Marathon Training: 6th Edition

I received an email from WordPress in December asking me if I’d like to renew my domain, and it seemed like it was worth the $19 not to let it go…so maybe this year I’ll actually use it?

First up: Despite nearly being done serving our (original) 24-month sentence here in the jungle, we’re not headed back to Texas in March. Repatriation date is still up in the air, but we’re hopeful it’s in 2013.
Secondly: I’m marathon training again. In April I’ll head to California for a week to adjust to Pacific time/spend some time with my college roommate. From there, it’s on to Eugene to chase a marathon PR I’ve been after for years.
The plan is to finally break that 4-hour barrier that I just can’t seem to get my legs to. (For reference, my half PR is 1:48:xx and my 10k is 48:xx. Marathon is 4:08:12. One of these is not like the other…)
I ran that 4:08 last spring in Australia off a very hot/cold training cycle. On the one hand, I ran my first ever 60 mile week. On the other, I spent what should have been peak week on vacation in Hong Kong and only ran 15 miles. I’m pretty sure a little more dedication could lead to something good.
The plan I settled on is the Pfitz 70. I started it at 16 weeks out (instead of 18 where it actually starts) because I knew better than to bank on solid training while we were on vacation over the holidays. While we were in New Zealand I ran whatever I felt like, whenever I felt like it. Going into this my long run was at 13 (for 2 consecutive weeks) and I felt my mileage was in a place where I could make a slightly gutsy jump. (I’ve always thought the 10% rule was garbage…I guess if I end up injured the joke’s on me.) In all seriousness though, I found last spring when I was actually being a dedicated runner that I could hold up to higher-ish (for me) mileage pretty well, and that minimal speed work with lots of miles still led me to a PR (even if I did slack pretty hard.)
As I said, the goal is to break 4. Here’s how week 1 went down: (I’ve moved everything up a day so I can do long runs on Saturday.)
Monday: 11 at 9:40 pace
Tuesday: 13 at 9:40 pace
Wednesday: 5 recovery
Thursday: 9 with 4 @ tempo (33:14)
Friday: 5 recovery
Saturday: 15 at 9:28 pace
Total: 58 miles
I’m a little unsure if I’m doing those midweek medium long runs at the right pace. Pfitz says the long run should be 10-20% slower than goal pace, and 10% slower is 9:54, which doesn’t even get my heart rate to 150, so that can’t be quite right, can it? 9:30 seems too close to my goal pace, but my heart rate stayed at 155 and I didn’t struggle at all. Where’s the balance between taking it too easy and being one of those idiots who does long runs too fast?

Overall, this week felt good. Monday-Tuesday runs were boring as hell (did I mention I do all my miles on a treadmill?), I felt strong on the tempo, and I could have kept running after yesterday’s 15. Only issues of note are minor tightness in right hip (which I’ve been stretching diligently) and needing noticeably more sleep.

Anyone else going to be in Eugene?

Happy running.

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1 Response to “Marathon Training: 6th Edition”


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