Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Boston Marathon Training Update - Week 10

One essential question above all else dominated my running this week. How does one incorporate a 5K race at the peak of marathon training? On the one hand, I was planning some heavy mileage at a slower pace, including a 20-miler, for my runs this week. On the other hand, I knew I had to burn through some quick, short intervals in preparation for the 5K at the end of the week. It was an interesting dilemma but one I struggled with almost every time out this week. What eventually evolved was a compromise of sorts. See if you’ll agree.

Week #10 (2/23-3/1)
What I Planned:
Speed Intervals: 7 total miles with 3 X 1 mile at 5:58 pace
Recovery Run: 4 total miles at easy pace
Midweek General Aerobic Run: 12 miles at 7:05 pace
Weekend Long Run: 20 total miles at long run pace
Weekend Race: 3.1 miles at race pace
Total week 10 distance planned: 46.0 miles

What I Ran:
Tues - TM Speed Intervals: 5.3 miles with 3 interval miles [5:45-5:48]
Tues - Recovery/Cooldown Run: 5.52 miles at 6:47 pace
Thurs - Midweek Long Run: 21 miles at 7:12 pace
Sat - TM Speed Intervals: 4 miles with 2 interval miles [5:49, 5:51]
Sat - GA/Recov Run: 7.54 miles at 7:03 pace
Sun – Coogan’s 5K Race: 3.1 miles at 5:59 pace
Total week 10 distance: 46.5 miles; avg pace – 6:56 min/mi

How I Ran:
As you can see, my plan of attack was to do short fast interval miles on the treadmill and then jump outside for another 5-7 miles as a cooldown/recovery run to add mileage for marathon training. I applied that training strategy for both my Tuesday workout at normal speed and my Saturday workout at reduced speed. The end result was the completion of my inaugural 5K on Sunday at 5:59 pace, which is about the best I could hope for given the nature of the race.
In between these workouts, I had a midweek 21 miler that went extremely well. The weather was perfect that day and because I was running in the early afternoon, I had the running paths around the city pretty much all to myself throughout the entire run. I ran a completely new route which took me from the Upper East Side over the Queensboro Bridge, back to Central Park, then up to Morningside Park, across to Riverside Park before finally ending out on Riverside Park and the West Side Highway. Essentially I ran from one side of the island to the other without having to run downtown. Sweet! And because I held myself to a slow and easy 7:30 pace for the first 10 miles, I had enough energy to run a bit faster in the second half, including the last 4 miles at sub-marathon pace (6:48 average pace). I just love my pacing strategy for this long run and will definitely use it again in the future.
My final assessment of this past week is a pretty good one, given that I accomplished all the main objectives I had planned for at the beginning of in the week. It goes to show that flexibility and variety is really an integral component of any successful marathon training program.
Have a great week, everyone!


Running and living said...

Awsome training week! I use the same strategy for the long runs!

Michelle said...

I agree with your assessment of your training week!!!


Aron said...

another AWESOME week!!! way to nail that 20 miler!!

Irish Cream said...

I'm STILL trying to wrap my mind around how you accomplished so much running-wise in just one short week . . . VERY impressive, my friend! Keep up the good work! :)

Spike said...

amazing week, great runs! You pace blows my mind. 21 miles with the first ten at an easy 7:30 pace, then turn it on.

Anonymous said...

That was smart to move your 21 miler up to Thursday so you'd be rested for the 5K. I should have thought to do the same.

Marci said...

Good job getting your 22miler done midweek, that it the ultimate in time management!

joyRuN said...

It's no wonder you've coached FL into a BQ. Great strategizing!

I missed out on a lot of 5K's last fall because of the whole marathon training conflict. I'll have to remember your approach.

Anonymous said...

A couple of questions. What's your race target? Where do your paces come from?

I assume this is an unusual week with the 5K.

The Laminator said...


My race target is the Boston Marathon, where i hope to run under 3:00.

My training paces come from McMillian and other calculators based on recent marathon/half marathon races. They were selected at the beginning of marathon training and adjusted as my race performances improved in various distances.

I have used this strategy pretty successfully in the past so I know it works for me.

Anonymous said...

I asked because those seem like mighty brisk paces. If you can run recoveries 6:47 and long runs at 7:12, sub-3 should come pretty easily, based upon my own experience of running slightly faster workout paces (e.g. 6:50 pace for 20) (except for your tempos, which are comparable to mine) and doing 2:48 (with several minutes left on the course).

So it looks pretty good to me. It's a shame that the Colon Cancer is a 15K and not an HM as it used to be, to serve as a useful test of how things are going.

sRod said...

What program do you use to map out runs? That is one sweet map.

Congrats on all the running success!

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