Monday, June 30, 2008

Are you FIRSTy?

Wherein I make a return to the use of the “wherein” summary if only to point out that I’m using wherein again.

Normally, I’m not a big fan of using word substitution for comedic effect like I did in the title line. It’s easy. Cheap. And udderly ridiculous.


Unbelievably, the calendar on the wall tells me I’m 16 weeks out from my next marathon (Detroit). Already?? I’ve been so busy enjoying schedule free running, I’ve forgotten about the long, slow, regimented build to the marathon. It’s time once again to pull up a professional coaches training plan for my desired finish time, select ‘All’ of the carefully considered advice text and then press ‘Delete’ and overlay my own barely considered plan on their template.

That’s what I’ve done for my first 5 marathons. And besides the last 3 marathons - which found me limping to the finish line as a tangled mess of knotted muscle fibers and tendons – its worked like a charm! I got a BQ out of the second marathon so, Screw Them, I know what I’m doing. A string of near DNF’s isn’t enough to destroy my arrogance.

As most of you know, I’m in the middle of my self-serving, family-ignoring Summer of Speed. I’ve been capping my weekly long runs at 10 miles. I’ve been following FIRST’s advice* and going hard 3 days a week with some inadequate cross training thrown in.

I am a FIRST sycophant (+1). If FIRST was a person rather than a concept, I’d tell him how really cool his hair looks and ask to wash his Corvette. With my tongue.

The fact is that I’ve seen greater improvement in my overall speed in just 6 weeks than I expected. I laid out the following Summer of Speed goals on May 5th thinking these were ambitious but obtainable goals to meet by the end of summer. I haven’t tested myself in a race as of yet so my Estimated Time is a measure according to Garmin (praise be with him) during my training runs. Here’s an update:

Goal / Estimated Current Finish Time

5k Goal 19:00 / Estimate 19:10
10k Goal 41:00 / Estimate 41:30
15k Goal 1:05:00 / Estimate 1:03:00
10 Mile 1:06:00 / Estimate 1:07:20

Either I set the goals to low (or high?) or the FIRST method is having some quick, early success.

Normally, I have loosely followed Hal Higdon’s training plans which I still recommend to the beginning runner. Of course, by “followed”, I mean I used his template and stripped out everything but the weekly long run target. I think I’ll be doctoring the FIRST marathon training plan this time.

Those who have Jim Jones Kool-Aid style followed this blog for the last few years know I’m a congenital (note: I did NOT call myself a genital here) race pacer. Every training run is done at near race pace. I only run 3 days per week. Frankly, I feel like I’m wasting time by going out for a light “jog”.

So, FIRST plan, here we come! I’ll still be working towards my SoS goals while simultaneously building for the marathon. It should be a fun, sweaty, vomit soaked summer.

If you have a fall marathon planned, it’s time to pull out the training plans and get to work. And remember: if you don’t like how the training plan is laid out, there’s always a Delete button. Keep it fresh. Keep it fun.

Don’t give yourself Pfitz over it.

Happy trails.

* According to law suit resolution, FIRST does get to keep credit for the origin of this training concept. And I’m to keep at least 500 yards from the authors.

Did you know that you cannot set a World Record if your run was "wind aided"? Tyson Gay apparently rocketed through the 100 meters in 9.68 seconds at the Olympic Trials. Unfortunately, the wind was strong during those 9.68 seconds so the time will not stand as a World Record. It would seem that natural, uncontrollable elements - such as the weather - should not be taken into account. I guess, by this logic, a strong breeze is known as Nature's Steroid.

Sunday's Long Run:

10.0 miles
1:07:20 time
6:44 pace

This was a cool run as I was able to get my negative splits AND incorporate a Limbo run over the last 5 miles!

Splits: 34:08 / 33:12

Last 5 miles: 6:52, 6:41, 6:38, 6:34, 6:27. Limbo!!

With only needing to average 7 mins/mile over the next 3 miles, I think my unstated goal of breaking 1:30:00 in a half marathon is well within reach. Now, I need to find a half marathon to sign up for...


Jess said...

I feel bad for the guy who didn't set a world record. I mean come on you run fast, you train hard, you set a world record time...but then oh wait...there was wind? Really?

