Why Run a 5K?

A lot of times people think that 5K races are for the beginner runner and the more advanced people should be running half and full marathons. But when you think about it, 5K’s can be excellent training tools for a few reasons….

1. Fat Burners. 5K’s are speed races where we can really push ourselves the entire race which allow us to burn fat quite quickly during training since we are constantly concentrating on improving our speed as opposed to just our distance.

2. Great motivators. Any race will get you motivated to run. So why not a 5K?

3. For a good cause. 5K’s (like most races) usually support a great cause like, for instance, breast cancer awareness.

4. They are fun. 5K’s help you to get out and meet new people frequently and usually are followed by a post event (like a tailgate or brunch) to help improve your real life social network.

5. Very convenient. Race day for a 5K is quick and easy. You arrive, run for 20+ minutes, and wah-lah! You are done. Enjoy your metabolic boost and go about your day.

6. Great to mix things up. We often get caught up in our mini marathons and distance runs that it is nice to mix things up a bit and do a 5K or two. Don’t let the short distance confuse you into thinking you aren’t accomplishing something! Just try and improve your time every race.

7. Relatively cheap. Most 5K races range between $20 and $40. A perfect race for any recession!

 

Here is a fun 5K to get those in the Chicago area started! Look for some near you today and get to running:

Click Here to check out the Homecoming 5K!

Why Run a 5K?

A lot of times people think that 5K races are for the beginner runner and the more advanced people should be running half and full marathons. But when you think about it, 5K’s can be excellent training tools for a few reasons….

1. Fat Burners. 5K’s are speed races where we can really push ourselves the entire race which allow us to burn fat quite quickly during training since we are constantly concentrating on improving our speed as opposed to just our distance.

2. Great motivators. Any race will get you motivated to run. So why not a 5K?

3. For a good cause. 5K’s (like most races) usually support a great cause like, for instance, breast cancer awareness.

4. They are fun. 5K’s help you to get out and meet new people frequently and usually are followed by a post event (like a tailgate or brunch) to help improve your real life social network.

5. Very convenient. Race day for a 5K is quick and easy. You arrive, run for 20+ minutes, and wah-lah! You are done. Enjoy your metabolic boost and go about your day.

6. Great to mix things up. We often get caught up in our mini marathons and distance runs that it is nice to mix things up a bit and do a 5K or two. Don’t let the short distance confuse you into thinking you aren’t accomplishing something! Just try and improve your time every race.

7. Relatively cheap. Most 5K races range between $20 and $40. A perfect race for any recession!

 

Here is a fun 5K to get those in the Chicago area started! Look for some near you today and get to running:

Click Here to check out the Homecoming 5K!

Spring Races

Before you know it the cold will pass and we will be looking at Spring once again. The holiday’s can be a great time to find some people who might be interested in running a race with you (having a team or someone to do it with helps for motivation). So we are going to be suggesting some races as they come to our attention. Below are two that we plan on doing/are looking at.

The Warrior Dash:

The Warrior Dash could possibly be the most intense race you will ever run. Unlike any other race we have seen, the Warrior Dash has you crawling in mud, leaping fire, and all sorts of other obstacles. Best of all, they have races all over the country so there is likely to be one in your area.

Warrior Dash Official Website

Cost: $45

The Indiana University Mini Marathon and 5k:

The nations first collegiate mini marathon is making it’s return and is now under new management. This race was formally ran solely by students but now Indiana University has given it’s full backing of the race and will now be running the show. It will also be the race hosting the NIRCA Championship (That’s National Intercollegiate Running Clubs Association). This means schools from all over will be in attendance. So for a great college atmosphere on what has been voted the most beautiful campus in the nation, we suggest looking at the IU Mini. Oh, I also used to be the President of this race and will be running with other past President’s. So join us!

