GCM16 Training: Week Twelve

I’ve been thinking a lot about last spring. I trained for a certain pace and it felt laborious. And on race day, I crashed.

I want to avoid that this year. Not only was I physically drained from training, but mentally I was demolished by my race day performance.

This training period has been completely different. But yet I find myself questioning what my race goals are and whether or not they are attainable. Currently, my training paces are for a 3:35 marathon. This is actually slightly faster than last year’s half marathon goal time. And that makes me apprehensive.

There’s 8 months between then and now. And so much has changed. Yet I am still having trouble figuring out what a realistic goal. I’ve discussed goal setting in various previous posts and how I develop my race plans, but I’m finding it harder this training period.

There’s still a few more weeks left of training and I will need to evaluate how I feel during Peak Week. Currently I think my Goal A is to run a 3:40 marathon, Goal B is to run a 3:50 marathon and Goal C is to run a PR.

Monday: Training Plan 6 Miles Easy

  • Actual – 7.0 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
    • And we are back to sub-freezing temperatures. So cold! I kept the pace conservative, but absolutely enjoyed the chilly morning wake-up.
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • ProCompression Socks.
  • 90-minute Full Body Massage.

Tuesday: Training Plan 3 x 1600m with 3 Minutes Rest

  • Actual – 4.0 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
  • 5.5 Mile Run Outside in the PM.
    • I performed the track workout with a mile warm-up and a mile cool-down. I walked the “rest.”
  • Pure Barre in the AM.

Wednesday: Training Plan 4 Miles Easy

  • Actual – 6.0 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
    • Warmer temperatures again kept me moving during this morning’s easy run.
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.

Thursday: Training Plan 8 Miles [Miles 3-7 at MP]

  • Actual – 8.0 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
    • Best Training Run so far. Have I said that before? I honestly thought I wasn’t going to hit my paces. This week and last week were slower weeks. But I embraced it, easy runs need to be easy. My first two easy miles were slightly slower than my usual easy (but still within range), I hit the track for 4 of my 5 miles (8:13/8:10/8:13/8:08/8:10). My 5th mile was back on the road and I started to struggle because I picked up my water bottle, so I stuffed it down my shorts and kept on running and hit my time! I was so happy I could cry.
    • In other news, I had my Garmin set with today’s run programmed. I had my pace entered in, and apparently set the window too narrow because WOW it was beeping every other minute because I was going too fast and too slow. But I loved it. It really helped me enter my desired pace zone and nail this workout 🙂
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
    • I skipped my evening yoga because I had a puppy that needed some TLC.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.

Friday: Training Plan 4 Miles Easy

  • Actual – 4.0 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
    • And we are back to the cold! So it was another extra easy run this morning. I’ve been running directly after Pure Barre in the morning, so my legs are pretty much already toast. My Easy Pace is 1-2 minutes slower than race pace, so I try to stay conservative and end up between 60-90 seconds slower than MP to keep my legs fresh(ish).
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.

Saturday: Training Plan 19 Miles Easy

  • Actual – 20.0 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
    • This run was hard. Primarily because of the weather. It was 30 degrees at the start, it was supposed to warm up to 45 by 11am, but I don’t think it broke 40 degrees the whole run. My body was in pain because it couldn’t decide if I was warm or cold. It’s one of the things that is most challenging things about running in the cold. Your body warms up and you start sweating and then you get cold; it becomes an endless cycle your entire run. Today’s focus was about pushing through the pain.
    • I tested out race day nutrition this morning. I woke up with a standard shake before Pure Barre, and after class had an Apple Pie LaraBar before my run. At mile 5, I consumed 5 ProBar Bolt chews. I was thinking that on race day I should move my fuel up to mile 4 or 4.5. I had my next 5 ProBar Bolt chews at mile 9.5, and by mile 14 my stomach was grumbling–I was Hungry! So I had a HoneyStinger Honey Waffle. I definitely think I need to move up my fuel to prevent that hungry sensation. But I’m worried with an increase in speed, I’ll not feel hungry and will also have issues getting more fuel down. Oh joy–race planning jitters have begun! I still have two more long runs to nail it down 🙂
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
    • Finished my March Madness Challenge of 20 classes in 31 days before my 20 mile run!
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.

Sunday: Training Plan Rest Day.

  • EASTER SUNDAY = No Pure Barre and No Yoga. No Run.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks. Home Yoga Practice (Outside!). Mini-Bands.

Total Weekly Mileage: 54.5 Miles.

You can view all of my weekly workout recaps here.

