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I need some training advice (Read 1152 times)

    I'm looking for some training advice. Here is my situation: I started running in July last year and did the C25K plan. I finished that and was running 10 miles/week at the beginning of Sep. Since then, I've been building my mileage and not doing any speed work at all. I'm up to 35 miles/week and I've run 30+ miles for the last 6 consecutive weeks. I'm planning on running my first marathon in Dec and I'm hoping to follow one of Pfitzingers 24-week plans. Working backwards, I'll be starting that the last week in June. Ideally I'd like to do the 70 mpw plan that starts you at 50 mpw. I'm planning on taking the next 2 weeks easy I'm traveling on business in a week's time and it's a good opportunity to cut back on my mileage a bit. Once I get back, that leaves me with a 12-15 week window before I start my marathon plan and I'm trying to figure out what to do during that time. I just did a 10K today and I was disappointed with my time. I'd like to get a bit faster. Options I have include: - Simply continue building mileage and get up to 50 mpw by the end of June - Build mileage as above, but throw in some tempo runs - I see Pfitzinger has a 12-week marathon plan that starts you at 30 mpw and peaks at 55 miles so I could simply follow that, even though I don't plan to run a marathon, but I'll be at the 50 mpw level I want to be at before I start my "real" marathon training. I looked at some other 12-week plans, e.g, Hal Higdon's Advance Spring training, but that mileage is less that what I'm running now. I think I train better when I have a plan laid out that shows me exactly what to run each day. So far for the year, I've simply set weekly mileage goals and I've been running what I feel like running each day in order to make that goal. My long run is the only "consistent" run I've been doing. Except for last week Sunday, I've run 10-12 miles each Sunday.
    Derek
      As a devotee of Pfitzinger, I'll give you my suggestions. First, most of your "pre plan" miles should be easy miles (aka "General Aerobic" in Pfitz-speak). Plan to work up to 50 mpw so that you have a rock solid base at that level once you start the official plan. Second, throw in some "Striders" once a week or so. If you're shooting for the 70 mpw plan, aim for 10 striders in the middle of a 7-10 mile run. That is the same as the striders that you'll run in the plan itself. Third, every two or every three weeks, try a good Lactic Threshhold (LT) workout. These are the bread-and-butter of Pfitz's training, and there's no reason not to incorporate them before you start the official plan. You will keep the gains you make from these runs, even if you are half a year off from your marathon. Fourth, don't bother with VO2 (interval) workouts yet. Pfitz puts them at the end of his plan for a reason: the gains are short term. Save them for the official plan, so you will be peaking at marathon time. Fifth, take the opportunity to run other races. Halfs, 10 milers, 10Ks ... whatever you can find. Shorter races let you practice so many things that are vital to your first marathon: pacing, hydration, gels, dressing, pre-race eating, post-race recovery, nerves, gear check, pinning your race number, etc. etc. etc. Don't make these "goal" races necessarily, although, if your marathon has preferred starting corrals, you might want to try to qualify for one of those. Mostly, though, don't go overboard on the pre-training training. Pfitz's schedules are tough and demanding. You will be pushing yourself to complete the full 24/70 for your first marathon. Thats fine in my book. But, if you burn yourself out ahead of time, it'll be all but impossible to stick to the plan.
      How To Run a Marathon: Step 1 - start running. There is no Step 2.
        Thanks for the advice. I'll put together a plan I can follow based on your suggestion. I'll stick to 1 speed workout each week so I'll do (using Pfitzinger's terminology), One "General aerobic + speed" each week for 2 weeks and on the 3rd week, I'll do a "Lactate threshold" run. The 70Mi/24Wk plan starts with a 13 mile long run, but as I increase my distance, I'll take my long run to 15 miles. How does the following look for a 50 mile week as a target to work up to before I start marathon training: Su: 15 miles long Mo: Rest Tu: 7 mile General aerobic + speed We: 7 miles easy Th: 8 miles easy Fr: 8 miles easy Sa: 5 miles easy I'm thinking I'll run 40 mpw for April, 45 mpw for May, and 50 mpw for June. I'll time it so I get at least 3 (if not 4) weeks at 50 mpw before starting the marathon plan at the end of June. I'll also work in 1 cutback week each month where I'll run about 30-35 miles for that week. Do you think I should try and get a hill workout into my plan? Pftizinger doesn't seem to have hill workouts in his plans. The downside to doing a hill workout is that I'll need to "drive" somewhere to find some hills here in TX and I know it'll end up being a hassle for me. It not as convenient as just heading out my front door.
        Derek
        Scout7


        CPT Curmudgeon

          This is your first marathon? I generally consider most of Pfitzinger's plans a little much for a first time marathon. Personally, I would avoid anything like speed work for a first time, anyway. It's tough to really ascertain what pace to be running at. Also, I will disagree with the running of LT intervals during base phase. I don't see much need for it, the gains are going to be minimal, and I find that it can take away from the other runs, which are more important at that stage than speed. That being said, your base building plan looks fine. General Speed I assume means some sort of tempo-type run.
            This is your first marathon? I generally consider most of Pfitzinger's plans a little much for a first time marathon.
            Yes, it will be my first marathon. I have a target of running runder 4 hours and I want to train as best/hard as I can in order to achieve that. I would think that if I use common sense and can stay injury free, then it should be ok to follow one of his plans. My marathon is in Dec. If in Oct it doesn't look as though I have a shot at breaking 4 hours, I wouldn't bother to run the marathon. I'll hold off, train for a longer period and aim for another marathon in early 2008. It gets even worse :-).....I don't even want to do his lower-level mileage plan, I want to do the one that peaks at 70 miles/week. That one starts at 50 mpw thuis my desire to be running at that level by the time I start the official plan.
            That being said, your base building plan looks fine. General Speed I assume means some sort of tempo-type run.
            In Pfitzinger's plans, "General aerobic + speed" is an easy run with striders thrown in, e.g, his plan may say "8 miles w/ 8x100m strides"
            Derek
              I 2nd just about all of what Berner said. And I do LT intervals all year round no matter what. I disagree that the benefits are minimal and I think the recover IS minimal. These should not take much out of you, should leave you feeling energized, not shattered and will make it a lot easier to transition to "real" workouts later. The only thing I'd add is not to plan your pre-marathon training schedule too much. Just go by feel with the overall goal of being comfortable with 50 mpw by the end of June. You don't want it to feel like a job--keep it fun and relaxed especially since you are heading into a pretty regimented plan that will take you through most of the rest of the year.