Indiana University Mini Marathon Official Site

Cost:

Mini: $40

5K: $30

(Early registration numbers)

-K

Miles with Myles – Week of 10/4/2010 – Go Time

Whether you’re ready or not, here it comes.  On Sunday, 45,000 runners, walkers, and cyclists will take to the streets of Chicago to test the limits of the mind and body.  If you’re reading this and you happen to be one of them, relish in the fact that you get to take it easy until then.  But remember that come Sunday, we’re going to hit the ground running, and running fast.  I plan on setting a PR, shooting for 3:10 which is also the Boston Marathon qualification time for my age group.  My hope is that you all will also be gunning for PRs.  Whether you’re battling injury or just flat out nervous, rest assured that we are all fighting similar battles.  I just got back from a moderate 4 miles and my mind continues to play tricks with me.  The past two races where I ended up sick and on the couch for the remainder of the day continues to flood my thoughts.  At this point in the juncture, I would say majority of competitors begin getting the pre-race nerves which are never fun to deal with.  The only piece of advice I can give you to deal with these is to not focus on the negative things that have happened in training, rather the positives.  I know it’s a lot easier said than done, but the fact is this: You trained, and you trained hard.  If you didn’t train as hard as you wanted to, think of it this way…your legs are going to be more fresh than most.  I try to take myself back to the Big Sur Marathon where I spent all of Friday until about 2:00 AM drinking in Napa/San Fransisco and still managed to polish off a 3:30ish on Sunday.  These are the types of re-assuring thoughts you need to be having.  As for preparation, here are some pointers I have aside from getting the negative thoughts out of your head:

1. Sleep – A lot

2. Eat good, quality whole foods (i.e. fruits, vegetables, complex carbs, protein)  Try not to venture too far away from your normal diet, but at the same time make great effort to eat well.

3. Drink lots of fluids.  Hydration is key…drinking alcohol two days before the race is NOT a good idea.  Speaking from experience…not a good idea.

4. Have everything ready the night before.

5. Do not change anything from what you have done in prepping for long runs/during the runs.  This means if you have not taken Gu gel during long runs, don’t take them now.  If you haven’t had gatorade on long runs, don’t start now.  You get the point.

6. Stretch throughout the week.  With not running as much, your legs want to tighten up.  Keep loose.

7. Reduce Mileage

8. Make sure you don’t go overboard with the carbo load.  You’re going to feel a little fat going in to the race, but this is fine an expected.  Typically, you gain around 1-2 lbs the week leading up to the marathon.  BUT, make sure you don’t go crazy stuffing your face with pasta.  Also, if you’re going to go for the traditional pre-night pasta meal, stick to basic wheat pasta and marinara.  Stay away from cream sauces, etc.

Well, hopefully everyone is ready to go for this final week.  Whether this is your first marathon, or you’re a seasoned veteran going on your 10th…it’s go time.

Monday:

Rest!  Stretch, light core work out optional.

Tuesday:

4-5 miles depending on how your legs feel.  Stretch.

Wednesday:

Rest!

Thursday:

This will be our last run before the marathon…finally!  Take it easy on this run and go for about 30-40 minutes.  Be sure to stretch after.

Friday:

Rest!

Saturday:

1-2 miles optional.  I typically do a little warm up the day before nice and easy, but totally up to the runner.

Sunday:

26.2 miles…best of luck to everyone!

Miles with Myles – Week of 10/4/2010 – Go Time

Whether you’re ready or not, here it comes.  On Sunday, 45,000 runners, walkers, and cyclists will take to the streets of Chicago to test the limits of the mind and body.  If you’re reading this and you happen to be one of them, relish in the fact that you get to take it easy until then.  But remember that come Sunday, we’re going to hit the ground running, and running fast.  I plan on setting a PR, shooting for 3:10 which is also the Boston Marathon qualification time for my age group.  My hope is that you all will also be gunning for PRs.  Whether you’re battling injury or just flat out nervous, rest assured that we are all fighting similar battles.  I just got back from a moderate 4 miles and my mind continues to play tricks with me.  The past two races where I ended up sick and on the couch for the remainder of the day continues to flood my thoughts.  At this point in the juncture, I would say majority of competitors begin getting the pre-race nerves which are never fun to deal with.  The only piece of advice I can give you to deal with these is to not focus on the negative things that have happened in training, rather the positives.  I know it’s a lot easier said than done, but the fact is this: You trained, and you trained hard.  If you didn’t train as hard as you wanted to, think of it this way…your legs are going to be more fresh than most.  I try to take myself back to the Big Sur Marathon where I spent all of Friday until about 2:00 AM drinking in Napa/San Fransisco and still managed to polish off a 3:30ish on Sunday.  These are the types of re-assuring thoughts you need to be having.  As for preparation, here are some pointers I have aside from getting the negative thoughts out of your head:

1. Sleep – A lot

2. Eat good, quality whole foods (i.e. fruits, vegetables, complex carbs, protein)  Try not to venture too far away from your normal diet, but at the same time make great effort to eat well.

