Chicago Marathon Training, Week #1 recap

Chicago Marathon training, week #1 is in the books!

I have ambitious goals with the training and with the race.  So it was a little bit odd to start my first week of training with a recovery week (from my kick-butt Grandma’s Half Marathon).  But it actually worked out well because it forced me to slow down and really pay attention to heart rate and running based on how my body feels, instead of where I think I should be.

So overall, I’d say the first week of training was a success!


  • Miles Run: 34.7
  • Miles Biked: 75 (new weekly record for me!)
  • Core: 6 days! (woot!)
  • Pilates: 2 times
  • Strength: 2 times

The details:

  • M:5.1 miles (8:54); bike 6 miles
  • T: bike 4.8 miles/weights/pilates
  • W: 6 miles (9:25)
  • Th: bike 22.6 hilly miles
  • F: 5.25 miles w/ 3 x 10 second hill sprints (9:30)
  • Sa: 12.35 miles (8:23); bike 22.1 hilly miles
  • Su: 6 miles w/ 5 x 100m strides (9:13); bike 19.4 hilly miles

So, what did I do right?

  • Slowing my paces down on recovery days; I’m really going to focus on going slow (based on HR) on recovery days.  Since most of this week was a recovery week for me, I did all of my runs, with the exception of Saturday’s longish group run, at a nice easy HR.  Saturday’s long run was still conversational pace, just with a bit more effort.  Success!
  • Core!  I want to do 5 – 6 day of core (10 minutes a day) this time around.  I’ve been reading alot about the importance of strong abs AND back for running efficiency and strength, particularly during the later miles of a marathon when the body starts to get tired and you lose form.  PLUS, my middle is sort of squishy and it would be nice to FEEL firm abs.  Stay tuned.
  • Cross training in the form of biking.  It is really difficult to fit in a decent bike ride – since I need to wait til it’s light out (whereas I can run in the dark) and since it is weather dependent (I run in rain and even storms; biking – no way).  But I juggled around my work and life schedule to make it work.  I’m a bit frustrated that my pace on the bike always ends up being the same (about 16 mph) over the course of 20+ miles, but I suppose it just takes time to get faster.  Plus, most of my rides this week were hilly and hot and windy.  (Excuses, excuses).
  • Diet.  I ate much better (for me!).  Only 1 beer and 2 glasses of wine all week! 🙂 And besides my daily dove dark chocolate, the only treat I had was a cupcake – which I HAD to have, since someone at work brought them in and it would be rude not to have one, right? 🙂

What do I need to change?

  • Weights.  I said twice a week, no excuses.  And I still mean to do that.  However, I am calling it “strength” not “weights” because it is just too hard for me to get over to a gym twice a week to lift weights.  Plus, most of the reading I’ve done this week talks about strength stuff for runners being better if it is specific to running – i.e. in the form of hill sprints or squats.  So I’m incorporating hill sprints into 1 or 2 runs a week – so easy to add those in!  And for upper body strength stuff I do have free weights at home and will do those and push ups.  Real push ups, not the girly kind. 🙂
  • Sleep.  I need more of it.  This week was a light mileage week and I found it hard to fit everything in, so sleep was sacrificed.  I only got 5 – 6 hours most nights, 7 last night.  Must work on that.

Oh – I booked my ticket to Chicago too because there were cheap flights.  Yipee!

104 days til race day!

One thought on “Chicago Marathon Training, Week #1 recap

  1. Awesome – sounds like you’re off to a great start! I’m doing Chicago too! 🙂 I have ambitious goals as well but we’ll see how that goes…ever since grad school started I’ve had to shift priorities a bit! But hey, I can still give it my best shot.

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