Disclaimer: I am aware that coaching strategies differ from person to person, and from coach to coach, and from race to race, and from year to year. I know that some plans advocate never going more than 18 miles for a long run, while some have you all the way up into the low 30's.
|I am the one on the left|
In 2007, when training for Philly, I made it 18. In 2008, when training for Melbourne, I don't even remember how long/short it was, but it was not very long (no shock that I ended that race at about mile 14 with ITB issues and disappointment that it was a 5-hour cutoff). In 2009, when training for Disney, it ended up being 18 because my Polar footpod was not calibrated correctly and told me it was 20 :) And then, last year, when training for Rock'n'Roll Mardi Gras, it was 18 again.
Guess what it is again this year?
This week was my 16-miler. Then next week, the 18. Then, I officially "taper." (Although I don't know that you could call what I do "tapering," considering that I always blend triathlon and marathon.) The great Hal Higdon himself told me once that I was "serving two masters." And, although he is 100% right, I have never had more fun (and cycling has definitely made me a stronger runner!)
When is this b*^ch gonna get to the point?!?
You know I never tell the Reader's Digest version of any story!
In any case . . .
Today was the best 16-mile run I have EVER had. This is not hyperbole. It was the best 16-mile run of. my. life. I ran 16 miles in under 3 hours and 30 minutes, I feel like I only ran 13, and I managed to squeak out an 8-10 minute/mile for the last mile. The overall pace was 13 and change, which is the pace I want to maintain or exceed for the marathon.
I can already tell that this is going to be a marathon like no other. When I say that, I'm not being specific. It could be less painful, it could be more fun, it could be faster; I don't know. I have no right to expect a PR in the midst of my other shenanigans *and* considering this is the 2nd mary of this year. But, I do know that I have trained more consistently and at greater volume for the last year than I ever have before, and I know that my long runs feel better than ever before. So, if that's any indication, it's gonna be BAD F*&#iNG ASS.
And it's not just 'cuz I supposedly get this SUPER SWEET additional medal for doing 2 RnR Marys in one year. Hopefully, cause it's ultra-cool.
|Goal vs Actual|
I don't always hit my goal every week, but I love that
my training cycle mimics the plan and has some
- Consistency. The only weeks I've missed training were for mild injuries, illness and race recovery.
- Speaking of recovery, I follow my plan(s). I do a pretty good job for a not-too-educated amateur of periodization. You can see by the peaks and valleys that I follow periods of build, taper, build, taper, (and even do much less overall) during the year.
- Progress. I have increased my training volume safely.
I hope that I am even closer to my goal and follow an even more predictable pattern next year.
Lots of great career stuff going on . . . too much to mention!
In the meantime, IronMAJ is almost over. Rock'n'Roll!