Twin Cities course preview

I am going to jump ahead a few days and give a run down of my trip to Minneapolis with Tyler to run the Twin Cities Marathon course. Early in the summer I floated the idea to Pete of whether it would be possible to make a quick trip to Minnesota and do a marathon specific long run on the course and he agreed that it would be a great asset for both Tyler and I as we prepare for our debut marathons. I feel very lucky that ZAP allowed us to make the trip as I know it will calm some of my fears heading into my first journey of 26.2 miles.

So on Sunday, Tyler and I boarded a plane and headed to the Twin Cities. On Monday we did an easy 11 mile run out and back on the last 5 or so miles of the course and that evening headed over to the Lifetime Fitness gym in Savage, MN to speak to fellow Reebok athlete Katie McGregor’s running group that she coaches.

For those that don’t know much about Katie, she is a very, very accomplished runner. She has won numerous national titles (7 in all I think) on both the road and the track and has represented the United States at the World Championships in both the 10,000m and the marathon as well being on Team USA that competed at the World Cross Country Championships. She came to ZAP about a year ago to train and has since become a good friend. Katie is full of energy, quick with a laugh, and a great example to all of us at ZAP on the career success we all hope to have. Katie is coaching a group of 20-30 adults with plans for Fall marathons and other races. Tyler and I told them about how ZAP works and what our goals were for the marathon. We got lots of great questions about training and it was a lot of fun being around equally motivated runners with big goals.

Coach Katie's eager charges.
Coach Katie’s eager charges.

Early on Tuesday morning, 4:30 to be exact, Tyler and I woke up to prepare for our 23 mile long runs on the course. Assistant Coach Ryan Warrenburg had flown in late Monday night to help with the run. The workout started at the 4 mile mark and we ran easily to the 10 mile mark. At mile 10, Tyler and I put on our racing flats and began the meat the of the session which was as follows:

-5 miles slightly slower than marathon goal pace (ideally 5:14-5:17)

-1 mile float around 6 minute pace

-4 miles at marathon goal pace (ideally 5:08-5:10)

-1 mile float around 6 minute pace

-3 miles at or slightly under marathon goal pace

-1 mile float around 6 minute pace

-1 mile faster than goal marathon pace (5 flat or faster)

Overall the session went quite well. I felt controlled throughout and with the exception of the first part of my 3 mile piece which is mostly uphill, I was right on or under the desired pace for all of the different pieces. Here are my splits:

7:53, 7:28, 7:12, 6:50, 6:48, 6:20…stopped to put flats on
5:05, 5:16, 5:12, 5:17, 5:05…5:52 float mile
5:05, 5:10, 5:07, 5:08…6:15 float
5:26(uphill), 5:27(uphill), 5:06…6:25 float
I then did an easy jog to make it an even 23 miles for the day. I am pleased with this session because of my little quad scare and because my body felt strong even over the hills. Esther, who has run this course 3 times, reminded me beforehand to just accept that the hilly miles from 20-23 would be slower than my goal pace but that my effort is what was important. Last year she finished 3rd at this race and ran it very intelligently. She came off the hills and was passing lots of people because she was smart and composed. I hope to run a similar race in a few weeks time.
Tyler also had a solid workout and because our goals are slightly different he did most of the hard miles on his own but was equally pleased with how he felt. Less than a month to go!

Here is my last week of training (8/31-9/6):

Sunday: OFF (quad)

Monday: OFF (quad)

Tuesday: AM: 8 miles @85% on Alter-G

Wednesday: AM: 8 miles (88-90% G)  PM: 7 miles

Thursday: AM: 12 miles  PM: 6.5 miles

Friday: AM: 12.5 miles (1500+hill cycle workout)  PM: 5 miles

Saturday: AM: 12 miles

Total: 71 miles, 8 runs, 2 days off


One thought on “Twin Cities course preview

Add yours

  1. Good morning. Another quick lesson. Glad everything is going well with you. Last weekend trip sounds great. Glad you had a chance to preview the course.

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