This book has a chart which gives you a target finish time of what THEY believe you should be able to run, with proper training, of course. It takes the “I wanna run X:XX:XX” out the equation when its right there in black and white that you can or cannot probably do it based on your current run times. After you figure out your goal pace/marathon finish time, then there are multiple training tables which plan your training. They also include a training plan for each of the Boston Marathon Qualifying standards. Although, I’m not necessarily looking for a BQ
because it seems impossible, I did select one of those plans because unlike the more generalized plans, it spells out each and every workout down to the pace you are “supposed to” run without any additional calculations necessary.
I won’t lie, this book is intimidating as all get out. The premise is to run 3 key runs each week: Speed, Tempo & Long Run, then add in two cross training days. I chose biking for my cross training since I’m on deck for a 70.3 triathlon in July. This 5 day plan works out well for my schedule because I can juggle the days, live my life, work, be a parent, be the “soccer mom”, and still not miss anything too important training wise. In fact, I have never ran all the miles on a normal plan so I was willing to change my focus a bit this time around from “just run the miles” to “let’s sharpen the focus”. I’m also not a person who wants a coach to whom I need to answer to but that doesn’t mean that I don’t like the idea of having a structured plan.
As intimidating as the plan is in regards to hitting the numbers, I was a bit surprised as to how easy the workouts were to understand. It is all spelled out for me and I just look at it on a day to day basis. If I can’t do my speed work on Monday, I just move it to Tuesday and look at the day on my chart for the workout details. I program my treadmill to the desired intervals and honestly, just try to hang on for as long as possible. The paces are NOT easy for me. Marathon training is not easy for me
which is why I do it. The paces, the plan, the training is a constant challenge. I have not yet nailed a speed or tempo session and I don’t know why but that doesn’t seem to bother me. I just keep on moving to the next workout as if I DID nail it and things are progressing. In fact, they are progressing in a positive manner. I “almost” nailed last night’s speed session. In fact, I nailed a good 75% of it. Progress in week 11 with a late start and a couple “rough” weeks. I can’t wait to see where I am on April 21st when I fight it out mentally & physically at the Lansing Marathon. I honestly do not believe that I will hit my predicted finish time for this marathon but I will be interested to see how close I come to their prediction. I have considered sliding back to the next slower BQ training plan but what fun is that? I don’t want to nail every workout but rather reach for it and keep trying to improve. So yes, I’m “in training” but I’m barely hanging on…… good thing I don’t go to the gym cuz I might scare someone.
Do you like to train within your comfort zone or do you try to push the limits? I’m sure if I had a coach instead of a book, they would back me down so that I could nail it and grow my level of confidence but I kinda like it this way because this is what I do for fun.
** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **