Training Tuesday: Marathon Fatigue

Happy Tuesday! I’ve got another 7 miles at goal marathon effort on the ‘mill this morning (it’s just too cold/ icy out to do this in the early mornings on the roads in the winter, so I’m building up my mental stamina) and some strength. I’ve come to really look forward to my early morning Tuesday alarms (4am), although when it first goes off I definitely look something more-so like this:

I’ve been wanting to do a post about marathon fatigue for a while now because it’s something that I honestly always forget about (and I’ve ran 6 marathons). It’s those first 4 weeks or so of training (for me, anyways), where everything feels terrible. Your legs feel dead, speed is just not happening, and anything surrounding marathon pace is plain ugly.

IMG_4313.JPG

Your almost always tired and the fatigue in those easy recovery runs is 100% REAL. I always equate those recovery runs to running through mud, with weights on your legs. Which is honestly how these runs should feel like. They’re getting the blood flowing, your main goal is to NOT work your cardiovascular system too much (save it for those speed/long/tempo runs in your week!), and it’s just working out all those kinks. Which is why it should feel hard/terrible/aweful.

IMG_4360.JPG

Your body is also adjusting to a new schedule, which is one of the hardest things for me! Getting into a new routine is CHALLENGING. Until I make it a habit, it’s a struggle to get up early, find a good time each week to fit in my strength/ yoga/ rest day/ long run day etc. After those 4 or so weeks, I’ve finally adjusted (mentally AND physically) to training. I know how I’ll feel after certain runs and by trail and error (many marathon training cycles to go off of), and also when running/training works best for you. Unfortunately, if it’s your first or second marathon you may not yet have this down.

bazu-16223983.JPG

Marathon training takes a lot of time and energy. FIguring out how it works into your schedule and ADJUSTING to it takes PATIENCE. It’s not going to magically feel good overnight (or rarely will you ever feel great until after race day) and it takes a few weeks to adjust to ANY new training plan/schedule/routine (like anything in life, right?). I think getting over that 4-5 week training hump is hard with every new training cycle I begin and sometimes I find that it isn’t working and something needs to change. I did this for my goal Fall marathon (LV Rock n Roll) and found that switching to the half would be best for me where I was in life at the moment. That’s OK and sometimes it’s harder to acknowledge where you are versus where you want to be and make adjustments from there. Give yourself time, patience, and grace.

———————————————————————————————

I’d love to know your tips when beginning a new cycle (marathon or something else!)- do you find to have an adjustment period? How long does it take for you?

Favorite day of the week? —> Almost always Thursdays. You’re on the cusp of the end of the week and by then I’ve got my long workdays behind me!

Where are you able to train right now ? Roads? Trails? Treadmill?



Training Tuesday: My Favorite MANTRAS When Things Get Tough!

When I’m running a marathon or doing a really TOUGH speedworkout/ marathon-paced miles- I truly rely on mantras. Words/ Phrases/ Thoughts that I come back to that make me feel tough and fierce. I’m continuing to work on my mental stamina (you NEED to practice it if you want it to show up on race day) and have found that the marathon-paced miles are the best time to do so. I rely on those workouts to get me out of any funks I’m feeling and internally own my run so I can outwardly project it come race day. Anytime that I can remind myself how grateful and lucky I am to be able to push my body to its limits and get stronger —> I take it.

IMG_4070.JPG

Here are some of my favorite mantras that get me going and help me ‘refocus’ when my mind begins to get bogged down with negative thoughts:

Dig Deep.

Grateful and strong.

You got this.

Believe and Achieve.

Attitude of Gratitude.

You are tough.

Prove them wrong.

—————————————————————————————————————

I want to know what YOUR favorite mantras/ words/ phrases are when things get tough!

Training Tuesday: Sharing My Strength Training Routine!

Happy Tuesday! I’ve been wanting to share with you for a while now my current strength training routine and now I finally am! I switch up my strength training exercises every 6-8 weeks and increase my reps that I do every 2 weeks, so I can continually get stronger (you body eventually adapts to the strength training exercises that you do if you continually do them no matter how many more reps/weights you add on). I’ve honestly noticed a HUGE difference in my overall strength and mobility now that I’ve started keeping track of when I need to change up my exercises (I started doing this seriously in July 2018). I will sometimes use old exercises I’ve done when creating a new routine/ use ones I’ve found in Magazines, online, instagram, etc. / or come up with some of my own.

Here’s a full breakdown of my exercises and then below I’ve got a full video for you. I’ve just started doing 3 rounds of each exercises (previously did 2 rounds of 12 and then began with 2 rounds of 10) and will build up to doing 3 rounds of 15 of each exercises before introducing a new strength training routine. I love ones that work on multiple muscle groups at once, especially if they challenge my balance or work on my running form as well.

IMG_1810.jpg

Here is the video if you’re wondering what some of these exercises are. I meant to do them in order of the sheet, but I forgot so feel free to reach out to me if you’re wondering what one specific exercise looks like. I didn’t show wall squats in the video, but figured most people know what those are/ I was limited in the space that I had to shoot the video too ; )

I’ve got some 1k (~.62 mi) repeats this morning on the treadmill & some strength as well (I’m doing my hard days hard- i.e. strength & challenging workouts, so I can take my easy days super easy). Wish me luck!

