Chicago Marathon Training Week #6

Yesterday the National Weather Service issued a heat advisory for South Florida warning residents to stay indoors to avoid heat stroke.

“The high temperature is expected to be in the lower 90s with high humidity. Near record high temperatures are expected throughout the work week.”

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Tonight I have speed work on the schedule and I’ve already made sure I have plenty of dollar bills in my Armpocket so I can stop and buy a bottle of water or two if needed. I know rest breaks are frowned upon during speed work but safety first. Or maybe I should run on the treadmill. We’ll see how hot it feels this evening! If there is a breeze it might not be too bad.

*fingers crossed*

Chicago Training Recap Week #6

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 5 miles @ 14:52

Wednesday: 5 miles @ 14:48

Thursday: 1 w/up, 3 miles @ 13:37, 1 c/down

Friday: 5 miles @ 15:03

Saturday: 4 miles @ 14:45

Sunday: 7.5 miles [of hell] @ 15:29 [inc. walking breaks] + strength training

 Total: 31.5 mi 

This week was NOT my week at all. Every single day my legs felt sluggish. Not sore just really heavy.

Sunday I was supposed to run 11 miles and I only made it 7.5. I definitely feel some guilt over this (or a lot) but I was struggling. I was walking, a lot. I just couldn’t see how this run would help me become stronger.

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I know a lot of runners would have kept pushing through, and most days I am one of those runners. I’d rather completely miss a short run day, or cut a speed work session short than reduce a long run. In my opinion there is nothing more important than the long run – but I just didn’t have it in me. My heart wasn’t in it at all, and my legs were like bags of cement!!!! Plus I felt a little light headed, maybe due to the heat/humidity.

I’m too afraid to even about this being cumulative fatigue already because I was only in the 2nd of 5 phases that are incorporated into a Hansons training plan last week!

The Five Phases of a Hansons Training Plan:

If you’re not familiar, a Hansons plan breaks down into five parts:

1. Base building – all easy running with slightly increasing weekly mileage.

2. Transitional – a bridge between easy running and 2X a week workouts.

3. Threshold – increase in mileage and decrease in pace to teach you what race pace should feel like.

4. Race specific – long runs at race pace.

5. Taper – recovery from training in order to feel the best on race day.

Last week I completed the Transitional phase, and this week I am onto the Threshold phase.

The third and fourth phases are obviously supposed to be the hardest … which scares me because last week nearly knocked me out!

Oh, the Humidity! 

I was telling Megan the other day that I really hope I was only feeling so sluggish because the heat and humidity were at an extreme last week. The lowest the humidity ever got during one of my runs was 69%. Most days it hovered around 75%, and the feels like temps were always in the mid-90s.

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There is no doubt that my heart was working hard – some days I thought it would beat out of my chest even at my easy pace.

On Thursday I was supposed to do 3 miles @ 13:32 and averaged 13:37. I’m giving myself a break there because I know adjusting for the heat and humidity I did okay. The thing is … three miles felt like a lot. I’m supposed to run 26.2 miles at that pace?

To get through the run I just kept reminding myself I have run a half marathon at that pace before … just in much better weather conditions.

Chicago better be cold!!!! I am counting on it! (Just not too cold, haha).

Strength Training:

Since I cut my long run short I made sure to get in a good strength training session. I killed it on upper body lifts so my chest has been a little bit sore, but surprisingly my legs are not sore at all.

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^For my fellow HP lovers 🙂

I did go really light on squats again so I am hoping this helps my legs feel less sluggish this week :).

Does the humidity get out of control where you live too?
Does the heat/humidity make your legs feel heavy? 
(pls say yes)



  1. July 6, 2016 / 5:19 am

    I think you were really smart with adjusting to the heat and humidity. The humidity can definitely make me feel like my legs don’t want to move! Hopefully the weather will improve plus you will get used to it and then you will feel great racing in the cool fall Chicago weather:)

  2. July 6, 2016 / 8:33 am

    Heat and humidity can easily kill a run. I know that it always takes me time to adjust and up my electrolyte intake.
    Probably the same for you, changing stages and having shit weather all at the same time made you feel wasted. That happens and you know it so don’t fret. You will be just fine as you always are during your training! 🙂
    Chicago will be cold, and probably really cold but that is only because you live in a freakishly hot area!

