For many, the passing of the Labor Day weekend symbolizes the official end of summer. For those of us who are runners however, the transition from August to September can signify much more. For one thing, it means waving goodbye to long hot, humid days and welcoming cooler and more comfortable climes. For another, it marks the peak of fall marathon training and the beginning of heavier traffic in running parks all over the country.
As for me, because I ran a marathon just a month earlier, I have been kind of lackadaisical on my running during the past month in the name of recovery. However, now that summer has mysteriously disappeared into early autumn, l took this weekend as a reminder to get my butt back in gear and refocus my training in preparation for my goal fall marathon, the 2008 New York City Marathon. Toward this end, I spent the bulk of my weekend carefully constructing a brief but intense nine week training plan that will average about 40-45 miles per week and pretty much guarantee that I’d be in the best running shape possible by November 2nd. It has me running four or five days a week and is filled with interval runs, tempo runs and long runs with some hill work and marathon pace workout mixed in just to spice things up. I have built my training plan so that every run will be done for a specific purpose and toward a specific goal (i.e., there will be no junk miles) so each session of each week is built on something that has been worked on in the week before. It's something I've been implementing in constructing and revising the marathon plans of people that I coach so I figure it's about time I incorporate it into my own training as well. I’m trying to break in NYCM this year (and maybe try for next year) and in order to do that I really have put in a consistent effort out on the roads, not just talk a good game from the seat of my pants.
I’m not going to do the usual thing and publish the exact schedule because honestly, it’s not that fascinating or useful to anyone but me. But suffice it to say it has a long run every weekend including one 18-mile run, three 20-mile runs (one of which I did on Saturday just to kick things off) and a 22-mile run, two weekday runs with either tempo, interval, hill, or marathon training within them, as well as a rest day before and after each hard workout. I’ve also signed up for an 18-mile race in September and a half-marathon in October to track my progress.
I know I’ve neglected to discuss much running last month (other than impromptu race reports), partly because other more important tangential subjects (like the Olympics) came up, but partly also because my running lacked purpose for a while (even though I’d hate to admit this). So because I know how much you miss hearing about my marathon training and things I think about while I’m running (I can’t believe I got an-email the other day from someone complaining that I don’t talk enough about my training, Hah…), I’ll try harder in the next couple months to stick to the subject. Go ahead, be excited or be forewarned, depending on how you like my ramblings.