Wednesday Workouts: Mid-Week Long Run

A common question I get from runners who are setting out to train for a marathon is how to add mileage during the week. Most of my mid-week runs are 6-8 miles because they are intervals, hills, fartlet, repeats, or progression runs and don’t require crazy high mileage to be effective.

There are only so many times one can go around this oval without going crazy.

There are only so many times one can go around this oval without going crazy.

But if you want to add mileage, there is another way.

The midweek long run.

Not 20 miles or anything like what your weekend runs look like, but a longer, easier, higher mileage run the day after a tough workout.

Why?

  1. It adds mileage.
  2. It teaches you to work on tired legs.
  3. It helps you condition both your body and your mind for the longer miles of a marathon.
If you're planning on making it to the finish line, you gotta prepare for the tough miles.

If you’re planning on making it to the finish line, you gotta prepare for the tough miles.

There’s no easy way to break this to you: marathons are hard. Maintaining your pace throughout all 26.2 miles of a marathon is ridiculously hard.

But you can prepare yourself for this by working with fatigue throughout the week.

Set yourself up:

  • Monday: hard workout
  • Tuesday: longer, marathon-paced run
  • Wednesday: off
  • Thursday: tempo
  • Friday: intervals
  • Saturday: long run
  • Sunday: off

This is just an example week of how to stack your harder workouts together and then get a full day’s rest twice a week. Not every week will look like this, but when you get further into marathon training, it’ll be important to kick up the days and mileage.

Smiling at mile 9? Must be the mid-week long runs kicking in.

Smiling at mile 9? Must be the mid-week long runs kicking in.

It is critical to teach your body to operate on less than ideal rest. You will get tired during the race and you need to know how to respond both mentally and physically to that extreme fatigue.

This is one way to do it.

Do you do mid-week longer runs? How do you amp up your mileage during marathon training? Do you find it prepares you for the race itself? 

Now go out and run!

 

Wednesday Workout: I Don’t Wanna

I usually enjoy my workout days. I like working hard. I like short, fast workouts.

Not today. Maybe I should have taken the Deathly Hallows-looking park entrance as a sign.

Weeeeeird fog at the park entrance this morning. Ominous side or just cool air + warm park lake? You decide.

Weeeeeird fog at the park entrance this morning. Ominous side or just cool air + warm park lake? You decide.

I felt ok warming up and getting to the park but not my usual ready-to-go self after a mile warmup. I blame last night’s 2 mile plus weights at the gym. And sleeping like crap on Sunday night. And I was running on rolling hills, not a flat track. And I am still building back up, not maintaining.

Or maybe it was just a crappy workout.

Craaaaaazy humidity this morning! Not that this matters so much in my pace but, who knows.

Craaaaaazy humidity this morning! Not that this matters so much in my pace but, who knows.

I loved the weather and could not be happier to have my runs done in the morning instead of the afternoon. I just couldn’t get going on my mile repeats. I didn’t bring a watch (thank God) but I definitely was working hard regardless of my pace.

I did 2 repeats with a mile in between to catch my breath. So I met my mileage for the day but didn’t complete all 3 mile repeats. Sigh.

I just didn’t wanna.

I was tired and weighed my options. I could push through the third repeat and probably go so slowly that it would no longer be a benefit to increasing my speed OR I could jog out between sets, give the 2 my all, and head home.

I chose the latter. Because tomorrow is another day and I got stuff to do.

Beastly. Sweaty. Happy to be done.

Beastly. Sweaty. Happy to be done.

And that’s what it really comes down to for me. If one workout sucks, I cut my losses and move on. I got my mileage. I worked hard. I knew I was done.

Know when you’re done. The likelihood that the one repeat I didn’t is going to majorly affect your race time is absurdly non-existant. Get over it. Be done. Try again tomorrow.

How was your Workout Wednesday? Did you rock it or was it a struggle like mine? I hope you guys are all enjoying this Indian Summer and getting outside. Have you ever thrown in the towel during a workout because you were just done? Please tell me I’m not the only one…

Now go out and run!

Wednesday Workouts

I love Wednesdays.

First, they are my Thursdays since I don’t have class on Fridays, so HOORAY! It’s almost “Friday”!

Second, I don’t have class til the afternoon on Wednesdays and it’s the perfect morning for me to lazy around in my PJs and catch up on homework or whatever before I run at whatevertimeIwant o’clock.

Skinny mini Abby.

I prefer PJs until about noon.

Most of my Wednesdays are cluttered with doctors appointments, work, annoying phone calls to insurance companies/school offices, and other grown-up type tasks. But when I get a Wednesday morning all to myself, I am a pig in, well…you know.

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Pretty much me this morning.

Today’s workout will be my first official speed workout since my second surgery on October 5th. Since my surgeries were both operations on my abdomen, I have to wait the requisite 3 months til I am allowed to lift more than 20 pounds. Hence, why my husband had to carry our beautiful tree all my himself.

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Lies. He has never, ever let me help him carry our tree home. Even when it was 50% larger than the one we bought this year. Isn’t it preeeeetty?

But they said I could start doing speed work in two months if I didn’t feel any pulling or pain in my abdomen.

Woohoo!

Today’s workout will be shorter on the repetition side since I’m not exactly in the best of running shape. But these sprints are good for anyone at any time since you push that VO2 max and make your body stronger whenever you do anaerobic workouts (speed work).

  • 2 mile warm up
  • 6-8 x 400 meters (one lap on the track), all-out.
  • 1 mile recovery shake-out
Yay for track workouts!!!!!

It will not be sunny and warm on the track today, but that’s cool. Git ‘er done!

Whenever doing speed work, it’s important to warm up beforehand so that your pre-capillary sphincters near your peripheral limbs open up and increase blood flow to your muscles. Blood flow = oxygen = food for muscles. Otherwise, you will tire out MUCH faster and fail to reach your potential in the workout.

I know, I’m blinding you with science. Don’t you feel smarter already?

I want to give myself a good workout, but also the freedom to cut it at 6 repeats since it’s my first day back. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t get every.single.repeat. done that day. It’s not worth the energy to feel guilty about a workout.

Guilt? About a workout? That’s stupid. Yes, stupid. Not “silly”. Stupid.

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BOOM.

I also like to shake it out afterwards. No real science there, it just feels good.

What’s your workout today? Are you headed to the track like me or are you kickin’ it treadmill-style on this fine Hump Day? Have you ever done a 400m x _______ workout? Killer! See you on the track.

Now go out and run!