I have gotten quite a few questions about my training and recovery plan between Eugene and Bayshore. I started to include an overview of what I did in my Bayshore Recap, but it was already a word vomit, so I thought I would come back to it in a separate post.
First, let me start by saying (again) that I have always been a one marathon a year runner. I had never considered back-to-back marathons and I have never run a marathon for fun or as a training run so I had ZERO experience in how to approach this.
I got advice from a number of experienced runners on how to turn around back-to-back marathons, but in the end, I found that I generally went with Mason‘s suggestions most often. I have to give him a ton of credit for the high level plan plus the key piece of advice that my #1 goal should be to GET and KEEP my legs fresh.
I had to accept that there really would be no training gains in the 4 weeks. And I had to trust that Eugene was one heck of a long training run and understand that recovery and maintaining fitness were crucial.
Unless you have a coach that has been previously invested in your training, only YOU know what keeps YOUR legs fresh. For some people that is increased mileage because they feel sluggish with too many days off. For some people that is decreased mileage and increased cross-training or rest. For some it is lots of yoga, stretching, walking, whatever…
For me, it meant when in doubt, default to less miles. It also meant that I needed some intensity (speed/tempo work) to remind my legs what it was like to turnover “fast”.
I was fortunate that I recovered very quickly from Eugene and was able to get in a solid long run the next weekend. If my legs had taken longer to recover (like if I had given a “normal” marathon effort), I think I would have had to take it easier the first week.
Week 1: 25 miles
- 2 days complete rest, 3 total runs
- Easy 5 – 7 on Wednesday & Friday
- Spinning on Saturday
- 14M long run w/3M @ MGP
Week 2: 47 miles
- 5 total runs
- 10M tempo (6M @ HMP)
- 3 x Easy 4-7M
- 18 mile long run w/ 6M @MGP
Week 3: 27 miles
- 4 totals runs
- 8M speed w/5x1K @ 5K pace
- 2 x Easy 4 – 6
- 9 mile long run w/4M @ MGP
Week 4 (Race Week): 8 miles
- 2 runs
- 5M speed w/4×400 @ sub-5K pace
- 3M @ MGP
I definitely ran fewer miles in the 2 weeks before the Bayshore than I did before Eugene. I knew that more than anything, I needed to be rested and recovered so when I wasn’t sure, I didn’t run. Plus, my tight hamstring had really flared up in the weeks between and I was concerned that it wouldn’t hold up.
So there you have it. I am no expert and I don’t claim that this plan would work for everyone, but I definitely went into Bayshore feeling like I had given my body the best chance it had to perform well and thankfully it responded.
Thank you SO much to Mason for the advice and wise words!
P.S. I don’t know if this was a factor, but I also ate EVERYTHING in the weeks between races. I am not sure what came over me, but I was so.hungry. the whole time. Somehow I managed to not gain any weight until the week before the race, when I gained about 2 pounds, which I am told is “normal” during taper.