The ability to cross the finish line in any race is dependent on the person’s tenacity. However, being able to race a certain distance, performing at the peak of your ability and accomplishing your goal is dependent on the training before the race, along with balanced nutrition and some luck.

Even though the most recent of my 6 marathons was Twin Cities in 1995, I have quite a bit of experience in training for distance races. For me, finding a training plan really helps me focus and become a better, faster runner. When following a plan, I don’t cut corners or talk myself out of doing a scheduled workout. Instead I know there is a purpose for a certain workout, and I usually feel better than expected afterword.

For the 2010 Grandma’s Marathon, I am following the training plan outlined in Matt Fitzgerald’s book “Brain training for Runners.” This is a 22 week plan that started in early January. Now as I look back at my training log and see the entries for hill workouts when the windchill was -5 F, it brings back the shivers. I do have a treadmill, but I wanted to run outdoors( and use some of the neat gear that I will write about later.) Those cold, early workouts have paid off, though, as I am stronger and faster now than Jan 1.

This week’s plan calls for:

Monday off,

Tuesday 7 miles (did it in 1:00:56),

Wednesday 12 x 1/4 mile repeats with 1.5 mile warmup and warmdown

Thursday 4 miles recovery

Friday 4 x 1 mile at 10k speed (<7:08 pace) with 1.5 mile warmup and warmdown

Saturday 4 miles recovery

Sunday 14 mile run

I am traveling with the USC High School Band and Choir to St Louis and Memphis this week, so running time will have to be scheduled around events. The 15 hour bus ride back from Memphis will preclude a long run that day, so I may push it back to Monday.

If movement is a sign of life & stillness is death, running is an example of life most fully lived. It’s beautiful. -Martin Creed

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