The Breaking B.Q. Project: A Day in the Training Life with Eddie
Editor’s Note: This year, Minneapolis Running will be following the journey of five runners striving for a 2018 or 2019 B.Q. We’ll cover their training, track their progress, and cheer them into the finish line with the hopes of lining up in Hopkinton next spring. We call it the “Breaking B.Q. Project.”
We know that runners have different strategies for reaching their goals and aim to share the different training methods used by our Breaking B.Q. Project participants. In this article, Eddie describes a typical day of marathon training, specifically his weekend long run.
The long run. The bread and butter of any marathon training program, the long run teaches runners to be on their feet for an extended amount of time and teaches their bodies to adapt to running up to 20+ miles. Like many marathon runners, Eddie takes his long runs seriously, especially now as he trains for his Boston Qualifying time attempt. He must consider his wake-up time, fueling, running route, clothing, and gear, which means that even though his long run takes place on the weekend, he must start preparing the day before. As runners, we are nothing if not planners!
A Typical Weekend Long Run for Eddie
I begin thinking about my long run midweek and try to get a couple of my teammates from the Mill City Race Team to join me. For my current plan long runs have consisted of long easy miles (18-20 miles), shorter progression runs (up to 15 miles), or runs with tempo bursts (about 14-16 miles). For this particular week, I had to run 18 at 30-40 secs slower than my target marathon pace. (My target pace is 7:15.)
Friday afternoon: I’ll either do an easy 5-mile shake or take a rest day prior to my long run. If it’s a rest day I try to bike to work (12 miles in each direction) just so I can get some cardio. My diet Friday is important, I pay attention to what I am eating for lunch and dinner, I try to eat a lot of leafy greens in a salad for Friday lunch.
7:00 p.m.: Dinner is typically chicken and a couple of green veggies such as broccoli and beans. I might have a glass of wine to finish off the working week but that’s about it.
Friday night: I set out my gear. This week the weather looked good so it was Saucony shorts, a long sleeve shirt, and Balega socks (I like these a lot and exclusively use them for my long runs.) I also wear CEP Compression sleeves on my calves. I don’t get on with compression socks as I find these uncomfortable on my feet, but the sleeves provide excellent support and can be used with any socks.
I also think about the shoes I am going to wear. I’m currently rotating 6 pairs. I typically go for my Newtons, Sauconys or Hoka Bondi’s for long runs and the Altra and Hoka Claytons for shorter runs. Finally, I stock my fuel belt and pre-mix Nuun drinks ready for the morning. I usually take a gel every 6 miles on a long run and will need 4 gels for my run.
9:30 p.m.: Bedtime at the absolute latest!
5:30 a.m.: My alarm clock goes off. I typically drink a 16oz Nuun Energy, have two cups of coffee, and a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter. I get ready and do some dynamic stretching.
6:50 a.m.: I leave the house to meet my long run group. I am fortunate that I live close to our meeting spot.
7:00 a.m.: Meet up with my fellow runners. One of the major benefits of being part of a running group is the company on long runs. I am extremely thankful that I can count the number of long runs I have had to make on my own in the last 12 months on one hand!
As a group we decide on our route, we try and vary it up and take into consideration wind if it is breezy. We have at times decided to run into the wind for the first half of the run to get the tail wind later. Our routes typically start close to the Stone Arch Bridge, take the river road or we go through Theo Wirth to the chain of lakes. This Saturday it was North East Minneapolis to Victory Parkway to Theo to Cedar Lake Trail.
After the run, I typically eat a protein bar or shake around 30 minutes after I get home.
11:00 a.m.: After snacking, I spend time completing a routine of static stretches I focus on Achilles, calves, hamstrings and glutes, simple stretches such as scissor or standing hamstring stretches but taking my time to ensure full effect. Afterward, I typically take a hot bath with Epsom Salts (I find this helps a lot with muscle recovery.)
1:30 p.m.: For lunch, I eat a larger meal but try to focus on protein and green carbs (green veggies) rather than starchy carbs (pasta, potatoes). Often this includes eggs, chicken or steak, and some veggies, possibly whole wheat toast.
Saturday evening: Later in the day I’ll spend time either foam rolling or using the R8 roller, the R8 is great as it has the same effect as foam rolling but is way easier to use while sat relaxing.
7:00 p.m.: I typically head out for dinner on Saturday evening with friends. I try to pick healthier non-fried options from the menu, an example would be fish or grilled chicken.
10:00 p.m.: I hit the sack for a night of restful sleep.