As I briefly mentioned before, I chose the Hal Higdon Marathon 3 plan to train for the Lincoln Marathon on May 1. It's a 24 week plan, meaning it technically would have started the Monday before I ran the Griffith Park Trail Half.
So I started it on week 2 with some adjustments, giving myself four complete rest days after my race before putting my running shoes on. I had some awesome blisters and I was pretty sore, so it was needed. Here's what weeks 1 and 2 looked like:
Tuesday: 3.75 miles (fartleks)
Wednesday: 3.4 miles easy
Saturday: 12.9 (race)
Monday - Wednesday: rest
Thursday: 6.57 miles very easy
Friday: 4.01 miles tempo (8:19 pace)
Saturday: 2.73 miles very easy
Sunday: 7.07 miles (LR)
"Very easy" is somewhere between 11:00-12:00 min/mile. I rarely ran that slowly before I got injured - I did long runs around 10:30 and always felt fine, until I didn't. I don't believe that had anything to do with my injury, though, that's just where I felt comfortable for 12-20 miles.
For this training cycle I hope to be more deliberate when it comes to my training paces because...
Most of us have limited time to complete our training, yet we all wish to get absolutely the most return from our investment. Time and again, injury is the biggest impediment to achieving our desired performance and improving to ever higher levels. ... The key to highly successful training, then, is to avoid injury above all else.
If a run is on the calendar and it's not a tempo or race-pace run, it's going to be slow. There aren't that many speed workouts on the plan (14 in 24 weeks + 4 races before the marathon) so I need to be able to hit them all. I won't risk missing a speed workout due to not recovering.
So for pacing, I used Jack D's VDOT calculator here (or here- but I kinda like the old school yellowness of the first one; wow, or here, but be prepared for information overload) to see what my training paces should actually be instead of making up something and crossing my fingers (like last time). I used my fastest mile since my injury (7:24), which happens to be my fastest mile since 5th grade. Which I happened to run in a relay AFTER having ran a 5k a half-hour before. The point of saying all that is because it's at least a tiny bit conservative.
The VDOT calculator is kind of like a crystal ball. Obviously it can't tell the future, but neither can a damn crystal ball, it just is shiny and gives you something to hold on to.
What it told me:
Basically I can run a marathon RIGHT NOW at 9:08. I call BS. I ran my last marathon at 9:10 and I didn't have a bum foot and I had been actually, like, training. It's accuracy can in fact be denied. But if we trust it for now, apparently my easy pace should be 10:35. Good thing I have no chance of doing those too fast. When I am feeling good I will aim for 10:35, but if I need recovery I will make like molasses. I'm ignoring the calculator's mileage prescriptions since I already have a plan. My training plan prescribes "race pace" runs. These will be at 9:08. But looking at all these threshold paces make me want to slam my laptop and go eat some Cookie Crisp.
Also, am I the only person who sees that TIMER would have been a way better acronym for these training zones than EMTIR?
The other type of workout I have in my plan is tempo. That's it, just "tempo." I will probably play around and do some fartleks during some of those runs, but will also sticj to Hal's intentions which is to build speed before running a couple of cool-down miles. If I do as the yellow chart suggests, I will warm up around 10:35 and peak at 8:33. Yeah, I've already been doing that too fast... oops.
These will be my training paces until I race a 5k in January. If my performance is good and I feel strong and my foot doesn't fall off my leg and I don't fall and skin my knee which for some reason I have been afraid of recently then I can adjust my paces by entering the new time in the VDOT calculator. Quite nifty I do believe.
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