Well, after a dismal February with only two 10km runs, six 8km runs and twenty very short runs (what can I say, I was TIRED towards the end of my 100 day run streak ), and March not looking much better with only 3 runs to date since my streak ended on the 5th, it was time to find some motivation.
I was pointed towards the Mohican Trail Marathon which will be held on June 21st in Loudenville, Ohio, and it seemed a good idea. Far enough away to train for, and a reason to train. Now training isn’t going to be easy! I’ll be moving countries, bumming around for a couple weeks on holiday, it will be easy to find excuses not to run, so I’ll have to keep my big boy pants on and focus on the race ahead.
Some interesting facts about the race, they have a 100 mile, 50 mile, and for wimps like me a mere marathon distance race, all run on the same day. The 100 mile race (MO100) has been around 25 years now and is apparently the fifth oldest running ultra in the US. And all of this organised by, get this, the Ohio Mountain Bike Championship!
So I need a training plan. My first marathon distance was run on a Runners World plan, because hey, it said I would be ready in 12 weeks for a marathon, forget the fact I’d never run further than 12km in my life.
My next two were with the assistance of a “personal trainer” who wrote me up a nice training schedule for last year, but I didn’t find him particularly helpful for answering questions or giving advice.
So this time, I took out my recently purchased (and autographed) copy of Greg McMillan’s “You, only faster“. This is an excellent primer for learning how to design and modify your own training plan. Lots of great advice, maybe too much to take in the first time, but I can only improve, hey?
I chose a 5-6 day per week plan. My logic was that I don’t feel I’ve lived up to my marathon potential in my previous races on a 3-4 day per week schedule. My 5k, 10k and half marathon times all fit into the race predictor calculators, but my marathon times are about a half hour slower than they should be based on other races. So I wanted time on feet.
And time on feet I got. My Runners World training plan was obviously tailored for beginners (which I probably didn’t qualify for that high a level of!) with the long runs increasing every week. In the McMillan plan, I start at a 16 mile long run my first week, up to 20 miles long run by week 5 and a massive 24 miles in week 10. Overall weekly mileage doesn’t change all that much in this plan, which is fine as I feel I have a halfway decent base built already, especially after my run streak. The schedule will probably net me about 60km per week (which also happens to be what I need to do from here on out to hit 3,000km for 2014).
So here is my initial training plan:
|30-Mar||Rest or Cross Train|
|2-Apr||Fartlek 10-12×1 min w/ 1 min jog||0:24:00|
|3-Apr||Rest, Cross Train or Short Run||0:45:00|
|5-Apr||Long Run||16 miles|
|6-Apr||Rest or Cross Train|
|7-Apr||Leg Speed 8-10×25 sec w/ 1 min jog||0:15:00|
|9-Apr||Fartlek 5×2 min on, 1 min off||0:15:00|
|10-Apr||Rest, Cross Train or Short Run||0:45:00|
|12-Apr||Long Run||18 miles|
|13-Apr||Rest or Cross Train|
|16-Apr||Cruise Intervals 6-8x 1km w/ 200m jog||9.6km|
|17-Apr||Rest, Cross Train or Short Run||0:45:00|
|19-Apr||3rds Progression Run||1:30:00|
|20-Apr||Rest or Cross Train|
|21-Apr||Fartlek 12-15×1 min w/ 1 min jog||0:30:00|
|23-Apr||Tempo Intervals 4-5x 2km w/ 400m jog||12km|
|24-Apr||Rest, Cross Train or Short Run||0:45:00|
|26-Apr||Long Run||20 miles|
|27-Apr||Rest or Cross Train|
|30-Apr||Yasso 800’s 6-8x800m w/400m jog||7.6km|
|1-May||Rest, Cross Train or Short Run||0:45:00|
|3-May||Long Run||20 miles|
|4-May||Rest or Cross Train|
|5-May||Fartlek 12-15×1 min w/ 1 min jog||0:30:00|
|7-May||Tempo Run||5 miles|
|8-May||Rest, Cross Train or Short Run||0:45:00|
|10-May||Long Run||18 miles|
|11-May||Rest or Cross Train|
|14-May||Tempo Intervals 3×2 miles w/4 min jog||7 miles|
|15-May||Rest, Cross Train or Short Run||0:45:00|
|17-May||Long Run||20 miles|
|18-May||Rest or Cross Train|
|19-May||Fartlek 12-15×1 min w/ 1 min jog||0:30:00|
|21-May||Yasso 800’s 10x800m w/400m jog||12km|
|22-May||Rest, Cross Train or Short Run||0:45:00|
|24-May||Long Run||16 miles|
|25-May||Rest or Cross Train|
|28-May||Tempo Run 5-7 miles||7 miles|
|29-May||Rest, Cross Train or Short Run||0:45:00|
|31-May||Long Run||24 miles|
|1-Jun||Rest or Cross Train|
|2-Jun||Fartlek 12-15×1 min w/ 1 min jog||0:30:00|
|4-Jun||Fartlek 6-8×2 min w/1 min jog||0:24:00|
|5-Jun||Rest, Cross Train or Short Run||0:45:00|
|7-Jun||Long Run||18 miles|
|8-Jun||Rest or Cross Train|
|9-Jun||Fartlek 8-10×1 min w/1 min jog||0:20:00|
|11-Jun||Tempo Intervals 3×2 miles w/4 min jog||7.2km|
|12-Jun||Rest, Cross Train or Short Run||0:45:00|
|14-Jun||Long Run||12 miles|
|15-Jun||Rest or Cross Train|
|16-Jun||Leg Speed 10×25 sec w/ 1 min jog||0:15:00|
|17-Jun||Cruise Intervals 5x1km w/200m jog||6km|
|19-Jun||Rest, Cross Train or Short Run||0:45:00|
|21-Jun||RACE: Mohican Marathon (Trail)|
I’m thinking that will keep me out of mischief for a while.
I’ll probably still make changes to it, throw in some hill intervals etc, and I need to make sure a number of my long runs are on trails, as I haven’t done any trail running yet really. This part should be interesting, as I’m not always the most coordinated individual on the planet, but what doesn’t kill me should make me better balanced.
My plan is also to do weekly training updates here in blogville. Of course, that’s easier said than done, but I’ll try my best and I’m sure I’ll have mishaps and funny stories to share (although it might be tough to beat my friend Mark Stone’s recent story of a very funny trail run he shared on Google+).
See you on the trails!