>Running 101>Looking for some advice to consolidate my training
I've been reading this forum a lot lately, and I've been positively impressed, so here I am looking for advice.
I am now 37/M, relatively new to running, I've run for a few months in 2016 and 2018, both times I had to stop because I was too stupid/unexperienced to sniff the symptoms of overtraining and ended up with shin splints/runner's knee.
In those periods I maxed at around 40mpw, and ran a bunch of 5-10k (PBs 21:52/45:30), and a couple of HM with a PB of 1:50:00 more or less.
(In 2017 and 2019 I ran very sporadically.)
Last September, I took up running again, with the added motivation that I was 20-ish pounds overweight.
I started yet again with short 3-4 miles run and gradually built up to my usual 6-7mi runs, and I couldn't resist squeezing in some intervals/repetitions even though I know I shouldn't have.
My New Year's resolution for 2021 is to be able to consistently train for the whole of year without getting injured, building up as much of an aerobic base as possible, without worrying too much about PBs and the sort.
With that in mind, in January I picked up Pfitzinger's Base Training tables and in the last few weeks I ran consistently at about 40-45mpw, and the one time I decided to push a bit to test my fitness I ran a 1:47:00 HM.
Here's my runalyze public page for those with enough curiosity and spare time to have a look at my logs:https://runalyze.com/athlete/mrossetti
My next mid-term goal is a marathon in autumn, so I am about 30 weeks away from that and I have all the time in the world to prepare properly; I will most likely follow an 18w program, which leaves me with 12 weeks to spare before things get serious.
So my first question is: how should I proceed in theses 12 weeks? Should I continue base training with the same mileage, given that it's the most I've run so far? Should I dare up the mileage a bit more? Or should I stick in a race-specific program just to shuffle things?
The second question is: which marathon training program do you think would work best for me given my history?
I got myself tested in a lab too, so I can add some more (hopefully useful) pieces of information:
- I am apparently quite good at metabolising fats
- I don't have so many mithocondria, nor they are too big
- My muscles are predominantly fast-twitch
- My Vo2 max is 51
Currently I have shortlisted Pfitzinger 18/55, Pfitzinger 18/70 (although this might be too aggressive, given that I never ran 70 mpw in my life) or one of the Hansons plan. Of course I am open to other recommendations.
I am aware that I am probably overthinking this, but I can't help it
If you made it so far, thanks for your patience!
Looking forward to some advice.
take the following with a grain of salt as i am recovering from a stress fracture from overtraining...
you haven't been running long, a marathon takes a long time to be ready for (unless its just a bucket list thing and you just want to do one in your lifetime) your lab stuff shows you don't have the long distance endurance development yet at all
consider putting the marathon off at least a year. higher chance that it won't get cancelled or changed to a virtual event that way too
if you really really won't put it off and really really want to run the marathon 30 weeks from now regardless of what we say here, then try the easier of the Pfitz plans, or look at Lydiard plans (but those are typically more successful if you go for a 24 weeks plan). you have a couple of options for the 10-12 weeks you have before "formally" starting your marathon plan. try a short 5K plan to work on speed and get used to the structure or just base train until you are ready to get super comfortable with the mileage and give you body lots of time to adapt.
use this time to develop good habits (what you eat, how you sleep, staying hydrated) and maybe find a weekend running group to help keep you going when the running gets tough.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my post!
Right now I am running on average 45-50 miles a week (14mi my longest run so far), and I seem to hold up pretty well, so I think that purely in terms of mileage I would be ready to take up either Pfitz 18/55 (which is what I was eyeing anyway) or Daniels' 2Q.
As you correctly assumed, it's not just a "bucket list" thing, but I would like to prepare to run the distance regularly in the future.
I was under the (wrong?) assumption that 16-18 weeks of base training (building up to 50-55 mpw and a 15-16mi long run and keeping it for 6-8 weeks) plus an 18-week plan would be enough to be ready to run a marathon in autumn; besides, my idea would be to run it conservatively, worrying more about having a nice experience and finishing it in a decent shape rather than hitting any specific time.
Am I wrong about this?
I could certainly postpone my first date with the 42k until next spring (or even next fall), I am in no hurry and my main concern is to build up to it properly and injury-free, so that I can continue to enjoy it
In this case, how would you recommend I go about it? Should I plan 1-2 half-marathon training cycles to fill up 2021? How much speedwork should I include, since my main goal would still be just to keep building a stronger aerobic base?
As for the 10-12 spare weeks that I have in my current schedule, I am indeed internally debating between a couple of Jack Daniels' 5-week cycles (which will add some I and R sessions to what I am doing now), or a short 5-10k plan as you suggested.
Currently leaning more towards the former option though.
Thanks again for your insights!
You are wrong and not wrong. You could probably run a marathon tomorrow in 4:15 to 4:30. On the other you probably won’t be able to run a 3:30 marathon in 30 weeks (3:30 is the equivalent performance to a 22:00 5K according to Daniels). Choose the plan that resonates with you. In practice, getting your mileage up and doing some tempo runs will get you within a few minutes of a perfect plan.
Losing weight will help a lot too. If you are 20 lbs overweight you are probably 30-40 pounds over optimal running weight.
Thanks for your input!
You are wrong and not wrong. You could probably run a marathon tomorrow in 4:15 to 4:30. On the other you probably won’t be able to run a 3:30 marathon in 30 weeks (3:30 is the equivalent performance to a 22:00 5K according to Daniels).
I completely agree with you here, that's what I meant with "running conservatively"; I think that if I go for it in September, I will aim for something between 3h40 and 4h. (According to Daniels and my recent HM effort, my predicted time is 3:42:X.)
Choose the plan that resonates with you. In practice, getting your mileage up and doing some tempo runs will get you within a few minutes of a perfect plan.
The most likely candidate is Pfitzinger 18/55 plan, although Jack Daniels 2Q plan is also enticing. I am considering the Hansons' advanced plan, but I am not completely sold on their approach yet. Do you have any recommendation given my situation?
I was indeed 30-40 pounds over optimal running weight when I took up running again in September, weighing over 190 pounds; however, in the meantime I got rid of them all, and right now I weigh an ideal 160, so that's one less problem to worry about
I’ve had success with Daniels’s plans. I haven’t tried Pfizer although I have his book. I’m less familiar with Hanson.
Reading the plans I just like Daniels better. Keep in mind you don’t need to follow any plan exactly. Add or subtract mileage, shift days around, shorten or extend workouts.