After taking about 5 weeks of easy recovery after the marathon and then a couple of additional weeks to begin building back up again, it as to start thinking about the Illinois Marathon and the training required for it. For Naperville, I had been using the Nike Training Plan provided by the Naperville Running Company. (By the way, NRC won the award for the Best Running Store in the US last year. I recommend stopping by if you’re in the area.)
I did modify the plan that had been provided a bit though. I added in various workouts – 3/1 runs, pace runs, a bit of speed work – in hopes that I would be better prepared for 26.2 miles. All in all I thought the training went well, but this time I decided to change things up. I am using the Hal Higdon Intermediate 2 Plan. I felt like I had some success using his plans when I started “seriously” running again, so I was like – what the heck…
Week 1 was great. Even though I am in the Chicago area, the weather wasn’t too bad. Plus, having a treadmill and bike trainer in the basement make the weekday runs a bit more tolerable – with the cold and darkness. I certainly would love to run outside more often, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. I was able to hit my 5 mile pace run on the button and then the long run of 10 Miles on Sunday.
Weeks 2 and 3 were a little frustrating. The end of Week 2 a real cold snap hit Chicago and things got a bit busy on the weekend. This meant all indoor running and all on the treadmill. The long run in Sunday of Week 2 was long and boring and drove me crazy. Plus, I accidentally pulled the safety key and almost took a header off the treadmill. Then during week 3 the really cold weather hit and Saturday’s attempt at a pace run on the treadmill was a disaster. My mind wasn’t into it and I could only muster 4 Miles not even at pace. Sunday the weather was better, and I was able to get outside for the 8 mile run. I cranked up a bit faster than planned (but not too much) and had a comfortable and cruising 8 miles.
Last week, #4 for those scoring at home, went much better. The bike trainer was fun. The weekday indoor runs on the old treadmill felt comfortable. Then it was time to head outside for the Saturday and Sunday runs. Saturday was 6 miles at pace and it felt easy and comfortable. I really felt like I could have kept on going, but you’ve gotta trust the training. The Sunday long run brought on 13 miles, and I haven’t run that far since the marathon. I certainly wasn’t worried about it, but I definitely wanted to make it a good one, and fortunately it was.
Looking forward to Week 5, which includes the F^3 Lake Half Marathon.