Tuesday, September 9, 2014

8 Weeks to the TCS New York City Marathon: Last Week's Training

The field has officially been announced for the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon, and I'm pumped to be a part of a deep and talented field. While I did not have a bad day there last year, I left feeling the result did not fully represent my fitness level, and I was very much hoping to return and make up for it this year. I'm already getting goosebumps re-imagining the starting line, the energy from the overwhelmingly massive crowd, and international superstars I'll be toeing the line with. Having one NYC Marathon under my belt is an asset that will change the way I approach this year's race.

We're already less than 8 weeks away, but if you've followed the previous blog posts you know that my preparation is into the 5th productive week following my track season. I'm now finishing up my 4th week at 7,000 feet in Flagstaff, AZ, my first long stint at altitude, and each week has been slightly better than the previous. My coach, Dave Smith, put a great deal of time into planning my training for this trip, and it has paid off. I have to give a lot of credit to Nick Arciniaga, Scott Smith, Matt Llano, Ben Bruce, Guor Marial, Jordan Chipangama, and Coach Ben Rosario for helping me with the adjustment, the pacing, and learning the training routes in Flagstaff. With their help I was
Downtown Flagstaff
able to get dialed in almost immediately rather than learning from my own mistakes and digging myself into a hole. My time in Flagstaff has been great for my New York preparation, and I have really enjoyed getting to know the town and the beautiful surroundings. I definitely plan on returning in the near future.

Last week included two pretty major workouts for me. After having a few weeks under my belt, I felt adjusted and ready to push the effort a bit more than I had previously. I also brought the mileage back a bit, but I will return to 150 this current week. Wednesday included a 5 x 2 mile workout on the hilly Lake Mary Rd. with a half-mile recovery jog in between, bringing the total to 12 miles. Scott Smith and I started in the 10:00 range and maintained through 3 reps, picking it up on each of the last two down to 9:43. I still don't have workouts to compare these times to, so it's hard to know how excited to be, but Scott and Ben Rosario were happy, so I was happy. Again, it was difficult for me to feel the pace out on this type of workout without the experience, so it was great to be with guys that knew what the effort should be early on.

Sunday was another big day, and we had a very talented group together for it (Llano, Marial, and Chipangama). The workout started with a 3-mile warmup before hitting a 4-mile tempo at 5:06 pace. After switching shoes and taking fluids we jumped right into a 10 mile, moderate effort run,
Llano, Vail, Marial, Chipangama
before switching back into flats and jumping into a second 4-mile tempo at 5:00. This was again on Lake Mary Rd. This type of workout has been a staple for me during my marathon training, but the tempos have usually taken place on the track, so this was a whole new challenge. It's a tough way to get 24 miles in, but the second tempo forces you to experience the latter stages of the marathon for a short period of time. Even long tempos are normally finished in the 16 mile range, but this workout starts the second tempo 17-18 miles in.

While I've thoroughly enjoyed my time in Flagstaff, I'm looking forward to heading back to Portland. After being in Europe for a long chunk of the summer, I've been away for quite some time. Hopefully the training here will allow me to have my best month of training yet when I get back to sea-level. I'll be heading into Portland Integrated Health and Sports Medicine on Thursday to get my blood drawn again and see the before and after altitude comparison. I'll share the results next week. Feel free to check out last week's training below. Thanks again for reading, and follow me here on twitter for more updates.

Week 4 AM PM Strength/Drills Mileage
Monday 14 6 40 minutes 20

Tuesday 14 5 + drills and grass strides

Wednesday 5 x 2 miles on Lake Mary Rd. w/ half mile jog recover (10:01, 10:00, 10:05, 9:55, 9:43) 5 easy 40 minutes 22

Thursday 12 miles easy Off – hiked around Grand Canyon

Friday 12 miles + 8 x 200 meter hills 6

Saturday 12 6 30 minutes 18.5

Sunday 3 mi warmup, 4 mi tempo @ 5:06 pace, 10 mile run @ 6:15, 4 mi tempo @ 5:00, 3 mi cooldown – Lake Mary Rd. off




  1. Great Work Ryan! Really looking forward to your NYC finish!

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