So here I am a week before officially starting my training for my next marathon. I still haven’t put together my plan. I’m sure I’ll slap something together at the last minute. I do my best work when under pressure and after much procrastination. It’s netted me a number of “participant” ribbons and a staled career after all. Obviously, my system works!
I have high hopes for the Bayshore Marathon. It is the site of my reigning PR. It’s largely flat course with only a few rolling hills through certain sections. If the weather is right – it’s on the bay shore and thus open to wind blowing in off the water – it’s a great course for a fast time. Plus, in years past, I’ve had great success in convincing Mrs. Nitmos to go to Hooters post race for beer and wings. I don’t particularly care for the wings but, you know, its Hooters and its fun to watch Mrs. Nitmos deal with all that is Hooters just because she’s trying to be nice about things for my sake. It’s this kind of cashing in on favorable circumstances that make me such a great husband and an overall pleasure to be around.
I’d like to set a new PR in the marathon. This is the Y.A.K. and PR’s are the goal for the next 11 months. I’ve always wanted to qualify for Boston under the non-age graded standard. In other words, a time under 3:11. I’ve qualified twice in the 3:12 range which works for folks like me in the 35-39 age bracket. In fact, the next Boston I can run is April 2011 and this Bayshore would count towards that. Since I would be 40 in April 2011, I really only need a sub 3:21 now to qualify. Hooray for middle age! If no race ending calf cramping, that SHOULD be in the bag. (jinx?)
I think I need to shift my normal training paradigm. I’ve done just enough in the past to qualify but, literally, I’m running on fumes to get to the finish. If you know me at all, this isn’t surprising. I often do just enough to get by. But if I want to do better, I need to shake things up and embrace a new training regimen. I’ve resisted logging extra so-called “junk”miles in the past. It seemed like unnecessary wear and tear on my body when I was able to (barely) reach my goals without it. But now my goals have changed and I need to get faster. Do I need more miles? Do I need more speed work? Do I need more beer served to me by women wearing socks as shirts? I think…Yes and Yes and most definitely Yes.
Since I don’t have Bill Squires sending me work-outs scribbled on restaurant napkins, I’ll put together this training plan – like all the rest – on my own. The bulk of my prior long runs have been in the 15-16 mile range with only 2-3 runs of 20-21 miles before the marathon. I’m going to bump that up to where the bulk of my long runs are in the 17-18 mile range with around 4 long runs in the 20-23 mile range. Plus, I’m going to add a second “medium” distance run a week in the Nitmos-patented Limbo style. The question is whether or not this is enough of a change to shave another 3-4 minutes off my best time. I've kinda stalled out in the 3:12 range with my current plans.
The basic structure will look like this:
Tuesday: 5 miles/speed work/ intervals
Wednesday: 7-10 miles/easy run
Friday: 10 miles/Limbo run
Sunday: 15-23 miles/long run/fartleking through-out
That’s the tentative plan. It has me running about 8-10 miles more per week on average with more speed work at "medium" distances. Considering my life style, kid demands, and general slothfulness, is that enough miles to shave another 3-4 minutes off my PR?
The numbers themselves haven’t been plugged in yet. I’ll get to that….some day.
I still have a week to go.
Sunday long run: 11 miles @ medium hard effort of 7:11 pace. 43 degrees!!