Friday, March 4, 2016

Friday Five: Lessons Learned from Marathon cycle 10

1. Challenging yourself with a new training plan can be worth it. For my past few marathon training cycles, I've used the same plan with good results, but for this training cycle I tried the Hanson's Marathon plan. It was more challenging than my previous plans (increased speed and strength work) and required more days of training (6 vs. my previous 5 days), but it maintained some of the things that I liked about my old plan (running on tired legs). Overall, even though I didn't follow this plan perfectly, I really enjoyed it and felt stronger by the end of it. My favorite workouts were the strength workouts (1-3 mile repeats faster than race pace) and least favorite the speed workouts. I plan on using it again, following it more closely, and figuring out the best way to incorporate speed workouts.

2. Trust in your training. This links to item number one. I tried a new training plan with no runs over 16 miles and then went for a PR on race day. Mentally, that was a different approach for me. On race day, I both needed to trust in the training plan and trust in my own strength. I learned that day that I am far stronger than I give myself credit for and continually challenging myself pays off. I'm excited for my next marathon.
I felt stronger in the late miles than I had previously in a marathon.

3. Routine. I kept a pretty solid routine during this training cycle right down to wearing the same outfit in every race including headband. For once I was determined to "try everything out before race day" because we all know that is not my norm. From fuel to race day clothes to prerace foods, I tried it all out.
Phoenix Half Marathon in November and the Monday Night Brewing 10 Miler in December.
This outfit may be worn-out now.
4. When an Olympic Gold medalist and Boston Marathon Champ (among other amazing qualities) gives you advice, you take it. Sure, this advice caused me to try new things on race day (which she later made fun of me for), but overall it was absolutely worth it. Running watch-free helped me go into the race with a calm mindset. Knowing the numbers on the clock were not going to help me run faster, but listening to my body and feeling my pace were going to help me run the best race I could that day. The more I've thought about it since then, the less I see the need for a watch on race day (training days it's still needed).
I did change my socks on race day, but they were lucky. :)
5. Wind is still my least favorite weather phenomenon to run in. But a little part of me feels victorious in that I faced (literally, oh the wind burn) some of the worst race day winds I've encountered and still finished with a big old smile on my face.

Do you reflect on training cycles? What did you learn from your last one?

Stay tuned next week for a giveaway!


  1. I totally understand Joanie's advice. I keep my watch, but knowing the numbers rarely really changes my running (more so than anything it helps me mentally deal with the vigors of the race, not about pushing myself). Great job!

    1. Thanks so much Susie! She is a smart lady!

  2. Great lessons! I used a very basic Timex at my last marathon - and PR'd! :)


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