Chasing Boston (part 3 – July training recap)

Screenshot (19)If you’re not a runner, you’ll most likely find this post really boring. Go ahead and skip right over it – I won’t mind.

Fact is, you may this post boring even if you are a runner. Other people’s training logs are not exactly scintillating reading. It can be a little bit interesting to peek at the training of an elite runner, if only to marvel at their mileage and the grueling workouts they sustain. And it can be interesting, in a perverse way, to see the training of someone who’s a complete slacker. Their 20-mile weeks allow you to feel quietly superior* as you shake your head and cluck your tongue over the world of pain that awaits them.

I fall in neither category: I’m just a middle-aged woman who’d like to run Boston as an age-grouper. It doesn’t get more boring than that.

But, you know, training for a marathon is itself kind of boring and obsessive. So it would be unrealistic and even a bit dishonest to blog about trying to qualify for Boston without including at least some boring, obsessive training posts. I’ll try to keep them brief, as monthly summaries. (For purposes of comparison, I’ve included tallies from my 2014 training log as well.)

Total mileage for the month:  237 (vs. 211 last year). I’ve put total mileage first, because in my experience, it’s the single most important element of marathon training.

Advantage: 2015

Long runs: three 14-milers, one 10-miler (should have been 12, but social obligations intervened), and one 13-miler (this should really have been in August’s tally, but I pulled it forward from the weekend to accommodate family travel and Katie’s move back to Chicago). Last July I did two 14-milers, one 12-miler, and one 11-miler.

Advantage: 2015

Workouts: the big difference this year, thanks to PPTC’s marathon training group. Our July sessions consisted of 12×400 (which for me averaged 1:43, slightly faster than my current 5K pace), 8×800 (averaging 3:35), 3×1200 plus 2×800 (the 1200s in 5:10, 800s under 3:30; this actually should have been 4×1200, but after an emergency bathroom break forced me to convert one to an 800 to stay with the group, I ran an additional 800 as penance). I’ve also done weekly tempo runs at or slightly under marathon goal pace, with the MP portion increasing from 4 to 7 miles.

Last year, training solo, my one and only speed workout consisted of 6×400 in about 1:41. I bailed at that point; not just for the session, not just for the month, but for the entire season. Speedwork isn’t as important as strength for the marathon, I told myself. My races can be my speedwork, I rationalized. Better to focus on longer “strength” intervals and marathon pace runs, I concluded. Yeah, right. In my defense, I did keep up with the marathon pace work, though my longest MP tempo was 6 miles.

Advantage: 2015

Races: two low-key 5Ks in 23:08 and 22:45. Neither were all-out efforts (yes, I know that is a lame excuse).

Last year, I ran the same two 5Ks (part of an every-other-week series hosted by my club) in 22:28 and 22:27. I would probably have claimed that I wasn’t running those all-out, either.

Advantage: 2014

All in all, I’m feeling pretty good about my 2015 training. Here’s hoping I stay injury-free as I ramp up the mileage over the next couple of months.


*Until they smoke you in a 5K, leaving you quietly depressed instead.

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One thought on “Chasing Boston (part 3 – July training recap)

  1. Pingback: Runners love spreadsheets | Tracy F. Green

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