Boston Marathon Training – Four Weeks Left

marathon training

This is not running weather!

As of today  yesterday Monday (This post has been a couple day process.) there is exactly one month until The Boston Marathon.

After a few pretty tough weeks, it was time for a rest week. I dropped my mileage by about 25% and let my legs recover from the previous, brutal, training weeks. With the added time I was able add some extra strength training into my routine.

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: 6 miles nice and easy.

Wednesday: Speed is the one area that has me feeling nervous. North Dakota can be awfully cold in March, and speed work just isn’t the same on a treadmill. There’s something about being able to see the finish line that makes repeats easier. However, I was able to lace up my racing flats for the first time.  I started with a one mile warm-up, followed by a thorough stretching routine, and then got down to business – I alternated between 1/4 mile and 1/2 mile repeats.  (They would have been the familiar 400’s and 800’s had I been on the track.) I did a 80 second 1/4, followed by a 1/4 mile recovery, then a 3:00 1/2 followed by a 1/2 mile recovery. I repeated the pattern 4 times and followed it up with a 1 mile cool-down. 12 miles

treadmill, training, running

I am getting awfully sick of these.

Thursday: 6 mile recovery run.

Friday: Extra rest day

Saturday: I hate tempo runs, but they can be such a huge confidence booster. I started with the usual 1 miles warm-up, then eased into a 6:20 pace for 10 miles, and followed it up with a 1 mile cool-down.

Sunday: My 16 mile run felt like 6 compared to the 21-miler from the previous Sunday.

This weeks great observation.

Running offers a great deal of time for thought and reflection. These countless hours inside my head have helped me sort out some of the most puzzling situations life has thrown my way.

This week, I discovered what it is that draws me to marathoning. The marathon is as honest as it gets. It can’t be cheated (at any level). It requires dedication, resilience and hard work, but once you’ve completed one you’re forever branded as a marathoner – someone who has put in the time, fought through the pain and accomplished something that is truly worthy of the pride it brings.


Boston Marathon Training – Five Weeks Left

Better late then never, right? I know an awful lot of people who made it through college relying on that principle.  So here’s last weeks overview, late.

I started off the week feeling a little rough after my first 20-miler. The two, short flights of stairs to my office were anything but pleasant on Monday, thank God for the railing.

Monday – A nice slow 4 miles followed by a 1/2 hour bike and a really good stretching.

Tuesday – 12 miles at a 7:20 pace.

Wednesday – Intervals – 1/2 mile at 5:50 pace followed by a 1/2 mile @ 7:40. Repeat for 8 miles.

Thursday – 6 miles nice and easy. No treadmill, no GPS, just a nice slow run and a little fresh air.

Friday – I hate tempo runs, but it’s such a big confidence booster when you nail one. I had a nice, solid 8 miles at 6:30 pace.  This is a great gauge for me to compare to previous years. I am still a little behind where I’d like to be, but if I keep hitting my marks I think my is obtainable.

Saturday – 6 miles nice and easy.

Sunday – Of course, I scheduled my for the coldest day of the week. I started the run outside, but after 9 miles I decided it was time to end the torture and headed to the gym. The 1/2 hour transition from the street to the treadmill was hard on my legs. I managed to struggle through another 12 miles. I had to settle for 21.

I am not sure, but I think 65 miles is my longest week ever.

Boston Marathon Training – Six Weeks Left

The big race is getting close – just six weeks from today. I’d be lying to say the nerves weren’t beginning to creep in, but they are balanced by the idea of a long-lived dream approaching fruition.

This past week was huge, not only for my training, but for my confidence.  I hit two major milestones – my first 60 mile week and my first 20 mile run. My long run went really well. I started off with a few 7:15 miles and then dialed it back to a nice comfortable pace. I made a pit stop at mile 10 for a Gatorade and a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. (A little supplement to my regular Gu Gel.) I finished the run in 2:35. (That leaves me 10 minutes to squeeze in another 6 miles.)

I only have four weeks of training before it’s time to taper. It’s time to turn up the speed, dial in my focus, stay healthy and go the extra mile – literally.

marathon training, ice bath, training program, injury prevention

I am a firm believer in the benefits of ice baths.


The Simple Man’s Marathon Diet

I don’t claim to be a “healthy eater”.  I do however manage to work a full-time and part-time job while spending 20-25 hours a week training for an upcoming marathon.

Somehow the energy is there – whether it’s genetics, a blessing from God or diet is anyone’s guess.

running diet, running nutrition, marathon diet,

My essentials: These are a few of the foods that will prompt an immediate trip to the grocery store, when running low.

