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Rate my Training Plan (Read 126 times)

Mattchiro


I drink, therefore I run

    Hello all, I've long lurked because I've found some awesome links through the google box.  This community appears to have a good base of knowledgeable and reasonably intelligent advice.  This is my first post and its a doozy.  I simply ask you to rate my plan.  I'll try to keep it short and sweet:

     

    I'm 35.

     

    I've been running 40-50mpw since 2010.

     

    I've completed 2 full marathons and  6 Half Marathons in that span.

     

    Marathon PR:  3:45 (Poulsbo Marathon, October 2012)

     

    Half PR:  1:34 (Tacoma, August 2012)

     

    My next event is St. Paddy's Day Half in Tacoma on Mar. 16th and Tacoma full in May.

     

    I have learned and read enough to understand that the key to getting faster and efficient is by adding more miles.  That said, I wanted to try and implement Pfitz's 18/55 and his principles into my current training cycle as I am hoping to run a 3:29 in May.  Due to work schedule I am only able to run 5 days a week.  Here is what my 18 week plan looks like (I'm currently in week 6):

     

    Week 1 thru 6 (average 50 mpw):

     

    M - 10 miles (middle 5 at HMP or 10x100m striders)

    T- 6 miles (easy/recovery)

    W- 12 miles (middle 40 minutes at tempo pace)

    TH - OFF

    F- 5 miles (easy/recovery)

    S- 17 miles (last 25% or so at GMP)

    Sun - OFF

     

    Week 7 thru 10 (average 54 mpw)

     

    M- 11 miles (middle 6 at HMP or 10x100m striders)

    T- 6 miles (easy/recovery)

    W - 12 miles (middle 50 at tempo pace)

    TH- OFF

    F- 5 miles (easy/recovery)

    S- 20 miles (last 25% or so at GMP or faster)

     

    I try to keep my long run pace at about 9:00 to 9:30 until the last couple of miles when I ramp up to GMP or faster.

     

    Weeks 10 through 15 will average 54 MPW with a peak of 58 (22 mile LR) right before I start a three week taper.  One of those weeks will include the HM.  I've tried to tweek everything the best that I can and am really focusing on endurance and the right type of speedwork.  Prior to this plan my speed work consisted of a weekly session of 10x800 meter repeats and some faster paced running at the tail end of long runs.  It obviously helped me with the Half Marathon but left me feeling weak towards the end of my marathon.  I hope the increased mileage in combination with tempo and steady state runs will pay bigger dividends.

     

    Thank you for reading if  you've made it this far and I appreciate any feedback.

     

     

    Half PR:  1:34 (August, 2012)

     

    Marathon PR:  3:45 (October, 2012)

     

    Next race:  St. Paddy's Day Half Tacoma (March 16th)   DNF Illness

     

    Next Marathon:  Tacoma City Marathon (May 5th)

      Hey Mattchiro! As I read your post, two questions came to mind, and since they may come to other people's minds too (people way more qualified to answer this question than I am) I just thought I'd throw them out there:

       

      1. Your half PR of 1:34 "predicts" a 3:18-ish marathon, but your marathon PR (not that long after the HM PR) is 3:45. What happened between August 2012 and October 2012? Or were you well prepared but it wasn't your day, too hot or you went out too fast or whatever...?

      1a. Given the above "prediction", why not shoot for 3:18?

       

      2. Have you looked at other plans? Why this one? I guess it would be helpful to know more specifically what you were doing before in order to judge whether this is the best option for you right now.

      Mattchiro


      I drink, therefore I run

        I failed to adequately train and prepare for the extremely and brutally hilly Poulsbo Marathon.  I really felt confident in hitting 3:29 that day until this happened:

         

         

         

         

        I guess I'm not shooting for 3:18 this May because I'm remaining conservative given my "low" mpw (40-45) prior to the October marathon.  Also, I have no idea what averaging 55 mpw with different speedwork will do for me.  I was often told IRL and on other boards that I have the speed but don't have the stamina for the my Marathon goals.  I see a lot of people using Pfitz to great success and I thought it was time to take the RUN MORE advice while adding better speedwork.

         

         

        Half PR:  1:34 (August, 2012)

         

        Marathon PR:  3:45 (October, 2012)

         

        Next race:  St. Paddy's Day Half Tacoma (March 16th)   DNF Illness

         

        Next Marathon:  Tacoma City Marathon (May 5th)


        And in the end...

