Chicago Marathon BQ Training Week 1

OK so technically we’re not fully into proper marathon training yet, last week felt like the first proper week of training post-Big Sur Marathon.

I found it really helpful sharing my training in previous cycles to not only help keep me accountable but to help provide a training diary for me to look back on in moments when I’m questioning myself.

Chicago Marathon BQ Training Week 1

Monday

Run: 3 miles run/walk (4:1) with Chester plus 5 x 20 seconds strides at the end. 3.21 miles @ 10.23 min mile pace

ADVHQ strength/HIIT workout

Tuesday

Pre work swim, and my first proper workout back at the Thames Lido in years. I had a gift voucher to use up before it expired in June so reactivated my membership.

Swim workout: 1000m = 2 rounds; 200 pull (arms only – I use a pullbouy), 100 easy, 2 x 50m fast, 100m easy. My watch went a little wonky and doesnt seem to have recorded the whole workout so no idea how fast I was swimming!

Wednesday

Gym session at ADVHQ in Henley (I wrote in this blog post why I’ll be changing up my strength workouts at the end of this month to be more marathon specific!) so I also had an induction at GoPerform in Reading, I used to workout here pre-Covid.

Run: 1 mile warm up, 1 min hard, 1 min easy x 10, cool down = 4 miles @ 9.46 average – done on the treadmill after procrastinating all day!

Thursday

30 minute easy Peloton ride before work with my fave instructor, Cody Rigsby

Unfortunately I got stuck in 4 hours of traffic on the way home so my idea of going for a swim after work then into London to take part in the TrackSmith Mile event went out the window. Thank goodness for the overnight oats I hadn’t had time to eat for breakfast I could eat as an emergency snack in the car!

Friday

Swim workout: 300m easy, 200m pull, 10 x 100m easy (odds free, evens pull) – I ran out of time so only managed the warm up and 5 x 100m for a total of 1000m.

I badly managed my timings due to a headache on Thurs night/Fri AM that I didn’t want to become a migraine before a weekend at a Hen do and so I ran out of time for my run – should have been 5 miles (5 mins easy, 1 min 7.45-8)

Saturday

Despite being on a Hen Do and having a few glasses of fizz on the Friday night, I managed to get up and complete Friday’s run workout. I did however misremember the timings and ended up running 5 miles – 4 mins easy, 1 min hard (should have been 7.45 – 8 min mile pace but ended up being more like 7.20s). I haven’t yet figured out what that marathon pace should feel like!!

Run: 5 miles (4 mins run, 1 min hard) @ 9.20 min mile pace average.

The scheduled Peloton ride didn’t happen due to lack of bike! Poor planning, – should have done this on Friday AM!

Sunday

The weather was MISERABLE here and pouring down all day. Combine travelling back from the Hen Do in Bath, meeting friends for lunch and a walk and the torrential rain and I pushed my long run for Monday. I’m partly annoyed with myself but actually it worked out quite well as I ended up having to drop my car off to have a tyre replaced and ran back to collect it! 9.08 miles @ 9.49 pace (9 mins run/1 min walk), plus an extra mile.

What was confirmed to me this week was that the HIIT style strength classes at ADVHQ are just too high energy to combine with all the cross-training and mileage/speed work I’m hoping to do in this training cycle. By Friday I felt exhausted so swapping those for more strength based specific workouts at Go Perform 2 -3 x per week should really help with the energy balance, but also with the strength build for high miles!

Earlier this year after watching one of the CrossFit documentaries, I started following a lot of CrossFit athletes on instagram, even reading Mat Fraser’s book. In it he talks about making decisions based on if it was going to help him win the CrossFit games. Obviously I am not a professional athlete, and my paycheck doesn’t come from the result on the finish line tape but I do want to make decisions over the next few months that will help me run the best I can in October, and more importantly, know I’ve done everything to give myself the best chance to run a BQ!