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2008 Boston Marathon Prep – 5 Weeks Out

Since I just started my specific training for Boston, I thought I would share my key workouts for the remaining five weeks (now four) and my thoughts with how the fitness is progressing (hopefully). I know 5 weeks out is a bit late to start training for a marathon but I have done a couple long trail races (26 mile and 50k) recently so I have some decent general fitness and some solid strength work from hitting the trails. Now it’s time to add that marathon speed!

I have followed structured training programs in the past but so far this year I have been mapping out my own training schedule on a weekly bases. This is definitely not the norm for me coming from very structured triathlon training but I am having fun with it and experimenting a bit. Why not?

Key Workout #1: Hill Intervals / Flat Intervals
Note: 2:57 min/mile is um a bit incorrect, ya think. Those are 800m (.50 mile) splits.

Key Workout 3/18

Comments: See early post.

Key Workout #2: Steady-State (Tempo)

Key Workout 3/20

Comments: Tempo work is definitely a weak area for me right now. I have done very little of this type of training so far this year and I felt it. It also seems like trail running is very much like interval work that includes short stretches of uphill, downhill, and flats.

Oddly enough though, I think the biggest challenge of this workout was mental versus physical. Maintaining a solid effort for anything more than a few minutes did not compute in the old brain. It required much more mental focus than I have had to provide so far this year. I was able to complete the workout but this type of training is definitely one I need to focus on for the remaining weeks.

Key Workout #3: Long Run – Maintain Pace (with personal route map rendering)

Key Workout 3/22

Comments: The was an absolutely amazing run. I started at 4 AM, yes AM. (My parents were flying in and had to pick them up at the airport.) The skies were clear, the moon appeared full, and it was 50 degrees F with minimal wind. Near perfect in my mind. 4 AM was a bit extreme but I was ok with it.

The course was rolling for the entire run and I was able maintain an effort where I was 2 minutes under or up to 2 minutes over my overall desired pace time at various checkpoints along the route. The toughest part of the run was between 19-23 miles. My energy seemed to be low yet my heart rate seemed ok. I did take a few extra short walk breaks within this stretch before I bounced back to life and was able to run fairly solid the rest of the route. The last 1/2 mile was a bit tough as I was starting to feel the miles and was looking forward to be home.

Total time running: 4:17 (pace: 8:25 min/mile)

General comments for the week:

I was grateful to be able to complete all of my key workouts. Tempo work is definitely a weak area for me right now. I look forward to improving that area over the next few weeks! It will be interesting to see how the body responds this week which contains the largest mileage before the taper begins.

Happy Training!

About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

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