Thursday, February 17, 2011

Marathon Training Program Break Down

February 14th marked day 1 of my 14 week training program to my SUB 4 FINISH IN FARGOOOOOOO.  Ahem.  Now Fargo is only my 3rd marathon, so I am in no way an expert on marathons.  Or even an "experienced" marathon IMO, unless you're throwing that around in the sense that.... yaysies!  She experienced a marathon (or two)!

The first go around I used the trusty training program to map out my schedule.  I had been using the site for many recent half marathon and 5ks with great results, and I know better than to mess with a good thing.  The training program got me to the finish line happy and healthy, and roughly in the amount of time I thought it'd take me.

Marathon #2 I enlisted the help of  Runners World yet again, and then had some issues with my IT Bands and knee that cause me to downsize my already short training program to 9 weeks.  Uff.  There were a lot of variables behind the suckfest that was Vegas, but for #3 I decided I wanted to try something new!

At one point I thought about giving the reigns over to Luke or Jason and see what their brilliant minds and speedy selves could come up with, but then I realized a) I'm a control freak (duh!) and b) half of the fun of training is working on the training program!  I started to see what was out there.  I read a lot of books.

Daniels' Running Formula - 2nd Edition  Advanced Marathoning - 2nd EditionRun Faster from the 5K to the Marathon: How to Be Your Own Best Coach
I took notes!  Because I'm a total nerd.  And then I found an old friend in Hal Higdon.  I was a religious Hal Higdon user for numerous half marathons, 5ks, pretty much everything before I got back in to running "seriously" about two years ago.  And when I saw what was listed in the Advanced-I training program, I was more than intrigued.... I was a little bit smitten.

Through reading and reading and reading.  And chatting with some fasty running pals, I evaluated what I thought I was "missing" from my training.  Or at the very least, what could be tweaked to make me queen bee fasty of SoDak... errr something. 
  • Hill repeats.  I don't do them.  I hate them.  They're dumb.  But I should.  Hal has 'em.
  • Tempo runs.  I psych myself out so much on long tempo runs that I often will end up skipping them.  Shorter, slightly faster tempos may be the ticket.  While I think tempo runs are grade-A for me for half marathon training and shorter, I don't see the connection as much in marathon training.  Hal...check!
  • 800 m. repeats.  Mile repeats = satan's track workout.  Again, I psych myself out of them.  If I like to do shorter repeats, than I should.  And that's that.  Hal has 'em.
  • Pace workouts.  This is something I've never done, and I couldn't give you an answer as to why.  When reflecting on Vegas, I was shocked to realize that not a single workout done in training was at the 9:09 mgp.  How are your legs supposed to lock on to a go pace if you're running 7:30s for mile repeats, 8:10s for tempo, and 9:30s for long runs?!?!?  Answer: They don't.  Hal?  You betcha.
  • Long runs on fatigued legs.  Somewhere along the way I turned in to a wuss.  If my legs felt like crap at the start of a long run, I would cut it short and move it to the next day.  When my legs felt like junk at the start of Vegas I panicked!  In this schedule every other long run will have a 4-8 mile pace run the day before, so I'll be getting my mental toughness on.
I did a lot of revamping of Hal's schedule to make it fit me, but all in all, I think we may have a winner.  On paper at the very least, we'll see how my body responds to it.  :)  I guess we'll find out in 14 weeks.

Tonight I did my first bit of speedwork in.... uh.... um.... weeks and was unsure how it'd turn out.  I had 5 miles to do with 4 at tempo pace.  According to the McMillan calculator my tempos should be 8:09-8:31 pace.  I was shooting for a pace somewhere in the slower 8:20s.  The wind was intense.  And that's an understatement.  We're talking 17 mph winds with 30 mph wind gusts.  Guess which miles were really into the wind:  9:25 (warm up), 8:14, 8:19, 8:42, 8:11.
If you guessed miles 4 and 5 you'd be correct.  Well and half of mile 3 technically.  Don't ask how I can run an 8:42 followed by an 8:11 in to the same amount of the wind.  Ok do ask:  I'm a slacker.  Ooops.  I should really work on that.

During my run I saw half of a rabbit on the bike trail.  Which prompted me to wonder what was out on the trails feasting on not-so-small furry rabbits.  Which prompted me to wonder if they would also be partial to Jerbears.  And then upon further inspection and thought (clearly this was during the 8:42 mile) I realized it only had one foot.

Poor not so lucky 1/2 of a rabbit slash 1/4 of limb rabbit. :(


Andrew Opala said...

I know you are young, will live forever, are cute, smile gracefully when you get your picture taken, like college football, beer, and chicken wing flavored pizza ... BUT ... see if Jill could give you some free advice. She's pretty awesome, and she's my coach BTW!

At least ask her for advice and don't take it. Even if my blog always crashes your computer!

Anonymous said...

I am also doing pace runs for the first time right now. And was similarly like...der, why haven't I done this before?

Good luck with the plan!

Anonymous said...

have you posted your actual training plan? I'd love to see it.

Anonymous said...

this sounds like a great plan! I always psyche myself out too when it comes to tempos and mile repeates. SO much so that sometimes I just avoid doing them... Good luck! Can't wait to follow your training. And I'm sorry for the poor bunny rabbit :(

Nicole @ "Haute Runner" said...

Thanks for posting about those books. I will have to check them out.
Hill repeats suck, but during a race you feel awesome when everyone else around you is dragging themselves up them and you can run them!

Badgergirl said...

Sounds like a great plan! I admit, I'd never done a hill repeat until this half marathon training cycle. And while I despise them, I can already tell they're making a difference.

Can't wait to hear how the plan works out!

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the plan - sounds good to me!!

Susan said...

I trusted Jason with a plan...and haven't been following it all that closely. (Don't tell him...hi Jason, if you're reading this!) Why I'm suddenly so bad at following plans is beyond me...

I do love Hal...I've done both his beginner and intermediate I programs, and I ran quite well on those. Perhaps I should bump up to the advanced, although I think that has you running six days per week? I definitely can't do that...

Yayyy pace runs! I do them by accident, I think...

Glenn Jones said...

If you're serious, I'd spend more time in that Pfitzinger book.....