Chasing Boston (part 5 – August training and injury recap)


What a welcome sight: damp running clothes hanging up to dry.

A monthly training recap seemed like such a good idea back in July, when I was flush with self-satisfaction at how well my training was going. What a great idea, to document my progress by posting comparisons between this year and last!


After two 60+ mile weeks, I managed to twist my ankle in a freak accident – on a rest day, no less. That took an almost two-week chunk out of my training schedule. I’m tempted to pretend the month didn’t happen, but in the interest of honesty and transparency (and because injuries, even stupid ones, are part of running), here’s how August panned out.

Total mileage for the month:  163  (vs. 223 last year).

Advantage: 2014 (even if 35 miles of the total were bogus “easy birding jogs” with lots of stops and starts)

Long runs:  Missed two because of my injury, but logged a 14.5 miler and a 16.5 miler in the first half of the month. Last August, I was still doing long runs in the 10-12 mile range at the start of the month, topping out at 14.5 and 16 miles by the end.

Advantage: toss-up . . . I’m inclined to give it to 2015, ostensibly because my longest run was 0.5 miles longer, but mainly to make myself feel better.

Workouts:  Last August I did just one session of repeats, 5×3/4 miles. It was a neither fish nor fowl workout: the repeats were significantly slower than 5K pace, but faster, shorter and too few to qualify as strength intervals. I was better about getting in my weekly marathon-pace tempo runs, ranging from 6 to 8 miles. As is my wont, these were all run a bit too fast.

This year, I got in three solid interval workouts (two with 3 miles of speedy stuff at 5K pace, one of 4×1.5 miles at 10K pace) as well as two 8-mile marathon pace runs (not counting warm up and cool down).

Advantage: 2015

Races: None this year. To my regret, I missed the NYRR team championships because of family travel; I also opted to volunteer rather than run my club’s last “speed series” 5K.  I’d planned to incorporate a low-key 10K into a 16-miler just for fun – but then my ankle happened.

In 2014, I ran 37:30 at the team championship 5-miler and did two 5Ks at a mediocre pace that nonetheless beat me up.

I’ve been downplaying races this year unless they fit with my marathon training program. I do have two coming up in September and October – the Bronx 10 mile and the Staten Island Half. My plan is to run at least one of them all-out (or as all-out as I can manage on training-weary legs) as a fitness test and, hopefully, confidence booster. I’m reserving the option to run the other as a marathon-pace tempo.

Advantage: I’m not sure it makes sense to assign an “advantage” to this category, since jumping into 5Ks is probably not such a great marathon training idea. 2014 has the advantage for speed, but 2015 has the advantage for smarts . . . or so I’d like to think.

. . .

The good news is that I celebrated the end of the month by going for an easy loop of Prospect Park – yes, I’m running again.

Bring on September!


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