg day early in the week after my long run has already been completed.

I also advise taking tons of photos to record your journey as an athlete. This way you can keep track of your progress visually.  Take advantage of photography. We have cameras on our phones, and we are lucky we have technology at our fingertips.

With that being said…

Because it is tuesday, I thought it would be the perfect time to honor Transformation Tuesday. So I am posting some progress pics, in hopes to inspire and motivate.

image-1The above photo was taken in March 2013. The bottom photo was taken in August 2013.

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Arms are seeing some major gains! This photo was taken in August 2013.

Anyway I hope these photos inspire and prove to you that you can balance both training plans. And that in the end being stronger is just going to enhance your overall fitness level.

Questions for You…

  1. How do you balance your training plans?
  2. Do you sometimes do two-a-days?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

 

Marathon Training in a new neighborhood!

“I find the best way to get your mojo back is to loose the technology, forget results, and run free… Run a trail you have never run before…” ¬†– Scott Jurek

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Today, fall decided to make a guest appearance.

So… out of boredom, I randomly decided to run in a different neighborhood.

There is a sweet spot in Alexandria, where the hills are steep and the trees create canopies over the paved road.

It is paradise for a runner.

My marathon training plan advised me to run four miles.

So four miles is what I ran.

I ran fast.

It felt easy.

I thought the clouds were going to pour rain, but they didn’t.

Instead a breeze kept me cool.

I like the taste of fall.

© 2013 sweatdaily

While I ran my 15 miler, Scott Jurek runs the Leadville Trail 100…

Social Media is an incredible thing.

It is way more than just posting photos and connecting with friends, it is the fastest source of information.

I have never watched or followed an ultra marathoner before. The opportunity was just never available. But because of Social Media I am able to follow Scott Jurek run the Leadville Trail, by receiving updates from his Facebook and Instagram page in my news feed. Just like following your favorite baseball team, checking the score. I was excited to see how Scott Jurek was doing during his race. It was also quite funny to read all of the comments people posted.

All photos were found on facebook.

All comments are from people posting them in referral to the photo.

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Good morning! Have a great day all Leadville Trail 100 runners! Mt Elbert and Mt Massive in the distance around mile 25.

“Go Jurker!”

“Man of the hour is Vegan Powered!”

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Leaving the halfway point, Winfield aid station, in 5th. Hal Koerner taking Scott back over Hope Pass, he’s in good hands!

“Go, Scott! Plant power!”

“Go scott! You’re my plant based runner hero! U paced our group in Mardi Gras marathon! Loved it!”

“Awesome! Do you have pasties? Also, is the dude behind you a runner? In sandals?”
“What’s with the blue nipples?”
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Refueling at Treeline in 4th, swapping pacers, running strong!

Go you crazy vegan!”

“where is Dustball??

Only three more runners to pick off!”

I doubt the citizens of Leadville would agree, but this should be televised!”

So today, while I was out on the trail, running my 15 mile training run, Scott Jurek was busy running the Leadville Trail 100.

He is now in 4th place. Still running strong.

If your not following Scott Jurek on Facebook yet, you totally should… and on Instagram.

Who is your running idol? Do you follow them on Social Media?

© 2013 sweatdaily

Marathon Training Update: My Garmin has become Running Buddy.

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I love my Garmin!! This Garmin has been the best present my boyfriend has ever bought me.  I have the Forerunner 50 Рwhich is the oldest of all the Garmins. Sooo old that most people have never heard of it. This watch has been with me for all of my training runs and races for the last 5 years. It tracks my pace, distance, cadence, heart rate, and calories burned. But what I find most amazing about using a Garmin watch is that you get to also use the  Garmin Connect Calender.

With this feature, I am able to analyze all of my current runs, but I also get to look back on all of the runs I have ever recorded. This has been extremely helpful. The last time I ran the Marine Corps Marathon was in 2010. During this training, when I have felt unsure about my progress, I am able to go back to 2010 with the click of a button and compare my runs.

“It had gotten to hot even for the desert rat, Rick Miller, so Dusty joined me and ran me up the next 10 miles. “You da man, Yeah brotha’, that’s how you do it, Jurker, hell yeah!” the Dust Ball hollered.”

The above quote is from the book Eat and Run, by Scott Jurek. Scott Jurek wouldn’t be the runner he is today, with out his best friend Dusty. The relationship between Dusty and Scott is by far my favorite part of the book. Dusty was there by Scott’s side, through almost all of his ultra runs. And although I wish I had a Dusty, the reality is… I don’t, so my Garmin has become my running buddy.

So far during this marathon training season, I have been running solo.  Sometimes when you are running by yourself it is hard to judge if you are running your best, especially considering that last year and up to this point, I have had a running buddy. However, in 2010 I ran every training run by myself, and ended up having a very successful marathon.

I did it then, I can do it now.

Questions for You…

  1. Do you run with a Garmin? If not what do you use to record your runs?
  2. Do you have a running buddy? or do you prefer to run solo?
  3. Have you trained for a race by yourself?

© 2013 sweatdaily

Marathon Training Update (Week 7)

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Today was a raining, overcast, breezy, 75 degree day.

I feel like I am the weather man, reporting the weather on every blog post. But ever since I became a runner, I have become obsessed with the weather, and even more so now that I am in Marathon training mode.

Because it was raining hard when I woke up I started my work out by weight lifting at the gym. I did arms and abs. Once the rain stopped a little, I headed outside to hit the trail. It was spectacular today for a runner. I¬†can’t believe it is August and I was comfortable running in pants. I ran along the MVT trail, around 10:30 am. No one was out there. I had the whole rainy trail to myself. ¬†I kept my pace consistent between a 9:00 and 9:30 min/mile. My training plan called for 4 miles, so I stuck to that.

Tomorrow is between 7-8 miles. I’ll keep you updated. ūüėČ

How is your training going? Hope you are doing well!!

© 2013 sweatdaily