Changing it up

on Sunday, July 5, 2009 at 11:22 PM

I've been finding it hard as of late to get up in the morning to do my training runs. Lately I've been doing them after work. I've been a faithful follower of Pfitzinger's marathon plans for a few years now and it's gotten me where I need to be. This is the 3rd straight year that I will be doing one of his plans and looking at his schedule, it's just gotten a little too familiar, not necessarily boring, but it's just sort of like going through the motions. Three years ago, I was all gung-ho about the plan and looking forward to each run, nowadays it seems to be ho-hum, and I think this is what's keeping me from getting up early in the morning.

So I intend to still follow the plan somewhat, but will modify things to throw in some variety. For example, this was supposed to be 32 miles week (week 1) of Pfitz 18 week/55mile plan , but I wanted to try and see if I could do week 3 which is 40 miles in case I decide to try an earlier marathon. Rather than follow the plan, I did the following

Wednesday: 8 miles with 10 strides

Friday: About 10.5 miles with 4 at LT and 4x400m at fast pace. I ended up splitting the 4 LT miles into 2x2 miles because the HR was spiking. LT portion was at about 6:57 pace. Then threw in some 400m repeats at 6:05 pace, the first three with 400m slow jog recoverys (about 2.5-3 min) and the last one with a 200m recovery of 1.5 min. My goal in doing the repeats is to try and make 6:25 pace (ie, 20min 5k pace) feel somewhat easy. I'm hoping to get the recovery periods shorter.

Saturday: 6 miles recovery

Sunday: 16 miles at about 8:24 pace. Did this as a progression run. Did this by the lake. Knowing that this was going to be tough, I overcompensated by drinking too much the day before and this morning which means I had to stop to use the facilities. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that the city workers strike which is currently ongoing which has affected things like garbage pickup also affected the washrooms on the trail; they are all closed. Thankfully, at least the water fountains are still on. So after taking a pitstop in the bushes at the one mile mark, I realized I had to go again at about the 7 mile mark, but lucky for me, the temporary garbage dump that the city had setup in one of the parking lots by the lake had porta-potties for the picketing strikers. I was never so happy to have that garbage dump there. Anyhow, back to the run, the first 8 miles were done fairly slow, at a little faster than 9min/miles. The HR was less than my recovery HR. Miles 9 through 13, I increased the pace to the high end of my long run HR which turned out to be at about 8min/miles. With 3 miles to go, I then proceeded to try and do the progression portion where I start to increase the pace, mile 14 done at 7:32 pace, mile 15 and 7:13 pace and mile 16 at 6:57 pace. I could start tasting ammonia towards the end of mile 16 which I only have experienced at the end of 5k races so I'm pretty sure i was tapped out speed wise and energy wise. Still I"m pretty happy with the run. More details of the run can be seen here.


Quinto Sol said...

Very nice way to close a long run with those fast three miles.

jen said...

I hear you on Pfitz getting a little too "familiar" - I think I'll use a different plan for my next marathon (TBD). Your minor changes will be good though- a bit of flexibility but still the strength of the Pfitz program.

Awesome paces on your runs, you sure got that speed back fast! :) well done!!