Chicago Marathon Training update

I’m about 2 months away from the Chicago marathon and despite taking a nasty fall on Wednesday (more on that in an upcoming post), I’m feeling much better about my training this time than I did last summer as I was prepping for the Marine Corps Marathon.

Sammamish River Trail

I love the Sammamish River Trail

While I was training for my marathon last year, I used Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 plan and while it got me across the finish line, I don’t think I was running enough miles during the week. I believe my plan peaked at 38 miles right around when my long run hit 20 miles. This time around, I have a personalized plan that’s been created for me and can be adjusted on a weekly basis depending on how I feel. Even though I’m still 2 months out from the marathon, I’m going to hit 38 miles this week and will keep increasing my weekly mileage until taper time. This week’s plan called for strength/core on Monday, 5 miles on Tuesday, 7 on Wednesday, 5 miles on Thursday (tempo), rest on Friday, 16 miles on Saturday and 5 recovery miles on Sunday. I never did recovery runs during my last marathon cycle and while they’re called “recovery” runs, don’t let the name fool you. They’ve lately become some of the hardest miles of the week since my legs are fatigued by Sunday and 5 miles feels more like 15. According this article by Matt Fitzgerald, the benefit of recovery runs is that they increase your fitness by challenging you to run in a pre-fatigued state and recovery runs are only necessary if you run four times a week or more and you’re doing high-intensity workouts.

Sammamish River Trail running

Another view of the Sammamish River Trail. On a clear day, I can see Mount Rainier

My goal for the Chicago Marathon is to get to the starting line without getting injured, unlike what happened at Marine Corps. While completing my first and only 20 mile training run for Marine Corps, I experienced a sharp, stabbing pain in my groin area and thought I had a stress fracture somewhere in my pelvis. I was diagnosed with osteitis pubis and the sports doc told me to completely abandon my hopes of crossing the finish line. I made an emergency appointment the next day with a physical therapist who said that I needed to take the next 3-4 weeks off from running and focus on building core strength. Arriving at the start line of the marathon with a whole month of running fitness lost was not exactly confidence-boosting but I got through it and crossed the finish-line without any significant pain, other than typical running-related soreness. I still have some lengthy runs to tackle in my training plan so I’m hoping that the groin and pelvic pain doesn’t come back. I’ve tried to stay on top of core / strength training to keep the inflammation in my pelvis at bay. I’m curious what I can do time-wise without an injury interrupting my training.

I’m looking forward to the crowd support at the Chicago marathon, to meeting some other Oiselle birds the day before the race and crossing the finish line of my second marathon wearing my Oiselle team singlet. I get goose bumps every time I think about the race and crossing that finish line. Heads up, wings out.

Are you training for a fall race? If so, which one?