I’m finally into the last phase of training for my upcoming marathon in Twin Cities. But the middle section of training was tough to get through. The heat wave that struck St. Louis coincided with the part of my training where I was trying to increase my mileage and hit some of my bigger workouts. Through most of this section it was difficult to go 100% in the workouts and even my regular runs were wiping me out because of the heat.
Often that middle segment of training can feel like a slog (even without high heat and humidity mixed in!). Training segments for a big race can feel somewhat like the phases of the race itself. Earlier on in training you’re usually getting back into shape and don’t have a lot of big expectations. You start to feel fit again just by getting in your regular runs and feel good because you’re making progress. As you get to the end of your training (last final couple of weeks before raceday), you can sense the end is near and you know that you have a couple months of training packed into your body. The runs get shorter and easier and the workout are mostly just tune ups and confidence builders.
But that middle segment once you’ve tapped out all the easy workouts and have the bulk of heavy lifting ahead of you can seem to drag. Conflicting desires can create confusion in a training plan because often you want to increase mileage, but you also want to increase your hard workout load and try to knock out some faster times. This can be the toughest time of training, but that’s typically because this segment is where you’re getting the most benefits and really expanding your fitness.
I definitely felt like I was slogging through my middle segment with a couple of hot and slow long runs and heat adjusted fartlek workouts. Now that the weather has cooled off, hopefully that grinding will have paid off. Only a few weeks to go until the marathon. Then we will now for sure.
Nothing too exciting lately its been some big tempos and shorter fartleks. Hit a 12 mile tempo averaging 5:25 solo around a three mile road loop in forest park a few weeks back. Went 16:26/16:20/16:12/16:05 for the four loops. Was real even, hitting a 8 of the miles between 5:23 and 5:27. 16 mile tempo coming up as the next and final big workout.