  • Fruit – I eat usually eat 3-4 bananas a week. They are a great source of potassium and an excellent fuel for long workouts. I have also become a huge fan of smoothies.
  • Fish – I also eat a lot of fish (tuna, tilapia, walleye, polluck) they are a great source of low-fat protein and Omega-3s.
  • Greens – I am not a huge salad guy, but I have found that I love spinach. Fortunate for me it is a great source of fiber.
  • Eggs – Eggs are a high in saturated fat, but a great source of protein and when hard-boiled they are such a handy snack.
  • Pickles – They are very high in sodium, but another great source of fiber.
  • Peanut Butter – I could care less if it’s good for me or not. I just love it!
  • Granola – A healthy snack and a great source of carbohydrate.
  • Chicken – My go-to source for protein. Chicken is high in protein and low in saturated fat (when cooked properly).

Of course these foods make up just a fraction of my overall diet and with a busy lifestyle I’m often eating on the run. Maybe I’ll dedicate the next post to my fast food faves.

10 week countdown! – Boston Marathon Training Program

It’s time to get serious. I’ve had a few too many pins in my juggling act lately. As a result, I’ve been doing a variety of things poorly, but now it’s crunch time. There are only 10 weeks until The Boston Marathon.

I found a little free time this weekend and was able to get a very basic training schedule put together. I’ve set some goals for my tempo runs, but still have to figure out what I want to do with my speed work. This is fairly similar to the plan I used last year, but I’ve adapted it to my new schedule and made some adjustments in order to reach my new goal.

marathon training, marathon training plan, training program , training schedule

Running a tribute to Cleary

I caught this article in the Tribune a few days ago. Local legends are few and far between. I wish I could’ve met, Joseph Cleary.

Running a tribute to Cleary.

Running Related Goals for the New Year

Well it a little while into 2013 and I’ve decided it’s time to get a few running related goals down on paper

Join a running club – I’ve always been a bit of a lone wolf when it comes to my training, but last year I had a long run partner and it provided an immense motivational boost. This past summer I took a new job and had to relocate. In 2013, I will join a running club, meet new people and find someone who can make me a better runner.

Run more races  – My typical race season consists of one marathon, one triathlon and two or three shorter races. I am always afraid of running races unless I am fully prepared. This year I will run two marathons, compete in at least one triathlon, run my first half marathon, and run a few local 5 and 10k.  In 2013, I will tone down my competitive nature and learn to run for fun.

Train for a 5k – It’s a fact, I’m getting older, but I want to prove that I still have a little speed. I haven’t trained for a 5k since in high school. In 2013, I’m going to put a little pop in my stride and run a sub 16:00 min 5k.

Run the Boston Marathon – I have always been impressed by the marathon. It is such an an amazing feat of will-power. You cannot cheat your way to the finish. It takes months of dedication and determination, just to get to the gun. The marathon was always on my bucket list. I had to run one. Somewhere in my subconscious, I believe a bigger idea was hiding. After completing my first marathon in 2011, I knew I couldn’t quit until I made the Boston qualifier. On April 15, 2013, I will run the Boston Marathon.

Run a new marathon pr – This one is simple. In 2013, I will run a 2:45 marathon.

Hopefully, I will be more productive this weekend and get my training schedule completed. If so, I’ll get it posted.

Time to run – not to blog

I have been busy lately. Why do we allow ourselves to work so much? It seems like everyone is working their lives away. I don’t live to work, but unfortunately I have to work to make a living.

In order to get my miles in I have had to cut back on some hobbies. My blogging has taken a hit, but my training is going well.

Here is a quick update. My long run is up to 15 miles and I have started to mix in some speed workouts. It’s not exactly blazing speed, but it’s a good start. Tonight, I had an 8 mile workout. I did a 1 mile warm up then 5 miles of 1/2 mile intervals as follows – 7:40, 7:20, 6:50, 7:40, 7:20, 6:50, 7:40, 7:20, 6:50, 7:40 – followed by one mile at 6:50 and a 1 mile cool down.

I have been pretty lax with my workouts so far. I have been focusing on mileage goals and strength training. This weekend I plan to finalize my training schedule and layout the next three months of workouts. Maybe I’ll get it posted.

Road to Boston – A work in progress

This project started as a sort of running journal, but after qualifying for the Boston Marathon in May, and registering to run the race in 2013,  I decided to turn the nearly three years worth of footage into a short film. This is just a quick trailer. I will continue to document my training and plan to end the film in Boston.

Marathon Training Program – Running Journal

I have been pretty lazy with my blogging lately, but my base training has been going well and today marks the beginning of my 18 week Boston Marathon training program.

This past weekend, I spent a few hours paging through my old running journals. First, I looked for injuries, setbacks and areas with room for improvement. Then, I tried to figure out how the setbacks could have been avoided and what additional work could be done. I used this same practice to help tweak my program last winter and it worked out great. The major changes last year were slowing the pace of my long runs, implementing more cross training and focusing additional time on injury prevention. These small changes allowed me to remain injury free and make Boston qualifier, with just 12 weeks of training. This year, I will focus more time on weight training, increase my weekly mileage by 10%, implement a strict diet and spend more time on speed work. I am hoping these changes will allow me to reach my next goal. I’ve heard it helps to put your goals down on paper, so here is my 2013 marathon goal, sub 2:45.

Marathon Training Journal, marathon training program, marathon tips