Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sticking To The Plan

I'm not sure if I had mentioned in past posts but I have been looking at a couple of marathon training plans and with the fresh reading of Hanson's Marathon Method and the past programs in my files I have come up with a new, fresh approach to my next 26.2. The main difference with this plan is the usage of "speed" workouts in the early phase and switching to "strength" style workouts the last 6 weeks. The entire 12 weeks I will do one marathon pace effort and slowly build the mileage up to a respectable 10-12 miles. The other days of the week vary a bit in pace but really a lot of aerobic miles are run and for me really keeping tabs on my body and maintaining my recovery days like they should be.

The last two weeks have gone great with the small exception of two days I was feeling a bit ill I had to scale way back which hopefully will NOT come into play come April 15th. My long runs are going well and I have to be patient and not to over-do them too early. That's the hardest thing for me when marathon training. Patience. Each week should allow me to get stronger and I need to trust the system. I will work.

This past weekend, (yesterday), I managed to run a half-marathon at marathon pace effort and I was very proud I stuck to the plan. It would have been super easy to pound out and chase a few runners in front of me but I didn't. I kept a solid pace and despite the cold temps slowing me some I feel like I am well on my way to having a solid performance in 11 weeks. We were talking after the race and trying to dig up some articles as to how much cold temps, it was 5F with slight wind the entire race, effect ones performance. I am sure it is a fair amount, much like extreme heat.

Anyway, here are my last two weeks. I hope to recover quickly after yesterday's effort since it was a bit long this early in the program but I managed not to get too sore as I ran a solid, slow recovery run in Hartley today with minimal soreness. Keep it up people! Spring is right around the corner.

Jan 14-20th
M: 50:00 6.5 easy treadmill plus weights X 2
T: 1:06:00 8.5 miles roads/trails
W: 1:01:00 8.5 mi.  8 X 400 meter @5:20 pace (sick :()
Th: 0 illin
F: 1:03:00 9 mile w/1 at 5:55 to test
Sa: 2:01:00 15.6 miles snowy!
Su: 55:00 7.1 miles tread, easy

Total: 55.2 miles

M: 50:00 6+ mi. easy trails (-17F, -40F wind)
T: 1:09:00 10 mi. 6 X 800 meter @5:20 pace
W: 1:00:00 7 mi. Hartley
Th: 40:00 5.3 mi. plus weights
F: 55:00 7 mi. roads/Woodland
Sa: *MP effort 13.2 miles (14 mi total) 1:20:00/6:09 pace ave.
Su: 1:07:10 7.6 mi. Hartley

Total: 57 miles

Years Total: 220.8 miles

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Road Challenges

I'm training for a spring marathon in Duluth, Minnesota. That in itself can be a very difficult task. Do I wish I was in Arizona where all I could feel is the dirt and sand grinding on the bottom of my shoes? Dang straight! But, I'm not and I will make the most of it. That was the number one concern when I started pursuing this Boston Marathon thingy. The last few "winters" in Duluth have been mild by weather standards but when it comes to hammering out a 20 miler, all a runner wants is good footing. If you are from the south or other regions without snow and ice, believe me, it's something you shouldn't take lightly. It's nice!  This morning I could think of only a couple places where my odds of finding clear pavement were high. I chose the one that would also have the least amount of traffic and made my way out west on Skyline Blvd. I nailed it! Very little traffic and clear pavement the entire way. I had to deal with a bit wind but really, minimal for what we can experience here at the 'head of the lakes'.

Once again I found myself feeling really well at my turn around point and looking to crank the pace down on the return trip. I held back, which was a really nice feeling, and stayed aerobic for the returning miles. In the end I ran equal splits on what I would think is a harder return trip because of some climbs that are not there on the way out. I'm a little freaked-out as to how well my legs are responding to the increase in volume. Each day I take a deep breath and hope I remain to feel good. This weeks work is done and now I start the week with a recovery day Monday and an easy mid-distance run on Tues with some striders. I will continue to add some weight work at least twice a week and I really think that is helping me. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend of working out whatever that may have been. Keep pushing yourself. Don't be afraid to take chances and see what you can do. You might surprise yourself.

Remainder of week ending Jan. 13th:

Friday: Woke up to rain/ice. I really didn't want to hit the treadmill so I took a chance on              
            Skyline Blvd. It was ICE. Good thing I took my Get a Grips as I stopped just    
            after the mile and put them on. They helped a ton and had a good run.
            1:01:00   8.1 miles
Saturday: Everything freezing, more trouble with ice. I decided on the snowmobile trails
               north of town. Good move. Wore the grips again and had a wonderful run.
               1:09:00  9.1 miles rolling hills snomo trail
Sunday: Out and back on Skyline. Wow! What a run! Feeling great.
             2:10:30  18 miles  (2F with wind when I left)

Weeks Total: 62 miles

Years Total: 108.6 miles

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Making Progress

I feel like this week thus far has been a great step in the right direction. After Sunday's long run I gave myself two days of rest while feeling very good. My legs recovered well and Wed I did my steady-state run with 2 additional miles. Those runs are becoming very comfortable and something I look forward to each week.

It looks like a cold snap is heading this way so I better get ready to hunker down and get ready for some challenging runs.

Week: Jan 7-13
M: 50:00 trails easy
T: 45:00 @ 7:30's + weights
W: 1:02:00 9 miles w/5 @ 6:00's
TH: 52:00 easy Hartley

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Solid Weekend

The weekend went about as good as I could have asked. Saturday I ran a loop in Hartley on the single track and did a little fartlek with the hills. My legs felt very fluid and quite strong on the hills. *always a good thing... On Sunday I made my way to Superior street and ran out on scenic 61 for some added miles before making the return trip. My first long run over 2 hours this year and I was happy with the outcome.

The next week I will continue to work on my consistency and continue to bump up the miles on my weekly steady-state run. *currently running them on treadmill

Sat: 1:09:00  trails with fartlek
Sun: 2:02:00  16.3 miles

Week:~47 miles

Year: 47 miles

Friday, January 4, 2013

The New Year. Bring It!!!

My December was fair. The rest of the winter months have to go well if I have any chance of accomplishing my goals heading to Boston Marathon on April 15th.

I'm trying not to get too worked up and "worry" about time goals but for me, this year, I do have a time goal and I am going to give it 100% effort and hopefully everything else falls into place. All I can do is try right?

I noticed that for the first time in 5 years I haven't hit 2K miles. My highest is probably 2009 when I ran just under 3K and I PR'd at the marathon and ran some other decent races for the last year of my 30's.  I don't really equate the "lack" of miles this past year to having a bad year, but I would rather term it "unfortunate" in terms of results. I trained quite well and for the first time in many years hit the track and actually got some speed back in my legs. The problem was I pushed too hard the last week prior to the race and it resulted in a DNF, thus no results from all the work. By time I got the injury under control I had lost a bit of fitness and I finished the year with two less than desirable results. The good news is my current running health. Other than the foot thing a week ago I feel like I am ready to hit the miles and ramp up to marathon mode. I CANT WAIT! I love the feeling of heading out the door and not returning for 2.5 hours with a serious appetite. Marathon shape is like nothing else. The quest is on...

Here is my work thus far this week:

Dec 31st-Jan 6th:

M: 31:00 4+ miles (weights)
T: 43:00/ trails with Kari/ headlamp run
W: 1:09:00/ Hartley singletrack headlamp run
Th: 49:00  7+ miles w/ 3 miles @SS pace (5:55-6:00)
F: 0 rest day/ exercises

*on to the weekend!