Tuesday, August 28, 2007


We’re six weeks out from TCM, so I thought I’d go through a status check and compare my current training with my Grandma’s training;

Weekly Mileage; If more is better, than I’m in good shape as the last 7 weeks I’ve averaged 65.6 mpw vs. 61.3. Edge: TCM.

Workouts; Given the condensed timeframe between June and October, I’ve had shorter hill and speed phases. At least with the condensed schedule, I've still run some good workouts. Edge: Even.

Racing; For Grandma’s I had solid 8K and 10K races, as well as two strength building 25K workouts. This weekend would be when I ran my 1:21 half. For TCM I have one 15K under my belt that’s way slower than the races mentioned above (not counting the 25Ks). Edge: Grandma’s.

Mid-week medium-long run; Limited to 12 miles this time, compared to 15 miles last time. Edge: Grandma’s.

Strides; Non-existent this time around. Edge: Grandma’s.

Core strengthening; Non-existent this time around. Edge: Grandma’s.

Mental strength; Just wanting to get this marathon over with vs. feeling like everything is coming together. At least it’s a good thing that mental toughness doesn’t factor into distance running – at least you rarely read about it, so I assume it doesn’t factor in. Edge: Grandma’s.

Now I don’t need to hear about how I’ll feel better and run faster once I’m rested or once the temperatures cool off. I know all that. I’m sure I’ve given that advice out many times.

I’m just trying to illustrate how my mindset can change in just two short months. I have six weeks to sharpen up my body and my mind.

This morning I ran an easy 8 miles - trying to make sure I'm recovered from Saturday's MP workout before doing another speed session.

Quote of the day;

“You’ve got to make up your mind. You’ve got to be determined…you’ve got to have strong motivation. It has to almost be an obsession.” - Walter Stack


Laurie said...

Mental toughness is not a factor in distance running!? I beg to differ. Running is completely mental.

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to see a similar comparison between TCM and your Chicago training from last year. I'm wondering if the "just wanting to get this marathon over with" mindset is standard for you at this time of the year.

On the other hand, I don't believe you ran Grandma's last year, so the comparison might be apples and oranges.

Hope you're enjoying the World Champsionships.


Chad said...

Well Laurie, it's a good thing my tongue was firmly planted in my cheek when I wrote that.

But how come all we read and write about is the physical training?

And if running is "completely mental," like you say, can I just sit around all the time and just mentally will myself to fast times?

Bart, I was hurt for last year's Grandma's and Chicago was my first marathon of the year, so yeah it'd be apples and oranges. But yes, I thought that maybe I'm only good for one marathon per year.

Anonymous said...

Mentally, you write down the workouts you need to achieve a PR at TCM and go do them. Eight weeks is a decent chunk of time. Perhaps even perfect with where your at. Construct a 6 week plan w/ three hard workouts a week and fill in the other days with runs around an hour give or take. Take a day off if your toast, or occasionally run through it. You be the judge. My three hard workouts would be a selection of:

- a long run of 2-3 hours (sometimes harder)
- a long pace run of 15k - 25k
- a race
- an interval workout
- a hard 5k - 8k

Occasionally consider doing 2 hard workouts back to back. Usually a race, interval workout, or hard 5k - 8k followed by a decent long run effort of not jogging around. Get around 7:10.

Go with the ebb and flow of the week. Incorporate other people's workouts, run a race now and then, or just get a good one in when you know your week for other reasons is bogged down. At this point, it is those 3 hard workouts that matter, nothing else. The rest is the easy stuff you look forward to.

I like to provide examples as you know:

Eight weeks before Boston 2002:

2/18 AM 6.2 (7:45) PM 5.2 (6:47)
2/19 AM 4.7 (8:22) PM 7.0 (6:06) w/ c/d 1.7 (8:12)
2/20 AM 8.6 (8:07) PM 6.5 (7:27)
2/21 AM 6.5 (7:47) PM 6.0 w/ 4.0 (6:03)
2/22 4.1 (8:41)
2/23 20.0 (6:55)
2/24 AM 9.7 (7:57) PM 4.4 (7:27)

2/25 7.7 (7:50)
2/26 AM 5.5 (8:31) PM 10.9 w/ 5 x 1 mile (5:22,21,16,14,15)
2/27 AM 5.5 (8:30) PM 5.6 (8:39)
2/28 OFF
3/1 15.4 (7:03)
3/2 16.0 (7:25)
3/3 AM 4.5 (9:05) PM 12.6 w/ 10.0 (5:54)

3/4 AM 6.3 (9:06) PM 4.3 (9:13)
3/5 9.2 w/ 7.0 (6:19)
3/6 AM 6.2 (8:39) PM 7.0 (7:11)
3/7 OFF
3/8 12.0 (7:15)
3/9 12.0 (8:24)
3/10 OFF

3/11 Bike and Elliptical 1:30 total
3/12 Bike and Elliptical 2:01 total
3/13 OFF
3/14 OFF
3/15 OFF
3/16 13.2 w/ 10k (5:54)
3/17 16.0 w/ last 10.2 (6:49)

3/18 AM 5.2 (8:37) PM 3.5 (8:34)
3/19 12.0 (7:50)
3/20 AM 3.7 (8:48) PM 7.5 (8:01)
3/21 OFF
3/22 4.7 (7:35)
3/23 18.8 w/ 13.1 race (5:47)
3/24 OFF

3/25 9.3 (7:57)
3/26 8.0 (8:15)
3/27 AM 3.4 (8:14) PM 10.7 w/ 3.0 (6:00)
3/28 OFF
3/29 19.4 trails (8:48)
3/30 7.2 w/ 8k (6:05)+12 x 100y
3/31 OFF

4/1 4.7 (7:28)
4/2 8.0 (6:41)
4/3 4.7 (8:07)
4/4 10.1 w/ 5k (5:29)
4/5 6.0 (8:05)
4/6 13.1 (7:23)
4/7 OFF

4/8 6.2 (6:39)
4/9 5.2 (7:35)
4/10 6.0 w/ 2.0 (5:37)
4/11 5.3 (8:00)
4/12 OFF
4/13 5.0 (8:00) w/ 6 strides
4/14 2.8 (10:28)

4/15 Boston 2:40:56 chip 1:20:34/1:20:22

Run random, run hard, fill in the blanks, adjust to life.

Anonymous said...

When I look back at most of my marathon training, most of it included real hard efforts and a pile of easier running. I sometimes fail to mentioned to people I had a pile of mileage over the winter (usually) and ran a significant amount of 3+ hour runs. I felt the hard stuff really was the key and I didn't necessarily look to hit any weekly mileage goals. It was about running fast and doing some fairly hard mid-distance efforts. How much more aerobic stuff was going to help? Marathons to me were more closely related to a 10k than an ultra. The mix always favored me. Run long a lot and then crack down, run hard and race a marathon. I looked at other logs and found I ran hard back to back because I was rested for it. It also seemed to mirror what one faces in a marathon. One year I tried four hard workouts a week (on average) and they were both back to back hard efforts. It didn't work. I was always beat. Not enough rest for me. I am a bit of a choose the workout for the day by how I feel person. Feel good run hard. Feel tired run easy. Not always, but when freelancing it turned out that way.

I used two set programs in my life. The Beck program and a 12 week specific plan before Ed Fitz. Both worked well, but I like more freedom.

Chad said...

Double, thanks for the advice. I'm coming up on 5 weeks, not 8. I suppose I could do 3 more hard weeks and a 2 week taper.

Part of me says crank it up for 3 weeks and part of me says back off and recover.