The Chicago Marathon is just 12 weeks away, and I’m in the usual situation of having slacked off over the winter and not having a great base to build from… but I’m here, ready to get rolling & trying not to beat myself up over it. To slowly build my mileage, I’m running 4x a week this week and next. From there, I will maintain 5x a week running schedule for the rest of my program.
This past week marked my official first week of training. For the first time, I’m working with a private coach (yay!). As a coach and a consultant myself, I certainly value access to a coach for a number of reasons. The two big ones are as follows:
- Hey, I might learn something! I used to think that I could learn everything I ever needed to know from books, articles or Google. While that’s probably mostly true when it comes to running, I just plain straight do not have time to scour the internet to expand my running know-how at this point in my mother of twins, working full-time, coaching, marathon training life. So, the coach really helps with this.
- On days when I’m dragging (and it happens a lot), it helps to know that someone is sitting at home in front of her laptop staring into Google Sheets eagerly anticipating the moment when Kate comes online to input her splits into the training log. This is what I imagine, anyway. And it helps.
To expand a bit upon point #1 above, the big Ah-Ha for me this week came last weekend during my long run. It was hot and humid. The day before, I completed a 4 mile race where I sent a personal record. I tacked on a few miles on the way to the race to both warm-up and get to the start line and then a few more miles running home from the race. My plan was to run 12 on Saturday. Instead, I ran 8 (it was pouring & I was spent) and told myself that I’d run 12 on Sunday. BAD IDEA. And a rookie mistake. The next day I was sore from my effort the day before. On top of that, it was HOT and HUMID on Sunday. My long run sucked.
In speaking with my coach after the fact, she introduced me to “the suck factor”, which is essentially a way to take the heat & humidity into account and adjust your goal pacing accordingly. To do this, you add the real temperature to the dew point and use the chart below to adjust your pace. For example, and since I’m running tomorrow morning at 7am, let’s see what my pace should be! My long run pace range is typically 9:35 to 10:05. The forecast for tomorrow at 7am is 71 degrees and 61% humidity, which yields 132 suck and means I should adjust my pace by 2-3%. Since the suck is on the low end of the range, I’m going to adjust so that my target pace is 2.1% slower, 9:47 to 10:17.
|Suck Factor||Pace Adjustment|
|00 or less||none|
|101 to 110||0% to 0.5%|
|111 to 120||0.5% to 1.0%|
|121 to 130||1.0% to 2.0%|
|131 to 140||2.0% to 3.0%|
|141 to 150||3.0% to 4.5%|
|151 to 160||4.5% to 6.0%|
|161 to 170||6.0% to 8.0%|
|171 to 180||8.0% to 10.0%|
|Above 180||hard running not recommended|
That’s my week in review! I would love to hear what races your training for, how it is going and what you’re learning along the way.
All the best!