On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Thursday, July 8, 2010

NYCM training

Weekend vacation is long over.  Time to get down to business.  So how to train?

No schedule is perfect, but it's obviously key to have a schedule of some sort.  But at the same time, I'm not espousing any particular training philosophy at this point.  I want to run at least four days a week, possibly five, but I don't dare run six days (fear of injury).  I want to incorporate some speedwork, but I know that what I need most are pace/tempo/steady state runs - however, and importantly, the crucial key to a tempo run is knowing exactly what tempo to go out at.

And therein lies the problem.  I have my realistic "A" goal: under 5 hours.  I have my daydreamy "B" goal: beat my PR (4:43).  And I have my insane and impossible "C" goal: sub 4:30.  Putting aside C, I don't really have a good sense of what's possible for me right now.  My race times have been consistent in suggesting that A should happen easily.  Do I therefore shoot for B?  If so, do I shoot for a 4:40?  4:35?  I will get faster and stronger as I train.  That's the point of training, duh.  But I also know that you train for the marathon you're capable of, and training for something that's beyond my abilities is shooting myself in the foot from the get-go.

Cobbling together races I know I'll be doing between now and then, Pfitzinger's Advanced Marathoning plan, and using Hal Higdon's Int. II as a back-up (the Pftizinger plan is hard), I think my sister has drawn up a schedule of sorts that I'm going for.  But I'm very, very bad at following schedules.  So, later this week I'm going to lay out my schedule for you to critique/tweak/offer suggestions on, and on Fridays when I run down my week, I'll start with my planned runs and then move onto my actual runs.  Help me get to the starting line prepared, please?


  1. I'm horrible at following schedules, too. While the Pfitzinger plan is certainly harder, there's a lot more room for flexibility than in Hal's plans. There's also more mileage. Don't get me started on the importance of mileage.

    Good luck.

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  3. Huh. I wonder why the slammer didn't notice that it says on the side over to the right that I already have a registration? Oh, well. I'd delete it, but I'm posting this from my phone in the airport.

    I'm glad to hear another endorsement of Pfitzinger. People who follow it successfully seem to like it. Mandy stripped some of the mileage out, keeping the basic workouts in. I'm hoping to build up to following it as scheduled, but she's right that his week one of 30-something miles is beyond what I have been doing.

  4. Spammer, not slammer. Doi.

  5. I am shamed that even your "A" goal is faster than the best I could ever muster. Hahaa.

    At least you can guarantee that no matter what pace you end up picking, I will still be on the side of the road in some sort of highly embarrassing Tracy-themed cheer wear and trying to pass you a Clif Bar.

  6. I'm doing my NYCM training alongside a friend who's doing the Marine Corps Marathon the week before NYC. I cannot believe that it's happening. I'm aiming for a 4:45, using the Runners World Smartcoach plan that says I should be capable based on my fastest 10k (which was a shitshow) of a 4:36, and remembering that I want to be able to stop and talk to my friends, and encourage them to run a few miles with me and to hell with pace.

    Wanna do some runs together???

  7. Yes, I'd LOVE to do some runs together! I'll send you a fb comment. I can slow you down a touch if you help me speed up a bit :) What does McMillan say you should run?