I think most training plans are about 16 weeks... So maybe I'm still in the pre-weeks, but when I look at my plan, for some reason I think I should feel ready. I mean, I have a FIFTEEN mile run on the calendar for this weekend. How is that happening already? Well, because I'm a third the way through the plan. Thankfully I printed the plan and put check marks next to the workouts I completed so I can go back and see that I actually completed the first 14 workouts of weeks 1-4 before my vacation, and that was coming off a trail half marathon. Just feels so long ago. It's like I killed the momentum, but you know, maybe it's just as well. If I had been here cramming in 100% of my workouts I would have probably just gotten burned out faster. Better to have taken the break at the beginning, right?
Yes, I am rationalizing everything. I just feel incredibly unprepared already. Maybe it's because I already had to cut my first long run short by 2 miles? Maybe it's because I'm only running 3 days a week and biking the others? I'm 7 workouts deep since my trip, so I think I should feel back in the swing of things by now. I just don't.
I thought about just doing the plan and trusting the plan. But then I read advice that 5 days of running plus one cross training day is best and I'm doubting my plan. I can't add another run day, and I don't know what the heck else I would actually do for cross training at this point, so I am thinking of just adding another bike day. Since my other two bike workouts are more aerobic, I can add a "speed work" bike day, complete with a warm-up, intervals, and a cool-down. Heck, that sounds pretty good. I'm in excellent aerobic shape, but my explosiveness is totally lacking.
This week, change of plans:
Monday: rest (check)
Tuesday: 40 minute tempo run (missed from the week before, check)
Wednesday: 40 minutes bike (60 minutes! check)
Thursday: 5 m run
Friday: 40 minutes intervals bike
Saturday: 15 mile run (going to go for 15 even though I think I won't make 15)
Sunday: 75 minutes bike
Doesn't that sound like a more well-rounded week?
I realized I never posted my actual training plan... obviously for fear that would make it real, but here goes...
But there's still something missing...
There's only three runs per week: a whatever run, a mid-week run that's usually speedier, and a long run. I'm starting to become concerned that my Tuesday run is going to waste. I don't need recovery runs, I'm not running enough to need those. So I need to do something more productive on Tuesday. Let's brainstorm:
fast finish, marathon pace, intervals, hills/trails, meditation, pose method, zen running, live broadcast, weight vest... ok I'm beginning to get silly, let's evaluate what I have so far.
I think these are actually all good ideas, but I'm not going to wear a weight vest or live broadcast (for now) so take those out. I'm not in a good place to try to completely change my form and I think it's improved a lot so let's leave it alone for now. I don't know if there's such a thing as "zen running" that's probably just the same as meditation which I incorporate into my longest runs, so let's save that. That leaves the "real" stuff... the stuff that might actually help me run a sub-4:00 marathon.
Marathon pace: I'm already doing this on the prescribed days, so I probably shouldn't push it and add in another one.
Fast finish: This. I definitely need to be doing this, but I don't this this is a good option for the shorter runs. I probably need to incorporate this into every other long run instead.
Intervals: This is a good one. Because these runs are longer, I would probably do one mile 10:30 or so, one mile marathon pace and alternate.
Hills/trails: Come to mama. This is obviously my favorite choice. But I'm not planning to run any trails in the dark. I need an option to start now, and then on March 15 (the first Tuesday after the time change) I can do hills/trails on Tuesdays. Until then, I will try to get in some long trail runs on the weekend. I haven't been out for a long one in a while and I really miss it.
So after careful review of my options... I think I need to do intervals for now. The white block from week 8-13 is a block of weeks where I made a goal to hit 100% of the workouts. I'm on track! (yay!) So in that block, I'll add mile intervals to the Tuesday run. Weeks 14, 15, 16 will be easy aerobic runs on Tuesdays. Weeks 17-21 will be trail runs on Tuesdays.
And then with only three Tuesdays to go til marathon day, back to easy runs, maybe with some quick intervals to maintain.
Do I plan too much? Yes, I know I plan too much. Here's the new iteration!
Now just to figure out the rest of these races...