Playing To Your Strengths

Chicago marathoners: race week is finally upon us!

I’m happy to report that all is well from the camp here in 1547937_947401245276614_7143933233464445583_oEugene and I’m eagerly looking forward to getting my feet on the ground in Chi-town. Over the last month, my training has been much of the same – in this instance, no news is good news. I was in Medford, Oregon 2 weeks ago for the Rogue Run Half Marathon, which served as a chance for one last marathon-effort tempo run. I did this same race last year and probably ran harder than I needed to, so in an effort to save up for my goal race, I made a conscious effort to run a much more controlled effort at a pace that I’ll be shooting for in Chicago next week.

When I began training for the Chicago Marathon back in July, one of the goals for this block was to create a training schedule that played to my strengths. So often you hear athletes and coaches talk about working to address weaknesses, in the hopes that improvements in those areas will lead to faster times. While I see nothing wrong with this approach – I’ve done it myself in the past – I think there is some value in making the things you already do well, better.

For me, this meant a renewed focus on long runs, longer threshold workouts, and high volume. I know that these are all areas of strengths for me, so Ian and I created a training schedule built around improving on these areas. Hopefully this translates into becoming a more efficient runner on race day, especially over the final 10k. The longer runs were longer and harder, and there were more of them. Over the past 18 weeks, I’ve run at somewhere between 20-30 miles during all but one of those weeks. The workouts were designed to build strength and I can point to several workouts during this block that were some of the best in my career. And finally, I’ll end up having run more miles during this marathon training block than any of my previous segments. If I were to grade how well the plan was executed, I’d give myself an A-. But I still have to take the final exam next Sunday before I can put anything definite on the report card!

Stay tuned for some exciting news that I hope to be able share with y’all later this week!

9/8-14 AM PM Total
Monday 10 miles + S&C 6 miles 16
Tuesday 3 mile warmup. 8 mile continuous alternating miles 5:20/5:00. 8 x 200m after. 3 mile cooldown. 15 miles total. 6 miles 21
Wednesday 11 miles 6 miles 17
Thursday 9 miles + S&C 5 miles + 7 x 150m striders 15
Friday 3 mile warmup. 2 x 6 miles @ marathon pace, 3:00 rest. 3 mile cooldown. 18 miles 5 miles 23
Saturday 11 miles 6 miles 17
Sunday 22 miles OFF 22
131
9/15-21 AM PM Total
Monday 11 miles + S&C 6 miles 17
Tuesday 3 mile warmup. 24 x 400m, :30-:35s 100m jog rest. 3 mile cooldown. 12 miles total. 6 miles 18
Wednesday 10 miles 7 miles 17
Thursday 3 mile warmup. 5 mile tempo. 8 x 200m after. 3 mile cooldown. 12 miles total 6 miles 18
Friday 9 miles OFF 9
Saturday 6 miles + 8 x 100m striders OFF 6
Sunday Rogue Run Half Marathon – 1:05:51 OFF 21
106
9/22-28 AM PM Total
Monday 10 miles + S&C 6 miles 16
Tuesday 11 miles 6 miles 17
Wednesday 4 mile warmup. 12 x Hendricks Hill Loop. 4 mile cooldown. 12 miles total. 6 miles 18
Thursday 10 miles + S&C OFF 10
Friday 7 miles OFF 7
Saturday 3 mile warmup. 3 x 3 mile, 2:00 rest. 3 mile cooldown. 15 miles total. 7 miles 22
Sunday 20 miles OFF 20
110
9/29-10/5 AM PM Total
Monday 9 miles + S&C OFF 9
Tuesday 3 mile warmup. 4 x 400m / 2 mile tempo / 4 x 400m / 2 mile tempo / 4 x 400m. 3 mile cooldown. 5 miles 18
Wednesday 10 miles 5 miles 15
Thursday 9 miles + S&C OFF 9
Friday 3 mile warmup. 8 mile cutdown run. 7 x 200m after. 3 mile cooldown. 5 miles 20
Saturday 8 miles OFF 8
Sunday 14 miles with 10 x :30 pickups OFF 14
93

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