Just went over 1000 miles running for 2012:
10 weeks complete on my marathon training for the 2012 Chicago Marathon. I’ve done the miles, as you can see from the graph. My times aren’t where I want them to be, but I’m going to blame that on the record heat this summer. You can see the average weekly temperatures, it’s been HOT! Hopefully my times will improve as the temps start to decrease.
You can see additional running data by clicking on the graph.
Well, I’m a little over a quarter of the way into my 16 week Marathon Training program. So far, so good, I’m right on target with all of my runs and my weekly mileage. The extreme heat this summer hasn’t made it easy, the temperature for many of the runs in June and early July were well over 90 degrees. Last Saturday I completed an 11 mile run, and it was so hot (how hot was it?), it was so hot that the basketball shorts that I was wearing became super-saturated with sweat so that every step I took caused a tropical rainstorm into my shoes.
My times have actually gone up in the last couple weeks, which sounds bad, but isn’t necessarily. I’ve been doing some reading on the physiology of endurance training and I’ve started training with a heart rate monitor, keeping my heart rate in the “aerobic zone” for some of my runs, including my weekend long run. This has caused me to purposely slow down. The theory is that a large portion of your training should be done in the aerobic zone, lower heart rate, as opposed to the anaerobic zone, higher heart rate. Maintaining your heart rate in the aerobic zone trains your body to burn fat instead of sugar, which allows for consistent, even performance over a longer period of time. Even a fit person has relatively large stores of fat, where only small amounts of sugar are available as fuel. Burning sugar is great for “flight or fight” responses, like if you’re running away from a grizzly bear or fighting off a group of ninjas outside the United Center, but not all that great for endurance sports.
Over the next few weeks I would hope to see my times come down a little bit, as my body adapts to burning fat for energy and I’m able to run faster while remaining in the aerobic heart rate zone. That’s the theory at least.
….actually, it started yesterday, but the Marathon Training Program that I’ve chosen has Monday as a rest day. So, in 18 weeks me and 44,999 of my closest friends will be running the Chicago Marathon.
Hoping to cross one thing off of my bucket list.