Thursday, October 06, 2005

Just where is all this heading?

The marathon. I just can't figure it out, and that just kills me. Those damn "race equivalency table" sites, as well as Jack Daniel's books tell me that a 1:15 half-marathon (I've done a 1:16 too so it wasn't a fluke) guy should be able to crack 2:40 in the marathon. I tell Kiera that I can quit if I break 2:40, but she knows I'm lying. After I ran my 2:47, a wise, old elite marathoner I respect a great deal (he ran in Shorter's days, and he's now the head of internal medicine at a hospital here) sent me an email I still can't erase. "Once you reach 2:40, times drop much faster". I think about that often.

I'm using the Lydiard Method to ready myself for the P.F. Chang's Rock 'n Roll Marathon on January 15, 2006. I have a score to settle with this course, after running the first half at 2:40 pace and finishing with a 2:56 (yes, it was quite ugly, wish I had pictures). As I was climbing the hill at mile 18, I said to one group of spectators "Does this hill ever end?!?"

So the drill is 12 weeks of conditioning, the benefits of which should be increased aerobic efficiency and endurance. Next comes a four week hill-phase, where I'll be doing 3 hill workouts a week, plus my 22 miler and hopefully two more pretty long mid-week runs. After that comes four weeks of anaerobic speedwork, which should be quite a shock to the system. Following that is four weeks of coordination training, which will hopefully make it easier for my mind to let my body run fast. Two weeks of tapering and the actual race conclude the training.

I have four tune-up races planned, including a 10 miler at the end of October (tragically taking place in the middle of my hill phase, which is a no-no), the Phoenix New Times 10K on November 13, a 5K cross-country turkey trot (I'll let you guess when that is), and the Tucson half marathon the first weekend in December. I'm hoping for personal bests in the 10K and the half marathon, though my true focus is set on the marathon in January.

So that's the plan. What's the point in hearing about the journey if you don't know where it ends?

Training: 18 miles, 7:19 pace, half of it with Scott (a difficult run you will be bored with tomorrow)


Flatman said...

You are amazing. Usually, when I hear about someone as fast as you, they are only running 5K's. But you run that fast for a marathon. I am just hoping to finish my first (well, I do have some secret internal goals that I won't admit publicly). You definitely give me something to shoot for! SPEED BABY!

Also, how do you run fast with a baby jogger? Mine makes me slow WAY down...

Yvonne said...

Hey there! Found your fascinating blog via Chad/Zeke/Simon. So, what exactly is mediocre about you???

Zeke said...

Yvonne, now I'm not even sure who I am.

Mike, Great summary.

"...tragically taking place in the middle of my hill phase, which is a no-no..."

I thought I read recently that throwing in a race during the hill phase was okay. I thought racing during the conditioning phase was more of a no-no.

Also, I interpret it to mean that anaerobic racing is a no-no. If you're supposed to be doing strong aerobic efforts in training, wouldn't it make sense that a race that lasts an hour or more would be okay?

Mike said...

Flatman, thanks and best of luck on your marathon. I usually have 3 goals: my public goal, my private one, and my "best day ever" goal. I lose about 30 secs a mile with the jogger, but I love the company.

Yvonne, thanks for reading. The best thing about this sport is there's almost always people behind you and ahead of you, and unfortunately in Tucson with people like Abdi and a new group of Kenyans coached by Eddy H. I'm behind a few more these days!

Hey Zeke, you're right about racing during the hill phase. I can't race without going for it, maybe I watched that Prefontaine movie too many times, so I always end up pretty anaerobic. I did the 10 miler last year in 57 something, so it should be almost right on threshold, though I'll probably get into the red for the last 3 miles or so. I am more worried about how dead my legs will be during the hill phase.