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# How to add more MP miles to a training plan (Read 312 times)

runmomto3boys

I am starting training again soon for my next marathon and I'm going to follow Pfitz's 18/85 plan.  I am, however, intrigued by how the Hanson plan emphasizes MP miles.  In his plan, there are 15 total 6-10 mile MP runs (so 1 nearly every week of the 18 week plan).  Pfitz's plan, on the other hand, only has 4 MP runs (8 out of 17 miles at MP, 10 out of 18 miles, 12 out of 18 miles and 14 out of 20 miles.

I know some of you don't think the MP runs have much value from a training perspective, but I am really considering adding more MP miles this cycle.  How would you add them in, though, to Pfitz's plan if you were me?  A typical week under Pfitz would look something like this:

Mon: recovery miles

Tue:  speed (tempo/VO2 max)

Wed: MLR (11-15 miles)

Thur: recovery miles

Fri:    MLR (11-15 miles)

Sat.: recovery/general aerobic + some strides

Sun:  LR

Would you just end one of those MLRs w/MP miles in varying ranges, or add a double in there somewhere?

FSocks

Gramps

I am starting training again soon for my next marathon and I'm going to follow Pfitz's 18/85 plan.  I am, however, intrigued by how the Hanson plan emphasizes MP miles.  In his plan, there are 15 total 6-10 mile MP runs (so 1 nearly every week of the 18 week plan).  Pfitz's plan, on the other hand, only has 4 MP runs (8 out of 17 miles at MP, 10 out of 18 miles, 12 out of 18 miles and 14 out of 20 miles.

I know some of you don't think the MP runs have much value from a training perspective, but I am really considering adding more MP miles this cycle.  How would you add them in, though, to Pfitz's plan if you were me?  A typical week under Pfitz would look something like this:

Mon: recovery miles

Tue:  speed (tempo/VO2 max)

Wed: MLR (11-15 miles)

Thur: recovery miles

Fri:    MLR (11-15 miles)

Sat.: recovery/general aerobic + some strides

Sun:  LR

Would you just end one of those MLRs w/MP miles in varying ranges, or add a double in there somewhere?

That's what I currently do.  I'll let you know the payoff after Sunday's Tucson Marathon.

Wine; it goes with everything.

jedigunnie26.2

BQ in 2013

Why not just give Hanson a go? I'm 99% sure i will be doing a hanson plan for my next marathon in spring. I've yet to read book, but hear nothing but good things from everything I read about it.

PR's - 5K - 20:15 (2013) | 10K - 45:14 (2011)  | 13.1 - 1:34:40 (2013)  | 26.2 - 3:47:47 (2012)

2013 Goals - 3000 miles (940m May'13) | sub20 5k | sub 43 10K  | sub1:35 13.1 | sub 3:15 26.2

2013

Saginaw 5k - 1/19/13 - 20:15 PR

Chambersburg Half Marathon - 3/9/13 - 1:36:22 PR

Frederick Half Marathon - 5/5/13 - 1:34:40 PR

Up Next:

Chambersburg YMCA 5k - 6/1/13

fight me irl, brah

Heidi, I think that within the context of Pfitz's plan, those 4 MP runs are plenty. Hansons has a very different structure, and relies on the weekly MP runs to fatigue you in lieu of having you run past 16 miles. With Pfitz, the MP runs are longer, and designed as individual quality workouts. If you do want to make your Pfitz plan more challenging, adding MP miles on MLR days as has been mentioned is a good option, although personally I think a few extra LT miles would be of more benefit.

You scare me girl  More miles ... more speed - you're gonna kill your next race. I'm heading into my first Pfitz's 18/70 at the end of this month but will probably run it plain old vanilla - by the book.

I'd probably tag them on the end of MLRs and vary the number of miles according to the remainder of the week's workouts. That's what I tended to do during last training cycles - (though modified HH Int2 with more miles) I'd try to run the last 20-40% of the longer mid-week runs at MP or at least within 10 sec of MP. I also tried to do the same thing for every other long run on the weekend - finishing strong on tired legs is a confidence booster for sure.

