Well, as I have already posted, I have decided to run another marathon. I'm doing it for a number of reasons: 1) I can, 2) my friend Kirk Luther is laying in the hospital after emergency heart surgery, so in a way I'm doing it, because he can't, 3) I have run four, and that seems like a weird number and 4) it's one thing that actually fits into our busy family schedule since most of the training is done early in the morning.
So, what's my plan? When I ran my first marathon, I followed Hal Higdon's plan, which was simply an increase of miles from week to week It worked, and I ran a 3:46. For my second marathon, I used the Furman FIRST program, which was three core runs and cross-training, results, 3:22, a BQ time. The third marathon was run two weeks after the second one, so there really wasn't any training plan used, results, 3:21. For Boston, my fourth marathon, I basically followed the FIRST program with slight modifications, results, 3:36 (cramping and heat hindered me). For this one, I'm trying something of a hybrid plan. I'm going to use the FIRST concept with my own variations and simplifications. I have six weeks until the marathon, and I have an excellent fitness base from triathlon season, so my weeks are going to look like this:
Monday: Off or cross-train, most likely swimming
Tuesday: Speed work, 4:00 on/4:00 off x 5
Wednesday: Cross-training, swimming
Thursday: Tempo work; 20:00 at 7:00 per mile
Saturday: Long run, 10, 13, 15, 18, 20, 15
Sunday: Bike 20-30 miles
As you can see, my speed work is going to simply be around 3 miles a week, nothing fancy, 4:00 intervals, or around 5x1000 m. Tempo, 1:00 below goal pace for 20 minutes, and a gradual increase of mileage for my long runs.
In a sense, I began training on Saturday as I was out running what I thought was going to be an easy five miles. I was off yesterday, because of a trip with my son Kyler to State College for the football game. Today I biked 30 miles at a 17.7 mph pace. This weekend will be the true test of my readiness, as I'll begin increasing my long-run mileage.
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