Marathon Measures #1: First month of race-specific training completed using the Hal Higdon Intermediate 1 Plan. 87 days left before my 3rd marathon. (In my Marathon Measures series, I’m recapping my current training. It’s a lot of numbers. Only those deep in long-distance training or those looking for training plans may be interested.)

Marathon Measures Hal Higdon Intermediate 1: First 4 weeks training recap, 100 miles, pace runs, and long runs

Saturday’s pace runs were goal pace, which for my 4:15 goal was 9:40 mi/min. The 4th week ended with the first double-digit run of the training program. I swapped Mondays and Tuesdays. On Tuesdays, I biked for 30 minutes. Total mileage: 100 miles.

In support of training, I also did Yin yoga once a week, sometimes at the studio and sometimes on my own. I stretched every day. I underwent myofascial release sessions. And 4 times a week, I did low quantities of squats, bridges, and planks.

Training recap of the first 4 weeks (100 miles) of the Hal Higdon's Intermediate 1 Marathon training program. Marathon measures Hal Higdon Intermediate 1

Marathon Measures #1 [Hal Higdon Intermediate 1]

I got my wisdom teeth extracted 5 days before training started, which ended up being perfect timing (as far as ill-timed dental surgeries go). I was happy to start training, but a little nervous. I have ongoing foot arch issues, and I wasn’t sure if my feet could handle the mileage increase. I felt ready to listen to my body and back down if needed.

I have never run 100 miles in the first month of training. That’s intense. I have even surpassed last year’s total mileage of 518, and it’s only August. I’m happy to be running faster, further, and healthier than ever before.

Pace Run Check-in

The magic number is 9:40 min/mile for my pace runs. 9:40 translates to a 4:15 marathon.

#1: 5 mi pace. I was everywhere! I had a 42 second differential between my fastest and slowest miles. The first mile I ran too fast, and the second mile I ran even faster. Averaged 9:34 min/mile.

#2: 5 mi pace. I nailed it with an 18 second differential. Averaged 9:38 min/mile. I didn’t make an effort to do anything different, because I knew my body was already learning the effort and

#3: 6 mi pace. I fought hard to keep pace and measure effort. 31 second differential and averaged 9:37 min/mi.\

Time splits for all the pace runs

Long Run Check-in

Prior to marathon training start, most of my long runs had been around 8 miles.

The day after the 3rd pace run, I had my first double digit long run since my February marathon.

Boy, I felt it. The last few miles beat me up. I kept thinking, “Man, I’m glad I didn’t jump up in plans.” It also encouraged me to increase my mileage base next year.

Photo of me after my long run

Everything hurt after this run, including my shoulders and ears

Things to Improve

I have begun doing running-form drills, and I want to continue with that 4 times a week. I paired the drills with specific blocks in my neighborhood, and I complete the drills during my cool-down walk.

I’m going to be on the look-out for signs of burnout regarding all the supplemental, support work. The support work is an important factor in my running health, but it’s been very time-consuming.

Marathon Measures #1 Memories & Moments

Favorite moment: Feeling a smidge of boredom on mile 4 of my first long run, and then smiling because even THAT felt like reuniting with an old friend (named marathon training).

Least favorite moment: Hurting during the last two miles of the long run. My quads hurt. My back hurt. My shoulders hurt. I tried to loosen up my stance, but it was really too late.

I am looking forward to the next few months. This feels like training like never before.

Read Marathon Measures #2 here!

Further reading:

How is your training going?

How did you feel after your last long run?