Sunday, November 6, 2011

A New Month

Long time, no see - I bin bizzy....  :D

So, where did we last leave off?

Healthy Eating

I haven't lost any weight but I haven't gained any weight either - so that's a good thing. I've been eating vegetarian at least 4 days a week and other than the glut of halloween candy, I'm doing fairly well with eating in general. Always room for improvement though.

Core Strength Training 

I still pretty much suck at being consistent at this so far.  I've done a solid session at the gym for the last two Saturdays, including some cardio in the pool, rowing, or the bike at the gym. However, as I continue to struggle with getting a decent sleep, I find it difficult to do any kind of workout after school.  My plan is (was) to go to the gym after work on the days I don't run but every week, something has blocked me - either a 3-4 hour sleep the night before, a late meeting, or too many errands.  I will continue to work on this.


Over the past three weeks, I've had some real success with running. 

* I've run 3 times a week, for 3 weeks

* I've been able to do some hilly routes on my week day routes without feeling injured the next day.

* I've built up to running 9-12km every Sunday and I'm now at the point where I don't feel like my legs are lead for the half the run.

Here's what I ran for the past 3 weeks

Oct. 17-23 > Tues 30 min, Fri 30 min, Sun 60 min  (17.7 km)

Oct. 24-30 > Wed 35 min, Fri 45 min, Sun 75 min  (22.2 km)

Nov 1-6    > Tues 45 min, Fri 58 min, Sun 75 min  (26.8 km)

Marathon Plans

I've been looking around at a lot of marathon training plans, primarily at the long runs.  There are many options out there.  I don't want to be coached for this - I find I have to keep asking coaches to change things - it's easier for me to tweak a plan myself. I generally don't have any trouble with having the self-discipline to do the runs (not  true for other training tho).

Things I'm looking for:

* Running only 3 days a week, with cross training on alternate days
* Slow build of the long run with plenty of recovery weeks
* A possibility of some hill work because Vancouver marathon has some hills
* Adjustable to my life, snow/ice, work, and my breakable body

I have found a few plans out there that fit the bill but the other day I was chatting with Stuart from the Quadrathon Podcast (which I happen to be co-hosting for the next little while - check it out!) and he was telling me a little about the Furman FIRST program which he has successfully followed a few times.

I remember looking at it in the past  and being concerned that the three fairly challenging runs per week might be too much for me. However, given that I can now successfully run hills without having to walk, and I've managed to recover from my last two races without injury, I think perhaps I might be ready to try a modified version of the Furman program.

My Current Plan

Right now, my plan is to run 45 min twice a week, at least once with hills, and then run 1:15 every Sunday until mid December. I want to get my legs used to running that distance (about 25-30 km per week) and feel good doing it.

I am going to run a fun 10k race at the end of November, and treat it like a mid-long tempo run. Then I plan to start my marathon training on this base.

The Furman plan calls for 3 key runs per week.

Tues - Track workout with 400m - 1600m repeats

Thurs - Tempo run of some sort with warm up and cool down

Sun - Long run (usually marathon pace plus 5-40 sec per km - it varies)

I am basing my paces on a conservative 27:30 5km time.

It gives me a marathon pace of 6:21/km (10:13 mile)

Don't get my wrong, I'm not expecting to be able to run a full marathon at that pace, but that's the training numbers I will use, so long as I am feeling ok. Most of the long runs are based on this pace plus a number of seconds per km.

Short Tempo - 5:21/km  (8:36 mile)

Mid Tempo - 5:41/km (9:08 mile)

Long Tempo - 5:59/km (9:37 mile)

I know I can do the long run at those paces, and I tried the tempo run on Friday and felt ok. I think I'll probably skip the track workout until I've got lots of endurance, assuming I'm not teetering on injury.

I also plan to stretch out the 16 week plan over 20 weeks with a few repeat weeks and recovery weeks thrown in for good measure. I want to build up a bit slower than they suggest.

Should be interesting....


* I'm not sure how to do specific paces when I'm running hills.

* I'm not sure how to keep to specific paces when I'm running on snow or ice in the winter.

When in doubt, I'll go by my Heart Rate. :)

I guess I'll figure it out as I go. :)