Last week was the final week of serious work before we begin tapering for the Myrtle Beach Marathon, which is in 19 days, and it even included a 21-mile long run on Saturday.
It's a pretty long time to be out there. However, there's one big benefit of the speed I've gained since the last time I trained for and ran a marathon: 21 miles takes a lot less time.
Twenty five minutes less, in fact.
It was odd to be running sub-10 pace the whole time, since the last time I ran 21 miles in training in October 2011, I only went sub-10 for the last mile, when I flat out decided that after running for over 3.5 hours, it was time to be done. This time, I closed out even faster - in 8:39 for mile 21.
(Of course there is a graph. We all love using graphs to show how much faster we are.)
And that's pretty much it for training for this thing. Two runs longer than 20 miles, lots of tempo and track workouts, and now I just need to keep myself uninjured and excited to run 26.2 miles in less than four hours.
Monday: An hour and 20 minutes on the bike trainer for a functional threshold power test, where I figured out that my FTP is 201 Watts…at least, it is while I'm listening to Nine Inch Nails ..
I'd guessed my FTP to be around 200W based on my average power during steady-state workouts, but wasn't sure, because that would put me in "not awful" territory as a female cyclist. If you've ever ridden hills with me, you know that the label of "not awful" is debatable, so I was happy to see the test show the 201W result. This data will make for many, many fun indoor interval sessions this season.
Tuesday: Early in the morning, 5.58 miles of running, with 20 minutes at a tempo effort (8:17 pace). Followed immediately by 30 minutes of stretching and core strengthening work before running to the airport to fly to Charleston, SC for a meeting. Once there, I swam 2300 meters with Ed – the same poor guy I convinced to run and swim with me in Palm Beach two weeks ago.
Wednesday: Up early for an action packed workday…with no workout, but a nice sunrise view from my room.
Thursday: I had a late flight out, so I had time after the meeting finished up in the afternoon to do a “track” workout by running over the same half mile stretch of sidewalk near The Citadel over and over.
The river views and temperatures in the high 60s provided a nice atmosphere for 8x800 (3:47-3:47-3:42-3:38-3:37-3:38-3:42-3:39) as part of a 5.75 mile workout.
Friday: Another hour and 20 minute trainer workout, including 10x1 minute @100 rpm (184W average for the high-cadence intervals, 136W average overall).
Saturday: The big old 21 mile run, at an average pace of 9:29/mile, and closing out the final mile in 8:39. Marathon ready.
Sunday: 16 miles of biking to and from the pool to coach, plus a 4000 yard swim workout to close out the bulk of marathon training and move into taper mode.