Chicago Marathon Training: Week 4 Recap

I hope everyone had a great weekend and that those stateside had a *blast* celebrating our Independence πŸ™‚

It was another solid week of training for me, thankfully. I’m very, very pleased that I’ve been able to maintain consistency in my workouts (even if I don’t always do the prescribed mileage). I know that when I go back to work in August it’s going to get tough squeezing everything in so I’m glad I will have had two good months of setting up good habits and establishing a strong base leading up to the final two months of training.

Monday is bike day and I’ve been riding for 45 minutes each week and this particular Monday, I was able to add an additional half mile in the same amount of time.

From 10.25 to 10.75 -- It's the little things :D

From 10.25 to 10.75 — It’s the little things πŸ˜€

Tuesday was the last day of June so I ran 1 mile in the morning to complete my One Mile June Challenge my MRTT group had going. I was to run a mile early in the month and one at the end and hope for improvement.


Left: June 1st; Right: June 30th

Unfortunately, there was no improvement but I was at least satisfied that the difference was only 10 seconds away and that I was still under 8:00. My buddies on Instagram and Facebook made me feel better by reminding me that it’s been insanely hot here, more so than in the beginning of the month–that could definitely influence my time.

In the evening, I met up with my running friends at a local shoe store for a 3 miler. I don’t know what it is about this Tuesday run but it’s where I’ve been testing out my progressive run. I’m kinda wanting to try it for longer distance.

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 9.42.06 AM

I was very pleased to see the negative splits and even more so at the times that they were. Obviously, it’s easier to negative split if you start out slower than usual but for me, that 9:34 first mile is actually pretty fast lol! And then to finish with an 8 something mile, super yay!

Wednesday I headed out to the track for some speed work. I’ve been struggling with this–not with going to track but actually putting effort into the drills. I allow myself to succumb to the excuses of it being hot and then don’t try. But I found myself lining up with a veteran runner in our group and I told her that I was going to try and keep pace with her. She’s a very strong runner and faster than me, but not fast to where I couldn’t keep her within my sight.

The drill was 3x mile repeats. After a warm up, we got going and were chatting along as we ran. The first mile beeped 8:37 and I was super pleased. I knew that if I had been running on my own, there was no way I would see that pace.

Mile two– 8:41
Mile three– 8:33

This was a tough workout and I was so, so happy that I pushed myself. I know I need to do that more often as I feel like I often don’t give myself enough credit. I can run fast.

I was able to make it again to my run club’s 5 at 5 Thursday morning. My buddy, Runner Jenny, was only going 4 since she had to make it work so I decided to run 4 with her. It surprisingly felt easy considering my tough run the evening before, the heat (it was 88 degrees at 5 in the morning), and the humidity (51%). I didn’t push myself but just kept a relaxed pace, 9:44/average.

Fridays are typically rest days but the family headed to the zoo early and I got in a couple of miles walking around with the kids. We did get a ride from a camel though to give our legs a little rest:

Hump Daaaay!!!! Except not, it was Friday :D

We weren’t having fun at all. πŸ˜€

My run club had a 4th of July fun 5k early Saturday so we took the kids to the park and I ran the “race” with my friends. It was super fun and relaxed and I was able to cool off with an ice bath right after:


I moved my long run to Sunday because of the holiday run the day before. I knew many of my friends would be unavailable from celebrating the night before but one fellow MRTT mom joined me for my 8 miler.

I kept it steady at my long run pace–which has been 10:00/mile. I’ve been making a conscious effort to keep my Long Slow Distance runs slow and 10 minutes has seem to be the perfect pace. I’ve heard your long runs should be about 30-60 seconds slower than your race pace (ETA: this range can also be 60-90, 90-120. It’s what’s most comfortable for you) which is right around what I hope my race pace will be: 9-9:30.

Week 1 Long Run: 9 miles/9:56 average
Week 2 Long Run: 11miles/ 9:59 average
Week 3 Long Run: 8 miles/10:04 average
Week 4 Long Run: 8 miles/10:07 average

I’ve been consistently finishing each long run with faster miles; the last 2 miles usually about 15-30 seconds faster. I like that I’m finishing the long runs with energy to do so and also feeling like I could continue on for longer if needed.

I also included quite a few strength training videos–core, glute, arms, and legs, and met my hydration goals, finished the week with 22 miles and the month of June with 82.5 miles.

So far, so good!!

I hope everyone has a great week!! Happy July! ❀ , helly

–Do you run your long runs slower than your anticipated race pace?

–Have you ever caught a ride from a camel? What’s your favorite animal to visit at the zoo?

–How was your June mileage?





37 responses

  1. Great job!!! I was always told, and have read that you should run your long runs 60-90 seconds slower per mile than you do your short runs. It seems to work for me! June mileage for me slowed as I have only ran once since the marathon. LOL!!! Hope to get back at it this week!

    • It’s funny how that range is different for everyone! Three people have commented and said 3 different paces lol! I’m the same as you–that seems to be what works/feels best for me. When I was marathon training in the winter my paces were about 30-45 seconds and now in the summer, I’m at the 60 second range.

  2. I definitely run my long runs slower than race pace. I made the big mistake of trying to run every long run at race pace my first marathon, and I paid for it. But since then, I find that I’m about 30 seconds or so faster the day of.
    And 102 is just. silly.

  3. Great job with your June miles! And an awesome week of marathon training : ) I definitely run my long runs about 30-45 seconds slower a mile than my goal pace. Helps my legs adjust to running “tired” and increase the time on my legs without overdoing the miles. Hope you have a great day!

  4. Whooo! Great week of training and in that heat too! I’m so excited now that I know we’re both staying at the same hotel for Chicago!!!!

    I run my long run slower than race pace, but I always try to do the last couple of miles at or below race pace just to make sure that oomph is there!

  5. The fact that you’re out there running when it’s over 100 degrees…I just can’t wrap my head around it. Especially doing a time trial mile or mile repeats! You rock girl.
    Love that picture of your family on the camel – very cute! I’ve never been on one myself, but I did get to ride an elephant as a child πŸ™‚

  6. Great job, Helly!! You had such strong runs!! I don’t think I’ve ever ran a long run at race pace, I’m quite certain I would not finish if I did haha. I run by feel for the most part, unless I do a faster finish one. So most of them are about a minute or a little over a minute slower than like my half pace and like almost two minutes slower than my 5k pace ha. I love reading your Monday recaps!:D

  7. Nice running! My long run is about 120 seconds off HMP right now, I have seriously turned into a big baby in the heat. How was I running 9:45 3 months ago?! I do try to finish them all with a faster 1/2 mile to mile. Depends where I am running. πŸ™‚

  8. I am feeling the same way about summer break – so great to have this time to reset and set good habits but once August hits…the chaos begins again! Progression runs are great – they work awesome on long runs! Track workouts are so hard, and mile repeats are my nemesis. I think they are brutal! You are killing those long runs – keep up those fast finish miles, such good practice for races! Great job!