Chicago Marathon Training – Week 5

Marathon training week 5. It wasn’t pretty and I am glad it’s over! Let’s hope week 6 is better!

Monday – Club session – Bleep test, 400’s and 75m sprints – 3.54 miles in total Av. pace 8:38

It was an extremely hot day, so our club session was modified. We were running on grass (which I’m not a fan of, as it makes you work harder!) After a mile warm-up, we started the bleep test. If you have never heard of this it is a 20-metre multi-stage fitness test.

Group photo after run club

Basically you run between two cones 20 metres apart continuously between beeps. The beeps are spread out at the start, so you start quite slow, but every minute the beeps move up and level and get closer together.

I used to have the pleasure of doing this test every Friday night of our England basketball training sessions! You would, therefore, think I would be better at it! I find it mentally very tough and often give up! I think I got to Level 6.something, but I could just be making that up!

After water and shade, we headed out to complete 400’s. We were supposed to give ourselves enough rest to keep the pace consistent. I progressively got slower!

We finished the session with 75M sprints concentrating on form. I wished I had videoed them, as what I think I look like is not what I actually look like!

Tuesday – Gym Session

Upper body workout at the gym.

Wednesday – 6 Mile Tempo Run – Av Pace 9:12

Tempo runs during marathon training are important, but I always dread them! It was another warm day, so I took the pressure off myself deciding very early on that if I needed to stop and break up this run with rest due to heat, I would. It meant that I was stressing about the run all day,

I met with Vic and Simon at 7:30 pm and luckily it had cooled a bit by that point so we headed off to see what would happen!

1-mile warm-up (uphill!), then 6 miles and all bar one, were sub 9-minute mixing. I was happy with that.

Team Tempo, happy to have completed the tempo run!
All smiles after the tempo is over.

Thursday – Rest Day

Cartoon - Train for a marathon they said, it'll be fun they said...
SO true, it’s hard, but it’s worth it! Marathons are hard work!

Friday – 16-mile Long run – Av Pace 10:44

Due to a wedding at the weekend, I changed my long run to Friday. The weather had turned big time! My alarm went off at 5:30 am and I knew immediately that my mind wasn’t ready for this run. I was beating myself up about having to complete this run. I contemplated not going SO many times.

About 10 minutes before I was due to head out, the thunder and lightning started. I rang my friend and called off. There was no way I was running in Thunder and Lightening.

You can imagine how much of a mental battle I was having after calling it off, especially when the weather started to brighten up. I watched the Chicago Marathon course video on Youtube.

I also filtered week 5 on this blog to read where I was at in my other training cycles. It appears that week 5 is always my tough week. In previous cycles, I have been ill and not completed the long run in full.

I took the positive; I wasn’t ill, so actually I just needed to get out and get this done. That would mean that I was further on than other cycles. 11 am, 5 and a half hours after I had got up, I got myself out of the door. I ran the first 6 miles on my own and yes, it started to thunder and lightening as I ran. I met with Christine to complete the final 10 miles.

We experienced all the weather and when the sun did come out it was HOT. I was grateful for all the cars that made me stop and wait to cross the road. I took additional breaks and at 13 miles, I had to walk. My legs really didn’t feel like they had recovered from Wednesday tempo run. I really gritted my teeth to get the full 16 miles completely.

Miles splits from my long run
Not all runs can be great!

Saturday – Rest Day

After yesterdays struggle bus run, I welcomed this extra rest day with open arms.

Sunday – Was supposed to be 6 miles, but ended another Rest day!

After sitting in the car for over 6/7 hours, arriving in Croydon at 7 pm meant that this ended up being another rest day! Not really what I wanted, but it is what it is, and I will just try harder next week.

Marathon training isn’t easy, but it’s always worth it.

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