Tuesday, September 24, 2013

6 Weeks to ING New York City Marathon: Last Week's Training

Summer has officially ended in Portland with the dark, rainy days of the fall returning. I'm looking forward to the short trip to sunny California for my tune-up in San Jose. This will be followed by a trip to Oklahoma to spend some time with my coach and enjoy the warm October weather in Stillwater. It will be nice to get some work in on their brand new track facility.

Last week's training went well again with two solid workouts. The Wednesday workout (4 mile, 3, 2, 1) was on the track in order to control the effort. My ability to finish in 4:32 after a very honest pace for the first 9 miles was a welcome surprise. I followed this up with a 16 mile tempo averaging 4:57.6 on Sunday. This was my fastest tempo at this distance and comes in the middle of a high volume block of training, days after a solid 10 miles of track work. I took water mixed with Powerbar gel (Tangerine with 50mg of caffeine) every 5km. I have been using this combination for a while, and it treated my stomach and body very well during the long tempo. It's important to practice taking fluids while running goal race pace; it is much more difficult than it sounds to put down 8 ounces of water every 15 minutes.

The volume last week dipped back to 135 miles in preparation for one more week at 150 miles which I am currently pushing through. I plan on keeping the volume fairly high through the half-marathon that is just under two weeks away in order to ensure I do not peak 4 weeks out from New York. Thanks again for reading, and I'll post again next week.

Week 8 AM PM Strength/Drills Mileage
Monday 12.5 6 40 minutes core 18.5
Tuesday 14 5
Wednesday 4 mile, 3 mile, 2 mile, 1 mile tempo (19:13, 14:18, 9:25, 4:32) off
Thursday 14 6 1 hour 20
Friday 10 + drills and strides 9
Saturday 12.5 6 30 minutes core 18.5
Sunday 16 mile tempo (119:22 – 4:57.6) + warm-up/cool down off


Thursday, September 19, 2013

7 Weeks to ING New York City Marathon: Last Week's Training

Another big volume week is under my belt at 151 miles, and the NYC Marathon is getting ever closer. The mile repeat workout shown below on Thursday was scheduled for Wednesday, but I was feeling very fatigued in the morning and decided to put it off by a day. I felt much better on Thursday, and put together a nice cutdown, although it was on the track this time rather than the hilly route I've used for previous repeats this buildup. This workout was the last shorter and faster workout of the training block. Most training the rest of the way in will be between half-marathon pace and marathon pace. I was particularly pleased with the Sunday long run last week. My wife's parents are visiting from the Czech Republic, so we decided to go down to Bend for a few days to show them around and give me an opportunity to mix up my runs a little. Bend is at about 3600 feet, so not extremely high, but enough to make a long run a little tougher. I still managed to average 4:56 for my 4 mile push from miles 19 to 23 while maintaining an overall average of 5:58 for the 27 miles. Next week the volume will drop to 135 before going for my last week at 150 miles.

As for the half-marathon tune-up race, I have finally made a decision. After long discussions with my coach, we have decided to stick with the original plan of running San Jose on October 6th. There were a few other opportunities, but all consisted of long travel in both directions in which training would be very difficult. My original selection of San Jose was due to the extremely easy travel and ability to train through the half-marathon to ensure that I do not peak 4 weeks out of NYC. This race is the best opportunity for me to be 100% for the marathon.  Thanks again for reading, and I look forward to posting again next week.

Week 7 AM PM Strength/Drills Mileage
Monday 15 6 40 minutes core 21
Tuesday 75 minutes followed by 8 x 200 meter hills 6
Wednesday 6 14 1 hour 20
Thursday 6 x 1 mile starting @ 4:43 and finishing @ 4:20 on track 6
Friday 11 10
Saturday 15 5 30 minutes core 20
Sunday 27 mile long run, push miles 19-23 @ 19:44 off


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

8 Weeks to ING New York Marathon: Last Week's Training

One week closer to New York, and another solid training week under my belt. The mileage came back down to 135 this week but will shoot back up to 150 again next week. I'm still working on a half-marathon tune-up race for the weekend of October 6th, and there are a few good options. Hopefully I will have it finalized very soon. 

I had two solid workouts during the week, starting with 7 x 1 mile. It was run again on a net uphill course with a jog recovery. Closing in 4:24 was a big effort, but it is a good indicator of fitness. I think it's good to mix in some of these faster workouts with the marathon training as to not get stuck in a pace rut over the course of 14 weeks. Sunday was 23 miles total with the warm-up, 4-mile tempo, 10-mile run, 3-mile tempo, and cool down. I was pleased to be able to hold 71.0 for the 3-mile tempo, which were miles 17 to 20 for the day. The tempos are done on the track, so it really forces me to focus when my legs are already fatigued. I'm checking each 400 meter split, so there is no chance to zone out or lose concentration. The next time I do this workout it will be with two 4-mile tempo runs. Thanks again for reading, and I'll post again next week. 

Week 6 AM PM Strength/Drills Mileage
Monday 75 minute run followed by 8 x 200 meter hills 6 40 minutes core 20
Tuesday 13 6
Wednesday 7 x mile, starting 4:46 and ending 4:24. 3 minutes rest 5 1 hour 20
Thursday 16 off
Friday 75 minute run followed by 8 x 200 meter hills 5
Saturday 9.5 9 30 minutes core 18.5
Sunday 4 mile tempo in 19:06, 10 mile run in 58:00, 3 mile tempo in 14:12 off


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

9 Weeks to the ING New York Marathon: 150 mile week

Below is last week's training log. It was a high volume week for me, but the intensity of the workouts was brought down a notch from the week before. Throughout the whole buildup I only plan on having a few weeks reaching 150, but many more between 130 and 140. While I'm obviously quite exhausted, my body is handling the training well.

My coach put together the training calendar based on a decision to do a half-marathon tune-up on October 6th. The plan was to race the San Jose Rock and Roll. I was originally considering the Philadelphia Rock and Roll but decided that I'd like a little more time. It was taking my agent a long time to try to sort out the details for San Jose, and now it is obvious why. Competitor has announced that they are immediately cutting funding to elite athletes at Rock and Roll series races in North America. This puts me, and many other athletes, in a tough position, and my coach and I are trying to come up with a plan. I would definitely like to run a half-marathon before New York, but not under conditions that would jeopardize New York in any way. We will see what we can come up with by the end of the week. I hope The Competitor Group will reconsider its decision in the future.

On a more positive note, Destination Races put on a fantastic Oregon Wine Country half-marathon this weekend. It was a beautiful course, the race was well-organized, and the elites were looked after. Hopefully my schedule will allow me to do this race next year. My wife, Eva, was racing, so it gave me an opportunity to do my long run in wine country and provide an excellent change of scenery. With little traffic, it was easy to set up my bottles and practice using my marathon fluids each 5km. I was finishing my long run just as my wife was finishing up the race in 2nd place, snagging some cash and a magnum of wine in the process. If Destination Races is putting on a race in your region, I highly recommend checking it out: http://destinationraces.com/

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to throwing up my log again next week.

Week 5 AM PM Strength/Drills Mileage
Monday 15 6 40 minutes core 21
Tuesday 12 8x200 meter hills
Wednesday Tempo, 3.5, 2.5, 1.5 miles (rest: 3 min, 2 min) @ 4:50, 4:45, 4:40 7 1 hour 21
Thursday 12 9
Friday 90 minute run followed by 8x200 meter hills 4.5
Saturday 14 7 40 minutes core 21
Sunday 24 miles, pushing miles 17 to 20 (19:48 for 4 miles) off