The Fargo Marathon is now just weeks away and Team Swanson is in their final push for training. The weather has finally started to turn towards “spring-like” and you can tell just in their faces that running outside in nicer weather really has a positive impact on their race preparations.
Let’s take a look at their updates for the past week...
Nathan—Half Marathon Runner
Another week of training is in the books. My training has remained fairly consistent as far as the schedule goes. Each week I typically add more distance to each day but I like to stay in a routine. Here’s a look at my runs last week and their distances for this point in my schedule.
Monday was a 4.5 mile run where I look to run a steady 4 miles and then pick the pace up the final half mile. Tuesday is my speed workout day where I do an 800m warm-up followed by 8 x 400m at my race pace with a 200m recovery. On Wednesday I did a short run (3 miles) to stretch my legs where I don’t care too much about my pace. Thursday I sped things up again with 4 miles at my half-marathon race pace. I do my rest days for the week on Friday before my long run on Saturday which this last week was 10 miles. I try to run my long run at a good pace, but focus on getting in the distance and not hurting the legs. Sunday usually is just a short run (3 miles) to stretch the legs out. I did slack on Sunday this week though as I was traveling to Denver, CO and spent the time visiting family and friends.
On my longer runs I am using Strawberry Banana Energy Gels from PowerBar to provide some energy. I’d like to find other flavors that I like but I used these during my previous marathon and half-Ironman races with great success and haven’t found anything that works better for me yet. This week is my last week of increasing my distances before beginning to taper to race day.
Kurt—Half Marathon Runner
Since it’s been warming up outside I’ve been mixing more cycling into my routine. Over the weekend my wife and I replaced our cars with bikes, and rode to our destinations rather than drove. On Saturday I went on a late night ride by myself (with the proper protective gear!) and spent most of Sunday resting my muscles. I also did another 8-mile ride on Monday.
The balance ball came in and I’ve switched it out with my office chair. It’s taking some adjusting, but my muscles are getting used to it. I can already tell it’s forcing me to fix my posture. It’s also much more comfortable on my legs and bottom. The new “chair”, paired with the core workouts on Tuesdays and Thursdays, should help strengthen my abdomen and help me prepare for the marathon.
We’re less than 3 weeks away now. I won’t be overextending myself, but I plan on fitting in a couple 10-mile runs before the week of the marathon. My muscles feel ready, and I’m mentally prepared for the challenge ahead. As long as I stay on course it should be a great run.
Chris—Half Marathon Runner
Last week was supposed to be the “hard” week for me, but after the 11 miles the weekend before, I pretty much took this week off for training and gave my knees/Achilles a rest. I definitely learned that I need to eat something before I run that distance again. By mile 8 I was hungry and I could feel it affecting my run. By mile 11 I was done, I just wanted it to be finished. I had a banana, some crackers and a piece of buttered toast when I cooled down–and I felt pretty good about it. Usually I can’t eat for a few hours after I run.
Last Saturday was 12 miles, which effectively puts me over the hump for my training. There are only 2 more long training runs and they are much shorter so I’m looking forward to that–I’m sure they will seem like nothing now. I started the morning with a piece of buttered toast, 2 FRS energy chews, half a glass of orange juice and a glass of water about 30 minutes before my run. Run went very well, felt good and didn’t have to push hard to keep going. I didn’t have the hunger I had before, which allowed me to focus on the run and less on how hungry I was. As of today–I’m really feeling the effects of the weekend. I only did 3 miles last night and it was brutal, absolutely brutal–I’m not sure if it was the humidity or the allergens in the air but my body just had no desire to run last night, and today my legs just ache. I might have to take it easy for the next couple days before the weekend run. I don’t want to hurt myself so close to race day…
So my training got a little off track last week. My husband and I took a quick trip out of town over the weekend that turned into a bit longer than the weekend due to travel delays (again, stupid snow). So I got back on the horse last Wednesday with a circuit training session. I was also still able to fit in a couple runs. I did a 5 mile on Thursday and a 6 mile on Sunday. Hard sayin' how my pace was for Sunday's as I went with my eight-year old daughter who was trying out her new bike and had to stop at the playground...but I got my miles in!
For this week my recipe remains the same: eat (mostly) healthy, stay hydrated, remain unhurt, get my workouts in.
This week I hung in there with my usual M/W/F running and T/Th training sessions. I’m going a little bit further and a hint faster. I won’t be the fastest one out there, but I’m just concerned with completing the race and not embarrassing my relay team! I realized my lower back was killing me during my runs and had to purchase some new shoes to ensure proper arch support. With the pain I was in, cute is no longer an option. I just want to feel good when I’m running!
The weather is attempting to behave for us “up north” and I hope this week to run to work and home from work to get in my first 6 mile day! This should be interesting…I may have to hail a cab! My joints have been taking their sweet time trying to recover after runs and workouts so I’ll be ordering some L-arginine (for recovery) and glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM (for my joints) in my employee order this week.
We finally saw spring-like weather last weekend, but my motivation was everywhere but running. It was the first nice weekend this spring, so cleaning the grill, windows and other parts of the house took priority over running.
I did increase my miles though as I work toward the 6.75 relay miles coming up in just over two weeks. I did five miles on the treadmill late last week and another four earlier this week. I’m due for another five miles this Thursday and hopefully an outside run this weekend. So far the longer distances haven’t been too bad, neither have the muscles and joints the day after! My plan is to work up to six miles by the week before the race. Having run a few of these before, I know the adrenalin and the other runners will help push me to a little longer distance than I’m used to.