Spring Race Training: Week 1


At last, actual training for my late May race in Newport, OR has commenced. I’ll be training for 19 weeks (including taper weeks), although I’ve only got a schedule for the next three months at the moment, but that’s more than enough to handle for now.

Here are the differences between “training” and “basebuilding,” at least as far as what Kevin has provided:

  • I’m still on a three week cycle, with two high mileage/high intensity weeks followed by one lower mileage/high intensity week; but now there are no days off.
  • Instead of doing faster running by effort, I now have assigned paces that I need to hit. I prefer this, as it’s a truer measuring stick of progress.
  • Recovery weeks are now in the 70-80 mile range rather than the 60 mile weeks during basebuilding.
  • I’m running doubles 2-4 days per week now.
  • The Sunday long runs are getting longer, and three longer races (15-21M) feature Mpace running for a significant chunk of the total distance.
  • I’ve got a speed session every week with lots of variance in the workouts from week to week: from 200m to 2K repeats. And I’m still doing tempo efforts tacked on to longer general aerobic runs every week.
  • I’ve got strides every week on one recovery run, but only eight.

The first week of training was, frankly, outstanding. My training diary notes that Tuesday’s tempo run and Friday’s 2 x 1 mile intervals felt way too easy. I have trouble accepting what seems like a jump in fitness at face value, tending more toward blaming the notoriously inaccurate technology I rely on when running inside (uncalibrated treadmill plus sort of calibrated footpod).

I took things outside on Sunday, though, for a half marathon in Central Park. And I was delighted to discover that I could run fast under rotten conditions and less than ideal logistics. So now I’m thinking that I am fitter and faster after all.

Week 2 includes a nice, long tempo session on Wednesday followed by 5 x 1K repeats on Friday and a 20 miler on Sunday. I’m looking forward to it.

13 Responses

  1. Yay on fitness improvements!! You know I can so relate to the disbelief of getting faster. It’s like you have to wrap your head around the new paces and keep telling yourself, “this isn’t a fluke, it’s real!”

    Have a great training week, the interval session sounds tough – may the pace surprise you in it’s painlessness. 😀

  2. ShoEEE, I won’t complain about my speed workout, now.


  3. Flo, I hear ya. It’s hard to believe when you see a leap in ability, but those advancements do tend to make themselves known in shouts rather than in whispers. I’m equally excited to see the strides you’re making lately. We really need to organize a mutual appreciation society.

    And here’s something I’ve been looking for for awhile: a reference from Jack Daniels on “fluke” performances:
    The “fluke” is the level at which you’re capable of performing under favorable conditions. In other words, that’s the norm, and everything that’s sub-par to that is the true fluke.

  4. What is your goal for time of your race? You seem quite similar to times of mine. I will be training for my first full this summer with a couple halves this spring.

  5. How exciting! I remember that feeling from when I trained for New York. Still waiing for it to hit me this cycle, but I am encouraged in my own training by your progress.

  6. Hi Shondalee — goal time at this point is something under 3:05. I’d like to get as close to 3:00 as possible, but I know that may not be realistic until later in the year.

    What full are you running in the summer?

  7. Ah, I love the fluke theory! Thanks for that cool tidbit.

  8. […] Spring Race Training: Week 1 […]

  9. All I can say is Damn!!!!! You are going to kick some major a$$ with this training plan and it looks like you are already well on your way!!!!!!

  10. Good luck with your training.

    Your workouts are are superfly. RacesLikeAGirl is now book marked on my computer…because it’s a fab read!


    Jay Hicks

  11. Your recovery week is my high mileage/high intensity week. There’s a sub-3 in your future.

    Being imperial measurement challenged, I’m looking forward to the 5 x 1000 metres on Friday.

  12. Ewen, I try to make this blog as cross-cultural as possible. Just because we Americans couldn’t deal with the metric system doesn’t mean the rest of the world should suffer.

    Does your crystal ball say when I’ll get that sub-3:00?

  13. Jay — just found your comment in my spam queue four weeks after the fact! I love preracejitters.com — so thanks for reading. The appreciation is mutual!

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