This marked the first week of official marathon training, and I have to say, I’m very happy with how it went.
I’m following the Asics Target 26.2 Sub-3:30 training plan that used to be online but now isn’t, as far as I can tell (good thing I printed it out for future reference!). It’s a 16 week plan with 5 days of running each week starting at 27 miles and maxing at 49. Each week consists of an interval workout, and easy run, a tempo workout, a rest day, a “Parkrun” cross country race or hill workout, and a long run with a following rest day. There are fartleks, alternate paces (i.e. alternating paces every mile), steady-states, and halvsies (my label; first half of long run at easy pace, second half at marathon pace).
I used the last five weeks of this plan for my plan last marathon, so I am familiar with it. I meant to break 3:30 at the Fort Lauderdale marathon last February, but I knew ahead of time that lack of consistent pacing was my Achilles heal. However, I still BQ’ed and PR’ed by 18 minutes, so I know this plan is good. Also, the plan is set up to run Monday through Sunday, but I run Sunday through Saturday, so I actually end up maxing at about 53 miles (funny how that works, but it’s usually the case when one considers rolling versus calendar weeks).
At any rate, other than not having a cross country race to run on Fridays, I find it pretty easy to follow this plan. The two rest days definitely are a bonus and make dedicating the other five days to hard workouts more successful. However, as one may have noticed, I tend to commute by bike anyway during the week and sometimes end up doing weights on one of the days I don’t run, so I really have one pure rest-day a week- but it’s at least something! and this day is strictly observed. Also, having 2 rest days on the schedule means I don’t feel guilty when I decide not to take my bike or go to the gym on those days.
This training season, I skipped the first 4 weeks of the plan, started with week five and am skipping to week seven next week to accommodate the fact that my planned race is on April 23rd. Since I was at 35 miles a week average for the past month and had already built up to a solid 14 mile long run, skipping weeks 1-4 was not an issue. I even did a few workouts scattered throughout that time, so I actually felt strong for my first official workouts this week. In fact, I was able to go faster than the advised paces, but this may change as the mileage gets heavier and I incorporate more commutes again (I skipped riding my bike home from work 2/3 times this week because it was too cold in the evening).
Workouts on the schedule this past week: 12 x 400 at 95-100 minutes with 200m recoveries, 4 miles tempo at 7:30mpm, a 35 min. fartlek and 16 miles easy at 9mpm.
What I did:
9 x 400 at 95-97 seconds, one 400 at 90 seconds and one at 102 seconds. I accidentally only did 11 intervals. Somehow, I thought 12 x 400m + 11 x 200 m would be 4 miles, but it’s actually about 4.4 miles. Woops;
4 miles tempo at 7:28 mpm. I’m very proud of this one because I was running up and down some hard hills and still managed faster second than first part: 7:43, 7:18, 7:39 and 7:12. While it looks like it was not a steady pace, it was a steady effort with me pushing to keep the 7:30 pace for the end;
I forgot I was supposed to do a fartlek Friday and ended up doing a progression from 10 mpm to 5:45 mpm. Still, I think the effort equals about the same and gets the job done (though what do I know, I just kind of hope and pray these things- great training strategy, I know… may invest in a coach at some point in my life).
The long run yesterday made me feel like a badass- running through a heavy drizzle through the streets of Berlin will do that to you. ;) I didn’t got for 16 because I was a little tight on time and didn’t want to get too much more than 40 miles this week. Happy about the 15.42 and the 8:20 overall pace.
In summary, I ran 41.1 miles this week at good paces. I think at this point in the last marathon training season, I was not in the good shape I am now, so I’m confident about where I am during this point of this season. I’m not totally happy with my nutrition and I am developing some niggle at the bottom of my left hamstring that spoke up during a few of the runs since my intervals Monday, so I need to be careful. I’m stretching and foam rolling a bit more, as well as working harder to get 20% of my daily nutrients from protein, so hopefully I can speak differently next weekend.
In other news, I’m planning to go home in the spring and my family is talking about dates that are awfully close to the 23rd, so I really hope I am able to run my race! But right now, I might as well just keep training and hope for the best.
Hope you all had a good week, and have a good one next week.- Dorothea