This week's training was worked around a head cold, and the first week of teaching after a 5-year hiatus. Given the new course, new material, less than ideal preparation, etc., I had to put the training in 2nd place priority. Make the course work, then see how the training fit in. And the course itself - this is the first time I've held 2 sections during the same term, and that takes some getting used to, also.
My training plan, from 4 Months to a 4-hour Marathon, unfolds in 2 halves: Weeks 1 - 8 the Endurance Phase, and Weeks 9 - 14 the Stamina Phase. Endurance Training, then, looks like this:
Monday - 20-30 minutes, jogging. I'm not entirely sure what "jogging" is supposed to mean, relative to speed or pace. On a treadmill, I set the speed to 6.5 (mph); when I run outdoors, it's like a 27-minute 5k in the neighborhood. I don't know if I should run this faster or slower. I gather the main thing is the time. Other workouts are more specific.
Tuesday - 20-30 minutes, cross training. For me this is on my bike, at this time of year in the basement on a trainer, about the length of an episode of the old TV series "Get Smart." Anything better, you know, and I'd be tempted to stay longer on the bike, which my body already wants to do, so you know why tempt it?
Wednesday - speed intervals, quarter-miles. This is the most interesting workout, in the sense that I would never do this on my own, and would never have thought of it. Along with Saturday's mileage, this is one of only 2 weekly workouts that changes from week to week. Setting a pace faster than I would run a marathon (2:05 - 2:15 minutes per quarter mile), I run a quarter, then have a 2-minute recovery period. Repeat for x times, the number growing from 6 (week 1) to 16 (week 8). This workout changes in the Stamina Phase. My speed workout in Week 2 was on a small indoor track (12-laps = 1 mile); Weeks 1 and 3 were on the treadmill. I wish the outdoor tracks were clear!
Thursday - 20-30 job, or optional Rest Day. Well, I'm feeling well enough so far that I am using this day to get more easy miles in. So far, so good.
Friday - 20-30 minutes, cross training. Again, on the bike.
Saturday - Distance run, at marathon pace (10:40 - 11:20 minutes per mile). The miles build through the Endurance Phase, with a couple of lighter Saturdays thrown in, to a high of 17 miles. During the Stamina Phase, this run will finally hit 24 miles, a couple of weeks before the marathon.
So, that's the plan. This week, a little different!
Mon. - 20-30 minute jog? Well, I was sick, and class started today. So it was cross-training, at home, at night, on my bike with a borrowed trainer since mine broke last week.
Tue. - 20-30 minutes, cross. A lighter day, obligation wise, so though I didn't feel great (and only marginally better than Monday), I ran before going into the office. 5k in the neighborhood. The nice thing about this run? It was my first outdoor workout since December 14! Which means my first during the official training.
Wed. - Quarter mile speed intervals. Ah, but today, teaching and still sick, I took that rest day I normally ignore. C'est bon.
Thu. - 20-30 minute jog? No, today I did the speed intervals on a treadmill. 10x400, jogging (not walking) for the recovery time. This ended up giving me 5.3 miles total without walking. The run portion was fairly brisk - I ended up covering each quarter in under 2 minutes. And it felt good.
Fri. - back on track, with a cross day on the bike.
Sat. - This was my longest run ever, pushing past 10 miles (last run on September 3) but perhaps falling a bit shy of the scheduled 11. Compensating for the distance, I hope, were the Glen Ellyn hills that comprised the course my running friend and de facto coach, Rich, set for us. This was also the first time I've run with someone else except for a short run with my son Andrew back in August.
Some things that surprised me about the long run:
* The pace (turned out to be about 9 minute miles, on average) felt good nearly the whole way.
* I would not have predicted that I could engage in conversation throughout a run of this distance.
* Without being scientific about it, I was dressed appropriately for the temperature, wind, etc. It was more comfortable than I had any right to expect.
* I never go 90 minutes (the length of the run) on a bike without finishing a small water bottle. I often eat something on a ride of that length, but not always. This run was without water and without calorie intake. I wonder how having one or the other, or both, would have changed the run. The advice I see about race day is to be sure to take a drink every couple of miles, and to know what you should eat, and how often. Surely before I run the 17 miler in February, I will have to think about that.
Well, so the end of Week 3. A little stretching, some good nourishment back at home. And today, the day after, feels good. The goal for the coming week is to do all the jogging outdoors. I think I'm stuck inside for the speed intervals, for now. I may have to alter the routine still to accommodate teaching - I don't see how to fit in speed intervals on a teaching day, for example. But that's 3 down, 13 to go. I'm sure there will be many surprises ... and not all of them pleasant!