Time is absolutely flying. I’ve now completed my “endurance” phase of the Pfitzinger 18/55 marathon training plan and have now entered the “speed” phase. There are now less than 7 weeks until race day and only 4 more weeks before the taper begins.
I’m seeing some significant progress in my running. The first two runs post 9 day running break (while were in Belize) were rough, but I quickly got back into the groove of training and had a confidence boosting speed-work session ( 7 miles on the treadmill with 5 x 800 @ 3:30). That week was actually “recovery week” per my plan, so the total volume wasn’t too high. I had a good 16 mile run that weekend and actually came to the realization that 16 miles no longer seems like a really long run to me. At this point I’ve been running 14-20 miles every single weekend (minus vacay of course) since mid October and it’s starting to be NBD. I’ve also come a long way with my dislike for solo running and have gotten very used to logging nearly all my miles alone.
Last week was supposed to be my peak mileage week. I was confused when I realized that it would be my first and only 55 mile week and that it was so far from race day, but figured Pfitz knows what he’s doing. My best guess is that it was the last week of the “endurance phase” so now that the endurance is built, we’ll focus on speed. I had to move around my workouts last week and put my long run on Saturday since I had a good friend’s holiday party Sunday night and I promised her after last year when I went home early because I was Ironman training that this year I’d drink and stay past 10 p.m. I also had my work Christmas party followed by a social function for Mike’s work on Thursday night which would require a rest day Friday. I created my running schedule and fit all 55 miles in, but then disaster struck – rain. Not just a light sprinkle, a “torrential downpour” was predicted. I discovered this at 8 p.m. on Wednesday night and decided we’d wake up Thursday morning and see how bad it was. Of course we woke up at 5:30 and it was dark, windy and cold, so we went back to bed for another 30 minutes and then got up and did P90X Core Synergistics instead. Clearly not the same thing as a 12 mile run but at least we did something!
I was disappointed to have missed my run but also comforted by the fact that on Wednesday morning I had the best tempo run I’d ever had. The run was scheduled as 11 miles with 7 at tempo pace. This was the longest tempo run to date as well as the longest portion at tempo (all tempo runs are between 8-11 miles with anywhere from 5-7 miles at 15k to half marathon pace). I ran the first four miles of the “warm-up” quite slow and was actually already preparing myself for a crappy run, but once I started to pick it up, I felt great! The miles ticked by and my energy didn’t wane. As I have for every tempo run so far in this training cycle, I finished up with my fastest mile – 7:50. I couldn’t believe it when I looked at my watch during the last two miles and saw I was fairly comfortably running in the high 7s. That doesn’t happen to me often! My average pace for the 7 mile tempo portion was 8:20!
My long run was also good this week. I ran 20 miles, 6 of which were with Asia and the last 7 of which were with Mike. It was nice to have a buddy for most of the run! Overall I felt pretty good on this run and definitely felt the best I’ve ever have after a 20 miler. My pace was also 25 second/mile on average faster than the previous time I ran 20 miles in this training cycle. Maybe it was the ocean ice bath I took immediately afterward?
These next few weeks are all about speed. Pftizinger’s plan includes a few “tune-up races” which are supposed to be 10-15k races run on a Saturday followed by a long run on a Sunday. This is all after a 8 mile Vo2 max interval session earlier in the week as well as a mid week long run of up to 12 miles. He doesn’t play any games. Since San Diego has literally ZERO Saturday races, I will have to substitute these tune up races for tempo runs. I will also be subbing the prescribed V02 max intervals with my Yasso 800s. I think this will work since he basically varies between 600s, 800s and 1000s in terms of intervals.
Here’s how my up coming week looks:
Monday – Yoga at lunch
Tuesday – 8 Miles with 6 x 800 intervals & 30-60 min strength and ab work
Wednesday – Medium Long Run 12 Miles
Thursday – Rest or Cross Train (May go for Core Synergistics again!)
Friday – Recovery 6 miles followed by ab work
Saturday – 10 Mile Tempo Run
Sunday – 17 Mile Long Run
This will be my highest volume week ever! I’m hoping to get plenty of rest and eat healthy to prepare myself for it and ensure speedy recovery. Luckily this week won’t be as hectic at work and we don’t have any more holiday parties (until the actual holidays of course) so that will help a lot.