Friday, October 8, 2010

Marathon Training Plan

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







1 comment:

Mark Hadley said...

Hey Bill, thanks for the shout out and link.

You are amazing. Your aerobic base is so huge and your knowledge of your body and the marathon race are incredible. Even when you experience a set-back (i.e. broken ribs) you know how to read your body and push to the appropriate level and no more and thus you are still ready to go on race day. Then on race day you always execute brilliantly. 2:40:02 after the broken ribs is unbelievable. Great job, and I can't wait to see what you have instore next