Chicago Marathon Training: Week 1

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Good Morning and Happy Monday! My seventh marathon training cycle officially kicked off last week and I’m really excited about this one! I earned a guaranteed entry to the 2017 Chicago Marathon with a sub-3:15 at the Goodlife Marathon last year. It’s the 40th Anniversary of this incredible race and it’s also one of the six World Marathon Majors! This will be the second World Marathon Major (I finished the NYC Marathon in 2016) and I hope to participate in my third World Marathon Major in Boston in 2018. I’ve heard so many amazing things about Chicago and can not wait to run it!

After a very successful training cycle in the Fall, I asked Coach Colin to come up with an even more challenging plan for Chicago. I really want to break 3:10 and am targeting a 3:05 as a stretch goal. I needed a few weeks off to recover from a very busy Spring race season so this training plan will be 16 weeks instead of 18. Here is a breakdown of what a typical week will look like:

  • Monday – Recovery Day
  • Tuesday – Steady Run
  • Wednesday – Workout
  • Thursday – Recovery Run
  • Friday – Workout
  • Saturday – Easy Run or Day Off (depending on how I am feeling)
  • Sunday – Long Run (more long runs than the Spring training plan!)

[ week 1 / 15 weeks until the Chicago Marathon ]

Monday – W01D01 – Recovery Day! My training plan may have officially kicked off, but Monday’s are recovery days and I really needed to recover from Saturday’s Waterfront 10K race!

Tuesday – W01D02 – Steady Run – 8 kilometers/38:09/4:46 pace (Strava Results). Up early to get my run in because I’m in leadership training at work and won’t get home in time to get my run in. Kept the pace relatively steady today and felt pretty good!

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Wednesday – W01D03 – Workout  (warm-up | 10x400m, 1:00 rest | cool-down | Strava Results). The first workout of the training plan and coach has me getting right into it with 10 400-metre intervals with one-minute rest between. Like yesterday, I got up early to get this run in. Felt pretty strong and even got some of my paces to dip into the mid-3:30/km pace. The intervals were only 400 meters, but that’s still really fast for me!

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Thursday – W01D04 – Recovery Run (6 kilometers/32:16/5:23 pace | Strava Results). Kept it nice and easy on today’s recovery run. Another early start (I’m really starting to like these early morning runs!) today. Felt in control the entire time and didn’t feel the urge to speed up which I’m really happy with! Really need to keep the easy runs easy.

Friday –W01D05 – Workout (warm-up | 1:00, 1:00 jog | 3:00, 1:00 jog | 5:00, 1:00 jog | 5:00, 1:00 jog | 3:00, 1:00 jog | 1:00, 1:00 jog | 4 x 200m, 200m jog | cool-down | Strava Results). If Wednesday’s workout was any indication Coach Colin wouldn’t be going easy on me, today’s workout sealed the deal. I didn’t get my run in early today and really regret it. By the time I did get a chance to run, it was 4 pm and really humid!

Today’s run was a ladder workout with very little recovery between intervals. I was fine with the first 1-minute interval, fine for the 3-minute interval, and fine for the 5-minute interval. When I attempted the second 5-minute interval, I couldn’t get my legs to turnover. I was flat out exhausted and had to catch my breath. I was able to recover for the rest of the intervals, but still really exhausted. I really need to try to get these runs in first thing in the morning if I’m going to make them count!

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Saturday –W01D06 – Easy Run (4 kilometers/20:48/5:11 pace | Strava Results). Coach Colin gave me the option of a short, easy run on Saturday or the day off; this is mostly due to the difficulty of the workouts and the increase in distance of the long runs (and more of them too!). I’ll likely not take the extra day off unless I really need it. Today was not one of those days and even though I had a rough workout yesterday, I still felt OK to run today.

Sunday –– W01D07 – Long Run (22 kilometers/1:52:10/5:06 pace | Strava Results). Today was my longest run since the Mississauga Marathon! I met some of my High Park Rogue Runners at the High Park Running Room at 8:30 am. We headed down to the Martin Goodman Trail and East towards Ontario Place. There is a new urban green space that recently opened at Ontario Place and we wanted to run through it. The city did an amazing job with the new space and it’s going to be really popular this Summer! It’s also a great place to snap photos of the Toronto skyline!

We ran through Coronation Park after our visit to the new park and then headed back to the Running Room. We miscalculated the distance and tried to make it up through the Bloor West area of the city and the rolling hills wiped me out! We neded up cutting our run short by 1km, but after a tough first week, I didn’t mind at all!

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Total kilometers this week – 59.2

Hope you have a great week and thanks for reading!

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