3. Drink lots of fluids.  Hydration is key…drinking alcohol two days before the race is NOT a good idea.  Speaking from experience…not a good idea.

4. Have everything ready the night before.

5. Do not change anything from what you have done in prepping for long runs/during the runs.  This means if you have not taken Gu gel during long runs, don’t take them now.  If you haven’t had gatorade on long runs, don’t start now.  You get the point.

6. Stretch throughout the week.  With not running as much, your legs want to tighten up.  Keep loose.

7. Reduce Mileage

8. Make sure you don’t go overboard with the carbo load.  You’re going to feel a little fat going in to the race, but this is fine an expected.  Typically, you gain around 1-2 lbs the week leading up to the marathon.  BUT, make sure you don’t go crazy stuffing your face with pasta.  Also, if you’re going to go for the traditional pre-night pasta meal, stick to basic wheat pasta and marinara.  Stay away from cream sauces, etc.

Well, hopefully everyone is ready to go for this final week.  Whether this is your first marathon, or you’re a seasoned veteran going on your 10th…it’s go time.

Monday:

Rest!  Stretch, light core work out optional.

Tuesday:

4-5 miles depending on how your legs feel.  Stretch.

Wednesday:

Rest!

Thursday:

This will be our last run before the marathon…finally!  Take it easy on this run and go for about 30-40 minutes.  Be sure to stretch after.

Friday:

Rest!

Saturday:

1-2 miles optional.  I typically do a little warm up the day before nice and easy, but totally up to the runner.

Sunday:

26.2 miles…best of luck to everyone!

Miles with Myles – Week of 9/27/2010 – The Taper

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a taper.  It’s been a long, hard road over the past 3 months and I really felt it last week.  I had to cut my endurance run short on Saturday as my left leg began giving out on me, so I only ended up making it about 19.5 miles.  While I planned for 21, I made the decision to cut it short rather than shuffle my feet around for another 1.5 miles and risk injury.  Sometimes it’s better to cut your losses and move on.  For those of you not familiar with the term Taper, it simply means to begin reducing your weekly mileage and intensity, giving your beat up body some much needed R&R.  Below is a great article on tapering which I’ve referenced over the past year several times:

http://marathontraining.com/marathon/m_taper.html

I don’t really follow the three week schedule that they provide, but I think the information in the article is very useful.  However you want to do it, just make sure you rest, hydrate and eat healthy foods.  Honestly, the taper is my favorite part about marathon training…enjoy!

Monday:

I took today off due to my lingering injuries, but I’d recommend doing 5-6 miles at an easy pace as well as an upper body workout focusing on biceps, triceps, chest and core.

Tuesday:

7 miles at marathon pace.  Be sure to get a quality run in here since this will be our last “fast” run.  Remember, the general rule of thumb is that it takes 10 days for our bodies to get any benefit from a workout.  We’re about 12 days out at this point.

Wednesday:

Rest!

Thursday:

6 miles – negative splits.  The final mile should be at marathon pace, but you should run your first mile at about a minute slower than your projected marathon pace speeding up 10 seconds per mile.

Friday:

30 minute easy run.

Saturday:

8 miles at a moderate pace.  Don’t go too slow, but you also want to make sure you aren’t pushing too hard.  Try to find a nice balance for this run and appreciate that you aren’t running 15+ miles!

Sunday:

Rest!

Week of 9/20/2010 – Miles with Myles – Few More Weeks Until 26.2

While many Chicago Marathon trainers have hit their peak over the past week, we are g0ing to lag a week behind.  This week will be our final “tough” week as we hit the top of our training schedule, and then begin our taper next week.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term taper, it simply refers to the point in your training where you begin reducing your mileage, typically done 2-3 prior to the marathon date.  I would say that the standard taper begins about 3 weeks out, but I don’t follow this standard approach.  The reason is that I simply think it’s too far away from the race.  The logic behind tapering is that you need to let your body rebuild from what is usually a tough training schedule.  I personally think that two weeks is plenty of time, but again this all depends on you and how quickly your body recovers.  If you go with my schedule and peak two weeks before, make sure you’re getting plenty of rest and eating smart.  You need every bit of quality sleep and food in order to perform at your maximum potential.  Whether you’ve already hit the peak of your training or you’re staring it in the eye, one thing is for sure….a few more weeks until 26.2.

