23 January 2010

Holy Cow...I will be running a marathon in 8 weeks time

Last week, it was:

23 weeks to go to the Marathon..

Now, it BECOMES

8 weeks to go to the Marathon (yup, eight weeks)

There is a suprising, but very exciting development.

For my son's 1st birthday, the family (us, in-laws) decided to celebrate in style by going to South Korea. Coincidentally during that period, there is Seoul International Marathon!

I would have entered 10k/21km, but they don't have one (it's a single event). After some thinking, it will be too rude to pass the opportunity to run one of Asia's biggest marathon (30,000 marathon runners). So why not?

Now, the big question mark is how do I get my self ready to run 42k in 8 WEEKS TIME ???? *gulp*

I have been in off-season mode in last 1.5 months, longest 'long' runs of only 15-20k with a view that I have a full 6 months to do marathon training.

Will I crash and burn? Can I finish the race in one piece? Will I hit the dreaded wall?

Top 4 reasons why I should feel pessimistic:
a. 8 weeks essentially means 6 training weeks (plus 2 weeks taper)
b. Been in off-season mode, only ran 2-3x per week in Dec.
c. Feb-Mar is a busy time at work. Tough to find the time to train
d. As I am essentially doing a 'crash training'. The increase in mileage and intensity over that 6 weeks might yield over-training risk

Top 4 reasons why I should feel more upbeat:
a. I run much better in the cold climate. However, average temp in Seoul in March is between -2 and 8c (max, noon). This is below a perfect running temperature of 10c (such as Gold Coast). An unknown factor.
b. Seoul course is flat-ish, slight downhill in the beginning, but there is 6k of gradual rise (km 30-36) of 15 meters in elevation. Hmm…looks like a miniature version of Boston marathon which has a rise between km 26-36, climbing 51 meters. Overall net elevation loss of Seoul is 12 meters versus Boston's 137 meters.
c. My mid-week and long run have reached 18k and 30k
d. SW actually thinks I won't be doing too badly :)


All things considered, I could think of three scenarios:

1. Most likely scenario: hit the wall or overtraining, finish in 3h:30
2. Less likely scenario: <3h:15m, qualify Boston marathon for three years in a row
3. Most unlikely scenario: running under 3.10

Place your bets please….

Anyway, I always want to run Seoul so might as well enjoy the route for fun (albeit insufficient training).

Importantly, what a great way to celebrate my son's 1st birthday by running a marathon !
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Training this week:

Mon:
LT/Vo2 test

Tue (intervals):
5k warm up (av pace 5:20)
8 x 800m, 1min slow jog
Splits: 3:02, 3:01, 3:01, 3:02, 3:01, 2:59, 3:00, 2:55 = average 3:00 (3:45 min/km)
4.6k cool down (av pace 5:27)
Total session 16k in 1h15m (av pace 4:45)

Wed (long):
18k easy (av pace 5:06)
Took it easy, av HR 143

Thu (easy):
35mins treadmill (av pace 5:40)
2 sets of weights, 100 abs

Fri (threshold):
15mins warm up (av pace 5:25)
6k threshold run in 23:41 (av 3:57min/km)
Splits: 4:00, 3:58, 3:59, 3:57, 3:57, 3:48. Av HR 167
Rest, then up and down 100m hills, 10 times
3.6k cool down
Total session 15k in 1h:10m (av pace 4:42)

Sat (long):
30k long run in 2h:33m (av pace 5:05)
Tired legs from yesterday. Ran 10k from home to MR, 1 loop of trail, ran 10k back. Always hard to run 30k again after 2 months hiatus. Had a few stops nead the end.

Sun (rest):
OFF. No run.

Total 100k for the week in 8h:17m (av pace 5:00)

Week in summary: I broke the '10% mileage rule' by jumping from 70k last week to 100k this week (50% increase), hopefully The Runners World magazine gods will not punish me for this. Overall, a good week with 2 solid speed workouts and two longish runs. Paces for the long runs are still slow right now as I have been absent from marathon/mileage training for over 6 months.

4 comments:

Epi said...

Sub 3:10 definitely. No risk of overtraining and I think some of your 'key indicator sessions' in recent times have been as good as I've known you to run.

Conquer the mental challenge and you have a PB in your sight

Ewen said...

I'll bet on 3:09:20 if you don't try and ramp up the training too much. Time for 3 'hard' weeks and 3 easy weeks before the taper. 3 long runs of 20 miles. Should be enough.

The course and climate looks perfect! No danger of running alone either ;)

Clown said...

Very exciting. I'll have 100 on a sub 3.10 finish.

Very solid week of training, those 800's were particularly impressive. Agree with Ewen, 3 or 4 30k+ runs should be fine, maybe 2 of those should have a MP finish for last few km.

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