"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Pivotal Week

The past few weeks, my mileage went: 14, 4, 20, 50, 60, 63. Guess when I started feeling better! This is a critical week; will I improve a bit, stay the same, or start going backward? Ideally, I'd like to get my mileage to 70-75 miles per week, which would put me in 3 hour marathon (and 5 minute mile) shape - if I keep my total time spent running constant. But have I hit a limit? I'm in about 3:20-3:25 marathon shape. Would I be happy staying there? Some days I think I would (when I remember how the year's gone so far), but part of me just hates the idea that my true competitive days are over.

If I've reached a plateau, then I'd have to alter my training soon. Instead of running for two hours five days per week, I'd switch to five days of about 80-90 minutes and one very long run. I'm tempted to try something else, though. Every coach would have me add just a little speed work - Hudson would add a few hill sprints, Daniels would add strides (as would Pfitzinger), Lydiard would add fartlek, even Galloway would add some form work. I like running fast, but I think it'd cause undue stress now, when I really just need to get some consistency in mileage and pace. Adding the long run will undoubtedly slow my average for the week, but the shorter runs on the other days could make up for it. And what about just adding some rolling hills to my runs, or speeding up for 5-10 minutes at the end of some runs, a la Hudson's progression runs?

We'll see. I just need to get through the week. Let's not lose track of what we're doing by looking ahead (easier said than done).


I'm working on my list of best songs of the year. I have it narrowed down to 50 right now. 


Anonymous said...

Awesome. Try speeding up here and there during your runs, if you feel good put the hammer down for a few minutes, otherwise back down. If you start adding a bit of speed you are going to blow past your current plateau.

Colin said...

Steve, I'm curious if you've read "Run Less, Run Faster"? Picked up a copy at the library the other day and am considering trying their ideas for this winter/spring (if I can get over the fact that it's published by Runner's World and includes paces for those "racing" a 5K in up to 40 minutes). It seems like the most scientifically oriented "quality over quantity" program I've seen. I still tend to believe that there's no substitute for lots of mileage in optimal training, but am curious how much different the results would be using a vastly different plan.

Anonymous said...

Nice training, I would bet bet you could not run a 3:25 marathon right now. I would say 3:45. You have not had your mileage up long enough maybe next month if you can keep it up without quiting.

SteveQ said...

Colin, I've read it. It's okay, but nothing new.

Anon #2, yeah, I'd be able to run 3:25 pace for about half the distance and then struggle. I only meant that the training I'm doing is typical for early training for that goal.