Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Thinking I need to Listen to my Instinct

Being roughly 6 weeks out from the Philly Marathon, I'm pretty content all things considered.  I never thought I would so fully recover from my Spring stress fracture to the point that I've PR-ed at the 5K and half marathon distances (along with some nice track races thrown in there).  My speed and 10k-half marathon range of paces are certainly back.

This is further evidenced by the splits I've been putting down in my track work/tempo runs.  Furthermore, these workouts of late have been much tougher than what I usually do, now that I run with a group.  Add to that, the many, many races I've run in the last two months, essentially every weekend from the beginning of August to this week, with a week missed due to Hurricane Irene, and it is clear I have done a lot of hard running.

On top of that, I've put in some good bike miles, and have been running more mileage this year than I did at this point last year.  Now being so close, I feel like I won't get a whole lot more speed/tempo out of myself and I need to focus on anything lacking.  The only aspect of my running that I feel slightly uncomfortable with is my endurance.

To that end, I'm thinking of trying to focus on that more over the next few weeks, just throwing in an extra mid week semi long run (10-13 miles), and getting my easy runs consistently above 7 miles.  It almost seems backwards to base build last, but it seems to be exactly what I need.  I'll still have to do some fast running to stay sharp, but I don't know if I see a point in killing myself with many more tough workouts.

I was talking to a runner today who agreed that the last few weeks should be focused on fine tuning.  I guess I just have some slight reservations about turning the intensity down a notch since I'm used to going hard pretty often.  Of course, what usually happens is that I get in a few more hard workouts, sort of fizzle out, and then have no choice but to take it easy.  Maybe now I can avoid the fizzle and just get sharper going into these last couple of weeks.

1 comment:

  1. I agree. Your speed is great, that's apparent. The thing is, you won't really be touching 5:20s or under in the marathon. It's important to be able to run that (fairly comfortably) because it will help make 6min pace feel that much more aerobic - but you would probably benefit from longer, sustained efforts.

    I think for you and Andy for the next couple weeks maybe shifting to some longer workouts again wouldn't be a bad idea. If you talk to some of the folks following Jack Daniels' running formula for the marathon, the basic structure of their runs at this point is easy days (5-7 miles) and then the workout days (more volume, hard).

    For instance, an 18 mile workout with 3 miles of warming up, 2x2 mile at tempo, 4 miles easy, 4 miles at tempo, 3 mile cooldown. Or a 22 miler with 2mi w/u, 4xmile, 8-10 easy, 4xmile, 2mi c/d.

    That workout is the focal point of the week, so the days in between are easy and shorter, and then you hit it again. Now, these folks are only about 3 weeks out from NYC, so with an extra two weeks, you still need to keep some volume in you, but inside of a month you really can start bringing total volume down and focusing on the two key workouts each week!