Monday, August 10, 2009

Halfway Home

9 Weeks down, 9 to go. I have enjoyed this marathon training cycle more than most. I don't feel beat up and worn down. There are several reasons, so why not get into them? In no particular order:
  • The base building I did in the first five months of the year gave me my best chance at a successful training cycle. I don't have the exact numbers (because I didn't keep them year-round), but I am pretty sure I just passed my 2008 mileage total.
  • Following a regimented training plan has been huge for me. I increased my days running per week from 4 to 6 and am following Pfitzinger's 18 week/70 mile program. I have moved some runs around here and there, but have hit the types of runs and the total mileage within a mile or two either way every week. Mileage-wise, I was in the mid 40's at this time last year.
  • Wearing a Garmin and HR monitor. I can better monitor my efforts and also go back and analyze my runs. And not going to maymyrun.com before or after each to see how far I went is a time saver and a plus.
  • Recovery Runs. One great way to add in some extra miles on to a plan is throwing in recovery runs. I have been running most of mine in the 9-9:30 range, so about 2 minutes slower than goal marathon pace. People can debate how fast or how slow they are supposed to be and how much they really help, but I am a believer and they will be a part of every training plan I do in the future. Side note: I just read a book about Neil Diamond. In the first chapter, the author annoyingly started multiple sentences with "I'm a believer that Neil Diamond..." I enjoyed the book, as I do enjoy some Diamond, but this reference of a Neil Diamond song that the Monkees made famous was pretty bad. I thought about making this post in a similar fashion but thought much, much better of it.
  • Chicago's mild summer has been pretty helpful. It was crazy hot here last weekend, but I have been really lucky with the lack of heat up to this point.
  • A very supportive wife who doesn't mind her husband's alarm going off at 5:00 A.M. several days a week to get up and run...and then being gone anywhere from an hour to three. Tiffany has always been my biggest fan but our lives have changed over the last 6+ months after the birth of our daughter. Almost all of my runs now come in the morning, with the exception of a few easy runs occurring at while I am at work. I wouldn't be able to do this without her support.
  • I really feel like I understand running and training more now than I ever have. I do not know everything by any stretch, but I have learned a ton between reading some books and soaking in knowledge on Runners World.
***
This week is a cutback week down and I'll get down to 58 miles. Then the next 5 five weeks will all be in the 60s and I'll hit 70 twice. I may tack on few extra miles on the second week of 70. I also have the Windrunner 10K on August 30th and the Chicago Half Marathon on September 13th. It's really amazing to think that training is half over and these races are nearly here.

Last Week Recap:
Monday- 7.1 Recovery @ 9:09 pace, No AHR
Tuesday - 15 Mile MLR @ 8:11 pace, 154 AHR - steamy
Wednesday - 5.7 Recovery AM @ 9:23, 124 AHR, 4.6 Recovery PM @ 9:11, 122 AHR
Thursday - 13.1 MLR @ 8:16, 143 AHR
Friday- 7 GA Miles w/ strides. Pace for the first 5.25 miles was 8:20, 136 AHR. Last 1.75 was a 7:49 pace, 143 AHR.
Saturday - 16.5, w 12 @ Goal Marathon Pace(7:15). The 12 GMP miles came in at 7:12 with a 167 AHR.
Sunday- Rest
69 Total miles

This Week:
Monday- 9.6 GA - DONE
Tuesday - 9 VO2 w/5x600 repeats at 5K pace
Wednesday - 7 Recovery
Thursday - 8 GA w/10x100 strides
Friday- 9-10 GA
Saturday - 15 MLR
Sunday- Rest
58 or so total miles

4 comments:

Greg said...

Paul,
I'm quite interested to see how you are going to do in these races leading up to Chicago. It seems like you have worked your way into incredible shape so quickly and that every week seems to be huge improvements for you. Great job my man!!!

the tif said...

Of course you have my support pk! I'm your biggest fan and I'm still inspired by you after all these miles! And now you have the "other" alarm clock's too...Isla! She is so excited to see her daddy run! :)

Puerto Rican Kenyan said...

Seriously, I can't wait to see how you do at the Windrunner and the Chicago Half. Despite your focus on the marathon distance (and getting your BQ this year), I know you've got some serious untapped shorter-distance speed.

But I'm MOST interested in and excited about seeing how you do on October 11th.

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