I have added a couple of "tools" to my weekly workouts. For one, I have added some strength training twice a week. It is nothing major... some lunges, squats, planks, pushups, etc. I have 10 exercises I am doing just to try and keep my body strong all the way around and well balanced. I keep reading and hearing how important it is for runners to do some strength training and that it helps avoid injuries, so I am giving it a go. :)
I also decided that for this marathon I wanted to add in some speed work to my training. Last time I followed my Hal Higdon's Intermediate 1 training plan to the LETTER, but I didn't spend a lot of time worrying about pace. I just got the miles done. This time I want to improve on my times from my marathons in December and January, so I am paying attention to pace. I am still using Hal's Intermediate 1 training schedule, and then I used the awesome McMillan running calculator to determine the paces I should be running for my long runs, temp runs, intervals, recovery runs, etc. Hopefully doing this will help me get faster. :)
Today I did my first run with intervals. I ran a mile to warm up, then did 800M (half mile) repeats at a 7:30 pace, with a quarter mile jog in between repeats. I did five intervals and then a half mile to cool off, running five miles total. IT KICKED MY BUTT in a really good way. It was awesome.The five miles seemed to go by really fast too (even on the treadmill), I think because I was focusing on small pieces of the run at a time.
Tomorrow I have a six-mile run at marathon goal pace and then Sunday I have a "long" run of 9 miles. Nine sounds super easy after all the double-digit runs lately. :)
More soon, including an entertaining tale of how I accidentally bought a treadmill (and am not sorry in the least bit). :)