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What I Do Before a Long Run + 26.2 Training Starts NEXT WEEK!

Just as planned, I dipped my toes into a speed session last week. An 8 mile run with five of those miles at a 7:30/pace tempo. That went well. The next day I did my usual body weight leg day which consisted of about 20 minutes of very basic exercises: light weighted squats (40lbs), TRX balance lunges and TRX pistol squats. I don’t know if it was the combination of speed & strength but Saturday I was still feeling sore legs…

When the alarm buzzes on a Saturday, usually 6:00am, the first thing I do is press the ON button for the coffee to start, then I take LE out for her walk and to get a feel for the outside temps to prepare for my run.

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sleepy pup

Once we get back I chug a large glass of water, move onto coffee, check emails and blogs while i stretch out my legs.

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I try to multi-task as much as possible while i’m waking up so I can get out the door in 30 minutes. I’m not one of those people that can just roll out of bed and run. When i do that i feel like i’m sleep running or something. I like being alert so coffee and stretching will do that real quick.

Once my eyes finally wake up, i pop the contacts in, get dressed and grab what I need for a 2+ hour run.

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I drove about 20 minutes from my house to scout out a connection trail for the ultra i’m running next month. (You can read more about it here, or donate money to MS research here.) I was happy to find that Rock Creek Trail has been updated with a lot of signs, port-o-pottys and lights have been installed in a dark under pass. The trail itself feels super safe, easy to navigate and there are plenty of fountains and toilets.

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Now i can tell you about how craptastic these two weekend runs were. I’m not joking when I said my legs were sore. Every single step I took over 15 miles hurt. I was hopeful that they would loosen up in the first few miles. Nope. Maybe this side stitch will go away. Nope. My muscles tightened for approximately 19,000 steps. And i felt every single step. The side stitch was there from mile 3 to 13, which resulted in a lot of walk breaks. I am always humbled when I see 10:XX miles blink on my watch.

But hey, these long runs are no joke. Cumulative fatigue is a real thing and the hard runs during the summer will make a strong runner for the fall. I didn’t mentally give up. I knew my legs were just tired. <—if that’s not ultra marathon mentality I don’t know what is.

Sunday I set out for 7 miles. Again, i was hopeful my legs would feel better. They didn’t. It was another slow, hot run. There was nothing I could do but enjoy Hello, From the Magic Tavern podcast and look forward to Monday, a day off from leg work.

After the run, we relaxed pretty hard. Just the way we like it.

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I got out my calendar to mark the weeks until Philadelphia Marathon and whoa, I didn’t realize training starts next week! I’ll be following the Hansons Marathon Method (advanced) this training cycle. I’ll slightly adjust the long runs until the ultra is done in August, then follow the plan as closely as possible.

I’m excited about this marathon. My first ever marathon was a 4:28 in Chicago when I was underprepared and undertrained. The last I completed was Chicago again in 2014 when I was extremely burnt out from work and personal life issues. I completed it in 3:50, which was a huge PR, but it was a stressful time to attempt a marathon.

Now i’ve got the mileage and strength to back me up. I’m happy at home and in work. This all adds up to a good time to try the marathon again. Cross your fingers and stay tuned for all the highs and lows of marathon training. File_000 (263)

Last Week

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 6m easy 8:40/pace

Wednesday: 8m tempo (2m warm up, 5 @ 7:30/pace, 1m cooldown), 45 min upper body

Thursday: 6m easy 9:40/pace, 20min legs

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 15m long 9:43/pace

Sunday: 7m easy 9:42/pace

Total Miles: 42

Has anyone used Hanson Method before? Thoughts?

How was your weekend?