Monday:

7 miles easy.

Tuesday:

55 minute tempo.  Start with a 3 minute warm up and follow up with a 3 minute cool down.  If you’re going at an appropriate tempo pace, you’re going to be sore and exhausted afterward.  Be sure to get a good stretch in.

Fully body workout focusing on core, biceps, triceps and chest.

Wednesday:

30 minutes of cardio optional.

Thursday:

8 miles at a moderate pace.  Follow this up with a solid core workout.

Friday:

5-6 miles easy.

Saturday:

The monster…21 miles.  Some people might wonder why we aren’t going the full 26.2 miles during training.  The answer is that you’ll be spinning your wheels.  When it comes down to it, the human body is not prepared for anything over 20 miles.  Once you hit 21 (especially if it is your first time hitting this distance), you will come to this realization.  If this is your first marathon and this is the longest you’ve run in your life, just be sure to go the full distance.  If you need to walk, by all means do, but finish all 21!  This is the most important run of your training, so make it a quality one.

Sunday:

Rest!

Total Mileage:

Advanced: 50-52 miles

Intermediate: 46-48 miles

Beginner: 42-44 miles

Week of 9/13/2010 – Miles with Myles – Time to Move On

It was a beautiful morning to race here in Chicago on Sunday.  At gun time it was in the mid 50s and it didn’t crawl above 65 before the race was finished.  Nonetheless, I had a tough time and didn’t come anywhere near my goal.  Once again, I battled some illness that crept up on me the day before the race and am still fighting tonight.  With that said, I was able to crank out a final time of 1:31:50, much better than my last time of about 1:36 and some change.  While it wasn’t the best performance of my life, I was pretty happy with how much adversity I pushed through out on the road.  When it comes down to it, if you’re really pushing yourself and testing your mind and body, it’s never going to be easy.  In my opinion, a true marathoner runs at the pace which brings them to the edge of what was once not reality.  If you think about it, this sums up setting a PR.  Breaking through the physical and mental limitations that kept you at a certain pace prior to the moment that you beat it.  Going somewhere you have never gone.  I haven’t felt it in over a year, but when it finally happens, it’s a special moment.  I thought this was going to be the weekend, but what can I say…you win some and you lose some.  This weekend just wasn’t it for me.  The good thing is, most of us have a marathon coming up in a few weeks for one last shot of redemption.  Time to move on.

Monday:

Rest!  If you didn’t race, 6 mile run easy.

Tuesday:

6 miles easy.  Shake out the soreness from racing this past weekend.  If you didn’t race, feel free to sub this easy run with a tempo.  Run 3 minutes warm up, followed by 30 minutes at tempo pace.  Which ever run you choose to do, make sure you get a good stretch in.  Full body work out.  Make sure you do what your body allows.  For instance, my shoulders are very sore from the race, so I am going to do a lite workout.

Wednesday:

Rest!

Thursday:

8 mile run at a moderate pace.  Full body workout focusing on core, biceps and triceps.

Friday:

4-6 800 repeats.  Light jog at 45 seconds slower than marathon pace in between each 800.

Saturday:

12 mile endurance run.  First 6 miles at a moderate pace, last 6 at marathon pace.

Sunday:

Rest!

Total Mileage (For those who raced this weekend):

