This week, I’m spending a few days up in Lake George for a relaxing winter get away. It’s been about three and a half weeks since this training block started.
I was a bit hesitant going in. But things have been going pretty smooth. Here’s a quick run down.
The Plan – Modified Pfitz 12/85
I’ve used Daniels 2Q for my last two marathons, but I decided to give Pfitz a try this time around. Read more about Pfitzinger marathon training plans here.
I have made some modifications to the plan, though. I’m keeping the weekly mileage more or less exactly as it is in the book. I had to re-arrange the schedule, so that longer runs fall on Tuesdays and Fridays. And I broke some of the longer runs up into doubles, so a typical weekday is 8-12 miles in the morning and an extra few in the evening if I need to hit my mileage.
It’s really about scheduling. It’s hard to commit to running 15 miles on a weekday morning.
I’m also adjusting the threshold runs to be cruise intervals a la Daniels. So 4 miles at threshold would be 6 x 5 minutes at threshold pace, and 5 miles would be 7 x 5 minutes.
How It’s Going So Far
So far, things have been going pretty well.
I’ve hit the mileage targets each week. That’s 62, 70, and 75 miles in the first three weeks. This week, I’m on target to hit 79.
I shortened the long runs a bit. I had some travel that messed up my timing, so the long runs themselves have been 14-15 miles. But I added doubles a couple evenings, so I did hit 18-19 miles on a couple days. The last long run was 14 miles, with 10 at marathon pace. I did an extra 4 miles easy in the morning (18 total for the day), and I hit 7:45/mi pace on the marathon pace segment. A little slower than goal pace, but I’m happy with it.
On the medium long runs and general aerobic runs, I’ve also been able to hit some good paces. On the first 12 mile MLR, I had an average pace of 8:33/mi (finishing around 7:30/mi), and on the next I averaged 8:26/mi (finishing around 7:30). My general approach to these has been to take the first half easy (~8:45-9:00mi) and then in the second half work down from 8:30 to 7:30. Maybe it’s the lack of other quality runs throughout the week, but I’ve been able to comfortably run these easy-ish runs a lot faster than I did during Daniels.
I really like the 10x100m runs, too. It’s basically a long set of strides, and it’s a great opportunity to stretch out my legs and go fast. With Daniels, I often neglected to do these strides because it was hard to do them when I’d already done two quality sessions in a week. With this “workout” being one of the quality sessions, I can really open up and enjoy them.
I’m realizing that twelve weeks is a very short period of time to train. But I think I liked this approach of doing a few weeks of faster training followed by a shorter marathon blocks. The full 18 weeks of training in my last two go arounds seemed to drag on forever. But after three weeks, I’m already looking at the calendar and thinking that it will be time to taper soon.
Looking ahead, I’ve got an easier week next week (72 miles), followed by four peak weeks. Once those are out of the way, it’s basically time for the race. I’m feeling pretty optimistic, and I think my original goal (3:10) should be well within reach – and I might even be able to attack 3:00 or 3:05 by the time race day gets here.