Thursday, June 25, 2009

Summer Marathons are in Season!!!

The summer has started and so brings a new string of marathons!!! Summer running sounded great back in the winter when bulky gloves and multiple layers were necessary, but now that heat, humidity, and VERY early morning (or very late night) runs can get a little annoying. I'm still a few weeks off from my next marathon so I wanted to dive a little into summer marathon training, upcoming races and injury prevention!

The summer months are difficult to schedule races due to the heat and humidity, but thanks to Marathon Guide and to the Marathon Maniacs Race Calendar, I think I've found a few that are manageable and in states I haven't completed yet! For my full schedule please go to the "Upcoming races" link above. Currently I have planned for about 2 races per month for the next 4 months. Ideally, I would like to space them out so I have 2-3 weeks between races.

After the string of marathons in the past month, I'm back on a regular training schedule. I'm going to continue to do 1 day of speed, 1 day of hills, 1 day of race-pace, and 1 "long run." I've also started toward my Post-50 marathon, goal: Triathlon training! Well, I've started to build a base so that when I DO decide to start training it isn't too hard. I've begun a beginner program for swimming that has me in the pool 3 days a week! I will also be taking 1 day completely off from working out-- HEAVENS NO! Ok, well I'll TRY and take a day off here and there!

Speed: Yasso 800's. This is my favorite type of speed work for distance running. The idea behind Yasso 800's is to get your target marathon pace through this mathematically-base speed work plan. Essentially you do 800 meters at your target marathon pace turned into minutes and seconds. So, if my target is 3 hours and 40 minutes, my target pace for my Yassos will be 3 Minutes and 40 seconds. I started doing these by taking 10 seconds off so that's what I still do. You then jog for that same length of time (obviously not going quite the 800 meters). If you can do 10 sets of these, you should be able to do a marathon at the targeted pace! If you've done these are would like to try them let me know how it goes! I've never worked up to 10 before but I'm planning on it before my August marathons.

Status: I was up to 7 before my string of marathon last month. I'm back up to 6. I'll up 1 a week, except marathon weeks.

Hills: I run on Wednesdays and some of my long runs with the local Cincinnati Galloway Group! Wednesdays for this group have been hill repeats. I'm pretty sure this is not ACTUALLY part of the program, but it definitely helps build hill tolerance-- especially for long graded hills. You start at the base of a long hill (preferably on a non-busy street) and you do sets of hill runs at your 5K-10K pace. A "Set" consists of 3 x 30 seconds up the hill with 1 minute job back down between. Followed by 1 X 60 seconds with a 2 minute jog. So it will look like this...
  • 30 Seconds up (5k-10k pace)
  • 60 Seconds down (jog)
  • Repeat 2 MORE times then...
  • 60 Seconds up (5k-10k pace)
  • 2 minutes down (jog)

Status: We're up to 8 sets (~ 6.5 miles with a moderate warm up before)! We get to 10 and move onto tempo runs, but I think I'll start alternating between hills and speed work when we stop doing them as a group.

Long Runs: I hope to have my marathons scheduled so I'll have to do very few non-race long runs. But, in between races I like to do 1, 13-18 mile run, depending on how much time I have between. If I have less than 3 weeks the long run is unnecessary.

I'll follow up tomorrow with a post on injury prevention!

(Note: No Runners- or stars- were hurt in the creation of this post)

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