Monday, September 10, 2012

The long leadup

I have a very peculiar marathon training program this year. It's not mapped in a Google calendar as I've done years past, nor do I consult a schedule or a printed program. Yep, it's all neatly in my head.

Not that the type of marathon training progression will result in great times -- in fact, I think I've had one of the slowest buildups I've had since beginning marathoning in 2006.

I've been through the ringer when it comes to marathon training. Between the years 2007 and 2010, I was a faithful devotee to the Pfitzinger-Douglas Advanced Marathon program, which I've written about at length (especially if you go back and read this blog from the summers of 2008 and 2009).

My general belief, as I enter the ranks of a 'veteran' marathoner who isn't aiming at fast times, is that with age and experience, one can successfully train for a marathon based on this formula.

Simply build endurance: I believe in building up to at least 40 miles, hopefully topping at the mid to high 40s. That's at least 65 kilometres a week topping up a little higher.

Run consistently: My formula is to run four weekdays a week (one rest day) and then run both weekend days. I know I've had a halfway decent week if I've put in at least 20 miles over the course of the workweek. These days, I tend to try to put in at least three 10ks and maybe a shorter run. In my heart of hearts, I wish to get in a 10 miler in mid-week but time has always been against me.

Go long: This is my golden rule, in that the long run is the key building block. Nothing prepares you for the marathon like running long, and by long I mean more than 15 miles (ideally more than 17).

This last point, going long, has got me a tad bit worried about my buildup to my fall marathoning season. In 2009, I logged 15 15+ milers from my spring marathon to fall. In 2011, I did seven 15+ milers before my triple marathon fall (three in one month). Since I ran the Ottawa Marathon in late May, I've only done three runs more than 16.5 miles. 

So now I'm five weeks out from Scotiabank and seven from MCM, I have a new tactic: Run long this weekend, step back the following weekend (when I'd typically taper), then run long again two weeks out from Scotia. Use Scotia as another 'long run' two weeks out from MCM. In other words, i'm going to do three long runs in the next five weeks and use Scotiabank as a 'training' marathon.

Feels like a little bit of cramming miles, but I think it's doable. 

1 comment:

Anne said...

I'm a big believer in trusting your body, especially after you've gained experience from earlier races. Good luck with the unconventional training - may it work wonders when the time comes.