Week 18, Boston Marathon countdown


Whew. Getting this website up on top of daily commitments and actually running has delayed my first Boston Marathon post, but I’m glad to finally post this one.

We’re already into Boston Marathon training. Some marathoners might want to do a shorter cycle, like 12 weeks or 15 weeks of dedicated marathon training. Because my training the past year has been up and down, and I don’t think adaptations had really taken with consistently low fuel (oxygen), I’m going with a longer 20-week training cycle. Need enough time to rebuild my aerobic self. Doing so will largely depend on rebuilding my red blood cell and hemoglobin levels. You can read about my hematological situation here.

Regardless, with three weeks done, I’m not feeling that bad. Since starting treatment for sitosterolemia in mid-October, my phytosterol levels have lowered by about 50%. They are still about 25 times the maximum levels you’d see in a normal person’s blood, but progress nonetheless. My CBC results have also seemed to improve a little. Hemoglobin is up from 11.1 mg/L to 12 mg/L. That’s still shy of the normal minimum level of 13.5 mg/L, but 1 more mg of hemoglobin per liter of blood can do wonders. More oxygen, (inhale, exhale) ahhh. Running in general has felt a little better.

As you can imagine with a long stretch of 5 months of impact on the legs and stress on the metabolic system, these past three weeks have been relatively easy. Increasing mileage from 50 to 70 per week and increasing the volume and intensity, so that I can get used to the hard stuff ahead. Easy week next week, though—Christmas week. Since I’ve been not trying to hammer workouts, the highlight for me has been: 15×300 meter cutdowns is lightly rainy conditions at Kezar track.

3 mi. warmup, drills and strides

8×300 (56.8, 58, 56.3, 56.7, 57.1, 56.4, 55.8, 55), recover 100 by feel (about 1:00)

bound uphill during 3:00 break

4×300 (54.5, 54.3, 54.3, 53.3), recover 100 by feel

bound uphill during 3:00 break

3×300 (52.5, 52.7, 49.2), recover 100 by feel

4 mi. cooldown

Felt really good. Some of you might wonder, “What the crap?! 300s? For marathon training?” Yeah, I don’t intend to do those all the time. For this workout, I mostly focused on form the whole time, didn’t check my watch until the rep was over. I ran by feel the whole time, focusing not on pushing through, but attacking the ground each time with an efficient stride. The times were pleasing because I wasn’t running for them: just the natural result of powering off the ground in a very deliberate way—that and doing squats all summer.

Which reminds me, oof! Winter’s coming, and the mercury has fallen. Busting out the performance merino wool layers is fun, but this past week is not a good omen of the winter training ahead. Running in wet, not much of a problem; running in cold, not much of a problem; running in both at the same time—mauvais.

I’ll check in with you guys next week. For you other spring marathoners, how’s training going? Started yet?

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