30 January 2010


Week 2 of 9 to Seoul (ouch...)

Thanks for everyone's vote of confidence that I could complete an impromptu marathon with just 2 months of training. Sounds like around 3:10 was a popular prediction.

Well. I've been looking it at my past running log and found some interesting stuff (see chart below)

The 1st bar shows my monthly mileage for Joong-an marathon in Nov 08. The prep was quite similar to current situation. We were in Japan for holiday and rarely ran for 2 weeks. Then I embarked on 8 weeks of marathon training. Av mileage for that 8 weeks block was 384k per month. If we include another month before that (including holiday period), the 3 month average was 355k. This yielded 3:11 marathon.

The 2nd bar depicts mileage for Gold Coast in Jul 09. I was in off-season mode for 1 month (baby), then had 12 weeks of marathon training. Av mileage for the last 2 months prior to the race was 415k per month, for 3 months it was 388k. This yielded 3:04

The 3rd and 4th bars show mileage from two popular programs, Hal Higdon and Pfitzinger. Av mileage are 300 and 400ks respectively for 2 & 3 months before race week

The 5th bar shows the projected mileage leading to Seoul 2010 (mid Dec-mid Mar period).This assumes 90k average for Week 3-6 and 70k average for week 7-8. This produces a monthly average of 330 for 3 months and 360 for last 2 months prior to the race.

My observations:
- Based on Joong-an and GCM data, it seems higher mileage & longer prep correlate positively with marathon times (at least for me). There is pretty strong evidence that 3 months averaging 400k+ helped me to attain faster marathon timing in GC.
- My mileage are concentrated in the last few weeks before the race as depicted by more mileage done in last 2 months versus last 3 months.
- Higdon and Pfitz plan show consistent volumes for last 3 and 2 months. This raises another question whether I work too much in the last few weeks (tried to cram in everything as race day got closer)
- To say that my mileage is higher than Higdon's advance plan is misleading, since Higdon's plan runs for 4 months. My training plan is only 2 months.

- Will run Seoul with lower mileage compared to previous 2 marys & Pfitz plan
- It looks that there is nil chance to get a PB ! lol

So, that's a bit of analysis based on mileage. It's more difficult to compare intensities since all the workouts in each cycle are different. If we use average weekly training pace as a proxy for intensity, presently the data show that I am still averaging a the same training pace. In fact, my average pace still hovers about 5:00 pace and it hasn’t changed in four years!

Anyway, training this week:

Mon (threshold):
4k warm up/strides (av pace 5:25)
10 mins, 4mins jog, 10mins, 3mins jog, 5mins
Ran the fast part at 3:50-3:55 min/km, slow part av 4:45 min/km
Covered 7.9k in 32mins with 4 miles worth of 10k-paced running
3k cool down (av pace 5:30)
Total session 15k in 1h:10m (av pace 4:44)

Tue (easy):
11.7k easy in 60mins, including 5 barefoot strides (av pace 5:10)
XT: lunges, hip exercises

Wed (long):
20k easy-moderate in 100mins (av pace 5:00)
XT: 15mins upper body weights

Thu (hills):
6k worth of hills plus wu + cd
Average only 5:00 pace (up & down), but HR never got below 160 due to quick jog down and then up again

Fri (easy):
40mins easy on treadmill (av pace 5:37)
XT: 80 abs on bench (no weights)

Sat (long):
32.4k long run in 2h:37m (av pace 4:52)
10k easy @ 5:23, 140 bpm, 16k @ 4:30, 160 bpm, 6k easy with pick-ups. Testing the legs since I don't know what my MP is

Sun (off):
Rest day

Total 99k for the week in 8h:14m (av pace 5:00)

Week in summary:
Another 'ramping-up' week, with midweek and weekend long runs being extended to 20k and 32k respectively. Paces for these two runs are still on the slow side as my body is still adjusting to 100k weeks. Had one good threshold workout, but a dud again when doing hills. Next week will be another 'ramping-up' week with long run further stretched to 3 hours.


Clown said...

Another good week well done, good effort re the long run.

Interesting re the comparisons, I do a similar thing but base mine on the last 10 weeks of training and also include average pace to give me a feel for things. Been very accurate as a predictor except for Perth 2009 when I hurt my adductor/groin.

Ewen said...

Consistent high mileage is probably a safe way to go for a PB. Too late for that, so do what you can, and run a 'sensible' pace on the day.

Have you tried the Higdon Advanced 11 plan? That's the one I'm thinking of following. There have been some good endorsements of it (but I guess all plans have those). I like the idea of lower mileage and easier paced long run.

trailblazer777 said...

the 32k is very good. Going well. Enjoyed the graphical presentation...
Ive also compared my Melbourne Marathon buildups over the last 3 years.
I think mileage is over-rated. I'm using a 10 week plan for Melbourne and Perth same as last year, that seems to work well. No reason why an 8 week plan cant work especially with the accumulated base you have on board over the last few years. I'd focus more on nailing the high quality sessions at optimal performance, and tapering the last 1-2 weeks well. If the long runs are there, the time is all about the quality of your speedwork, how much weight your body is carrying, your fitness level. The mileage IMO is of low importance...
reckon you might surprise yourself in about 7-8 weeks time...

Sling Runner said...

Ewen, I haven't tried Higdon marathon plan.

It looks quite well structured with a 'big weekend' every alternate weeks (16k MP on Sat, 32k LSD on Sun)