Chicago Marathon Training – Week 1

So, here we go again. The 16-week count down to Chicago Marathon is on, and all thoughts are firmly fixed on October 13th 2019. My flights and hotel are booked and it’s now all about the hard work.

Chicago Marathon Logo

I really want to improve my time for Chicago and I have been hitting the gym prior to this marathon cycle starting, as well as losing a little weight (not as much as I had hoped) and fairly high monthly mileage. But as soon as I see the paces that my coach has set me for my training plan, I start to doubt that I want to go faster! hehe.

Sunday – LSR – 12miles – Av. pace 10:26

Long Run – 12 miles. I am lucky that another club member has signed up to a marathon the week prior to Chicago Marathon and we are similar paces, so we are hopefully doing a lot of training together. Having children means we like to get up and out early, so decided to start this session at 6:30 am. We both set off from home and met after 2 miles. The early miles felt tough and it took a long time for my body to wake up and my legs to get going. As I started to get into my stride, we ran up a horrible hill which zapped the pace. As soon as the hill was conquered, the pace felt fine. The concentration was mainly on slowing ourselves down to stick to the pace.

Monday – Speed – 4.5 miles – Av. pace 9:03

My legs HURT loads today! My quads were not my friend and I can’t say that I was looking forward to my running club session.

Split times from Monday's session
Split from Monday’s session

We started the warm up, and my legs felt like lead. I took it really easy and chatted with friends. The session was 425 loops and 325 loops! We had to pair up with someone of similar ability, so our recovery would be about the same time as we were running. Throughout the session, it felt extremely hard work, but I was being pulled along by another club mate. By the end of the session, I felt I had nothing left in my legs and quite sick. When I looked back at my splits, I now understand why!!!

Tuesday – Rest day (from running!)

AM: Gym – upper body and core.

The strength work is essential, as I can’t expect my body to get faster, without doing somethings differently. As I am going to be pushing it, I need to help it not to break, by making it stronger!

Wednesday – Tempo run – 5 miles – Av. pace 9:55

My tempo run was taking place in the evening, so that meant I had all day to worry about it! Silly really, as the paces that were set are all within my capabilities, but for some reason, it was still a worry!

The plan was 2 miles warm up, 2 miles tempo 8:55-9:10 pace and then 1 mile cool down. Trying to find a route that doesn’t include hills was the main aim, so myself and Simon decided to repeat a 3/4 mile loop that we know. It isn’t the most inspiring route, but it was more about concentrating on the running than taking in the surroundings.

My legs felt sluggish again during the warm-up, and I did wonder if I would be able to hit the paces set but as soon as my watch beeped 2 miles we were off. The pace actually felt quite ok, and we managed to hit both miles at bang on pace. In total, we completed 5 miles, which it really didn’t feel like. I think concentrating on the 2 in the middle, made me forget about the other three!

Thursday – Club session – 5 miles – Av. pace 9:55

AM – Gym – Core & lower body

Mid-morning – Yoga – full body stretch

PM – Club Session Hills

This was hard! My glutes were on fire from the start and then working hard up and down the hills made me very happy that tomorrow is a rest day!

Elevation chart from Thursdays session
It’s all about the hills.

Friday – REST DAY – Yiiipppppeeee

This was SO needed!

Saturday – 4 miles – easy! – Av. pace 9:34

I headed over to Bedford Parkrun to complete this run. My pace was supposed to be 9:45 -, but can you ever really run park run without being a little competitive??

Sunday – Long Run – 13 miles -Av. pace 10:10

Another early alarm can only mean one thing – Sunday Runday. 13 miles on the plan, so that’s exactly what we did. Our pace was set between 9:55 – 10:20. I started slowly as it was so early and it takes me time to wake up!

We picked up the pace and although it felt ok, around 8 miles the negative mind games kicked in. Telling myself that I can’t run this pace and that I was going to struggle at the end. I wanted the run to be over and done with then. So from 8 miles, I had to grit my teeth and try some PMA (positive mental attitude)

Running Shot

So week 1 is done and now I have to repeat it (+ further runs) x 15. Wow, that sounds scary, but I know it will be worth it! Chicago Marathon here I come!

Does anyone else struggle with the negative thoughts creeping in when you try to run faster? Any tips?

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