Thursday, May 15, 2008

Random Thoughts On Marathon Training

  1. Now that my half-marathon is done, it’s on to marathon training for me. I’ve devised a semi-easy, semi-hard 13-week abbreviated training schedule for myself in preparation for the San Francisco Marathon in August. I don’t know much about this marathon, but I hear it’s hilly, so I’m doing the bulk of training in Central Park, which should be enough to get me prepared for whatever awaits me on the west coast.
  2. I’m also trying a new training technique this summer. Instead of keeping my runs to a max of 6-8 miles during the week, I’m combining workouts so that at least once during the week, I’m running 12-14 miles. I’m doing that for two reasons. First, it will allow my to do one fast workout (either intervals or tempo) on my own and then do a recovery/social run with friends/fans at a slower pace. Second, it will serve as an additional medium/long run during the week. Third, because I’m combining workouts, I’ll be able to take more rest days in between workouts too…which will make my legs very happy.
  3. I’ve looked over the race schedules for the months of June/July in the entire tri-state area three times over and there’s not one half marathon during that time frame that I can enter. I usually like to do one about three or four weeks beforehand as a pace run just to gauge where my training is at and what time I should realistic shoot for. So now that I’ve being denied that opportunity, I’ll have to come up with a virtual 13.1 mile race on my own. (Yeah, you can pass this info on to a certain virtual race director so she can get the ball rolling on this one right away!)
  4. In my experience, the epic battle between speed and distance in marathon training is almost always dominated by the faster miles, especially during the summer months. I have tried to rectify that situation by incorporating 1-18 miler and 4-20 miler runs into the schedule. That is double the number of long runs I did each of the last two years in preparation for the marathon. One thing I will try to do is to turn one of the 20s into a 22 and run it at a pace that is just slightly slower than what I plan to run in the actual thing. I’m hoping it’ll help me feel more comfortable running with fatigue during the later miles.
  5. For once in my life, I will also try to eat more as I train more. One of the problems I'd had in the past has been that I tend to lose too much weight during peak training season. This year, I will buy more fruits and yogurt to have after dinner as a snack before I go to bed. Believe it or not, this last proclamation will be music to my mom’s ears more than mine. Go figure!

That’s all the ideas I have for improving my time. I’m hoping to break 3:05 in SF (there, I said it…my new time goal!) so I’m implementing these modifications to my existing training plan to make the runs funner, faster, healthier, and more productive. Whether they work or not remains to be seen. What do you all think? Any and all additional suggestions are welcome; just leave your name, age, and previous marathon finish next to your comments so I know how legit your advice is. Haha, j/k…you can leave out that last part.

10 comments:

Andrew is getting fit said...

Sounds good to me but hey, what do I know? :)

mom2beccaNallie said...

As I've yet to run the marathon, I can't offer any suggestions, but your plan sounds great. I look forward to reading your progress over the months ahead.

Heard the weather is to be chilly and rainy tomorrow for the Healthy Kidney:( Good luck tomorrow!

Non-Runner Nancy said...

I think my forte is in the directing and not the advice giving. :D Having said that, more long runs sounds good, though. I haven't gotten the knack of that losing too much weight during the peak season. Dang it.

Non-runner
0 marathons

Nitmos said...

Your plan sounds similar to the Brooks Hanson team approach to marathon training though they advocate the LR's being no more than 16-17 miles but have an additional longish midweek run, which you are planning.

I like your plan and will no doubt steal part of it later this year for my own fall marathon. Unless, of course, it doesn't work for you. In which case, I'll make fun of your plan and try something different.

Run For Life said...

Looks good to me. Just go with the flow and tweak it if need be. I'm with Nancy on wishing I lost more weight during training, you men - hrumph! Jk.

Debbie said...

no advice or credentials to give advice...your plan sounds good! SF should be a fun one!

heatherdaniel said...

Sounds good and it's inspiring me to put my marathon training goals and time down on paper/ or on my blog. I'm shooting to do a marathon in late July or early August. I just haven't decided on which marathon.

I get really shy about announcing my goal times. I feel like if I don't tell anyone then I won't feel silly or dumb if/when I can't make it.

Also: Wow, your goal time is FIERCE!

nwgdc said...

Your thoughts on a long, fast run are spot-on. (Hence my 21 miler on hills last week at 7:13 pace) I've included an article from Running times about something most marathon training programs consider taboo: the long planned-marathon-pace run.

Assuming one avoids injury, it just makes too much sense to run a long run at a fast pace. Specificity!

http://www.runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=4835&PageNum=&CategoryID=

Lily on the Road said...

Won't give any advice until I complete my first marathon on the 25th of May...

Sounds good though....

Betsy said...

If you host a virtual half, I'll run it, Lam.

 
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