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Speed Work on an Easy Week? (Read 487 times)

    I am focusing my training this year on bringing my marathon time down. So, I've just begun my speed work and will be ramping it up over the next few weeks/months.

     

    Each week, I am planning on doing a tempo run & an interval set, working up to Yasso's. At some point this summer, I'll transition my long runs and start doing marathon pace training too.

     

    My cycle is: 3 hard weeks and 1 easy week. During the easy week, I drop my mileage to 80%. For example, I plan to peak at 55 mpw this year. But every fourth week, I'll drop it to 44 mpw. 

     

    QUESTION: Should I be doing any speed work on an easy week, or just logging easy mileage?

     

    BONUS QUESTION: For bringing down marathon times, anything you'd do differently than the speed work I've listed?

     

    Thanks!

    Ron

    Goals:
    Complete my first marathon: Glass City - April 25, 2010 (and do it in under 4 hours) DONE! 3:53:06
    Qualify for & run Boston some day
    5K in < 20:00
    10K in < 43:00

    2012 Chicago Marathon < 3:30:00


    Feeling the growl again

      Cutting mileage, or taking an off (or extra off) day should be sufficient for an easy week...if you have to cut out all real workouts for a week you are over-doing it on the harder weeks.  Since not all workouts are created equal, perhaps avoid the longer tempo workouts on the easier weeks too.

       

      As for the bonus question, while your overall plan looks good I question the value of Yasso 800s.  They were conceived as a predictor (and they are a poor one at that), not with a specific training purpose.  I would encourage you to think about what it is you are trying to acheive with each workout type then choose what you want to do accordingly.

       

      This may help you think through it.  Good luck.

      "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

       

        I've run two marathons.  2010 I finished in 4:16.  2011 I finished in 3:51.  The differences in my training:

         

        1) More weekly mileage:  Followed Pfitz's 18/55 program so yeah, maxed out at 55 mpw.

         

        2) Adding that weekday medium long run I think was huge.  In 2010, I'd always run between 5-7 miles during the week and then it was always that one long run on the weekend.  With Pfitz's program, not only was I running long on the weekend, but I was logging anywhere from 10-15 miles at least one other day a week.

         

        3) Did way more tempo runs and strides during my training in 2011.

          I've run two marathons.  2010 I finished in 4:16.  2011 I finished in 3:51.  The differences in my training:

           

          1) More weekly mileage:  Followed Pfitz's 18/55 program so yeah, maxed out at 55 mpw.

           

          2) Adding that weekday medium long run I think was huge.  In 2010, I'd always run between 5-7 miles during the week and then it was always that one long run on the weekend.  With Pfitz's program, not only was I running long on the weekend, but I was logging anywhere from 10-15 miles at least one other day a week.

           

          3) Did way more tempo runs and strides during my training in 2011.

           

          +1.  I am pretty sure more speed will not make you faster in the marathon. The above is key. Mid week longer run is a key factor with some quality in like reps at half marathon effort or 10K effort or sustained marathon pace miles. I think it is fine to do a phase of 5K/10K training before your marathon training but I see no purpose in Yassos or a lot of true higher volume "speed" work - faster than 10K pace other than striders-when marathon training. I am not a big fan of the FIRST method.

          Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!

            I found this article a few years ago and created a marathon plan accordingly. I had a small group of runners all do very well using this program and I PR'd from a 10 year old PR. http://www.runnersworld.com/article/1,7120,s6-238-244--14292-0,00.html