Thursday, February 3, 2011

And so it begins!

My marathon training schedule is officially planned.... I printed it out and decorated it with colored crayola markers, much to the amusement of my friends, but hey whatever makes me feel enthusiastic.  :o)  I'm going with Marathon A plan from Daniels' Running Formula--a slightly abbreviated version, because I have 15 weeks remaining instead of the 24 he recommends.  But, he says you can be ready in less, and he gives this little chart to help you know how many weeks to spend in each of 4 training phases if you only have x weeks remaining.

Things that are good about this program:  I've read a bunch of blogs and people report great success with increasing speed on this plan;  I'm interested in trying something new after following a rather straightforward Higdon plan the last time around.

Things I'm not sure about yet:  This plan is REALLY flexible.  I have a bunch of blank boxes and only 2 planned workouts per week.  The blank boxes will be filled in with however much I end up running--this plan goes by weekly mileage, and it doesn't matter how you distribute those miles around the 2 planned quality workouts.  I wanted to try to distribute them ahead of time, but people online suggest keeping it flexible and running based on feel (if you feel great, do a few more miles that day... if you feel crappy take a rest day and make it up later in the week, etc.)  So in theory this sounds great, but I know that I am the type of person who follows a plan... if I know that the schedule says to run 5 miles on a certain day I'll make sure to run those 5 miles, while if the schedule is "eh run whatever you feel like" i'm much more likely to procrastinate and then end up in the last 2 days of the week with 20 miles still to run to meet my weekly goal.  On one hand I think trying to have discipline without a plan will be sort of good for me, but on the other I'm a little bit nervous.  We'll see how it goes.

I also don't know what my current Vo2max is... you use a 5k time to estimate it, and it is important because it determines the 5 different training paces that Daniels uses, but my most recent 5k time was September.  I think tomorrow or something I'm going to have to do a 5k test run and try to convince myself it's like a race to see how I do... except we just had a mega-ice storm so it's going to be basically impossible to get good footing.  Maybe I should just roll with the September time.

My season:  Here's the plan!

  • Run Cbus 10 miler, April 10 - this is a B-level priority for me... I want to do it but have to make sure I can afford the "big" races I want to do
  • Cap City Half Marathon, May 7th-ish --this is a great race and lots of my friends are doing it, but I can't run this one because of Cleveland, so I'm gonna be a course volunteer.  It's on the list here cus it's something I'm really looking forward to even if I'm not running it  :D
  • Cleveland Marathon,  May 15 -- the big goal is to hit 4:40 or under
  • Sunburst Half Marathon, June 4 --I'll be in South Bend this weekend for non-running reasons, so I may as well do this race!  I'd do the full instead of Cleveland, but I can't be hobbling and limping along the day after the race for this one.  I need to be in good shape that Sunday because apparently I'm giving a public speech.  (? i know right?)  I'm hoping I can have a shot at a PR even though it's only a few weeks after Cleveland.  After half a season of marathon training I should be in good shape to completely blow up my current half PR.
  • Tough Mudder in Wisconsin (July) -- This is a pretty expensive mud-slingin' adventure race; an 8 mile course with like 17 obstacles, basically like Warrior Dash on 'roids.  S. has expressed interest in this one and if my other friend and his cousin will also commit to going, we'd have people to stay with in Wisconsin so the only costs would be registration and transportation.  I think it would be ridiculously fun in the right company, so it's on the radar--not confirmed yet.
  • Columbus Marathon in October -- yeah I really want to repeat this one.... whatever.  It's fun that a race this awesome is right here in my backyard, and lots of my training buds will be doing it.  
So... that's it.  I guess I should get back to working on my dissertation.  I came to the little cafe/deli I always go to, and I ran into some regulars I hadn't seen in awhile.  This happens all the time here and it seriously gives me the warm fuzzies.


  1. The tough mudder sounds awesome! There's one by me, but it's the week before the Camp Pendleton Mud Run, and that's too close for comfort for me. Maybe in 2012.

  2. Wot Rose said: the tough mudder sounds awesome! Looks like a well thought out plan all round :)

    I can understand your concerns about the flexibility of the plan: so leeway can be a good thing, but if give an inch, you'll take a mile (or not!) then I guess you need a strategy in place.

    Could you allocate a bracket for each run: like 4-7, 8-12, etc, so you know you *have* to do a mid-distance run that day, but precisely how much is what's left up to the day, depending on how you feel? That's probably what I'd do.