  3. July 6, 2016 / 9:35 am

    It does get hot and humid sometimes here the Midwest, but there are also plenty of days where both the temp and the humidity drop down, which gives you a confidence boost for your runs. Humidity seems to suck the energy right out of me, so I am in awe of people who run with it constantly. I am also hoping for a cool (but not too cold) Chicago in October!

  4. July 6, 2016 / 10:23 am

    Don’t stress too much, all of this is building. The cumulative fatigue with higher humidity and acclimatization most def make your legs feel heavy. All normal. Keep pushing, you are doing great and will be more than prepared at the end.

    Don’t get humidity often but when we do, oh man, it’s tough. So hard to breathe lol.

  5. July 6, 2016 / 10:41 am

    Sounds like heat/humidity, I wouldn’t stress about it too much. I slow down quite a bit in the summer and Michigan is not nearly as hot/humid as Florida. Cutting the run short when you started to feel light headed was definitely the right call.

    If you end up running outside this week be extra careful with the heat advisory!

  6. July 6, 2016 / 10:54 am

    Oh yeah my legs feel like a ton of bricks all the time!
    I know strength training is key but if my legs are tired at all from squats and lunges I don’t run very well. It’s a tough balance..

    Omgosh the humidity there! AH!

  7. July 6, 2016 / 11:43 am

    SO that is awesome you killed the ST !! if you have to miss runs or cut them short, that is a great way to still get stronger 🙂
    I find that the dew point is extremely important to my body. It has been sitting in the 70’s here that is very swampy!! Start checking your dew point. I find every point above 55 and I struggle with feeling weighted. and had the tree trunk feeling! Some people are impacted more by it.
    Even if the humidity is a little lower when the dew point is up that makes you feel rain forest like lol
    I believe you are opposite me, but I am not sure! Our dew points rise overnight and are highest in the a.m. but I can not handle sun and I don’t stay up late enough to run at night lol
    Hang in there!

  8. July 6, 2016 / 12:16 pm

    I definitely think it’s the heat/humidity rather than cumulative fatigue! Last week I could barely manage 6 miles @ 9, but then for my 5 mile tempo run when I got up early and there was little humidity, I was able to do it at tempo and it felt EASIER than the 9 min mile run even though I was running over a minute per mile faster.

    Do your speed work inside tonight!

  9. July 6, 2016 / 2:17 pm

    Hey, pushing through heavy legs means your Hansons is working, right?!

    My legs have felt heavy, too. I definitely blame the heat/humidity. I thought I was pretty well acclimated but last night was TOUGH. I forget that it gets worse in July 🙁

  10. July 6, 2016 / 3:03 pm

    Ugh… I hate running through heat. It’s been between 90-100 here and I just can’t run in that. I go super early or run after the sun sets. My legs also get very heavy and sluggish when I’m running in hot humid weather. Let’s hope Chicago is cloudy and about 45 degrees!!! Good work this week, even if it didn’t feel great.

  11. July 6, 2016 / 3:07 pm

    It’s ok, I was in Hansons fatigue way back in week 1 of the plan. haha! Kudos to you for even thinking about getting out there when it says the temps feels like anything over 90. Ugh! It’s pretty humid here in Ohio, but for the most part I can count on weather that is pretty decent by getting up at sunrise.
    Good luck on your speedwork… the treadmill sounds like a great alternative to me!

  12. July 7, 2016 / 11:18 pm

    The humidity here in NC has been rough… both on running and on my hair 🙂

    I’m normally a treadmill hater but I’ve actually started to enjoy the AC.