Raleigh Marathon Training Week 14 and Random Running Thoughts and Questions

Week of 3/23/14- 3/29/14

Sunday 3/23: Rest (started to feel knee pain)

Monday 3/24: Body Pump

Tuesday 3/25: Quick Strength for Runners Week 7 Part 1, 30 minutes Yoga

Wednesday 3/26: 60 Minutes Spin Class, CX Works (a 30 minute core class at my gym)

Thursday 3/27:  Quick Strength for Runners Week 7 Part 2

Friday 3/28: 3 miles easy (9:51 pace)

Saturday 3/29: 12 miles (8:36 pace)

Total: 15 miles


rainy Saturday run

As you can see, I took 5 days off from running last week. Each day my knee felt a little better and by the time I tried running on Friday I had no pain. However, my hip/quad that was tight the day my knee started hurting was bothering my a little. It actually also bothered me after spinning on Wednesday, so I am kind of confused about it. However, it reminds me of how it felt around this time during my last marathon training cycle. What really confused me is it bothered me more during my easy 3 miles than on my harder 12 mile run the next day. I’m wondering if it has to do with my pace at all?


In fact, I felt really good on Saturday’s run. I’m sure all the time off that week helped alot. By the end my leg felt tight, but nothing that worried me too much.


I got a massage on Saturday afternoon, which felt amazing. My dad had a gift card to a spa that he got through work, and offered it to me a few weeks ago. Of course I jumped at the chance to get  a pre-marathon massage!

Over the past week as my mileage has gone down and my anxiety is going up, I have been coming up with many random thoughts and questions related to running. I figured I would share them and see if anyone else has thoughts about these topics.

Do you think that most people run better in a fall marathon or a spring marathon? I used to think that spring marathons were a better time of year for a race. However, I was thinking that by training through the summer heat, a fall marathon would feel easier. With a spring marathon you run the risk of training in the cold weather and then having a hot race day. (Or, you can’t train as you would like because of terrible winter weather, as many people have experienced this year).

What does “vertical oscillation” really mean for running form? I have been using the Garmin Forerunner 620 since November, and one of the things it tracks is vertical oscillation, which is how much up and down motion you have while running. The idea is that the less you move up and down the better you will be at conserving energy to move forward. This is the one area that apparently I am not on target with based on my watch. I have read that as your ground contact time improves that your vertical oscillation improves. As you can see below, I am on target with cadence and ground contact, but not vertical oscillation.

photo 3

photo 1

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How do you really improve your resting heart race? I always feel like I wake up and my heart rate is already somewhat high. Even after a couple rest days I don’t see much improvement. I don’t track it with my heart rate monitor or anything, so maybe I should do that before I go assuming anything. During my runs it stays relatively low, so I’m not too worried, but its something I never quite understood.

I had many other thoughts this week, but none of them are coming to me right now! I can’t believe the marathon is in 11 days. It seemed so far away, and then it just snuck up on me! The plan from here on is to do everything I can to stay healthy and rested for race day.

I know I’m a little late, but how was your training last week?

Any thoughts on spring/fall marathons, heart rate, or vertical oscillation?

What do you do to get ready for a marathon?


12 thoughts on “Raleigh Marathon Training Week 14 and Random Running Thoughts and Questions

  1. Die your knee pain vary with different terrains? Mine is way worse when I have more downhill running and the cycling aggravates it… Glad you listened to your body and took a few days off!

    • I actually never really had pain in my knee while running.(I noticed it the day after my 18 miler, and took 5 days off) On my second day back to running the only time I noticed it even a little was on a downhill. So I think if it were a bigger problem then yes, it would be worse on downhill. The cycling didn’t aggravate it at all. My chiro said I have a tracking problem and super tight quads, so I will be continuing to work on strength and flexibility!

  2. I think taking a few days off was a great thing and hooray for massages! I got one just before my first half and it really helped work out some kinks and otherwise relax me a little. I’m going to make an appointment for one the weekend before my marathon.

    Now that I’ve run through all 4 seasons, I think I prefer fall races. I definitely preferred training in the heat of the summer than dealing with polar vortex!

  3. Glad things are feeling better after a few days off. With my halfs, I definitely preferred training for the fall race. It might have just been this horrible winter, though. It was worse than usual! I am so excited for you that your marathon is only in 11 days. You are going to be amazing!

    • Yea I think this winter really messed up alot of people’s training! One winter I trained for a March half and we had perfect running weather the whole time. I guess you just never really know what you’re gonna get when it comes to weather…in training or on race day!

  4. For me, it’s your thoughts exactly, except reverse. The summer weather prevents me from training well (even if I started a 20-miler at 3am, which I’m not going to do anyway, it could still be 95+ degrees when I finished), so at least while I’m living in Texas, a fall marathon doesn’t seem realistic. I DO think that fall half marathons are better for me because it feels easier once it cools off (and I have been able to keep up training at least as well as needed for a half). Sorry to hear that your knee is still puzzling you … crossing my fingers!

    • I guess it really depends how the climate is where you live. The summer here can make it difficult to train in the heat, but not impossible. I could only imagine how hot some of those summer runs could be in Texas!

    • Swimming and barre sound like great ways to cross train. I have never taken barre but I have heard its great! I am not a very good swimmer- its something I really want to get better at!

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