This past week I ran 75 miles, which is my highest weekly mileage since November, when I ran my last marathon. In the past, I would have ramped back up to this mileage weeks ago. The benefit to having a running coach in charge of my training (and becoming more educated through earning my own coaching certification) is that I am not running unnecessary high mileage that could lead to injury and/or burnout and prevent me from getting to the start line of the Boston Marathon. I feel like having a running coach has taken the stress out of my training and I don't feel tempted to sneak in extra miles because I have someone holding me accountable to my training plan. On the opposite side of the coaching equation, I am currently coaching a few runners who are training for spring races and I absolutely love planning their training and hearing from them after they crush their workouts.
I had two quality sessions this week. The first was a hilly 12 mile run. I spent approximately 50 minutes either ascending or descending hills, with the goal being to maintain an even effort both ways, so my downhill paces were faster than my uphill. Average pace for this run was 8:06/mile. I may have mentioned before incorporating hills into my training, with the exception of a handful of hill sprints, is a new element to this cycle. This was my third hilly workout, and I am definitely feeling stronger. Whenever I coach a Strength workout at Orangetheory Fitness, I tell our members every second they spend on an incline is making them stronger. And it's true! Hill training has so many benefits, a few of them being: building leg strength, increasing efficiency in your stride, and boosting your cardiovascular fitness. Further information on hill training can be found here.
My second quality session this week was a tempo run - 12 total miles, with the middle six miles at marathon effort, which averaged out to 7:08. Overall average pace for this run was 7:37/mile. I'm hoping that marathon effort will be faster pace in the near future!
The weather in Michigan has been absolutely brutal this week, with sub zero wind chill readings. The majority of my runs took place on the treadmill. Fingers crossed for warmer temps, or at least less wind, this upcoming week. I have my first 20 mile run to look forward to on Saturday!