I am very curious to see how my legs respond on race day after a full marathon training session. The previous week (Sunday-Saturday) I have lovingly named it "Hell Week". I knew I would be going into the week with a bump in miles and more importantly a bump in intensity. Almost every run was at race pace or at least tempo. Not one easy run.
I decided to eat my traditional post-race meals, the evening before my scheduled Saturday & Sunday long run. That consists of Risotto & Mushrooms, a cheese stick and an avocado. I have a Dark Chocolate Kind bar, added peanut butter & a banana the morning of or post run.
|It must be long run or race meal time!|
This is a common training practice to increase your oxygen usage and build endurance. Caution! It should only be done 6-8 weeks and with plans for a good recovery week, following Hell Week.
My Hell Week started at the Costume Party Run in San Diego on 7/13/2014. I finished in 1:51:59 - seconds away from my Hollywood Half Marathon time and 23 seconds away from my PR. I was cranking it until an unexpected pitstop at Mile 8 & 10.
|(some of) Team Super Hero Elite Team - Andy, Alma, me, Garrison & Kirk|
At the finish, my legs felt great and I was running on tired legs (the key focus of training with the Hanson Marathon Method).
I finished the week at 49 miles. I would of completed a 14 mile run and finished with 63, but I woke up Sunday AM with a very cranky top left foot. I decided it was best to be safe and not push it, as I had no need to. I took an unscheduled day off. I soon discovered my ache could be from my shoes. I think they were too tight.
|Icing the the left foot and ankle|
This week will be a slight taper down in mileage but I will resume my speed sessions and shoot for a 14-16 miler next Sunday.
What did I learn this week? I have always said I dislike running in the morning. I am not a morning person, but the more I must wake up before sunrise (to beat the Vegas heat) the easier this has become. Yet, my favorite time to run is still after sunset in the evening.
Another interesting tidbit, I learned about my body: I train best with minimal food in my body. Before a training run (which is about 30 mins before I leave my house) I don't drink anything and I eat a banana. In the Vegas heat, I take my fueling belt with me for all distances, during the Summer. Any fluids I drink right before my run, I will be forced to take a pit stop 15 mins later. When it is race day, I always eat 3-4 hours before gun time. I can drink, at that time.
I also learned and accepted that my body are getting stronger. Yet, in so many ways, I feel like the same athlete who began running (again) post injury.
I could BQ at my next marathon and I will have my eyes on that glorious time - yet, my A Plan is to push as hard as I can to see how fast my legs take me for the 26.2. If my legs are ready to BQ, they will take me there. If they are not - I am perfectly fine with that. I have other BQ options in 2015.
The race will give me and my speed coach the tools we need to know what has and has not been working.
Have you ever had a planned Hell Week? How did it go?
(c) C. Ragsdale 2010-14
Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
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*Team Super Hero Master's Elite 2013-14
*Founder, Running Troops
RRCA Certified Running Coach, IFA Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
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