Houston Marathon Training – Week 1

I survived Week 1!


That means I’m way, way ahead of my 2014 attempt at a marathon, i.e. the time I got injured before I even started training.  When training for Houston starts to get hard it will be difficult not to say”Well, I’m way ahead of where I was in 2014 so maybe I should just quit while I’m ahead!”

So: last week.  Aside from Wednesday’s attempt at a faster pace than usual (oof), the running itself was not too hard.  The overall mileage was actually a bit less than the ~40 miles I averaged per week in July and August.  The problem was that work got a bit crazy leading up to Labor Day and I ended up going out 3 nights in a row, which was probably more going out than I did in the entirety of August.  Foam rolling, yoga, strength/core work, and adequate sleep fell by the wayside.  I fully intend to keep socializing and having fun during the rest of this 20 week training cycle but I definitely want to maintain a better balance so I don’t end up losing a ton of sleep and skipping injury prevention exercises.

This is the plan I’m (mostly) following.  Here is Week 1 per the plan:


Here is what I actually did:

Monday, 29-Aug: I wanted to do this workout on the track in the morning but slept horribly on Sunday night.  So I did an afternoon treadmill workout instead.  I am trying to keep the treadmill running to a minimum but it was something like 95 degrees in the afternoon and I couldn’t move this to another day.  Anyway: 1 mile warm up, 4 x 800m @ 7:03 pace with 400m recovery, 1 mile cool down for 4.75 miles.  Also did 25 minutes of yoga afterwards.  For most of the summer I’ve been using this video 2-3 times per week.  It feels really good to do extra stretching in the afternoon after I’ve been sitting all day for work.

Tuesday, 30-Aug: Rest.  As much as possible I’m trying to schedule morning runs for days when I don’t have to go to the office.  On Tuesday I had a 7 AM conference call at home with a whiny cat in the background and then I went to the office.  It was a long day and it felt good not to run.

Wednesday, 31-Aug: In the morning I did my first attempt at speed work on the running trail since…probably March.  The plan states “45 minute fartlek”, so I decided to jog to the trail and then run a 5 mile loop.  I programmed the workout into my Garmin with a target pace of 7-7:10 for the fast segments and  8:30-9:00 min/mile pace for the “moderate” segments.  (That seems slow compared to how I was running earlier this year but my easy runs this summer have been 9:30-10:00 min pace, so I was trying not to be overly ambitious.)  The execution was a bit flawed– my warm up was too short and my Garmin kept buzzing during the fast segments because I’d start sprinting, then slow down, then pick up the pace again, etc.  I think I should have put in a slower and wider margin like 7:00-7:30.  The good news was that I was comfortably able to run 8:30-9:00 min pace without much thought.  Also, aside from some execution flaws, I think this was a good first workout back on the trail since I was running fast (and increasing my turnover) but just for a minute at a time.  The bad news was that this workout felt really tough.  Other bad news was that I had another run scheduled in the afternoon.

AM run: Too short warm-up, d6 x 1 min @ 5K (7:00-7:10 pace), 5 min @ “moderate” (8:30-9:00 pace), cool down (5.38 miles).

Running doubles may seem like a weird idea given my total weekly mileage but I’m trying this for the next few weeks on the advice of a veteran Cap to Coast runner.  During the relay I’ll be running 3 times in approximately 24 hours for a total of around 20 miles.  So the idea is that running doubles once a week will get me used to less recovery time. AM workout + PM run probably wasn’t the best idea but the overall mileage for the day was okay.

PM run: 5 miles easy on the treadmill

We went to the Paramount at night to see Some Like It Hot and then I ate an enormous amount of Amy’s Ice Cream because it was my birthday.

Thursday, 1-Sep: Due to evening plans I had to do this run in the morning, which was not pleasant after two runs and a late night on Wednesday.  4.13 miles easy.

On Thursday night I went to a happy hour and dinner and didn’t get home until around 10, which is super late for me during the week!


Friday, 2-Sep: Rest, thankfully. Although I had another late night so we could see one last summer classic movie at the Paramount (Rebel Without a Cause).

Saturday, 3-Sep: Early morning group run.  Plan called for 7 mile “long run”, I ended up with 8.07 miles (ran with someone doing a 5 mile loop + mileage to/from our meeting spot).  I felt remarkably good given several nights of suboptimal sleep.

Saturday night we stayed home and ate burgers and fries while watching the last episode of Stranger Things.  Stranger Things is SO GOOD by the way.  Usually I shy away from anything remotely sci-fi but I loved this show.


French fries (and Eggo waffles) 4-ever

Sunday, 4-Sep: Another early morning group run.  This time I ended up with 5.86 miles (weird mileage is again due to running to/from the group meeting spot).

Total: 33.19 miles

Even though the lower mileage initially concerned me (I’m running a marathon, shouldn’t I be running more?!), I was thankful to run less while upping the speed work a bit.  This week should be around 35 miles if I follow what I entered into Excel awhile back.  Goals this week will be to sleep more, not slack on yoga/stretching/etc., and keep up the speed work even if I have to run more by effort vs. target pace since I’m slower.

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2 Responses to Houston Marathon Training – Week 1

  1. Angela says:

    Week 1 in the books!! You’ve got 20 weeks so I wouldn’t worry too much about volume just yet. Also happy birthday!! 😀


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