This Sunday I completed week #3 of my current marathon training. This has been the first week where I climbed above 40 miles per week in this training cycle and surely it won’t be the last week with 40+ mile during this marathon training. In addition to running I also worked out at Kosama 4 times week. The Kosama workouts are a full-body boot camp style workout and I use it as cross-training and strength building exercise (+ it is a lot of fun as it is a group workout).
This last Sunday I ran for over 16 miles and it was quite a run because of the wind. The wind was blowing strong and steady and on a large section of my run I was wide exposed to the wind and (of course) it was not a tailwind, but rather headwind. In a major way running against strong winds really sucks and I was glad when I came home from this run and could rest a little bit. I hate running against the wind, but then on the other side it has quite some training benefits to offer. Of course a runner likes training benefits, but that still does not make us like the wind.
But let’s look at running against the wind from a benefit perspective. If you drive your car into a strong wind it will slow down unless you push down that accelerator a little more. The same applies to you as a runner. A strong head-wind forces you to work harder and use more energy to move forward. In other words, your effort level will have to increase if you want to keep your normal running pace with a strong headwind. This is what happened to me – I had to work harder to keep my pace, but I was determined to keep my pace under 9 minutes per mile and I succeeded, but I could definitely feel the effort at the end of the run. I would have preferred to run another mile or two that day, but did not want to over-do it at this point in my training cycle.
After the run I spent some time reviewing the data from my run and I also read up on running in windy conditions. You could classify my run as some sort of resistance training really. Resistance training is often used to improve running stamina, power and running technique. While I am not sure about how it improved my running technique (well, maybe leaning more forward during the run?), I totally agree with that it helps to build up stamina and power. So, clearly this run was a win on the level of building up strength and I also see it as an important part of building up mental strength. I ran for over 16 miles and my guess would be that at least 10 miles of that were running against the wind. If you can do that and keep your pace, you can run longer and faster under better conditions, but if your next marathon turns out to be a windy one, you also know that you can do it. Last year when I trained for the Las Vegas Marathon I read a race report that in the year before it was very windy during the race and that scared me a little bit. I was also in Vegas a few years during a business trip. I went outside running and experienced those strong desert winds in person. If you are not prepared for windy conditions I highly recommend you grab any opportunity you have and at least do a few runs under windy conditions for practice.
My Marathon Training – Status Update
As mentioned earlier I just completed week #3 of my marathon training cycle. I feel the extra “load” of running more often and doing my morning workouts at Kosama. Last year when I started my marathon training cycle it took a few weeks for my body to get used to the extra workouts and the same thing applies this time around. I definitely feel the cumulative fatigue levels building up in my legs. My legs feel heavy and my mind is trying to manipulate me to stop working out and to make the “pain” and “weakness” go away, but I have been staying strong. Of course I have to be smart and take rest when I feel I need it. As an example I dropped one of the 5 Kosama workouts last week to get a bit extra rest and it definitely helped. Also, I usually do my weekend long runs on Saturdays and make Sunday a full rest day, but this Saturday we went skiing and so I had to push my long into Sunday. So, I have to see how this week works out for me having to skip on the rest day.
An important thing is really to listen to your body. If you miss a run or two it is not a big deal as long as you make it to the majority of your training workouts and runs. You should not skip a weekend long run if you can, but in general you rather want to be 10 percent under-trained than being 10 percent over-trained.
Completing week #3 brought my training mileage total to about 95 miles (the February screenshot above is short of one run where I forgot to wear my GPS watch). This also means that my current pair of the Nike Pegasus 29 running shoe has peaked (~250 miles). I can already tell that the shoes are not the best fit anymore for runs longer than 10 miles, but they will still be used for shorter runs. Over the weekend I went shopping for new shoes, but none of the local stores had the Mizuno Wave Rider 17 on the shelf. I had done research on this shoe before and want to see if this is going to be my new running shoe of choice. So, since none of the local stores had it, I bought it online from Roadrunner Sports. I have their VIP membership which gets me a 10 percent discount on running shoes + free shipping. They also have a very generous return policy in case the shoe is not a good fit. I have bought many shoes from Roadrunner Sports in the past and can highly recommend their services/products.
So, I hope to be able to break-in the new shoes before the next long run and also use them on the long run next Saturday. I am very excited about trying a new running shoe.