Archive for January 19, 2010

Continuing with our race week entries we are now just five days away from Sunday’s 3M Austin Half-Marathon.  I keep making a point to remind myself this week that although we are racing on Sunday, we are really just 13 weeks away from our real goal which is to prepare for the first of two back-to-back marathons beginning April 19th at Boston. 

This segues nicely to a question that I  received  last week from a co-worker who asked, “how much do you run everyday”?  The question threw me a bit as I try to look at ever day and every workout as an independent part of an overall marathon training plan.  There really is no such thing as “everyday” when it comes to preparing fully for a 26.2 mile race.

To me even rest days represent “training” days as these critical days contribute to being able to run your best possible race on race day, peaking at just the right moment.  In fact I cross them off of the calendar on the refrigerator door just as enthusiastically as a “run” day.  Every aspect of your training from easy days, tempo runs, pace runs, long runs, rest days and your taper period are equally important in getting you to the starting line not only in peak condition but also injury free.  The key for me is to have a plan for each day and attack that workout as it is intended – with a specific goal to accomplish whether that goal is running a specific distance, a specific pace or simply resting and eating right.

My weekly training schedule can be accessed at :

Brushy Creek Trail - Austin, TX

So this morning my schedule called for an easy 3-miles.  It is not the distance that makes today’s workout “easy” but the pace at which it is to be run.  My PR (Personal Record) for 3.1 miles is 19:47 or a 6:21 pace – so going out and trying to run this morning’s workout in under 20 minutes while possible, is not part of our training plan.  It may feel good to try to push through a run of this distance as quick as possible or look good in my training log – but that is a short-sighted approach to training. 

The goal of today’s workout is to continue recovering from Sunday’s 11-mile long run and get ready for tomorrow’s tempo workout of 6 miles.  Today is simply a day to run at a comfortable pace – work some of the kinks and any soreness out of my legs from Sunday’s run, Monday’s cycling workout and strength training session with Kerensa (personal trainer).  It is a recuperative day that will pay dividends on April 19th and again on May 2nd.  Running fast today just for the sake of it – or worse, running farther than scheduled because I “feel strong” is a mistake that can lead to overtraining or worse – injury.

Keeping your ego in check during training is an important part of training for a marathon when your character and mental toughness is tested over the 26 mile 385 yard distance.  For me who is very competitive by nature, these easy days are ones where I really need to focus on my overall goals and not get caught up in chasing a PR for the sake of it.

3-Mile Easy Workout

Today was really a perfect day for running as I was able to leave the house about 30 minutes before sunrise with a temperature of 62 degrees and a light breeze blowing.  Total time today of 21:57 (pace 7:19).  It was a good workout as it seems more and more like our ideal pace at Boston is going to fall around 7:40/mile to 7:50 – leaving enough in the tank for Pittsburgh 2 weeks later.  We will know a little bit better after this weekend’s Half-Marathon – but as each training day gets crossed off of the schedule our goals for Boston are becoming clear.