Striding Through

Because a life well lived always finds the right pace

On the Road to New York, Week 1

I’m now into Week 2 of training for the New York City Marathon on November 7. This will enable me to check off another box in my quest to run all five of the World Marathon Majors.

This comes after a summer of not focusing at all on marathon or long distance training; indeed from April 19 when I ran the Boston Marathon, until August 7, I didn’t do a single run longer than 13 miles. I think (or at least I hope) this break was good for me both mentally and physically. As I ramped back up to training last week, I felt eager to get it on, even though the heat and humidity outside was stifling.

All in all it was a good start last week, with 41 miles logged, plus another 20 or so of cycling. During the week I ran one final summer 5k race, and then I capped off the week with a long run of 16 on Saturday.

One of the things I’m trying to do this fall is re-institute my commitment to cycling as my primary form of cross-training (with soccer being my other form). Two years ago, when I was training for the Outer Banks Marathon, I alternated my weekend long runs with weekend long rides. In other words, on one Saturday I would do a long run, the next I would get on the bike and go for a long ride. When OBX rolled around I was in perhaps my best marathon shape ever, and while I didn’t PR on race day, I did run a very solid 3:21:35. I also recovered very quickly from OBX.

The reason I picked up the cycling back then was my recovery from a groin injury in the spring of that year. I couldn’t run for much of the spring and early summer, so once I was at about 70% recovery status, I cycled. Lo and behold, it turned out I really enjoyed it a lot, and I also noticed it helped my fitness. Then when I finally could resume regular training, I decided to keep the cycling as part of it. I find that cycling serves two great purposes for my training — it provides some serious endurance work and it takes some stress off the joints.

In preparation for longer riding this fall, I even went out and got myself  a new (actually used but it’s nice) road bike, and have already put down one ride of 35 miles on it, plus a bunch of shorter rides.

All of this leads to the current week:

Done so far –

  • Monday 5k easy jog at recovery pace
  • Tuesday 7.6 mile progression run, finishing at marathon pace
  • Wednesday track intervals 8×500 at 5k race pace
  • Thursday 5 miles easy recovery pace, 45 minute core session

Planned for the rest of the week –

  • Friday 8-10 with some tempo
  • Saturday 35-40 miles road cycling
  • Sunday soccer with my coed adult team

That will leave me with fewer miles this week, somewhere around 31, but I’ll get a big ride in and that will set me up for next week. Next week the running mileage will approach 45, including a weekend long run of 18. I envision this type of trend persisting throughout the fall until taper time kicks in around mid-October. I’m nowhere near marathon fitness right now, but I’m confident that by November 7, I will be as ready as I’ve ever been.

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