I didn’t blog last week. I had just finished week 8 and it was my toughest week to date. In short, I’d struggled every single day and even though I’d managed 100km, it wasn’t fun. I began to question what I was doing. When you don’t have anything good to say…
Today? I’ve just finished week 9 and it was in fact my strongest week to date. I wouldn’t say it was easy, but it was entirely doable and I covered 135km in 7 days, exactly as per the plan. Double runs now feel normal… Running feels totally natural – I can understand the whole “born to run” thing.
So why was last week so great and the week before that so… Not? Let me explain…
Week #8 – Monday, February 17th: I’d just finished my First Half half-marathon race the day before. I’d forgotten to bring my recovery shake with me and there was gluten in everything after the race (except the bananas and oranges of course, but you know as well as I do that bananas and oranges won’t cut it when it comes to recovery nutrition after a hard 21.1 km).
I got hungry. Then I got cold. I didn’t eat until about 3 hours later upon arriving home and even then, it wasn’t great as the fridge was empty. We were supposed to go grocery shopping, but I was very ‘rungry’, very ‘hangry’, very tired – and ended up not doing anything else at all that day. I’m ashamed to admit I started week #8 with an empty fridge.
You could say it all went downhill from there. I dragged my butt through those 100km that week. As the week drew to a close, I found my long run of 24km very difficult and had a tough time keeping up with my group. In short, I struggled.
Week #9 – Monday, February 24th: Two days earlier, on Saturday I’d just finished up my very difficult 24km and was feeling deflated. I knew I had to turn things around. I had a recovery shake the minute I walked in the door (within 5 minutes of finishing my run). Then I made myself a meal plan for the week, went grocery shopping and prepped everything for the week. I started week #9 with a fully loaded fridge and a plan of action for each day.
What happened then is hard to explain. I felt good. Even when I “sleep ran” first thing each morning, my legs were okay to go. Even when I found out Wednesday’s workout was hills I just did them and they were fine. So fine I clocked an extra few kilometres afterwards before heading home.
And yesterday I ran 28km feeling so strong I honestly totally surprised myself. But I shouldn’t be surprised. After all, I’m the one shouting from the rooftops what a huge impact fuelling yourself properly has on health and performance. But this huge?
Of course there’s other factors that come into play. I got a full 8 hours of sleep each night. Other than work being quite busy, nothing else crazy was going on in my life. I’m playing around with maca.
But really. At my core I know it. If I’m going to run a sub 3:21 marathon in 21 weeks, I’ve got to walk into each week with a full fridge and a solid wholefood plant-strong meal plan that considers my personal macro, micro and phytonutrients requirements.
Hmmm… Good thing I know a thing or two about that…
Training — Planned Weekly Mileage:
- Dec 30 to Jan 5 – 50km (actual – 57km)
- Jan 6 to 12 – 60km (actual – 63km)
- Jan 13 to 19 – 60km (actual – 63km)
- Jan 20 to 26 – 75km (actual – 77km)
- Jan 27 to Feb 2 – 105km (actual – 108km)
- Feb 3 to 9 – 90km (actual – 90km)
- Feb 10 to 16 – 75km (actual – 75km)
- Feb 17 to 24 – 105km (actual – 100km)
- Feb 25 to Mar 2 – 135km (actual – 135km)
- Mar 3 to 9 – 120km
- Mar 10 to 16 – 135km
- Mar 17 to 23 – 150km
- Mar 24 to 30 – 120km, with specific pace runs
- Mar 31 to Apr 6 – 120km, with specific pace runs
- Apr 7 to 13 – 105km, with specific pace runs
- Apr 14 to 20 – 135km, with specific pace runs
- Apr 21 to 27 – 135km, with specific pace runs
- Apr 28 to May 4 – 105km, with specific pace runs
- May 5 to 11 – 150km, with specific pace runs
- May 12 to 18 – 135km, with specific pace runs
- May 19 to 25 – 120km, with specific pace runs
- May 26 to June 1 – 150km, with specific pace runs
- June 2 to 8 – 135km, with specific pace runs
- June 9 to 15 – 105km, with specific pace runs
- June 16 to 22 – 150km, with specific pace runs
- June 23 to 29 – 120km, with specific pace runs
- June 30 to July 6 – 105km, with specific pace runs
- July 7 to 13 – 105km, with specific pace runs
- July 14 to 20 – 90km, with specific pace runs
- July 21 to 27 – final taper week