Question: How do you determine your race goals?
Tell me in the comments!




6 thoughts on “GCM16 Training: Week Twelve”

  1. It’s been so interesting following your marathon preparation, as I am also training for a marathon (my first one!) around the same time as you. You are doing a lot more running than I am as I’ve been out of the game for a while with shin splints, but I’ve been following your progress and you are an inspiration to me. I decided to comment this week because I also felt hungry when using gels on my long run this week. It is the first time I’ve used gels – is that a normal sensation? I had one at mile 5 then was grumbling at mile 10, but I usually run up to half marathon mileage without gels…


    1. Sheanne,
      This comment made my day! Thank you so much.
      The first marathon is always exciting! Keep your head up about training. I don’t think any training plan ever gets executed how it is intended; something always happens.
      I used to not need to fuel for 12-14 mile runs. But the more I ran, and the higher my weekly mileage, I began to noticed I needed something.
      On training runs, your body will rely on energy stores in your body, but on race day, you’ll want that energy more readily available, hence the fuel supplements. I typically fuel on training runs between miles 5-7, but at races I’ll fuel earlier between miles 4-5.
      Personally my body doesn’t seem to have a preference for one fuel vs another, so I test out what I like by flavor, texture, and what’s easiest to consume on the run. I started out using gels because that’s really all that was on the market; I was hesitant but eventually switched to chews because I can chose to eat one every quarter-to-half mile if needed or all at once, plus they weren’t sticky!
      IMO I don’t think your issue is that you’re now using gels, but more that your body gets that hit of quick energy from the gel, so it wants it again instead of trying to draw from your body’s own stores. Also for myself, I know most fuels say to consume every 45 minutes, and this is roughly what I stick to, but if I’m running faster then I notice I need fuel sooner and more often.
      I hope this helps. Good luck at London! Feel free to ask me anything as you prepare for race day 🙂


      1. Hi Jes, thanks so much for the advice. It’s reassuring to hear injury in training is not unusual. Your comment about my body wanting more gel actually completely made sense and now I know how often I need to take them. I’ve spent some time experimenting with brands of gels and chews and now have a fuel plan for race day. Thank you for your well wishes, all the best for GCM and I hope you enjoy it. Also I read an article online which said race day nerves improve your performance, so embrace them (I’ll try to do the same!). Look forward to reading about how you get on. Sheanne x


      2. Sheanne,
        Glad you have a fuel plan for race day 🙂
        As for race day nerves, the adrenaline always carries me pretty far during a marathon. It typically runs out around mile 18-20 and then it’s just your determination getting you to the finish line. I try to have a plan at this point to help me mentally stay in the race when it gets hard. Remembering why you are running (or who you are running for) is a start. After mile 20, having some family/friends there provides a positive boost to your spirits.
        Can’t wait to hear how it goes for you!


      3. That’s such a good idea, I’ll ask friends to try to get to somewhere near the 20 mile mark to watch. I’m praying adrenaline will get me that far. The furthest I’ve been in training is 16 miles on Sunday (two weeks before the event). I’m supposed to taper now but given I was injured for so long I’m not sure if it’s justified. Do you think I should try to squeeze in a 19/20 mile run this weekend and taper for a week instead, or do you think I should taper now but do a mid-length run at the weekend, maybe half marathon or something similar?


  2. If it were me, I would only do a 16 miler this weekend. Since you haven’t done a 19/20 yet, you don’t know how long it’ll take you to recover, and it’s just too close to race day to play that game.

    This weekend I have a 15 miler on Saturday, and hoping to get in 40-41 total miles this week, which is about 28% reduction from my peak week mileage (57 Miles).
    -Training Plan: Monday (Sick Day), Tuesday (5-6 Miles- 1 mile warm up, 12x400m repeats +3:00 rest between, 1 mile cool down), Wednesday (5 miles AM + 6 miles PM to make up for Monday), Thursday (7 mile MP Tempo), Friday (2 miles + miles from Wednesday if needed), Saturday (15 miles), Sunday (Rest).

    Race week I’ll probably get in 22-24 miles, or a little less than 50% reduction from this week, not including race day mileage.
    -Race Week Plan: Monday (6 miles), Tuesday (4 to 6 Miles- 1 to 2 mile warm up, 16x200m repeats, 2 mile cool down), Wednesday (6 miles), Thursday (5 mile MP tempo), Friday (Rest), Saturday (2 mile Shake out).

    Remember it’s your first marathon. It’s a learning experience. What works for me may not work for you and vice versa. Trust your training 🙂


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