Advanced: 32 miles

Intermediate: 29 miles

Beginner: 25 miles

Week of 9/13/2010 – Miles with Myles – Time to Move On

It was a beautiful morning to race here in Chicago on Sunday.  At gun time it was in the mid 50s and it didn’t crawl above 65 before the race was finished.  Nonetheless, I had a tough time and didn’t come anywhere near my goal.  Once again, I battled some illness that crept up on me the day before the race and am still fighting tonight.  With that said, I was able to crank out a final time of 1:31:50, much better than my last time of about 1:36 and some change.  While it wasn’t the best performance of my life, I was pretty happy with how much adversity I pushed through out on the road.  When it comes down to it, if you’re really pushing yourself and testing your mind and body, it’s never going to be easy.  In my opinion, a true marathoner runs at the pace which brings them to the edge of what was once not reality.  If you think about it, this sums up setting a PR.  Breaking through the physical and mental limitations that kept you at a certain pace prior to the moment that you beat it.  Going somewhere you have never gone.  I haven’t felt it in over a year, but when it finally happens, it’s a special moment.  I thought this was going to be the weekend, but what can I say…you win some and you lose some.  This weekend just wasn’t it for me.  The good thing is, most of us have a marathon coming up in a few weeks for one last shot of redemption.  Time to move on.

Monday:

Rest!  If you didn’t race, 6 mile run easy.

Tuesday:

6 miles easy.  Shake out the soreness from racing this past weekend.  If you didn’t race, feel free to sub this easy run with a tempo.  Run 3 minutes warm up, followed by 30 minutes at tempo pace.  Which ever run you choose to do, make sure you get a good stretch in.  Full body work out.  Make sure you do what your body allows.  For instance, my shoulders are very sore from the race, so I am going to do a lite workout.

Wednesday:

Rest!

Thursday:

8 mile run at a moderate pace.  Full body workout focusing on core, biceps and triceps.

Friday:

4-6 800 repeats.  Light jog at 45 seconds slower than marathon pace in between each 800.

Saturday:

12 mile endurance run.  First 6 miles at a moderate pace, last 6 at marathon pace.

Sunday:

Rest!

Total Mileage (For those who raced this weekend):

Advanced: 32 miles

Intermediate: 29 miles

Beginner: 25 miles

Week of 9/6/2010 – Miles with Myles – Time for Redemption

A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts, who can punish himself into exhausting pace, and then at the end, punish himself even more.

-Pre

Following a sub par performance in the Rock and Roll Half Marathon earlier this month, I am ready for some redemption in the Chicago Half Marathon on Sunday.  With that said, I will be taking it easy most of the week in preparation since I was pretty sore on my run today.  If you aren’t racing this week, I encourage you to have a high mileage, high intensity week and that you not follow the training schedule that I post this week.  For a similar week to what you should be doing, follow the week of 8/9/2010.  Because it’s race week, we need to make sure that we watch our diets and be sure to eat a lot of whole foods packed with an ample amount of carbs.  Additionally, especially in the days leading up to the race, be sure to keep hydrated.

Monday:

7 miles easy.  I’ve already knocked this one out and it was pretty tough.  I definitely was not fully recovered from my endurance run Saturday so if you’re like me, hopefully you took it easy today.

Tuesday:

1 mile at moderate pace following by 2-3 miles at tempo pace.  Cool down for a mile at an easy pace.  Note: For those of you racing this week, tempo pace is optional.  I personally need to get some sort of speed in the week of the race or else I get out there on race day and “forget” what running fast feels like.  This helps my mind and body stay in tune with the faster running, but I’d say that I probably am in the minority here.  If you usually don’t do any faster runs the week leading up to the race, don’t start now!  The week of a race is when you need to stick to the tried and true.

Upper body work out focusing on biceps, triceps, chest, and core.

Wednesday:

Rest.

Thursday:

7 mile run.  Try to do this run in negative splits, but at the same time, don’t go overboard.  With that said, start out very easy and gradually increase the pace of each mile thereafter.

Friday:

Rest and mandatory full body stretch.

Saturday:

2 mile light jog to loosen up followed by a full body stretch.  This 2 mile jog should be very, very easy.  Enough to get the heart going a little bit.  Also, make sure to eat a nice carb-rich lunch/dinner.  Note: the lunch before the race is the most important meal!

Sunday:

Go Time.

Total Mileage:

Advanced: 33.1 miles

Intermediate: 30.1 miles

Beginner: 25.1 miles

Week of 8/26/2010 – Miles with Myles – Reduced Mileage

I’m not going to lie, toward the end of last week, I was basically a broken man.  By the time the 50 minutes was up during Tuesday’s tempo run, the odometer had struck over 8 miles and I was dead.  Wednesday was much needed, but still wasn’t enough rest for me.  I struggled on Thursday and only made it 9 miles, but still managed to do a small speed work out on Friday at lunch.  Then there was Saturday…I underestimated the heat and didn’t go out until about 9:00 AM.  I needed the rest due to the long week behind me and honestly after getting out there and running, I would rather have just woken up early.  I made it just over 19.5 miles before having to stop due to sheer exhaustion.  When it was all said and done, I had covered about 47 miles, just short of what we were targeting.  A very rough week that I am still feeling today is in the books, so we’re going to take it easy this week and let the body get back.

