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Training Week Update: T-15

Alright, the first of 15 weekly training updates counting down to the Houston Marathon. Before I jump into week 15 I thought it would be a good idea to provide some background to this week. Why? Because 100 people could go ahead and start to follow my exact same training and all end up with completely different results. Some would excel, some get injured, some would burnout, and some would run about the same. This is in part why I can be so tranparent with my training, there are no secrets, there is no one training plan that is perfect for everyone. We all have different backgrounds, genes, bodies, and lives. The one thing to remember, no matter what training plan you are on, RECOVERY is the most important part.


If you want a review of my last few years of running you can click through the below blog links. In general I have been very conistant with few injuries that did not force me to take too much time off of running. I have a had a few 1-3 week breaks when I've felt completely worn out from racing, typicaly post marathon/ultra-marathon races. My mileage remains fairly low overall, averaging a little over 40 miles per week for the past 2+ years straight which includes a few zero weeks and a few maxing out just over 80. I think the biggest factor for running as well as I have is the lifetime mileage, my brother thinks of it as the 10,000 hour rule.

In any case, my point here is that there are a lot of miles behind the specific 15 weeks coming up.

Week of October 5th-11th:

Total Mileage: 57.5

Total Time: 6:24

Average Pace: 6:40/mi

Monday: Off. After a good 18 mile long run on Saturday and some light running Sunday, along with a busy work schedule this was my off day of the week.

Tuesday: 12 miles easy (6:30 to 7:00 pace). Ran 6 miles before the weekly group run from Luke's Locker where I picked up another 6 with a recent university track/XC grad.

Wednesday: 4 miles hard. The day completely got away from us between work and kids, as the amount of time I had to run got less my wife suggested I just run faster... so I did. Ran 3 miles at 5:24 pace (~marathon pace). I feel so far from running this pace for another 23 additonal miles but I know it will come.

Thursday: 16.39 miles, two runs (11mi/5mi). Ran to and from the weekly 5am bagel run at Luke's Locker which was great for adding some miles. Finished off the day with an easy run at World of Beer Run Club.

Friday: Cross-train. 1:45 indoor cycle trainer. My wife actually let me bring a bicycle into the bedroom! I converted an old mountain bike into an indoor trainer so I have no idea on speed/distance. We watched "Escobar: Paradise Lost", a movie about a Canadian that gets involved with the Escobar family in Columbia. Good flick especially if you are in to watching Narco on Netflix right now. I've always loved the Escobar story, Killing Pablo is a great read. I find the bike is always good for adding some strength training and for feeling good the next day especially for cadence/leg speed.

Saturday: 5 miles. Pushing my daughters, Aley (3) and Holly (7mo), in the double stroller on a windy day, tough work! It was community garage sale day so it was fun shopping the neighbourhood while running, even tried out an eliplitical. After the run I drove 7 hours to New Orleans for work so I did not get to double as planned, decided to save it for the next day.

Sunday: 20 miles in 2:03, yeah baby! Feeling a whole lot better about my fitness after this one. Running in New Orleans is fantastic, if you run St. Charles street you can run on trails down the street car tracks to get 5+ miles off pavement which takes you to the Audubon Park with a nice trail loop and full of runners. I was up along the Mississippi for a few miles, missed my planned turn off to make a giant loop of NOLA but out-and-return's can be a nice way to get the right amount of miles in. Fell into a nice rythym hovering around 6 minute mile pace. Polar V800 training session HERE (sorry, forgot heartrate strap this trip). Bread and butter of marathon training is this run right here, if I only had to do one a week this would be it.

General Health/Diet: Terrible! Had a sprained ankle the week before so I took a precautionary 4 days off with some cross-training. Then an ear infection through most of this week which was extremely painful and annoying. So I've been on antibiotic pills and drops all week which have messed with my apetite and stomach. Food choices have been terrible, too much fast food, too many carbs (which I plan on cutting back to 50-200g/day and increasing fat/protien, more on this later). Resting heart rate has been just under 40bpm and feeling good. Other than a sore ankle my right hamstring is a little tight from the marathon pace work. Weight is down about 5lbs this week back to the mid-150's, I will drop another 5-10lbs for marathon race weight.

Tips of the Week:

Breaking the mileage rule:

The weeks prior I had been averaging in the 20-30mpw due to lots of racing (high intensity), not an ideal buildup to marathon training where you typically see elites packing in 100-150mpw as part of base training. But you may be asking why I just doubled my weekly mileage, doesn't that break some kind of Runners World rule for weekly mileage and long run percentage of weekly mileage? When you have previously done higher mielage training consistantly, and you listen to your body, you can return to high mileage very quickly. I did not have too high of intensity this week (which I was doing lots of the last few months) so I subsituted intensity for quantity, important to balance these along with recovery.

Adding Mileage:

Doubling: Adding a second run to your day is a great and less stressful way for your body to build mileage up. This is typically done by adding a morning or evening "shake out" run of a few miles really easy once or twice a week.

Run commute to your group runs. Used this method twice this week, running to-and-from your group runs is a great way to add mileage if you live a manageable distance away. Running to work or running home from family events works well too.

The Long Run:

As I mentioned above, this is a critical workout for the marathon. Yes, treat it as a workout. This is not a social chit-chat run, while it is great to have company and we usually do start out talking there is a definite point in the run where it turns to work.

In the early stages of marathon buildup you are typically just trying to get time on your feet but as the training progresses you can start adding more steady state running, progressions or fast finish, and even fartleks throughout the run.


Congrats to Tony Constanzo for completing his over 420 mile run in 10 days from Beaumont to Austin for his Footsteps for the Fallen dedication and fundraiser!

Mack Broussard rocked his first big high school XC race as a junior placing top 40 at the Nike Invitational!

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