———————————————————————-

How often do you change up your strength training routine?

What are some of your favorite strength exercises?!?

Favorite speed workout distance? —> 800s I think? Anything shorter feels really fast and anything longer just feels really long!

Training Tuesday: So You've Signed Up For A Marathon- Now What?

Happy Tuesday! I wanted to share with you some tips that I’ve learned over the course of training for 6 marathons. While I’m still learning every training cycle, I also remember a few things that I read when training for my first that were totally incorrect/ inaccurate! Signing up for a new distance or new goal can be totally scary/ exhilarating (ahem- how I’m feeling about my first 50 miler in May!). You’ve made the plunge to sign-up, but now the real work begins when you have to actually train?!?

So here are a few things that I’ve found helpful when training for marathons specifically!

IMG_1512.JPG

Find a time to fit in your training runs and be non-negotiable on those times. When you’re working on a new schedule, it can be challenging those first 3-4 weeks adjusting. Be kind to yourself, but also know that once you get on the new schedule it will feel easier! If you’re not a morning person, then schedule in your runs after work (just like a meeting). Or if you can do mid-day runs, then fit them in just like a meeting. Don’t back out on yourself and visualize that finish line when you try to come up with excuses.

Get used to planning ahead. When I was training for my first marathon, I was a terrible planner. I had a ‘rough’ idea of when my long run would be or how I’d refuel after running, but it wasn’t until after a few marathon training cycles that I realized how imperative it was to plan ahead for these things. Now, I know how I’ll refuel post-run, where I’m running the next day (which can always change depending on weather/ poor sleep etc.), and if I need to take in a few extra calories today for tomorrow’s longer run.

IMG_7024.jpg

Stretching and strength training are necessary and as important as running! I’ve just started to stretch way more than I used to and it has helped me so much. I now switch up my strength training schedule every 6-8 weeks so my body doesn’t become stagnant (your body will actually plateau if you continue to work on the same exercises for an extended period of time (I usually increase weight/reps over 6 weeks then switch to a new routine)- no matter if you increase the weight/ reps). Try not to skimp on these things and make them as much of a priority as running.

Find a training plan that works for your schedule (or hire a coach)! I’ve tried so many various training plans. Some worked great for me, others were not what worked for my schedule or training goals- know that every person is unique and your training plan should be that way too! Don’t expect to get the same results as your BFF from the same training plan- everyone is different.

IMG_6998.JPG

Anticipate on being tired and know that that’s NORMAL! I cannot tell you how exhausted I was when training for my first few marathons. I couldn’t fathom how people who had full-time jobs and kids trained for marathons because it took up so much of my time! It took me until maybe my 4th marathon where I finally started to feel like training wasn’t kicking my butt. Trust the training process and be kind to yourself.

IMG_1528.JPG

——————————————————————

What are some types you’d give to a first-time marathoner?!



Training Tuesday: Why Your Running FORM Is So Important

Monday: check. Tuesday: off to a new start! I’ve got another speedwork on tap this AM and then will do my first double workout Tuesday (will begin this new schedule with Tuesdays & Thursdays so I can get in both longer runs and strength! )- speedwork on the treadmill this morning then will get in my strength (& a mile or two run at home after work to flush everything out). Also very excited for my rest day tomorrow. Hoping it includes more of this view.

IMG_1547.JPG

Also saw this answer to a Q & A on Instragram from Sally McRae (@yellowrunner on Instagram) and LOVED her response. Also totally boosted my confidence for my upcoming 50 miler in May!

IMG_1682.PNG

SO I’ve been doing a bunch of reading of running-related books lately and they all seem to have a few common themes- one of which is running form! I’ve honestly never put too much emphasis on my running form- I have thought about driving my elbow back or running more on the front of my foot (as opposed to my heel), but overall it hasn’t played a huge part in my everyday running thoughts. BUT it is SO important. Why? Because it helps you save energy when running (really helpful for those long-distance runs), helps you get faster (you’re using less energy!), and helps prevent injuries (if you’re striking your heel or overusing certain muscle groups, you’re working them too hard and need to displace your weight more evenly).

IMG_7090.jpg

One of the things that I’ve been focusing on lately is driving my knee up to the sky. I’ve never really thought about it so much unless I’m running over hurdles and things like that (i.e. on the trails so I don’t fall on my face from tree roots), but focusing on it has dramatically improved my overall paces. I’ve noticed that my butt and hamstrings are actually exhausted at the end of each run when I’m focusing on driving my knee from them (BUT they’ve already started to improve my running efficiency and they are getting less tired than they were a few weeks ago).

Here are few other great articles that help explain why running form is so important:

—> This one from Runner’s World talks all about the different focus points in your entire body to be thinking about. A lot to take in from one run to the next, but I think focusing on each area for a period of time before trying to add them all in together will really help!

—> This one from Active. Com wraps up a bunch of articles done by them regarding biomechanics, where the weight needs to fall on your foot when running, how to rethink your running form, etc. Great overall resources for specific questions that you may have regarding running form!

—————————————————————————————

What do you think of when you’re focusing on your running form?

Favorite way to spend a rest day from running?

Where do you primarily do your training runs?