Saturday, April 18, 2015

Boston 2015 training recap

This is mostly for my own record-keeping for future marathons, and will be a little boring for the non-runner.

My training officially started on December 20th, exactly 4 months out from Boston.  Leading up to official training, I had been maintaining a run streak for over a year, and was running in the low single digits.  As for races, I completed one half marathon in October, and one 5k in November.

I had hoped to run a 100 mile week and build up to it gradually, practicing an ebb and flow of long runs throughout the training cycle.  Instead, I accepted that my body just couldn't handle it this time around and topped out at one 75 mile week, but kept mostly in the 60's.

I did my long runs on Sundays with rest days on Mondays (though I still ran a very slow mile on Mondays to keep up my run streak).

January was a very mild month.  All but one of my long runs were done in shorts.  My January 2015 mileage was triple what it had been in 2014.  I went into February feeling great about how training was going.  Then the weather shifted.

I ran in some challenging conditions this winter, to say the least.  I ran in 16 degree weather, in wind gusts, in a foot of snow, in falling snow, on ice, and everything else winter could throw at me.  Usually in the dark.  The winter followed us well into March, and I ran in my final snowstorm on the first day of spring.  Because I don't have access to a treadmill or indoor track, I ran every single mile outside.

While I built a solid base of miles, I didn't do nearly as much strength work or speed work as I would like.  I did some, but wasn't nearly as consistent with it as I could have been.

My nutrition was mostly solid, and I definitely dropped some weight, though I don't know how much because I still haven't weighed myself since the 2013 Philly Marathon.  I only know because my clothes have become looser.

Everything was going swimmingly, and I managed to make it to the taper in one piece.  Then I went to Germany with my students over spring break.  An action-packed schedule with little sleep and a completely altered diet (including plenty of beer) wreaked havoc on my training, just as I expected.  I managed two solid runs in Berlin, but once I got to Munich and picked up a nasty cough (which I'm still trying to shake), I was done for.  My taper ended up being a little more relaxed than I would have liked.

Sleep was another big challenge of this training cycle.  I'm very strict about my sleep and try to get a minimum of eight hours every night, but with a baby at home, that has been next to impossible since last August.  While it didn't affect the amount of miles, I feel it affected the quality, hence the lack of speed work.  Constantly running in winter weather didn't help with the quality, either.

I plan to run a simple one mile shakeout run tomorrow, which will be my final run of this training cycle.  All told, I will have run 830 miles.  My goal was not to PR this marathon, but to make it to the starting line feeling confident and healthy and just enjoy the atmosphere of Boston, and I do believe I will accomplish that.  While I am not at the top of my game like I was for Philly 2013, I am still ready to kick ass this Monday.

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