Friday, April 10, 2015

Carb Loading Early & Did I Train Hard Enough?

Happy weekend! Spring has not been cooperating here in NJ - yesterday was 37 degrees - but we all know that come race day, it will somehow be 70 and sunny.

Waking up at dark:30 to workout is rough, but this coffee mug always makes it a little better. I usually drink two cups before 5am. Once upon a time I used to sleep till noon. How times have changed.


On Wednesday, I had to hop on my least favorite treadmill to accommodate the cross-fitters again. I have nothing against Crossfit, but leaving your headphones on the empty treadmill while you go push tires is a little rude. But they're all stronger than me and I don't feel like arguing at 6am, so 6 miles on the lame treadmill it was...


On Thursday morning, I ran an easy 5 miles alternating between a 1% and 2% incline. The NJ Marathon is a flat course, so I'm hoping my treadmill inclines and hills at the park really help me come race day. 


I bought the most massive salad at the grocery store the other day and ate every bit for lunch. It was 90% lettuce, but I've been lacking in the veggie department lately, so it was needed. I definitely need to change up my diet after the race. Right now, I'm too nervous to change anything since my training has been going so well, but the month of May is going to be a very clean month of eating. Hopefully. We'll see. 


But it's not May yet, so I ate some yummy pasta with Mussels last night. You can never start carb-loading too early*


*Not clinically proven :) 

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Towards the end of training for every race I've ever ran, I go through a few days of major doubts. The question that clouds my brain is the mighty, "Did I train hard enough?" I decided to do a little google search the other day on how to determine a goal time for a marathon (especially if you've never ran one), and found excellent training tools to share. Yes, I probably should have searched this 12 weeks ago, but I wasn't confident I would actually make it to the starting line then.

I used the Jack Daniels' calculator for the info below. All of my long run paces have been almost one minute faster than what I'm supposed to be running for my goal time, and I've felt comfortable running those paces. On the flip side, my speed workouts have never gotten close to a 7:XX/mile. I read somewhere that when training for a marathon (especially the first), it's difficult to build endurance and get faster. True speed workouts take a lot out of you and it takes longer to recover. Knowing this, I did a few faster sessions, but never really completed a true speed workout. I was much more focused on nailing those longer distances. 


So that leaves me wondering if I could have a sub 4 hour race in a couple of weeks. Will adrenaline kick in and have me running 9 minute miles or will I just not have the stamina to hold that pace for 26.2 miles? Only time and race day conditions will tell, but I'm fairly confident that my body can handle more than I've been asking of it. Fingers crossed! 

How soon do you start carb loading before a race? 

Do you follow pace training plans? 

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