Sunday, January 9, 2011

Colorado Marathon 2011: Training Week 1 Summary

Week 1 (Week 2 Pfitzinger & Douglas Plan): 54 miles run (see explanation below).

This week was the first full week of my training for the Colorado Marathon 2011. Because of the time remaining, I started on the second week of the 55-70 mile/week training plan in Pfitzinger & Douglas (2001) Advanced Marathoning. I got off to an inauspicious start, however, when I inadvertently bookmarked the 70-85 mile plan instead of the 55-70 in the Kindle version of the book. So, I started with a 17 mile run and a 6 mile recovery on Sunday (end of week 1 schedule), and Monday (beginning of week 2 schedule), which I should have run 15 miles on Sunday and had a rest day on Monday. So, after I fixed my bookmark error, I improvised by taking a rest day Tuesday, instead of a scheduled recovery run, and then complete the rest of the runs for week two as scheduled for the 55-70 plan, with one exception.

A 16 mile long run, with 8 miles at marathon pace was on the schedule for Sunday, but the forecast was for heavy snow and cold. Not good conditions to try to run 8 miles at marathon pace. On the other hand, Saturday was nice, and the Friday run had been a 9 mile General Aerobic run (fairly easy), so I moved the marathon pace run to Saturday, and Saturday's 5 mile recovery run to Sunday. It's much easy to do an easy run in the snow, and even a heck a lot of fun.

So, with the revisions, I ended up a couple miles short for the week, but since I did a couple extra miles the previous sunday, I don't feel too badly about that.  So far, I'm holding up well to the training schedule, and I intend to keep exercising caution and paying attention to form and nutrition, so I can keep up the 55-70 miles/week.

Fortunately, the plan starts with nearly 90% of the mileage in easy to moderate aerobic running, so it's not overly stressful, as leading into this, I had been running 30-50 miles/week with a higher proportion of tempo and speed work and tolerating that quite well.

Each week of this plan starts with a Rest day on Monday, following a Sunday long run, which I think will generally suit me fine, and having a rest day also allows for a little flexibility in the schedule, so I can account for weather and other issues. It's key to alternate 1-2 days of "hard" workouts, with and easy workout or rest day, so the body can recovery. In the Pfitzinger & Douglas scheme, a "hard" workout is not necessarily a high-intensity one. Hard also includes runs longer than 6-7 miles. They are hard by virtue of distance rather than intensity. Their "hard workout" is basically a "quality workout" with regard to either aerobic, lactate threshold, or VO2 Max (interval), training.

So, at times, their schedules includes to shorter medium-long runs (MLR's) in a row, followed by an easy recovery run, for example. When rearranging the schedule to account for issues that come up, I view it as important to attempt to stick to the spirit of this hard-easy pattern, so my schedule adjustments are carefully considered.

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