Before heading off on the next training period, I wanted to share a few thoughts on my Twin Cities Marathon Training plan.
Back in June, I was putting together my plan and posted something about it on my blog. Specifically, I touched on the subject of my past plans always pushing my fatigue levels to the max. Mark Hadley pinged me with the idea of switching my training cycles from 7 to 9 days. Here's a link to Mark's website if you are interested in reading more about his training concepts.
At first, I was hesitating to switch. After all, I had run for 25+ years using a 7 day cycle so changing up my training route was not easy to accept.
But the more I thought I about it the more I liked the idea. I mean sometimes breaking out of an old mold is the only way to improve.
Therefore, I went back through my training plan and changed it to use 9 cycles instead of 7. Once I had a fair idea of what I wanted to do, I asked Mark if he would take a look and make any suggestions. Mark sent back some ideas and I added those to my plan.
Then, I promptly went out and cracked 3 ribs the first of July. This threw a monkey wrench into my training.
I still tried to follow the plan but it was 6 weeks before I could do any real hard workouts. Basically, I could not do the intensity but I followed the distance laid out and keep putting in the miles.
About the middle of August, I was finally able to start training with the intensity that I wanted. I only raced a few times: 1 x Duathlon, 1 x 5k race, and 1 x 10k race. None of these races gave me any real good indicators of the kind of shape that I was in.
I also did 3 marathon simulation runs and 2 of the 3 I really struggled.
But I stayed with the plan and followed through with each workout. Crossing my fingers on race day it would all pay off.
And, it did.
Using 9 day cycles is little tougher for the average working stiff. While I can schedule many of the runs as I want, more often than not, the long runs end up being during the week. Getting up early became a priority if I wanted to get to work on time.
On the other hand, running an easy recovery day on the weekend lends itself to more family time which I will freely admit is nice.
Oh, in an effort to come completely clean here, the plan that I sent to Mark didn't include everything that I was doing.
I guess I conveniently left out all of the cycling workouts. Most weeks, I was cycling 5 to 6 days per week and hitting about 250+ miles per week. Thus, while I couldn't run hard during July and early August, cycling was provided me with a lot of good cardio. The difficult part was that it took a while to shift from riding hard to running hard. This to me explains why none of my lead up races went very well.
Now, I am working on my training plan for OBX. I might post it for everyone to see sometime next week.
Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner