I've decided to follow Brad Hudson's training plan from the "Run Faster" book for Seoul. I don't normallly follow training plans per se because I believe workout structure & training efforts should be dependent on how I feel on the day. However, I am currently on borrowed times for two reasons. One, I have only 8 weeks (incl taper) to train, and two, I don't have any confidence in designing my own training plan for a 42k race (had a habit to over-train).
I like Brad's program (coach of Dathan Ritzhein who finished #10 in Beijing ahead of Ryan Hall ) due to several factors. Firstly, his principal is based on non-linear periodization. Basically, he suggests one to train at multiple paces consistently all year around with only a tweak in the final 4-6 weeks before a peak race to focus on specific race-pace endurance. For instance, for a 5k race, he recommends one to do 10k training (10k pace intervals, threshold) for aerobic support before focusing on 5k race-pace workouts in the last 4-6 weeks. For a HM race, the optimal aerobic support is of course, HM training (threshold, long runs). For a marathon race, he reckons the optimal aerobic support is also HM training. Why? By doing HM training, marathon pace will feel 'comfortable' because HM is a more challenging event aerobically. (Lets see and find out, haha) The good thing is my training for the last couple of months have been centered on HM training (race on 24 Aug), so I think there is something in common there.
Secondly, his level 2 plan seems to match for a runner of my standard. Brad has 3 plans: #1 for beginner, #2 for intermediate, and #3 for competitive runners. Level 2 plan encompasses 6 days of running (one rest day) and typical mileage of around 90kmpw. This training regime fits my life nicely. Thirdly, he schedules one interval type session (HM to 10k pace), one moderate session (MP run or progression), and a weekend long run in a typical training week. Again, there is some commonality with my training when I was preparing for the HM, except for the lack of long runs (duh !!)
However, there are a couple of main challenges. One, Brad's marathon plan is a 20 week program and I simply jump-in for the last 8 weeks. While I won't have any problems doing the intervals & tempo sessions in his plan, but I am severely short of long runs and aerobic mileage. My average mileage year to date is just under 70k, while the typical mileage in his plan is about 80-90k. Secondly, he schedules a series of tough long runs starting this week: 32k ez, 27k with 21 MP, 35k ez, 32k with 24k at MP+5sec, 37k ez, and 30k at MP+10-20secs. They might prove to be the archiles heel for me, who only did a handful of 20k+ runs this year.
Anyway, below is this week's training. Had no problem with the sudden increase in mileage. Made one tweak by replacing a 19k run with 5x1k intervals, as well as the normal shuffling here and there to fit my schedule. Reason for doing the intervals is to get back to fitness quickly after 2 weeks holiday.
10k Easy in 50mins
Av pace 5:00 min/km
Ran the Leonie Hill Rd loop eight times. Haven't done any running on hills for ages, legs a bit tired.
2.4k Easy to the track with strides
5 x 1000m @ 8-10k pace with 90secs recovery
Average 3:51 min/km, 177 bpm (splits 3mins: 47, 51, 52, 52, 49)
2.6k Easy with strides
Total workout 11k in 52 mins (av pace 4:40 min/km)
Stretching/core + leg swings
Back to real world: lunch time run with apparent temp of 33c. Struggled after the 3rd interval. Av HR for intervals #2-5 was 177 bpm - higher than similar workouts a month ago at 172 bpm. Perhaps due to some fitness erosion from little running during the holiday.
9k Very Easy (av 5:25)
Treadmill with 0-2% inclines
Abs work (sit ups, torso rotation, back extension)
5.3k Easy to the track (av 5:14)
3 x 2400m @ HM pace with 3mins recovery
Average 4:05 min/km, 172 bpm (splits 9mins: 46, 48, 43)
5.7k Very Easy incl 4 x 10secs hill sprints
Total workout 19k in 92mins (av pace 4:52 min/km)
Ran at 6am: cool but awfully humid. The program had 3 x 10mins, but 2.4k at my pace is close enough (6 laps at track). The 2nd interval was tough, but managed to get back into the groove for the 3rd. I did a similar workout 7 weeks ago, averaging 4:01 & 174 bpm but with a shorter warm up, so looks like my fitness deteriorated a tad.
7k Very Easy (av 5:38)
0.5% incline treadmill
Gym work: pulldowns, deltoid, torso rotation, back extension, core exercises
32k Easy in 2h:43mins (av 5:06)
Incl. 126mins on undulanting terrain (av 5:13), 10mins @ HMP, 18mins ez, 8mins @ MP
First 30k+ run in almost one year and it was difficult. Started at 5:45am to avoid the heat but it was humid. The first 2 hours was over undulating terrain and my legs were trashed by the hills. Ran the second hour in pouring rain too! To avoid getting bored, I spiced thing a little by doing 2400m on the track at HM pace in 9:57 (av 4:10). Then jogged home, running the last 8mins at MP effort. I think the av pace for today's run is a bit on the slow side, but given the terrain and the fact that it is my first long run in a long time, perhaps it wasn't too bad.
6k Very easy (av 5:28)
Total 94k for the week, 2469k for the year