Friday, June 1, 2007

Starting a New Training Plan

I haven't really been following a training plan since the Eugene Half 5 weeks ago. Much of my reluctance has been due to the fact that I don't know which marathon to train for next. I have signed up for the Circle the Bay 30K on Aug 4th but after that... nothing is set in 'stone' so to speak.

Last week I decided it was time to get re-focused and so I've been easing into the Runners World Advanced Marathon Plan. It is an 18 week plan with 3-20 mile long runs and 1-22 mile long run. The Circle the Bay run falls on week 11 during one of the 20 mile long runs. The plan says to do those 20 with a fast finish (or tempo pace for the last 15 minutes).

Yesterday, my goal was to do the following:
2 miles at Goal Pace (8:30)
2 miles at Tempo (~8:03)
2 miles at Goal Pace (8:30)

I dropped the kiddos off at my girlfriend's home (we swap Mon/Thr - such a nice treat to run w/o the stroller) and headed out for my normal Thursday route along the river trail. The first two miles felt great. I am not certain how one tries to maintain a particular pace... I kept glancing at my Garmin to check my pace and I was generally within 10 seconds of my goal. Occasionally I was faster, other times slower. My average heartrate was 157 (max 174). Turns out, my average pace was 8:38. Sweet. :)

The second two miles progressed along a narrow part of the trail which required me to pay heed to my steps to avoid tripping over rocks or other obstacles. To top it off, there were several groups of school kids on a field trip and I had to stop a few times as they blocked the path. The temperature was approaching 80 at this point and I was starting to feel fatigued. My average heartrate for this set was 174 (max 180). My average pace here was 8:54. Bummer.

It was quite evident as I began the last 2 miles that the preceding miles had left me with little umph. Mile 5 started on a steep hill ... I chose to walk. There is another steep hill just after the start of mile 6 ... I walked it, too. My average pace was thereby 10:10. My heartrate was still quite high though at 169 (max 178).

In the end, I completed 6 miles in a time of 55:27 (an average pace of 9:14). In the evening, my right heel & left shin bothered me quite a bit (same as it did after Saturday's long/hilly run). I therefore took a few ibuprofen and iced the sore areas. I feel much better today but chose to take a day off for rest.

This new plan has 5 running days as opposed to the 3 days I was doing with FIRST. I'll have to be careful to avoid injury. I will be certain to omit an easy day if my body calls for it. My hope is to continue swimming 2x week, do CrossFit 3-4x week (at least the warmup), and run 4-5x week.


  1. going from 3 to 5 days of running on a new plan may be a bit hard. make sure your weekly mileage does not go up by too much all of a sudden. and 9:14 is a very decent pace for a 6 miler. Good going!

  2. Makita, you will LOVE the marathon plan! That's the one I used to qual for Boston, and to prepare for Boston itself. I'm actually going to use it again for the CIM in December. Definitely be careful, don't push it when you don't need to, and take it EASY on the easy running days and rest days.


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