          Rate it how?  Scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being super-incredibly-awesome and 1 being too-stupid-to-even-comment-on?

           

          Okay, I give it an arbitrary 7.

           

          Seriously, just pick a reasonable framework and follow it.  Make adjustments as necessary.  I'd be wary of the Sun/Mon combo in weeks 7-10.  You really think it's wise to run 20 with the last 4-5 at GMP, then run 11 the next day with 6 at HM pace?  Go easy, man.

           

          If this is a step up in average mileage for you, don't get caught up in running everything fast.  Log the miles.  Come race day, see what you get and re-evaluate how you approached the training... and make adjustments going forward.

           

          As for your goal, you really can't train to run x: xx time.  All you can do is train well, then use feedback from a shorter race to evaluate a reasonable marathon goal.  From your HM time a sub-3:30 looks doable, but you have to get in the miles and execute well on race day.  It's never a given.

          ------------------------

          The GITM is moot.

            Dude. Ouch.

             

            Well, ll you can do is try it and see how it goes, right? My only other question is whether you really want to run 20 miles every Saturday for four weeks in a row? If your work and life schedules allow, why not add more miles to the Wednesday midweek long run? And maybe a couple to Monday as well? Instead of all those 20's?

             

            MTA: Oh, listen to MattM. He makes a lot of sense. And I think he runs a lot of marathons.

            Mattchiro


            I drink, therefore I run

              Rate it how?  Scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being super-incredibly-awesome and 1 being too-stupid-to-even-comment-on?

               

              Okay, I give it an arbitrary 7.

               

              Seriously, just pick a reasonable framework and follow it.  Make adjustments as necessary.  I'd be wary of the Sun/Mon combo in weeks 7-10.  You really think it's wise to run 20 with the last 4-5 at GMP, then run 11 the next day with 6 at HM pace?  Go easy, man.

               

              If this is a step up in average mileage for you, don't get caught up in running everything fast.  Log the miles.  Come race day, see what you get and re-evaluate how you approached the training... and make adjustments going forward.

               

              As for your goal, you really can't train to run x: xx time.  All you can do is train well, then use feedback from a shorter race to evaluate a reasonable marathon goal.  From your HM time a sub-3:30 looks doable, but you have to get in the miles and execute well on race day.  It's never a given.

               

              My long runs are on Saturday with Sunday being a rest day.

               

              I definitely need to stay disciplined on my non-speedwork paces.  Yeah, I agree about forgetting about hitting a certain time...it's almost better going into the May marathon with a shroud of mystery.  I'll use the March HM to predict somewhat but even that is a crap shoot.

               

              Thank you for not rating it a 1.

               

               

              Half PR:  1:34 (August, 2012)

               

              Marathon PR:  3:45 (October, 2012)

               

              Next race:  St. Paddy's Day Half Tacoma (March 16th)   DNF Illness

               

              Next Marathon:  Tacoma City Marathon (May 5th)

                A couple things to consider:

                 

                1) I think the fast finish long run is a great way to train for the marathon, but you are doing it every week, and on your mileage it's too much in my opinion -- especially back to back to back to back 20 milers with quality.

                 

                2) All of your workouts are at tempo paces except for the strides. Three tempo type runs a week seems like overkill.

                 

                3) You are right when you say that really your progress is going to come through mileage, especially given the discrepancy between your half PR and full PR. "Speed" or pace is not an issue -- it's endurance. The good news is that you might not need MORE mileage. I think you are at the right mileage level for your ability. Sometimes you just need to keep doing it AGAIN and AGAIN to get your base.

                 

                There is more to say, but I don't really have time. I'm sure other posters can further elaborate.

                Mattchiro


                I drink, therefore I run

                  Dude. Ouch.

                   

                  Well, ll you can do is try it and see how it goes, right? My only other question is whether you really want to run 20 miles every Saturday for four weeks in a row? If your work and life schedules allow, why not add more miles to the Wednesday midweek long run? And maybe a couple to Monday as well? Instead of all those 20's?

                   

                  MTA: Oh, listen to MattM. He makes a lot of sense. And I think he runs a lot of marathons.

                   

                   

                  Yeah, I think I've seen MattM on other boards.  Dude is legit.

                   

                  I guess I'm not worried about the 20's so much as long as I stay slow.  I could definitely tweak the Monday and Wednesday runs if conventional wisdom says that too much is too much.

