Chicago Marathon Training Recap – Week 4

This was the first week that I feel that I’m finally dialed into “training mode.”  The last two years, I started out training cycles with a sugar detox or Whole30 to get myself in that disciplined mindset.  I didn’t do that this year and I definitely feel that it was a bit of a struggle to make that mental commitment to marathon training.  However, I think I’m finally in that zone, which is good because I’ve only got one more week until the SOS workouts begin.

This is my weekly marathon training recap.  I’m using the Hansons Marathon Method to train for the Chicago Marathon in October.  This is my 4th marathon and second time using the Hanson’s training to prepare.  I’m training for a 4:00 marathon this year, which is definitely a challenging goal for me (my current PR time is 4:32:36.)


  • Planned:  Rest Day
  • Actual:  No mileage, but had 42 burpees to do.  I tell you, I ain’t going to be sad to see the burpee challenge wrap up this week.


  • Planned: 5 miles @ 10:15 – 11:00 and strength work at the gym
  • Actual:  5 miles @ 9:14 – this run ended up being a lot faster than I wanted to go.  I got up to run with a different group at 5:00 AM (yes – I really got up that early) and got pressured into a tempo-ish pace.  Since my mileage is still building, a unplanned fast run isn’t a bad thing. Had a good strong, solo workout with my trainer in the evening, followed by the revelation that the burpees are irritating a shoulder injury and I need to stop them.  However, rather than not finish the challenge, I decided to do sets of push-ups and crouching leaps separately – a “deconstructed” burpee. Logged 46 of those as well.


  • Planned:  3 miles @ 10:15 – 11:00
  • Actual:  3.5 miles @ 9:31 – This was another early morning run.  As hard as it is to drag my ass out of bed, it’s really so worth it.  I definitely run best first thing in the morning.  Followed the run with 46 deconstructed burpees – which are still quite challenging as it turns out.


  • Planned:  3 miles @ 10:15 – 11:00 + strength work with trainer
  • Actual:  2.5 miles @ 9:54 – The heat wave returned and it was back to the treadmill today.  I ran a mile before my gym workout and then a mile and a half afterwards.  I very often have to break up the treadmill runs – it makes them mentally easier to bear.  One time, I had an eight mile run to do inside, so I stopped after every two miles and did two minutes of ab work, just because it was easier to mentally focus on getting to the two mile mark versus eight.  Finished up the day with 48 DB’s.  One more day to go!


  • Planned:  3 miles @ 10:15 – 11:00
  • Actual:  3 miles @ 10:33 – This was my birthday and I celebrated with a very indulgent birthday lunch.  This ridiculously huge short-rib, bacon burger with cheese and BBQ sauce from Silver Diner.  And french fries.  Man, it was good and so not paleo.  The bun was at least gluten free.  Anyways, I had the lunch before I got to the gym (I over-slept…all the early mornings finally got to me) and let me tell you, that run almost did not happen.  Rich, filling foods and running definitely do not mix.  But – I made it to the gym and got three in on the tread doing 4:1 walk/run intervals.  That’s my other way of dealing with treadmill runs.  Followed by 50 deconstructed burpees (CHALLENGE COMPLETE!)


  • Planned:  8 miles @ 10:15 – 11:00
  • Actual:  8 miles @ 10:51 – Saturdays are with the running group and this particular morning was particularly humid.  Normally, the pace group I lead is in the 9:30 – 10:00 range but it was just too damn hot to run fast and I don’t officially start long run pace on Saturdays for a few more weeks.  No one seemed to object, either.


  • Planned:  Rest day
  • Actual:  Rest day after birthday dinner the night before = GOOD IDEA.  I purposely planned my week to take a rest day today.

Ever had a training cycle that you struggled to get in the “zone” those first few weeks? What do you do to mentally prepare for training?

Miles for the Week:

  • Planned:  22
  • Actual:  22.01

Miles this Training Cycle:  78.09


  • Miles Week 3:             16.0
  • Miles Week 2:             20.6
  • Miles Week 1:             20.2

Running for Medals. And Bacon.

4 thoughts on “Chicago Marathon Training Recap – Week 4

  1. Happy belated birthday!

    I’m also training for Chicago 🙂 My long run on Saturday was very humid as well. I was just happy to finish my run without drowning in my own sweat lol

    1. Ok – so apparently my comment replies didn’t take last week. Belated thank you for the birthday wishes! LOL. Have you run Chicago before?

  2. Happy belated birthday! I like your idea of doing a sugar detox before starting a training plan.
    What is the burpee challenge that you have been doing? I think that they are a great exercise for improving endurance. I need to start incorporating them into my training.
    Happy training!

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