Monday:

5 miles easy.  Be sure to stretch it out before the run, especially if you’re sore.

Tuesday:

Play this one by ear.  If you’re still exhausted, you may want to for go your tempo and do an easier run ranging from 4-6 miles.  If you’re going easy, run the upper end of the range, but if you’re going to stick with the tempo, I’d shoot to go for around 30 minutes.  Start at your normal tempo pace and adjust accordingly based on how you feel.

Wednesday:

I’m planning on squeezing in an upper body workout focusing on the normal biceps, triceps, chest and core.  I’m going to give a few of these core workouts a shot:

http://runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-393-394–11878-1-1-2,00.html

Thursday:

7 miles at a moderate pace.

Friday:

Fartlek run for 5 miles.  Fartleks are very similar to intervals, but the biggest difference is that they are a normal run with varying distances of bursts of speed built in to it.  The recovery speed should be faster than the speed that you do during your interval training (800 repeats).  This article from cool running describes it in further detail:

http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_1/105.shtml

Saturday:

12 mile endurance run.

Sunday:

Rest!

Total Mileage:

Advanced: 35 miles

Intermediate: 32 miles

Beginner: 27 miles

Week of 8/23/2010 – Miles with Myles – Back at It

I don’t know about you, but after taking it easy last week, I’m definitely ready to get back in to the swing of things with a tough week.  This week we’re going to increase the mileage covering nearly 50 miles.  This will be the most miles covered to date in training and is undoubtedly going to be a difficult, trying week.  Nonetheless, after an easy week with considerably less mileage than the previous week, you should have fresh legs and be ready to go.  If you are struggling in the middle of the week, definitely take Wednesday off and then tailor your mileage accordingly.  Be sure not to sell yourself short, though as these are the weeks where things are going to be painful.  Embrace it and rest assured that these are the weeks that will prepare you for the later miles of the marathon.

Monday:

7 miles at a comfortable pace.  Definitely take it easy on this run so you have fresh legs for the Tuesday tempo.

Tuesday:

This, aside from your endurance run, is the most important run of the week.  Go big and don’t hold back.  50 minutes at an uncomfortable pace.  I am going 6:30 pace on the treadmill and am going to slow it down at certain points during the run as needed, but won’t go below 6:39 pace.  Be sure to hold a strong pace for at least the first 30 minutes before breaking your pace at all.  You want to be pretty flimsy by the end of this one.  If you’re really hurting during the run, remember that you have Wednesday off!

Full body work out focusing on biceps, triceps, chest and core.

Wednesday:

Rest!

Thursday:

10 miles at an easy to medium pace.  I will probably go around 7:30 pace and am really going to try to hold back from going any faster than this.  We want Friday’s speed work to be solid so don’t want to be burned out for it.  We’ll be sore, but we want it to be a manageable sore( :

Full body work out focusing on biceps, triceps, chest and core.

Friday:

Speed work!  Today we are going to do chop downs.  Chop downs are similar to your 800 repeats, but they incorporate negative splits and instead of doing 800s, we’re going a mile on each leg.  Separate the mile legs with a 400 at 45 seconds slower than your projected marathon pace.  I am planning on doing the following: 6:20, 6:10, 6:00, 5:50…my 400s are going to be very slow, around 8:30 pace.  Optional: Sitting the 400s are definitely acceptable.  I personally like to keep my legs going, but also stop a few seconds to drink some gatorade/water during them.

Saturday:

20 miles at an easy pace.  I plan on taking some GU with me and will probably pop it at mile 16.  In general, you want to emulate the marathon as much as possible.  If you plan on taking GUs during the race, take them on your endurance run.  If you plan on drinking gatorade, take one with you on your endurance run.  We don’t want any surprises come race day, so be sure to stick with the tried and true.

Sunday:

FINALLY…chill out and rest the legs.

