Tuesday, February 18, 2014

8 Weeks to London: Last Week's Training

With the Gasparilla Half-Marathon less than a week away, it is time to test my fitness half-way through my training block for the London Marathon. The competition looks great, and I'm looking forward to escaping the rain for a few days. Last week's training was a bit up and down due to the snow and indoor training situation. I returned to Portland from Seattle on Tuesday evening, and the roads had cleared up enough here by Wednesday to get back into my normal routine. The 6 x mile session on Wednesday did not go as smoothly as I had hoped. I have been doing my mile repeats on a hilly, paved loop, but this park was covered in downed limbs from the storm, so I went to the track. I was hoping this would mean I could really cut down the last few reps and get after it, but my legs were quite sluggish and I struggled each rep to drop the time by a couple of seconds. I think the indoor running, followed immediately by a taxing 24 mile run Sunday put me into a bit of a hole that was reflected by this workout. I dropped the volume slightly over the next couple of days and skipped a strength session in order to recover, and by Sunday I was feeling great. I was particularly pleased with my Sunday workout which included two shorter tempos on both sides of a 10 mile run. It was very windy, so my ability to hit those times has given me some confidence heading into next week.

The weekly volume was planned at 140-150, but it ended up just under this range after the midweek adjustments. That is a part of marathon training. You have to be ready to make adjustments to the training calendar on the fly depending on weather, injury, tiredness, etc. When speaking with newer runners in particular, this is where they tend to struggle. There are many training templates available for free and for purchase on some coaching websites that put all runners, but especially beginners, at a big disadvantage during a marathon build-up. It's nice to get a basic idea of how to formulate a block of training, but without the guidance of an experienced coach the whole way through, the templates are not particularly helpful. My coach, Dave Smith, has always been open about his training plans because he knows this is not where the real skill lies. The challenge is to adapt on the go, control the pace in certain types of workouts (no matter how good the runner is feeling), and know when it's time to hammer. After almost 10 years of working with Dave, I still rely heavily on his guidance in these areas.

Overall, the training is progressing as I had hoped, and I'm looking forward to putting on a jersey and testing my fitness a bit in Tampa on the 23rd. I'm going to keep the volume relatively high this week as to not peak 7 weeks out from London. I'll still have time for one big volume push after this race. Thanks again for reading, and I'll post following the race. To get training updates, follow me here on twitter.

Week 6 AM PM Strength/Drills Mileage
Monday 14 6 40 minutes 20

Tuesday 14 + drills and 8 x 200 meters on track 6

Wednesday 6 6 x mile starting in 4:38 working down to 4:28

Thursday 12 7

Friday 10 6

Saturday 14 6 40 minutes 20

3 mile w/u, 4 mile tempo (19:01), 10 mile run in 58:35, 3 mile tempo 14:14



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