I have officially started my 16 week training plan for Big Cottonwood. There are 17 weeks to go, but I am taking a full week off to ride Sierra to the Sea… I don’t plan on bringing my running shoes trying to get runs in after doing 60 mile bike rides!
The plan I have worked out is based on the FIRST plan, which emphasizes 3 runs per week – a speed workout, a tempo run and a long run. Other than these, the plan recommends cross training – but allows very easy running… I will fill in with easy running and some riding as we go along.
Over the next few weeks I want to get the long runs up as quickly as possible. My longest since last November was the 10 mile Apollo run I did in April. So for May’s Apollo park run I stretched it out to 14. This will allow me to do a 16 , 18 and then 20 before SttS. After SttS I will concentrated on adding some speed to the long runs.
An interesting quirk to the plan is that I am in the midst of a weight loss program. April 1, after our last vacation I was 197 pounds… (don’t blame the vacation, I was 197 pounds before it…) Since then I have dropped to 186. I plan to drop farther to 170 by the time of the race.
I used my most recent 5k time and put it into a running calculator and found the corresponding marathon pace is 8:53. Then I used another calculator to adjust for weight loss….. If I succeed in dropping the weight to 170 the marathon pace drops below 8:10 – my BQ needed pace. So, as my weight drops, I need to train at the paces prescribed for my current weight… my paces will automatically get faster as my weight lowers.
So, the exciting thing about my run yesterday is that I averaged 9:03 for the entire 14 miles – that is only 10s per mile slower than my current marathon pace… not bad! I was not trying to run a marathon pace run, I was trying to run a Long Slow Distance run….
The key to this plan is lowing the weight needed to gain the speed…. Here goes…