Week of 8/16/2010 – Miles with Myles – Take er Easy

I just wrapped up the toughest week I’ve had in a long while.  When I was training for Big Sur back in the “Spring” (we don’t really have Spring in Chicago), I promised myself that I would take it easy and not be too intense about the training.  When people asked what my goal for Big Sur was, I told them my goal was to not have a goal.  I just wanted to have fun and thus my training was pretty laid back.  This past week was more of a mental battle than anything.  A 45 minute tempo,  followed up with a nine miler during the hottest/most humid day of the summer in Chicago (I had a few hours of fame that morning!), followed by 4 miles of speed work, and finally wrapping up with an 18 miler…you’ve got to be kidding me!!  Needless to say, I was a little nervous about it, but it’s officially in the past and it really was an incredible week of training.  Hopefully everyone is ready to relax for the rest of the weekend.  Look forward to a less intense week.

Monday:

Knock out an easy 6/7 miler depending on how your legs feel.  Shake out those aches and pains from the prior week and really enjoy this one.

Follow up with a stretch.  I plan on doing an upper body workout focusing on biceps, triceps, chest and core.  For core, I’m going to hit it hard since I slacked off last week due to the intensity of the runs we were doing.  Do the following for core:

50 crunches

25 side crunches

25 crunches

25 side crunches

40 bicycle kicks

40 flutter kicks

40 bicycle kicks

40 flutter kicks

200 total oblique lifts on stand-up machine (alternating 50 on each side)

Note: I am pretty boring and repetitious when it comes to core.  If you want to change it up, by all means go for it!  K and Ben post some good ones on the main page.

Tuesday:

Tempo.  Warm up for 3 minutes at a comfortable pace.  Cover between 35-40 minutes at tempo pace.  If you’re feeling good, don’t hesitate to push further.  We’re only doing 12 miles on our endurance run this week and you also have  day off on Wednesday for recovery.

Wednesday:

I would encourage you to rest your legs today, even those who have been squeezing some sort of cardio/cross training in on Wednesdays.  Training for a marathon is a marathon in itself with each week tied together very closely.  We have easy weeks to be able to conquer the difficult weeks, so rest is key.

Full upper body workout following the same regimen as above.

Thursday:

7 miles at a moderate pace.  Because our endurance run is going to be at marathon pace for half of the run, you don’t necessarily have to run this one at marathon pace.  It’s entirely up to you, but just go with your body and don’t burn yourself out for Saturday’s run.

Friday:

5/6 mile run at an easy pace.  I personally crave speed workouts so it’s going to be tempting for me to hold out, but I promise you all I’m going to practice what I preach and take it easy!  It may have a little to do with the fact that I am going to be on vacation, but who’s keeping count?

Saturday:

Endurance run.  I plan on doing all 12 miles at marathon pace as long as my body is feeling up to it.  I want to run negative splits so I close out the run a little faster than marathon pace.  For those who aren’t familiar with the term, negative splits are when a runner speeds up each mile throughout the race, completing each subsequent mile faster than the previous.

Sunday:

Rest up for another tough week ahead!  We’re going to up our endurance run to 20 miles…

Total Mileage: 35-38

Week of 8/9/10 – Miles with Myles – High Mileage, High Intensity

This week we’re going to hit the road running, and running hard.  After a light week following the Rock and Roll Half Marathon, it’s time to get back in to a normal schedule where we’re going to increase the mileage starting the week off with a 6.5 mile run and closing out with our longest run yet; 18 miles.  Take a deep breath and rest assured that you can trim the endurance run as necessary depending on where you’re at in your training.  Regardless of where you’re at, plan on this being a tough week.  Sunday is going to feel incredible….on second thought, maybe not.

Monday:

6.5 mile run at an easy pace.  Be sure to take it easy and not burn yourself out.  Tomorrow’s tempo needs to be good since you’re coming off an easy week and next week you will more than likely be beat from the week before.  Stretch as necessary.

Tuesday:

Tempo run…3 minute warm up followed by a 45 minute run at tempo pace.  Again, find an uncomfortable, but sustainable pace.  Cool down for 3-5 minutes and be sure to get a good full body stretch in.

