Easing Into Marathon Training: A Week’s Log from Jared Ward
Here's how elite marathoner Jared Ward gets in a 75-mile week around sick kids, ballet recitals and entrepreneur work on his MyoStorm brand.
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In 2020 I ran 3 marathons — the first time ever that I had run 3 marathons in the same calendar year. And none of them went as well as I had hoped…
- February 29, US Olympic Trials: I was fit for the trials, but it seems that I wasn’t well enough rested (I ran NYC in November 2019, 3 months earlier) or the hills just got to me. Or I was over confident. Consider me humbled.
- October 4, London: I committed (and began marathon training) 7 weeks before race day in London. I felt really good all the way through the taper, and can’t remember ever feeling as smooth at 4:50/mile pace as I did in the early miles of this race — but I gradually slowed after half and tanked with a few miles to go. I don’t think I had enough miles of training in my bank.
- December 20, The Marathon Project: I was intrigued by the idea of looped courses (I had liked London), and I’ve always wondered if I could handle back-to-back marathons like Sara Hall and Steph Bruce. I can’t.
So I began 2021 with a resolution to not run another marathon until fall 2021 (at least), and to not commit to competing in another marathon without at least 3–4 months of runway to prepare for it.
Following my finish at The Marathon Project in Arizona at the end of December, I didn’t run for 3 weeks and didn’t really “train” for two months. With my wife planning to have a baby in April, I decided to not compete in anything until after he came. James has since joined our family (I delivered him at home — well, really Erica delivered him herself).
All of us in this Ward home are adjusting to a new system with 5 kids, but I am back to training. I’m looking forward to competing at Crazy 8s 8k in Tennessee July 17th, Deseret News 10k in Salt Lake City on July 24th, and then gearing up for a fall marathon!
I’ve done a lot of track speed over the last few months with the BYU guys, but my mileage has been really low (50–60 miles/week). Halfway through May I began pushing 80–90 mi/week, and starting in August I plan to begin to pile on the volume in preparation for a fall marathon (topping out around 120 mi/week).
Training Log: June 14–20
This week required a lot of Dad — so I had a good start and a rocky finish! Our kids had ballet recitals — so mostly, I ran in the mornings, spent afternoons and evenings at ballet performances, and afternoons in the office, working on the MyoStorm kickstarter for the Meteor Mini, and my new run club, Run Elite Program (REP).
Monday, June 14:
AM: 12 miles — Deer Creek @ 7 min/mile (Endorphin Shift)
PM: 6 miles — Mapleton @ 6:30 min/mile (Triumph 19)
30 mins bike + Sauna
Deer Creek is my favorite place to run. Micah and I had a fun, scenic morning talking about the PRO running club we and others are starting in Utah.
Deer Creek is featured at the beginning of this video:
Tuesday, June 15
Mile Repeats — 4:33, 4:27, 4:27, 4:20 (Endorphin PRO)
Lift: Single-leg Squats with hex bar, Split Jumps, Nordic Curls, Triple Threat, Core @ Ryan Meyers clinic
25 mins on the bike + sauna
BYU sophomore Casey Clinger is gearing up for the 5k at the Olympic Trials on Sunday June 27. Since his teammate Conner Mantz worked out yesterday, Clayton Young and I paced Clinger’s workout: 4 by mile, with a fast finish final mile (1000m at pace, 600 closing speed). The pace was 67s, with a slower “warm-up” first mile. Casey felt tired at the end of the NCAA 5000m and felt he needed a little strength but nothing crazy.
The workout felt great. In the afternoon I went and saw a PT named Ryan Meyers. He worked on me and then I took a nap in his hyperbaric chamber (first time!).
Wednesday, June 16
AM: 6 miles — Chill @ 7 min/mi (Endorphin Shift)
PM: 8 miles — Chill @ 6:45 min/mi (Endorphin Shift)
My 2-year-old was up most of the night sick, so I felt sluggish today. With Erica managing the 2-month-old, I get the rest of the herd.
Thursday, June 17
8 miles — Chill @ 6:45 min/mi (Endorphin Shift)
2-year-old up again through the night. Zombi today. I was going to tempo but I’m pushing that to the weekend.
Friday, June 18
10 miles — Steady @ 6:30 min/mi (Endorphin Shift)
Feeling better today. Good nights rest last night. Hoping to get a solid long run tomorrow.
Saturday, June 19
18 miles — Progression @ 7 min/mi, cut down to 5:20/mi (Endorphin Shift)
Got another good nights rest, but felt sluggish. Took a while to get going. Ran the last 5k of this run (before a cool down) as part of a charity fundraiser for Aoife Cooke, a Scottish Olympic bound athlete training in Utah. I had hoped to get a better tempo into the run, but I’ll push that to early next week and hope I’m feeling better!
Sunday, June 20
Week Total: 75 miles
I’m a founder and investor in MyoStorm, and this week we launched a kickstarter campaign for the Meteor Mini, a lacrosse-ball-sized, heated, vibrating massage ball. That kept me busy connecting with the media when not running or going to ballet.
Missing being at the Olympic Team Trials, but having fun. See you on the roads!