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Tips for first time Pfitz followers? (Read 122 times)

    I was thinking of calling this “Tips for forty-four year-old fit fathers following Pfitz for the first time”, but that would have just been silly. 

     

    In any event, I doubt I am the only person around here who is about to embark on his first Pfitzinger marathon training plan. I see that runners on these boards use various canned training plans and some roll their own, but there seem to be a lot of Pfitz devotees. I would love to gather some of the collected wisdom from the group.  I have a few specific questions, but I welcome any and all suggestions.  Is there anything you wish someone had told you before you started your first Pfitzinger marathon training plan? Or anything you have learned that you would like to impart to others?  

     

    Strides:

    • How do you run your strides? Do you incorporate them into your run with jog breaks or do you do them after your run? 

    Tune-up races

    • Pfitz recommends three races of between 8K - 15K to be run 2, 4 and 6 weeks before the marathon. Do you run a HM as one of your tune-ups?
    • Pfitz describes the advantages and disadvantages of doing a mini taper before the tune-up races vs. running them on tired legs.  What works better for you?
    • How would you handle a Sunday race?  Is it better to add some more miles that day to get your LR in or just push the LR to Monday?

    Training Paces

    • What pace do you use for your medium long run? Perhaps I just need to read the book again, but this did not jump out at me.
    • How do you set your various paces (GMP pace, GMP +10%, GMP+ 20%), when you are not yet sure what your goal marathon pace is? In my case, this will be my first marathon and I probably won't set a goal time until closer to the race date.  Should I just use Vdot or McMillan based on my HM time, even if the resulting goal may be unrealistic or should I a more conservative metric, such as 2 x HM + 20 min?

    Thanks for your help.

    2013 goals: 800m: 2:20 | mile: 4:59 | 5k: 18:59 | 10k: 39:59 | HM: 1:32 | Marathon: 3:20

    FSocks


    Gramps

      I "followed" the 18/70 plan first time last fall.  I say "followed" because I started, got 7 weeks into it and then got injured.  I took 10 days off and then "rolled my own plan" the rest of the way.  I add my thoughts inline.  I was 45 last year. YMMV

       

       

      Strides:

      • How do you run your strides? Do you incorporate them into your run with jog breaks or do you do them after your run? I incorporated them towards the end of my run with jog breaks in between.

      Tune-up races

      • Pfitz recommends three races of between 8K - 15K to be run 2, 4 and 6 weeks before the marathon. Do you run a HM as one of your tune-ups?  Yes, I ran a half 5 weeks before my full but because of injury I didn't run any other races during training. 
      • Pfitz describes the advantages and disadvantages of doing a mini taper before the tune-up races vs. running them on tired legs.  What works better for you?  I wanted a real gauge of fitness so it had to be an all out race.  Yes, mini-taper works best for the half I raced.  I had a huge PR. 
      • How would you handle a Sunday race?  Is it better to add some more miles that day to get your LR in or just push the LR to Monday?  For the 8 and 15Ks I wouild add mileage before/afterwards.  For the half, I did a 1 mile easy warm-up, raced and then did nothing the rest of the day.  I was beat after the all-out effort on the half. 

      Training Paces

      • What pace do you use for your medium long run? Perhaps I just need to read the book again, but this did not jump out at me.  I used one that felt harder than long run pace but not as hard as general aerobic pace.  For me that was MP + 30-45 seconds. 
      • How do you set your various paces (GMP pace, GMP +10%, GMP+ 20%), when you are not yet sure what your goal marathon pace is? In my case, this will be my first marathon and I probably won't set a goal time until closer to the race date.  Should I just use Vdot or McMillan based on my HM time, even if the resulting goal may be unrealistic or should I a more conservative metric, such as 2 x HM + 20 min?  For a first time marathoner this could be difficult.  I looked at your log and it looks like you've raced quite a few halfs so you should better than most handle on GMP.  You might stay conservative to start and then as conditioning improves you can always bump up the goal.  

      Thanks for your help.

      Running is dumb. 


      I'm back!

        Good questions. I have strong déjà vu -- when I was training for my first marathon in 2004, on Pfitzinger, we had a long-running "Pfitzinger first-timers" thread on the now defunct coolrunning.com. I would refer back to that thread for years. Unfortunately it's gone now. Now, I've used Pfitzinger plans > 10 times; I've lost count.

         

        Strides:

        • How do you run your strides? Do you incorporate them into your run with jog breaks or do you do them after your run?

         

        During. Typically  at least a quarter mile between strides. They are not supposed to be speedwork in the sense of tiring you out.

         

        Tune-up races

        • Pfitz recommends three races of between 8K - 15K to be run 2, 4 and 6 weeks before the marathon. Do you run a HM as one of your tune-ups?

         

        Yes. See the 85+ mpw plan for an example of how to fit that into the schedule.

         

        • Pfitz describes the advantages and disadvantages of doing a mini taper before the tune-up races vs. running them on tired legs.  What works better for you?

         

        It depends. Generally some sort of mini-taper.

         

        • How would you handle a Sunday race?  Is it better to add some more miles that day to get your LR in or just push the LR to Monday?

