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?