              Runners run.

              Scout7


              CPT Curmudgeon

                Mike, My thought is that for someone who is newer to running, he/she may have a tendency to do those LT intervals faster than planned initially, leaving less for the final few, and reducing the benefit, and in terms of recovery of the body. Higdon doesn't recommend any speed work until his Advanced plans. And Pfitzinger isn't a novice plan at all. Not knocking Derek for trying, more power to him. I'm just being cautious. You know they shouldn't take much out of you, but someone who has never run them may not be as good a judge. So if someone is going to do them, while trying to maintain weekly mileage, he/she needs to be very aware of what the body is telling him/her. Derek, it's one thing to say "stay injury-free". It's another thing to actually do it. Like I said, just pay attention to what your body is telling you.
                  You don't want it to feel like a job--keep it fun and relaxed
                  What he said right there, times a million.
                  E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
                  -----------------------------

                    I used Pfitz's 18/55 plan for my first marathon, and I didn't consider it so aggressive that I ever felt at risk for injury. It was definitely an advanced plan, and I wouldn't recommend it for most beginners, but my own experiences suggest that a committed first-timer with a decent base going in can use Pfitz's 55 mpw plan to great success. In my case, 13 months after getting off the couch, Pfitz took me to a 3:29 in my first marathon. I will echo some of Scout7's concerns, however. The 70 mpw plan is extremely taxing. You can't just look at week 1 and tell yourself that it doesn't look so bad. You have to consider the effects of cumulative week after week of high mileage. I won't say that you shouldn't do it derek, because maybe it'll work for you. Personally, it would have wore me into the ground. Just be smart about how you approach your training, and be ready to adjust your mileage downward if thats what your body is telling you.
                    And I do LT intervals all year round no matter what. I disagree that the benefits are minimal and I think the recover IS minimal. These should not take much out of you, should leave you feeling energized, not shattered and will make it a lot easier to transition to "real" workouts later.
                    mikeymike makes an excellent point here. Although Pfitz would normally have you do your LT pace miles without any breaks, I think you would be better served by breaking them into intervals. So if you have a 8/4 LT run (for example), then break the 4 LT miles into 4x1 with 90sec recovery, or maybe 2x2 with 2 min recovery. You will probably find that the workouts are a little less taxing if you do them as intervals, but, you don't lose much (if any) of the benefits.
                    How To Run a Marathon: Step 1 - start running. There is no Step 2.
                      I apologise if I'm just repeating what others have said earlier but I'm not completely certain what each of these marathon plans that people talk about consist of. Never been a big reader of training books. I would say for a goal of breaking 4 hours in your first marathon, building up the mileage steadily and building up the length of the longest run during the week steadily would probably be the most important things. As far as speekwork is concerned, I wouldn't worry too much about intervals, especially when building up the workload. Although I do agree that a couple of sets of strides per week are useful as long as they're done relaxed and on a forgiving surface such as grass. My best advice for a first marathon would be to enjoy it and use it as an experience, you'll know a lot better how to approach things once you've done it all once. I've only done one marathon and it was a rather unpleasant experience, a huge positively split affair. So maybe my advice isn't really worth much Tongue. Good luck with the training.
                        I I just did a 10K today and I was disappointed with my time. I'd like to get a bit faster. .
                        You need some speed dude, seriously. To get it you got to do it. Looking at your log and the time you starting running, you've put in the base miles. Enough already with the easy days. I started in Sept. and I haven't built up the miles per week as you have{just now reaching 20mpw}, but I've built in speed into my training since 1/1. My goals are different, yes{5k-10k this year, 1/2m maybe in Dec.} but we both want to go faster, Right! So have 1 day solely Speed/High Intensity{fartlek,repeats,intervals} Another day, Medium Intensity{LT,Tempo,Hills}. The rest do easy, but there should be 1 to 2 miutes difference in pace between your easy days and intense ones. You must condition yourself to tolerate faster pace to achieve going faster. Not the same pace for all runs, all the time. Good luck Derek. Just keep them short, but extend yourself. Put forth the EFFORT and you will see some marked improvement. Rest more often also. Smile

                        Ricky

                        —our ability to perform up to our physiological potential in a race is determined by whether or not we truly psychologically believe that what we are attempting is realistic. Anton Krupicka

                          You need some speed dude, seriously. To get it you got to do it. Looking at your log and the time you starting running, you've put in the base miles. Enough already with the easy days. I started in Sept. and I haven't built up the miles per week as you have{just now reaching 20mpw}
                          I guess I've been concentrating on just builidng base miles which seems to be the general recommendation for beginners. It also helps that I was (still am) working on losing weight and since you pretty much burn the same calories per mile regardless of speed, the more miles I run, the more calories I burn.
                          Derek