Optional:

Full body work out focusing on biceps, triceps, chest and core.  Do the following for core:

50 crunches

25 side crunches

25 crunches

25 side crunches

40 bicycle kicks

40 flutter kicks

40 bicycle kicks

40 flutter kicks

200 total oblique lifts on stand-up machine (alternating 50 on each side)

Wednesday:

Rest.  If you’re feeling up to it, throw in a cross training session or a short, easy jog.  Remember that the 2/3 training program is built with the assumption that you’re going to take Wednesday very easy and rest up.  It’s necessary for most to have this day in order to knock out 3 straight days of longer runs and speed work.

Thursday:

9 mile run.  The first half should be 30 seconds slower than marathon pace followed by the second half at marathon pace or quicker.  Throw in core if your schedule/body permits.  For core, do the same workout as above without the oblique work-outs or sub in one of the core PTs from the main page.

Friday:

Speed work.  I plan on doing some 800 repeats on the treadmill for this one.  Do between four and six 800s at 15-30 seconds faster than your 5K pace followed by a 400 in between the 800s at one minute slower than marathon pace.  You can also rest for 3 minutes in between the 800s as well. I use the treadmill for all of my tempo and speed runs more for peace of mind.  I know exactly how far I am going and how fast.  Most importantly, it forces me to all the way at 110%.  It’s up to you if you want to do your speed/tempos on a treadmill, track, or on the road.  There are pros and cons to each.

Saturday:

Whatever you do, make sure you go long on this.  If you’re dragging at the beginning, slow your pace down to conserve some energy.  If you’re feeling great, still take it easy so you don’t burn yourself out.  These runs should be 30-60 seconds slower than marathon pace.  The whole objective is to get your body used to being up and running for extended periods of time.  An 18 mile run after a 9 miler and intense speed work can be quite intimidating, but my experience is that the last 10K of the run better emulate the final 10K of the actual marathon since your legs are so tired by this point.  It’s tough, but it will pay off in the end.

Sunday:

Rest, eat, sleep, and don’t move off your couch…you deserve it.

Total Mileage: 42.5-45

Week of 8/2/2010 – Miles with Myles – Let’s Get Started

So this is the first week, and coming off a hard-fought battle with the Rock and Roll Half Marathon Chicago, we’re going to have somewhat of a light week.  In general going forward, while I do supplemental upper body workouts 2-3 times during the week, I am going to leave those out of the training regimen and just focus on running and core.

Monday:

No run, upper body workout focusing on chest, triceps, biceps, and full core workout.  For core:

50 crunches

25 side crunches

25 crunches

25 side crunches

40 bicycle kicks

40 flutter kicks

40 bicycle kicks

40 flutter kicks

200 total oblique lifts on stand-up machine (alternating 50 on each side)

Follow this up with a long full body stretch.

Tuesday:

Tempo run…3 minute warm-up followed up by a 35 minute tempo pace.  This should be a pace that is uncomfortable, but sustainable.  Cool down for 5 minutes at a light jog.

Wednesday:

Rest or cross train (bike/swim) no longer than 30 minutes.  For people really ramping mileage, try to squeeze a 30 minute very light jog in if your legs aren’t cooked from the tempo.  I typically start throwing one in there around the middle of my marathon training to increase my weekly mileage.

Thursday:

Typically I do my “longer” mid-week runs on Thursdays, but due to scheduling, I need to move my weekend long run to this day so I will be running 14 miles at about 30 seconds slower than marathon pace.  Normally, I would do a 7-8 mile run at about 15 seconds slower than marathon pace.  Core work out following the same routine above without the oblique machine.

Friday:

Speed work.  Alternate between chop downs  and 800 repeats (see main page description).  In general, try to do any type of interval training that requires you to run at faster than your 5K pace.  I personally feel that chop downs are the best speed work out for me as they require you to simulate negative splits which is something I always have a challenge with, especially in the half to full distance.

Saturday:

For people on the normal schedule, I would do my 14 mile run today.  Do this at about 30 seconds per mile slower than your projected marathon pace.  If you’re feeling good at mile 7, you can take your speed to close to marathon pace.  Make sure that you don’t burn yourself out, though.  These runs are intended to prepare you for being on your legs for 3-5 hours and thus are titled “endurance runs”.

Sunday:

Rest…fully body stretch won’t hurt if you’re sore from the long one the day before.

Total Mileage: 37.5-40