Monday, April 2, 2012

Throwing out the Training Plan

When I started running again after my shin splints, I decided I wasn't going to follow a training plan per se, but rather just run and get to the starting line of Boston in the best possible shape as I could.  I still look at my training plan that I started the cycle with.  The difference is, if I feel like my legs aren't up for a workout, then I don't do it.  This has led to to significantly less miles than I was hoping for, but I don't feel injured, so I will take it.

On Saturday, I decided to take a different approach to my long run.  My run club was going back to the Boston course, but my hip hasn't been too happy with the hills, so I decided to run on my flat trail.  My schedule called for 18 miles, but I wanted to go longer.  I went to the trail with an open mind.  I absolutely didn't feel like running.  I was kind of dragging because of my long week and the idea of being on the trail for three hours didn't sound too fun.  I knew that my negative attitude would not help me complete my run, so I pushed the negativity aside as much as possible.  I told my sister that my goal for the day was 22 miles.  

Why 22 miles just over 2 weeks until Boston?  I had a reason for this number.  I have read many times that if you run a slow 22 miles, at your correct long run pace, then the time on your feet should equal your marathon time.  3 1/2 hours of running was kind of daunting but I knew that mentally it would help me on April 16th.  I also figured that since I missed nearly two weeks of running, that a shorter taper would actually help rather than hurt me.

If I was going to meet my goal of 3 1/2 hours on my feet, I had to constantly remind myself to slow down in the first 10 miles.  If you remember from my Disney recap, I have a hard time slowing down in the first 10 miles, so I counted this as good practice.  I was wearing my new Polar training computer with the foot stride sensor.  Apparently, I didn't calibrate the stride sensor very well because my total distance was off by .04 miles for each mile.  In a short run, no big deal.  Over the course of 22 miles, it was a huge difference.  It also made for seemingly really slow laps, but luckily, by following my heart rate I knew if my heart rate was dropping, I was running too slow and vice versa.  

By the time I hit mile 14, I was feeling GREAT.  My legs felt strong and I was so thankful that I slowed it down to 9+ minute miles for this run.  Since I felt so good, I committed myself to the 22 miles at that point.  I was going to run my longest training run ever and I was suddenly very excited.  I finished the run feeling pretty happy, with only slightly sore legs.  My total time was 3:23 for 22.25 miles.  A tiny bit too fast, but this was definitely the longest run, time and distance, that I have run in a long time.  

Taper time!  I am so excited to head into the city to get the constant reminders of all the runners coming into town.  For now, I will take Twitter and my mailbox.  





8 comments:

Crystal Rhyno said...

Have a great Boston experience! Enjoy your taper! Looking forward to reading your race recap!

runningforthekitchen said...

Awesome run! I'm so glad your 22 felt good. You are so close to Boston! It's so hard to slow down but do smart, good job

Misszippy1 said...

Smart way to go about it. I think you're going to have a great race. Hope to meet you there!

AmyC said...

Awesome running! You are going to be great on April 16 =)

Runthelongroad said...

I felt the same way going into my long run this weekend. Mentally not into it (in my case, I'm burned out). I ended up running slower than I wanted. I'm trying not to dwell on it. I'm prepared for Boston and whatever happens, happens! I'm just looking forward to enjoying the race, pressure-free!

Jolene said...

I wish I could see you run this!! But alas, I have to work :( You are being smart with your own training that works for YOU. Nicely done!

Michele @ nycrunningmama.com said...

Great run, Robin!! That is a fantastic pace for 22.25 miles! Glad you got the long miles in and felt awesome - it's such a great thing when your last long run is a good one - huge mental boost going into the taper...Enjoy the next couple of weeks of less miles! xoxo

Peifer said...

You've been so smart in this whole training cycle, Robin! I'm so glad you had a good final run, even though you weren't feeling it when you started. Congrats on doing all the hard work... now it's just one more big run, and I'm sure you'll be amazing!