         

        You have to just be a little flexible about shuffling days around. Personally I would not turn a tune-up race into a LR; I'd shift the schedule a day then shift it back later when convenient.

         

        Training Paces

        • What pace do you use for your medium long run? Perhaps I just need to read the book again, but this did not jump out at me.

         

        Same as general aerobic.

         

        • How do you set your various paces (GMP pace, GMP +10%, GMP+ 20%), when you are not yet sure what your goal marathon pace is? In my case, this will be my first marathon and I probably won't set a goal time until closer to the race date.  Should I just use Vdot or McMillan based on my HM time, even if the resulting goal may be unrealistic or should I a more conservative metric, such as 2 x HM + 20 min?

         

        You can do it by heart rate; Pfitzinger gives some advice. That's what I did my first year; by then, I knew what the various paces should feel like, and just went by that. For speedwork, I typically based it on my goal marathon time.

         

        If you are using Pfitzinger (which plan?), it is not unrealistic to think about matching McMillan's prediction based on a half time. In my case I beat it first time. But I was still a new runner, and improving anyway. 2XHM + 20 min will be too conservative for you if you successfully complete a Pfitz plan.

         

        One more tip -- the longer MP runs are hard. I find them easier to do in the context of running a HM. Just pad the mileage out before and after. Then, it feels like you're cheating, running a half at only marathon pace.


          One more tip -- the longer MP runs are hard. I find them easier to do in the context of running a HM. Just pad the mileage out before and after. Then, it feels like you're cheating, running a half at only marathon pace.

           

          This is just about the best idea i have ever heard.

          Julia1971


            Strides:

            • How do you run your strides? Do you incorporate them into your run with jog breaks or do you do them after your run? 

            I run them once a week after a recovery run.  I do 20 seconds of strides and 20 seconds of recovery and repeat 10 times.  Edited to clarify I don't do them after every recovery run.

             

            Tune-up races

            • Pfitz recommends three races of between 8K - 15K to be run 2, 4 and 6 weeks before the marathon. Do you run a HM as one of your tune-ups?
            • Pfitz describes the advantages and disadvantages of doing a mini taper before the tune-up races vs. running them on tired legs.  What works better for you?
            • How would you handle a Sunday race?  Is it better to add some more miles that day to get your LR in or just push the LR to Monday?

            I have run a HM as a tune-up race.  This next training cycle, I'm planning to do two HMs.  For me, it depends on what races are out there.  I weigh the distance, the location, the course, the competition, etc. before deciding.  All those things being equal, my favorite tune-up race distance is probably a 10 miler but they're hard to come by.

             

            I have not tapered for my tune-up races.  For me, I think it's more important to get used to racing tired.  I've been lucky in that I've managed to PR several times in tune-up races despite not tapering for them.

             

            I find it hard to do additional mileage on the day of a race so I've pushed the long run until Monday.  I don't want to get up even earlier to fit the miles in and/or run to the race site, park, and then run.  And after the race, I'm usually so tired I don't want to do any more running.

             

            Training Paces

            • What pace do you use for your medium long run? Perhaps I just need to read the book again, but this did not jump out at me.
            • How do you set your various paces (GMP pace, GMP +10%, GMP+ 20%), when you are not yet sure what your goal marathon pace is? In my case, this will be my first marathon and I probably won't set a goal time until closer to the race date.  Should I just use Vdot or McMillan based on my HM time, even if the resulting goal may be unrealistic or should I a more conservative metric, such as 2 x HM + 20 min?

            I use the same pacing formula for my medium runs as I do for my long runs.  They are both progression runs - starting at recovery pace and ending at MP+10%.

             

            It is hard figuring out pace when you don't know what MP pace.  I would probably go for 2 x HM + 20.  FWIW, my marathons have oddly lined up with the 2 x HM + 13 min.

             

            Thanks for your help.

            You're welcome!  Good luck!   Smile

            You're too strong not to keep on keepin' on. - The Pips
            Yes, I am! - Gladys Knight

              FSocks - Thanks for the advice.  Sorry you got hurt during your training,  I'd like to think that 2 x HM + 20 min is a bit conservative for me, but I don't want to set an overly aggressive goal for my first marathon.  We'll see how training goes.

               

              bhearn - I am doing 18/55, which is already a bit of a stretch for me. I'll take a look at the 85+ plan to see how to adjust for a HM tune-up.  Your idea of incorporating the marathon pace runs into a race is pure genius.  I have already picked out a half for my longest marathon pace run.  Turning a brutal workout into a moderate race is a wonderful idea.  Thanks!

               

              Julia - I'll try the strides during and after and see which works best for me.  So far, the best tune-up races I can find are HM, 5k, 10K in that order.  The 5k is too short, but I can't find anything else that will work that weekend.  There is a nice 10 miler around here that I have done before, but it is not the right weekend and won't work for me.  Thanks for all your advice.  I will see you over in the NYC 2013 thread.

              2013 goals: 800m: 2:20 | mile: 4:59 | 5k: 18:59 | 10k: 39:59 | HM: 1:32 | Marathon: 3:20