the final puzzle piece

Well first off, thanks again to everyone who commented on my race report!!

Nailing that half-marathon was just a huge relief for me.  Not just getting the whole “Brooklyn Half” monkey off my back, but also having a race that clearly showed me where I was at with Chicago training starting in 2 weeks-it was, as the post title says, the final piece of the puzzle of figuring out training.

So yeah, you all remember a few posts back, I’m racking my brain trying to figure out what to do in terms of a training plan, and thinking I need to try something new and different.  But then after the half I realized-I ran a pretty decent half time without crazy mileage.  I will admit, my weekly mileage was not high-high 20s for the most part, going over 30 one week.  I did make sure to get the long runs in, so I was prepared there.

And got me thinking back to 2008.  The year of what is still my best marathon to date-my 3:44:14 in NYC.  I felt my training went very well that year: “…topped out at a 47 mile week, with 6 weeks where my mileage was at least 40, and again, 3 20-milers.”  For the most part, running 5 days a week (maybe one or 2 weeks where it was 6 days?), the weeks consisting of a speed workout, a long run and 3 easy runs, and also cross-training.  And when you figure the 3:44 was on a hilly course and I will have the advantage of a flat course this time…and oh yeah, the half-marathon time I ran on a flat course after 2 1/2 months of training was nearly identical to one I ran this weekend on a hilly course with much less mileage…

I think you may know where I’m going with this.  In terms of mileage, I’ll be channeling my 2008 marathon training season.  Going for quality over quantity.  I know quite a few of you may not agree with this approach and feel I should really be upping the mileage-but well I did that last year and you know how that turned out.  I think one change I will be making though, will be to swap one of those easy runs for a tempo/2nd speed workout…again, the whole quality over quantity “thang.”

Only one thing I will still need to figure out…I would like to run the Philly Distance Run (sorry I refuse to refer to it as its “new” name) at marathon pace as sort of dress rehearsal for the big day, but it falls on a weekend where my last 20 should be-if I do a 3-week taper.   Any thoughts on my last 20 being 2 weeks out?  Or 4 weeks out?

As for now…just having fun these next coupla weeks.  Come June 7th, it’s go time…


12 thoughts on “the final puzzle piece

  1. can’t wait to follow your chicago training! i think the best part about having multiple marathon training cycles under our belts is figuring out what works best for US individually and using that to our advantage.

  2. I think you have a good plan and I don’t know about doing the test pace. 20 miles at your marathon pace is pretty rough on your body isn’t it? I can’t wait to follow you on your training journey! Glad you did well at the half 😀

    • Yep 20 miles at MP would be rough-but the race I’m referring to is actually a half-marathon (i think the name was misleading) 🙂 I’ve found 13.1 at marathon pace hasn’t beaten me up too much, as long as I don’t do it too often!

      Case in point-around here, there is an 18-mile “tune up” race in the fall. First year I did it, I ran it faster than what my eventual marathon pace was and it beat me up for days. The other 2 times I ran it, I treated it strictly as a long run.

  3. You know how I feel about that type of plan:) Looking forward to following your “plan.”

  4. As an alternative to PDR would you consider the Virginia Beach Rock N Roll 1/2 a few weeks earlier on Labor Day weekend?

    • That one actually did cross my mind, but that falls on another 20 weekend too!! Plus if I do a long race, I’d prefer it to be local, or easy to get to. PDR was easy to get to, and I love that race.

      There is the Queens Half on September 12 though…but I swore I’d never do that race again!

      • I brought up Virginia Beach 1/2 as it’s a fun weekend and a good race{ran it in 02,03,05,06}how often do you finish a race let alone a half marathon w/ the ocean right there??
        PDR was my fav road race ever{till 5th Avenue Mile}yeah it’s closer,and you’ve done well there,good luck.

        • how often do you finish a race let alone a half marathon w/ the ocean right there??

          Why, I did that just this past weekend! 😛
          Another one I’m considering is the New Haven 20K too…I’ve heard good things about that one too…

          • I guess in order to run PDR{I’m w/ you I’m not calling it RNR Philadelphia 1/2 Marathon!!} you would have to make your last 20 miler the week b4 Sept 12th,unless you bag Philly to run your last 20 miler that weekend,I wouldn’t recomend a 20 miler 2 weeks out,I always found the 3 week taper to be the most effective.
            At the end of the day you’ll decide what works best for you.
            ….Apologies for not being more cognasent of last weekends half marathon,guess I was just trying to sell the idea of Virginia Beach as it’s a great race and kick arse weekend

  5. I would not do an HM 3 weeks out. Four, OK, 5 better (e.g., Grete for NY). Whatever you say you’ll do, you’ll race it and it’ll take time to recover. You may hate Queens (the race, not the borough) but I’d suggest that instead. New Haven 20K on 9/6 would be better. Then a 20 a week later, a shorter but MP run three weeks out, and taper.

    I am a more-is-better, but don’t know how you fared last time you tried it. I think six days is a must. I don’t know why you need 2 speed days; every few weeks throw in repeats or (once or twice) intervals to clear the head/let the legs move quickly. If instead of that second speed run you do a 12-14, with a 20 miler you have 33 or so plus four other days to easily get well over 50.

    Just my thoughts.

    • I’m sorta leaning towards not doing PDR…it will still be there next fall 🙂 I’ve actually never done a 20K race before, so it would be kinda cool to get an automatic distance PR. Throws things off a little having it on a Monday, but I’m sure I can figure it out…

      As for “more-is-better”-last year I when I tried it, I wound up with a DNF in MCM and on the DL with the ITB issues…so many initials!! 🙂 So in terms of volume, I wanted to step it back a little. I most likely will be doing 6 days during my highest mileage weeks though (I looked back at my 2008 logs and that indeed was the case back then as well.)

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