                   

                   

                  Half PR:  1:34 (August, 2012)

                   

                  Marathon PR:  3:45 (October, 2012)

                   

                  Next race:  St. Paddy's Day Half Tacoma (March 16th)   DNF Illness

                   

                  Next Marathon:  Tacoma City Marathon (May 5th)


                  And in the end...

                    I failed to adequately train and prepare for the extremely and brutally hilly Poulsbo Marathon.  I really felt confident in hitting 3:29 that day until this happened:

                     

                     

                     

                     

                    I guess I'm not shooting for 3:18 this May because I'm remaining conservative given my "low" mpw (40-45) prior to the October marathon.  Also, I have no idea what averaging 55 mpw with different speedwork will do for me.  I was often told IRL and on other boards that I have the speed but don't have the stamina for the my Marathon goals.  I see a lot of people using Pfitz to great success and I thought it was time to take the RUN MORE advice while adding better speedwork.

                     

                    That graph makes it look much worse than it is... all marathon elevation charts do this... it's a 350' gain in elevation over almost 4 miles.  That's about a 1.7% grade.

                    ------------------------

                    The GITM is moot.

                    Mattchiro


                    I drink, therefore I run

                      A couple things to consider:

                       

                      1) I think the fast finish long run is a great way to train for the marathon, but you are doing it every week, and on your mileage it's too much in my opinion -- especially back to back to back to back 20 milers with quality.

                       

                      2) All of your workouts are at tempo paces except for the strides. Three tempo type runs a week seems like overkill.

                       

                      3) You are right when you say that really your progress is going to come through mileage, especially given the discrepancy between your half PR and full PR. "Speed" or pace is not an issue -- it's endurance. The good news is that you might not need MORE mileage. I think you are at the right mileage level for your ability. Sometimes you just need to keep doing it AGAIN and AGAIN to get your base.

                       

                      There is more to say, but I don't really have time. I'm sure other posters can further elaborate.

                       

                      How do you feel about alternating a fast finish long run with a slow, steady long run every other week?

                       

                      Should I save the tempo work for Wednesdays and keep Monday easy with some strides?

                       

                       

                      Half PR:  1:34 (August, 2012)

                       

                      Marathon PR:  3:45 (October, 2012)

                       

                      Next race:  St. Paddy's Day Half Tacoma (March 16th)   DNF Illness

                       

                      Next Marathon:  Tacoma City Marathon (May 5th)


                      And in the end...

                         

                        My long runs are on Saturday with Sunday being a rest day.

                         

                         

                        Yeah, missed that since you left off Sunday on the weeks 7-10 schedule.  I saw S and then circle back to M without realizing an S was missing.  My bad.

                        ------------------------

                        The GITM is moot.

                           Yeah, missed that since you left off Sunday on the weeks 7-10 schedule.  I saw S and then circle back to M without realizing an S was missing.  My bad.

                           

                          Don't start giving my boss ideas about Monday coming right after Saturday!

                          Julia1971


                            My main negative was point #1 on Jeff's list.  It seemed like a lot fast-ish running...  I don't have Advanced Marathoning handy, but I've used his plans for almost all my marathons.  I'm pretty sure he calls tempo pace 15K-HM pace.  So, I think you're doing two "tempos" a week in your version, which is a lot.  I would let that Wednesday run just be a medium run.

                             

                            I do almost all my medium and long runs as "progression runs" in the nature Pfitz calls for - a third or so of the miles at MP+20% and a third or so miles at MP+10%.  I'm not sure I would call them "fast finish", though, because it's not close to goal marathon or half marathon pace.  But, for me anyway, it's not exactly conversational pace, either.

                             

                            But, on the positive, I agree with RunHarrietRun, that your marathon goal might be soft.  But, there's plenty of time to see if that's true.  Happy running!

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

                              Personally, I wouldn't rate too high.  All due respect, your approach seems to be a very typical thinking--"try to train at or close to MP as much as possible", "train fast to run fast"...  And, I'd apologize ahead of time if I get this wrong but, most probably, you picked your target pace (3:29 marathon) out of air and construct your workouts around it.  Easiest way to burn out or get disappointed or get hurt.  With your half time, yes, you probably SHOULD be able to run <3:30 marathon; but the reality shows otherwise (for whatever the reason might be).

