Friday, August 21, 2009

Goals and Training

I have not publicly announced my marathon goal yet. It's my first marathon, and you're just supposed to try to finish, or so the experts say.

But that does leave the problem of pace. I'm not just going to get out there and run willy-nilly; first marathon or no, I do have to have some sort of plan and goal.

After consultation with experienced friends, a sub-max heart rate test, and review of my current running ability, I am targeting running the marathon in 3:45. This time is several minutes slower than I am predicted to be able to run but will still be challenging.

I've spent all spring and summer building up a good base (at no small personal cost - you try running when it's 95 degrees and 90 percent humidity!) in anticipation of the training. I have an established training program with a few tweaks of my own. Mondays and Wednesdays are mileage-grinders - I pay no attention to pace but just finish the miles. Wednesdays are pace runs - the distance, pace, hydration, fueling, etc. will mimic what I anticipate I will do in the marathon. Thursdays are for interval training. Saturdays are my long runs - the most important days of the week.

Friday and Sunday I rest. And every third week has a significantly reduced load (and no interval training) as well.

My longest runs are in November and December. I start to taper right after Christmas.

All of this barring injury. That's why I spent so much time building up base in the first place, but if I get even the slightest bit injured (as opposed to just being sore) I'm not going to hesitate to take a day/week off.


  1. I was kind of surprised to see that you did a 14-miler today, so soon into your training. Then I remembered that you've been running now for several months. You're not like me, who decides to run a marathon not having run more than three miles in a row for years, does a five week training course, run/walks the flippin' thing, then stops running for three years.

  2. Yeah, it was only supposed to be 10 miles, but I've done distances close to that recently (13 or so a couple of weeks back) and I felt absolutely wonderful today. My legs feel like jello today, but otherwise the best long run I've had in a while.

  3. Don't you just love when things come together like that on a run? It reminds me of Amberly's recent post about her running in her funky new shoes. You just have to go with it on days like that.

  4. Good luck on the marathon Nick! Wow. Somone asked me if I wanted to train for one once. I wondered if they were out of their mind.