Training Check-In

I'm now 13 weeks into my training plan for the Marine Corps Marathon.  Or, I guess if you want to get technical, I'm 4 weeks into my MCM training, after having completed a 9 week tune-up training regime to get me in shape for the MCM training.  So far, it's been a mixed bag.

My pre-training plan was re-doing the Hanson's Marathon Method training plan using zones for people looking to get a 3-hour marathon.  Having done this plan before, I didn't have any issues with any of the workouts, but I did have some issues hitting some of the prescribed paces.  I might have been overreaching on the target zones for these workouts, but considering the relatively short duration of the regime I was doing, I didn't bother re-working the zones.

Sometime between starting that plan and now, The Boy has started sleeping through the night, and not in that stupid way that pediatricians define "sleeping through the night" of sleeping for eight consecutive hours (which means he's getting up at least once at ~3am), but actually sleeping until a normal wake-up time, which is typically around 6:30am.  We'd love to get him sleeping until 7am like his sister, but his wake-ups now are late enough, and with enough regularity, that I can plan early morning workouts again.

That has been hugely helpful in finding the time to get my workouts in, especially with how hot and humid it has been recently.  I thought that would get me over the hump and into my training groove, but I've had nothing but unsuccessful after unsuccessful workout since jumping over to the Daniel's 2Q plan.  As I detailed in the last post, there are two "quality" workouts each week, the shortest one I believe is 12 miles, but they are typically around 14 or so miles and they include "easy" paces along with some intervals which can range from long tempo to short anaerobic intervals.

I'm usually pretty good through the first 8 miles or so, but then fade quickly after that.  In my defense, the weather has been terrible for running.  When I did my run this morning, it was 77° at 5am with a ton of humidity.  I believe the dew point was in the mid-to-low 70s.  If you're not sure why that's important, you can calculate the "running index" using the two added together.  Here's a chart of the pace adjustments based on that running index.  Basically, I should have adjusted my pace by about 4.5% based on that chart.  Practically, that means instead of 8:00/mile I should have been running 8:20/mile and for the tempo portions, I should have been running 7:07 instead of 6:50.

That said, I can't begin to express how frustrating it is that I have not been able to hit my targets for a single workout in the Daniel's plan.  I realize a huge contributing factor is the heat and humidity, but the mental aspect of it is really trying and making me question if I am way off for my marathon goals.  I don't have a good yardstick to know if the training paces are appropriate for me if the conditions would be more ideal.  Honestly, after running a half marathon today, I question whether I can even complete a marathon, let alone hit my goal time.

I'm going to keep struggling through this thing, knowing that I am getting something out of this training even if I'm not hitting my goals and hope that I'm getting enough out of it that I'll be able to hit my goals once the weather finally cools off and the humidity takes a break.

Just as an aside, if you're interested in the running index, I made a little Google Sheet that will take the temperature, the relative humidity, and your target pace and tell you how you should adjust your pace based on the weather conditions.  You can view it here.


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