2013 Goals: Train smart ... race smarter. FM 3:30 then knock off 5 more minutes 90 seconds for the BQ.

runmomto3boys

That's what I currently do.  I'll let you know the payoff after Sunday's Tucson Marathon.

Oh, fantastic!  I'm happy to hear that.  I SO hope you run a fantastic race on Sunday. and that you set a big ole PR.  Good luck and definitely let me know how it goes!!!

Jedi: I am comfortable with Pfitz b/c I used his plan just this past Fall and it worked well for me, all things considered.  I just thought a nice tweak ala Hanson would be more MP miles...

Scrape: That's actually a GREAT idea and that never occurred to me about lengthening out some of the tempos.  I did that accidentally last cycle at least 1 of the scheduled tempo runs.  Hmmm, I am going to have to consider that.  Thanks for the idea!

Bruce: Eh, I'm trying to find that balance - how many can I run, w/o being too trashed/getting injured/still be able to do the speed work I want to do, you know????  It's a lot of trial and error for a noob!  The plan actually only averages 76 mpw, so only a couple more miles then I ran last cycle.  Thanks for the info about the MLRs.  That's what I am thinking too...  As far as your training goes, you are going to do an amazing job on your next race, Bruce: I know it!  I can't wait to watch you train!

I was going to suggest to do more fast-finish long runs near MP, but yeah that also works to do it for MLR.

jedigunnie26.2

BQ in 2013

I was going to suggest to do more fast-finish long runs near MP, but yeah that also works to do it for MLR.

^This

Heidi - I would stick to the core of the Pfitz plan then and just do some fast finishes to the MLRs.

PR's - 5K - 20:15 (2013) | 10K - 45:14 (2011)  | 13.1 - 1:34:40 (2013)  | 26.2 - 3:47:47 (2012)

2013 Goals - 3000 miles (940m May'13) | sub20 5k | sub 43 10K  | sub1:35 13.1 | sub 3:15 26.2

2013

Saginaw 5k - 1/19/13 - 20:15 PR

Chambersburg Half Marathon - 3/9/13 - 1:36:22 PR

Frederick Half Marathon - 5/5/13 - 1:34:40 PR

Up Next:

Chambersburg YMCA 5k - 6/1/13

CClay

Better than all of you

Heidi, I think that within the context of Pfitz's plan, those 4 MP runs are plenty. Hansons has a very different structure, and relies on the weekly MP runs to fatigue you in lieu of having you run past 16 miles. With Pfitz, the MP runs are longer, and designed as individual quality workouts. If you do want to make your Pfitz plan more challenging, adding MP miles on MLR days as has been mentioned is a good option, although personally I think a few extra LT miles would be of more benefit.

Word playa.

I was going to suggest to do more fast-finish long runs near MP, but yeah that also works to do it for MLR.

Fast finishes are a good way to get miles at close to MP.  Maybe alternate between weeks of fast finishes and weeks at MP.  You can easily use Pfitz' plan for that and do fast finishes of 4-5 miles starting at MP + 20% and finishing at MP at the end of the LRs that are not at MP.

Damaris
Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner

PRs: 24:57 (5K); 51:25 (10K); 42:46 (5 Miles); 2:04:31 (HM); 4:34:09 (Marathon); 8:00 (Trail 50K)

Next:  San Francisco Marathon * Chicago Marathon * MCM * Ft. Myers Beach Marathon * Philadelphia Marathon * Space Coast Marathon * WPB Marathon

Damaris Runs with Asthma

runmomto3boys

Great suggestions, guys.  I really appreciate it!

One of the things recreational runners tend to be afraid of, and I include myself in this category, is doing things too easy.  We want to go out and do a ton of hard work but then we don't want to do the easy work that allows us to reap the benefits of that hard work.  My point in that is  that doing two MLRs each week, plus a long run, plus a VO2max workout doesn't seem to allow much in the way of recovery.  Your long run counts as a quality session for the week.  Moreover, I think it's generally beneficial to add some quality work within your long run rather than just jogging the whole thing.