Good luck with the start of training!

Marcy said...

Dude you must love the pain. I'm already wondering what I got myself into :P I do heart FIRST even if it does hurt *sigh*

aham23 said...

dude is getting his speed on. very nice. later.

chia said...

Sounds like a certain "Nitmos" should conquer the Capitol City 1/2 coming up this fall :-).

Or better yet, take the fam out to Brighton and kick my arse by a whole whopping hour at the Hungry Duck Half on Friday!

It's always humbling to have goals a full hour slower than another blogger :-). I need to make slower blog friends.

Fitarella said...

you funny man. make me pee!

ha ha! my 16 weeks doesnt start until the week of the 14th! doing Coach Al's plan

Paul said...

You know... I think we may have to set up a match race some day. I am also aiming for sub 1:30 half-marathon (October) and our 5K PRs are only a few 'hill profile degrees of difficulty' apart considering that mine was on a fast course.
I am probably a little older at 45, but as Reagan said to Mondale I won't hold your youth and inexperience against you.
It may make for an interesting rivalry if we find the distance that has us evenly matched - you coming down from the 3:12 marathon and me moving up from the 5:04 mile.
If you were Vanilla, I could be your nemesis (but we know that Beardsley has that sewn up).

Chad Aaron Sayban said...

"A string of near DNF’s isn’t enough to destroy my arrogance."
Nor should it. You need a long list of actual DNF's before even considering backing down.

Blyfinn said...

Nice speed. I wish I could keep that pace for that distance. To answer your question. I think the 19:30 might be a little out of reach due to it being during the hot part of the day and it's a hilly course. I would be happy with a sub 20

*aron* said...

WOW that is a FAST 10 miler!! AND with a limbo!

i like your take on marathon plans! thats what i am doing too :)

i will definitely keep the word restraint in mind too on the next 20... dont want to do anything stupid! thanks for the advice!

Lily on the Road said...

Yup, it's that time of year again to ramp up the distance. With two Half's in Septmeber, I'm trying to figure out when the next full will be....hmmmmm?!!!

Eric Gervase said...

Wow... FIRST is making you fast. I'd run first, but I'm too concerned about running all the time to keep my weight down to run 3 days a week.

Xenia said...

SoS is evidently going well for you.

Good luck with the FIRST plan.

Non-Runner Nancy said...

I keep hearing good things about FIRST, yet I blindly continue... and bitch about how slow I am. Perhaps I should do something about it. :D

The Laminator said...

Very impressive 10 mile limbo run, Nitmos! With that kind of effort, I don't think a sub-1:30 half should be too hard for you to pull off.

Ted said...

Fun, sweaty, vomit soaked summer??? Vomit ??? Did you just say Vomit ??? Farout !!!! I wish I have your pace !!! May the FORCE be with you on your first plan.

AddictedToEndorphins said...

First Sounds Like A Good Idea. Let me know how you like it after this race. Have you used it before

Good luck:) I'll be following your trianing!

Laura said...

There are always the Queens or the Staten Island half marathons in the fall.

Also, it's pathetic to take another plan and delete/change it. It's much better not to have a plan at all. That way if you don't do well, you can always say you didn't really train for it!

Marci said...

Happy training. I always say I will do the FIRST program, but then I feel anxious if I'm not running enough.

Kevin said...

At least he will have a chance to try again for the WR during the Olympics.

I am using a modified FIRST plan to add my marathon training to my triathlon training. Lots of great stuff on their site

MizFit said...

fun, sweaty, vomit soaked summer.
we commenced that yesterday in the ATX.

I ran.

alert the media please.


sRod said...

Am I the only one not on the First wagon?

I do believe in butchering up various training plans. I'm still frankensteining my training plan for my next race.

Scott said...

Dude, nice work with the speed! Good luck with your goals. It actually looks like you know what you're doing! :)

Viv said...

I totally knew that abou the wind. it happened to me last week in the 5000 meter. Anywhoo completely heartbroken.

Your post always bring out this sarcastic side of myself. Thanks Nitmos!

the FIRST plan seems to be a champ with many, and truly you keep getting faster. I like that the summer of speed. I only run 3x as well and the coach still has me doing one of the slow ones I hope she knows what she is talking about.