                               

                              If your real target is to improve your marathon time, trying to run a marathon, or a half, as many as you can may not be the smart approach.  You can train the wrong approach year in year out and you'll never improve much.  You may THINK, the more you run, the better you'll get at.  You would hope...  It MAY sound logical but, if the focus is not here, it's nothing but a wishful thinking.

                               

                              Without checking what you had done specifically, it's hard to comment much but if your approach is basically to do the same thing week in week out and, hopefully (logically thinking) you'll improve, and if the approach is the correct one, you'll already be showing legitimate improvement and you wouldn't be asking questions here.  Many people do think like; "Well, this is my fourth marathon so I SHOULD improve by such-and-such..."  Of course, it never works out that way.

                               

                              It seems to me, that your background is quite solid; that you'd been running 17-20 miles as your long run; and been running 50+ miles a week.  Why don't you focus more on, say, 5k in the coming spring and "sharpen" yourself first before you move on to yet another marathon?  Ryan Hall might have done well by running almost exclusively marathons (and halves here and there) but, even at elite level, most runners do 5k-10k to sharpen up for their marathon.  One of the girls I had coached before; she was stuck at 3:40 for 3 or 4 marathons.  I prescribed her to do some 5k races and she hated it because she never ran them.  She improved in a very short period of time from 22:XX down to 21:50.  Along the way, she improved her marathon PR down to 3:30; then 3:29 and then 3:24 in 2 years.  To me, THAT is a logical progress.

                               

                              Hello all, I've long lurked because I've found some awesome links through the google box.  This community appears to have a good base of knowledgeable and reasonably intelligent advice.  This is my first post and its a doozy.  I simply ask you to rate my plan.  I'll try to keep it short and sweet:

                               

                              I'm 35.

                               

                              I've been running 40-50mpw since 2010.

                               

                              I've completed 2 full marathons and  6 Half Marathons in that span.

                               

                              Marathon PR:  3:45 (Poulsbo Marathon, October 2012)

                               

                              Half PR:  1:34 (Tacoma, August 2012)

                               

                              My next event is St. Paddy's Day Half in Tacoma on Mar. 16th and Tacoma full in May.

                               

                              I have learned and read enough to understand that the key to getting faster and efficient is by adding more miles.  That said, I wanted to try and implement Pfitz's 18/55 and his principles into my current training cycle as I am hoping to run a 3:29 in May.  Due to work schedule I am only able to run 5 days a week.  Here is what my 18 week plan looks like (I'm currently in week 6):

                               

                              Week 1 thru 6 (average 50 mpw):

                               

                              M - 10 miles (middle 5 at HMP or 10x100m striders)

                              T- 6 miles (easy/recovery)

                              W- 12 miles (middle 40 minutes at tempo pace)

                              TH - OFF

                              F- 5 miles (easy/recovery)

                              S- 17 miles (last 25% or so at GMP)

                              Sun - OFF

                               

                              Week 7 thru 10 (average 54 mpw)

                               

                              M- 11 miles (middle 6 at HMP or 10x100m striders)

                              T- 6 miles (easy/recovery)

                              W - 12 miles (middle 50 at tempo pace)

                              TH- OFF

                              F- 5 miles (easy/recovery)

                              S- 20 miles (last 25% or so at GMP or faster)

                               

                              I try to keep my long run pace at about 9:00 to 9:30 until the last couple of miles when I ramp up to GMP or faster.

                               

                              Weeks 10 through 15 will average 54 MPW with a peak of 58 (22 mile LR) right before I start a three week taper.  One of those weeks will include the HM.  I've tried to tweek everything the best that I can and am really focusing on endurance and the right type of speedwork.  Prior to this plan my speed work consisted of a weekly session of 10x800 meter repeats and some faster paced running at the tail end of long runs.  It obviously helped me with the Half Marathon but left me feeling weak towards the end of my marathon.  I hope the increased mileage in combination with tempo and steady state runs will pay bigger dividends.

                               

                              Thank you for reading if  you've made it this far and I appreciate any feedback.

                              Mattchiro


                              I drink, therefore I run

                                I really appreciate the responses and feedback.

                                 

                                Not to veer to far off topic but can anyone link to a calculator that figures out MGP + 10%, etc.?

                                 

                                 

                                Half PR:  1:34 (August, 2012)

                                 

                                Marathon PR:  3:45 (October, 2012)

                                 

                                Next race:  St. Paddy's Day Half Tacoma (March 16th)   DNF Illness

                                 

                                Next Marathon:  Tacoma City Marathon (May 5th)

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