Canova, the guy who trains the Kenyans, will sometimes have his runners do a workout that's so brutal they can't do another quality session for 10 days.  Think about that.  How many recreational runners are willing to do a workout that hard?  Yet, the guy who is coaching the best marathoners in the world has them doing just that.  The only time I do a workout remotely approaching that level of intensity is on my last long run 3 weeks out from a marathon.  (It's a Daniels workout and it's a mofo, at least for me, and sure enough, it takes me about a week to recover from that workout).

Combined with that is a comment I read from Pete Magill.  There are no good workouts; only good training plans.  Recreational runners are always looking for the workout that will take them to the next level but that workout doesn't exist.  Instead, we have to develop a training plan that builds on our strengths while improving our weaknesses.  So, instead of just taking a Pfitz plan and trying to toss in some extra MP runs, start with this.

Analyze your last couple of races.  What do you think were your strengths and what do you think were your weaknesses?  Were you able to maintain a fast pace at the start but faded throughout the race?  If so, you probably need to work on your endurance.  Did you find it difficult to maintain a fast pace at all but still finished fairly strongly?  Then you probably need to work on your stamina.  Did you feel like you were running strongly but you just couldn't find another gear when you wanted?  Then you probably need to work on your speed.

From the for what it's worth department, I think MP runs have enormous value in a training plan if they are what you need.  In my case for example, I felt from several races that my stamina was lacking and MP runs and tempo runs are how you develop your stamina.  However, if my stamina was strong, then it wouldn't be the best use of my training time to do a bunch of MP runs and tempo runs.  Sure, I would need some of them to maintain that strength but I should focus on improving my weaker areas.

Short term goal: 2:59:59 (November, 2013)

Mid term goal:  Any race over 80% of top AG standard

Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life.  (I started running at age 45).

I can send you one of the Hanson advanced plans from their website (80 mpw peak) if you want to compare to Pfitz. Just let me know.

A lot of good advice here but I want to add something else to think about. You are obviously very blessed with natural ability as I've followed you and for someone at your stage of your running career you put up incredible miles week to week. But....adding more hard stuff to already challenging plans and 80+ mile weeks may also add to the chances of injury. And if followed properly, Pfitz and Hanson are challenging plans. There isn't a runner I know who hasn't been injured at some point no matter if they are a beginner or more advanced. It happens. I don't write this to scare you but something to keep in mind.

What ever you choose to do make sure it fits your goal. And again, let me know if you want to check out the advanced Hanson plan.

PRs:  Marathon (2:55:08; '11)  Half (1:21:14; '12)  10k (36:28; '11)  5k (17:48; '11)

jedigunnie26.2

BQ in 2013

I can send you one of the Hanson advanced plans from their website (80 mpw peak) if you want to compare to Pfitz. Just let me know.

A lot of good advice here but I want to add something else to think about. You are obviously very blessed with natural ability as I've followed you and for someone at your stage of your running career you put up incredible miles week to week. But....adding more hard stuff to already challenging plans and 80+ mile weeks may also add to the chances of injury. And if followed properly, Pfitz and Hanson are challenging plans. There isn't a runner I know who hasn't been injured at some point no matter if they are a beginner or more advanced. It happens. I don't write this to scare you but something to keep in mind.

What ever you choose to do make sure it fits your goal. And again, let me know if you want to check out the advanced Hanson plan.

Fuzzy - I'm the new guy here, but be interested in checking out the Hanson 80mpw plan you have if you're offering.

Heidi - +1 to Fuzzy comments too.

PR's - 5K - 20:15 (2013) | 10K - 45:14 (2011)  | 13.1 - 1:34:40 (2013)  | 26.2 - 3:47:47 (2012)

2013 Goals - 3000 miles (940m May'13) | sub20 5k | sub 43 10K  | sub1:35 13.1 | sub 3:15 26.2

2013

Saginaw 5k - 1/19/13 - 20:15 PR

Chambersburg Half Marathon - 3/9/13 - 1:36:22 PR

Frederick Half Marathon - 5/5/13 - 1:34:40 PR

Up Next:

Chambersburg YMCA 5k - 6/1/13