12 workouts until Boston, a brief assessment of the season’s training

Here we are, fewer than three weeks until Boston 2014. I haven’t had much time to write, but I have been logging runs assiduously and will be able to share any useful details after the fact. In the meantime, here’s a quick update on the two primary experiments/tests of this training cycle.

Challenge One: Get back to strong marathon fitness after a two-month injury rehab and with only 12 weeks for a training plan.

Result: Strong, maybe. Same sub-three hour fitness as last year? Nope. I can feel things coming together now well, and if I had another nine weeks instead of three weeks, in other words, a standard 18-week training window, the story would be very different. But on 12 weeks I think I’m just getting to the point where aiming at a 7:10 race pace isn’t crazy. Hitting that isn’t a foregone conclusion, but it doesn’t feel outlandish either.

Challenge Two: Go through a training cycle on a ketogenic diet.

Result: Yes and no. I feel great on a very low carb, high fat diet, but was not able to hit performance goals in the second half of the week without adjustments. I’ve found that I must consume strategic sugar/carbohydrate just before and/or after intense workouts, and once a week dedicate a 24-hour period to carbohydrate-reloading (oh, potatoes!) to hit the workouts as hard as I want to. However I’m still remaining fully in ketosis 6 days a week. I have started using Hammer gels during long runs again, and plan to fully carbo load before Boston.

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