Sunday, January 10, 2010

Paving The Road To Eugene

Marathon Plan - Regressive Countdown - Week Eighteen
12/28/09 - 01/03/10
Week Total: 36.6 miles

36.6 miles sound pretty good to me for a winter week. Of course, I was not working, so I could run any given day, at any given time. Whenever I wanted. In addition, while the back east and the south are freezing we are in mid 40s and eventual sunny days. I decided it would be my week where I would start Paving The Road To Eugene.

To pave the road I needed to establish first my main goal: finish time. Answer, a sub-5. But how sub ? I went to Mc Millan to predict my time with my best 5K, 10K and Half. The 5K predicted 4:27; the 10K predicted 4:44; and the Half (a hilly one) predicted 5:02.

Checking the driving directions it was determined that from home to Eugene it will take me 4:46 minutes. So I took that number, the 10K prediction, put in a blender, divided by 2, and got my goal time 4:45 for a 10:53 pace. Scientific... Close!

The next step was to determine how many miles of asphalt I am going to pave per week. I have trained the past years with less is more (i.e.: Furman), and running only three times a week. It worked for me and my life style, and took me the first year from zero to finish. The second year, with the same system I improved my PR in 40 minutes. Not to mention free of injuries.

Then I started asking myself, if all the buzz about more is more is good for me, and found, of course, TOO many opinions and contradictions. Then I got a scientific study, that concluded that there is a poor correlation between the number of miles and the finish time for marathon beginners (They defined beginners the runners that complete a marathon above 4 hours). "Running 39 miles per week - parceled into four workouts - was just as effective as scooting 48-50 miles per week, with six weekly exertions...
The [finish] times were exactly the same. "

My own conclusion,
the study supports Furman. Being that said, I set up my top mileage in 40, and I'll work the week based on that max.

The last step was to confirm what plan I'll follow. I'd thought on Lydiard's methodology but I think it's somehow complex, so I turned to a combination of Furman with RW's plan (Fit/Efficiency). Furman calls for 3 key weekly workouts (speed/tempo/long runs) and RW's calls for two (tempo and long runs). This combo gives me room to variety according to time availability, so I'll stick with it.

I am very excited to run a marathon again. I have planned several races, half and similar distances as part of my long runs, and some 10Ks for tempo work... and 5Ks because I love them!!!

Cheers, and Happy New Year!


ShirleyPerly said...

I, personally, would have a hard time running 5-6 times a week but know a lot of folks who have no problems doing so. Different strokes for different folks ...

Glad you found a training program that fits your available time and needs. I think that's probably what makes the biggest difference between success & failure, not how many miles run per week.

Happy training!

MarathonChris said...

Sounds like you have a plan!!!! As you have discovered, you go with what works for you. I worked myself up to 5 days of running a week....but this year I am thinking of cross training on one of those days!

Petraruns said...

LizzieLee - all these studies and plans and books are general - you are your own best labrat. You know what works for you - and you're doing a great job so far. So yes - if Furman works for you - physically and practically - then stick with it.

For me, however, I have found that increased mileage has helped. But nothing has made me faster like speedwork has. And you 5K miracle worker are way ahead of me on that. So work in some tempo, LT and RP workouts and you will be very very happy with the results I'm sure!